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Survival knive making : What scrap-metal to look for.

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posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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There was this movie where this retired crazy commando made his knife from scrap metal. I more or less fell in love with the design and wondered what metal would be best to make such a knife.

i read somewhere that the blade-springs from old cars would do because this metal is not brittle and will not break easily. Unfortunately is will not keep its sharpness when frequently used.

Do you guys have an idea what scrap-metal to look for when making a good survival knife such as the Becker Companion?

While I am at it.....any tips for how to proceed scrap-metal knife making?




posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by zatara
 


Those leaf springs are made of carbon steel. It takes and keeps a better edge but you must maintain it or it rusts out. The stainless steel blades require no real maintenance but it's very difficult to get and keep a very sharp edge.


Best quality? Carbon Steel. Most likely to last 100 years? Stainless.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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Old files will make a decent blade, as long as you perform proper heat-treatment on them before and after the blade making process.

You need to anneal the file to soften it before you begin to work it into a blade. Then afterwards, you have to re-harden the file by heating and quenching at the proper temps. Then you have to heat-treat the working edge of the knife, so that it is not too brittle.

All that info can be found on the net, google it.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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For a light-duty knife, strapping steel, the kind used to bind pallet-loads together, can be used. It is thin, so you just have to add a handle and sharpen it. I made one myself, years ago.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by zatara
There was this movie where this retired crazy commando made his knife from scrap metal. I more or less fell in love with the design and wondered what metal would be best to make such a knife.

i read somewhere that the blade-springs from old cars would do because this metal is not brittle and will not break easily. Unfortunately is will not keep its sharpness when frequently used.

Do you guys have an idea what scrap-metal to look for when making a good survival knife such as the Becker Companion?

While I am at it.....any tips for how to proceed scrap-metal knife making?



The movie you are referencing is probably " The Hunted" with Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.
The story is loosely based on Tom Brown's experiences, related in his book " Case files of the tracker".

The Knife you mention is a WSK or wilderness survival knife, designed by Tom Brown and made by Dave Beck.
Beck WSK's run around $400-2,000 if you can find one.
Red Scorpion makes a really nice version for around $350 ( the RS-6)
TOPS makes the official Tom Brown Tracker in 3 sizes.. from around $280 for the big one. ( IMHO, the tops versions are not as good as the others.

The steel used for these knives are usually 1080 spring steel ( like used in leaf springs for cars).



In the movie, Benicio Del Toro forges a knife in a fire, from leaf springs on the side of a cliff, in the woods.

This ain't happening in real life.

You need tools, a hotter forge fire than you can imagine, and a very strong understanding of mettalurgy, and knife grinds, or you'll do alot of work and end up with a pry bar.
It would also take wayyy too many man hours to even attempt something like this int he wild.

It can be done.. but I make knives and I won't even attemp this in the wild.



BTW, it's a great movie. One of my favorites.
If youve never seen it, take a couple hours and watch it.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:04 AM
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Ohh..
Here's my custom Tracker knife.
Handmade, pattern welded steel, custom leather horizontal sheath ( I made the sheath)





posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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I would use something like a bedknife of a old reel type mower. If you have a local Golf course near you check with the maintenance department.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:50 AM
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I once had a buddy who worked out at this coal fired power plant there in SW Wyoming.... he was part of a crew that would go in to service the big generators...

well he turned me on to several dozen fins from this generator... pure titanium... 3 feet long 3.75 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick...

I thought they would make the perfect knife blades... BUZZ... Wrong answer....
So far I've gone threw three grinder wheels and still don't have the roughed out shape yet... for now I've given up until I find another way to cut and shape those titanium slats would make an awesome blade but... I guess I just need to rent time with a CNC if I'm ever gonna get em done...



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
I once had a buddy who worked out at this coal fired power plant there in SW Wyoming.... he was part of a crew that would go in to service the big generators...

well he turned me on to several dozen fins from this generator... pure titanium... 3 feet long 3.75 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick...

I thought they would make the perfect knife blades... BUZZ... Wrong answer....
So far I've gone threw three grinder wheels and still don't have the roughed out shape yet... for now I've given up until I find another way to cut and shape those titanium slats would make an awesome blade but... I guess I just need to rent time with a CNC if I'm ever gonna get em done...


Ti is hard to work.. and even harder to keep a sharp edge.. and damn near impossible to field sharpen properly.
however, for a smaller. light blade Ti would be nice and wouldnt add much weight to a pack.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by BadNinja68
Ohh..
Here's my custom Tracker knife.
Handmade, pattern welded steel, custom leather horizontal sheath ( I made the sheath)




Those knives look great...the one at the top looks like the one I fell in love with.

What do you mean with pattern welded steel? Did you only make the sheaths or did you also contributed in the making of the knives?



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


C&C won't cut it, you'll destroy every bit in the shop.
Wire EDM machine is what you''ll need to rough out a blank.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by Asktheanimals
reply to post by DaddyBare
 


C&C won't cut it, you'll destroy every bit in the shop.
Wire EDM machine is what you''ll need to rough out a blank.


yeah I was kind of thinking the same thing...
problem I dont know anyone whose got one I can barrow... not in my little corner of the world...
But I do have a bud up in Kansas City Mo... who works in the machine shop for the 24 Marines up there...wink wink wink



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by BadNinja68

The movie you are referencing is probably " The Hunted" with Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.
The story is loosely based on Tom Brown's experiences, related in his book " Case files of the tracker".

The Knife you mention is a WSK or wilderness survival knife, designed by Tom Brown and made by Dave Beck.
Beck WSK's run around $400-2,000 if you can find one.
Red Scorpion makes a really nice version for around $350 ( the RS-6)
TOPS makes the official Tom Brown Tracker in 3 sizes.. from around $280 for the big one. ( IMHO, the tops versions are not as good as the others.

The steel used for these knives are usually 1080 spring steel ( like used in leaf springs for cars).



In the movie, Benicio Del Toro forges a knife in a fire, from leaf springs on the side of a cliff, in the woods.

This ain't happening in real life.

You need tools, a hotter forge fire than you can imagine, and a very strong understanding of mettalurgy, and knife grinds, or you'll do alot of work and end up with a pry bar.
It would also take wayyy too many man hours to even attempt something like this int he wild.

It can be done.. but I make knives and I won't even attemp this in the wild.

BTW, it's a great movie. One of my favorites.
If youve never seen it, take a couple hours and watch it.



Yep..thats the movie...

It is somewhat a disappointment to learn that often the cool stuff in a movie is not possible for real. Well if I want to do it I must make the knive before I will find myself in serious survival situation.

You wrote that you make knives...do you make them just for fun or do you earn your living with making them? Either way it must be fun to create such a tool and feel satisfaction when your '' project'' has finished. Btw, have you ever made such a specific model knife?

I did some googling for the Beck WSK''s and these knives look fantastic....but the price si a little to much for my budget. I have noticed (for some time now) that rich people have more luck than me when it comes to owning the good stuff.


Thanks for the info....



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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I've made crude knives at work for cutting various things. I've made SS knives for cutting K-Wool which is an industrial fiberglass insulation for gas turbines, using a plasma arc to cut 1/8 th inch stainless, and a 4 1/2 grinder with a sanding disc, pretty simple really. Nice thing about stainless, it holds an edge longer and it wont rust on you.

Carbon steel is obviously a little easier to work with and cheaper/easier to find. If I wanted to make one right now, I would just go out to the garage and grab one of my old lawnmower blades and cut it down to whatever size I found appropriate.

If you have the tools and time, its fun and not hard to do.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 04:26 PM
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I have an WW2 era kukri that was made from an old leaf spring, and it is still shiny and holds a decent edge to this day. The craftsmanship of the blade isn't great as there are quite a few pits and you can see some ripple in the blade, but thru alot of use and abuse it has never let me down.



posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


Try taking it down to one or two of your local laser cutting shops. I use laser shops to cut out shapes that size for me on a regular basis and it usually costs abot ten dollars. .001 inch accuracy should get you by for a knife blank!



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 05:30 PM
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lawn mower blades, look for the old ones that are flat, some have a raised lip on the side that will take some time to flatten down or cut off.used curb edger blades work well too.steel bed rallings have good steel ,and some are hardened , good for a small but thick knife.circular saw blades are thin but have good steel ,you will need a cheap air powered cut-off tool that uses 3" wheel to cut out blade shape.some machine shops have large band saw,the old worn out blade for it make good knives,large band saws use 3 inch wide blades, just not very thick.most SS is medium hard and stiff even if not hardened and can make decent knife.you dont always need a hardened knife to have a good edge, if its too hard you risk breaking the blade and even if you dont break it it will still take all day to resharpen once you dull it,lots of machetes are medium hard,and just resharpened in field with a file in 5 minutes.a 1050 carbon steel knife can be easily resharpened with any fairly flat rock,better to have a dull knife not broken than a broken sharp one.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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I'd also say rotary lawn mower blades. (Not reel style mowers in this case.) First they're about as common as dirt. Also they seem to hold up very well when hitting a rock or tree roots at 3000 or so RPM while mowing grass, so it's not going to be too brittle of a metal. As to how well that grade of metal holds an edge is another thing, then again considering the job it does - it probably wont be too bad at it. The bonus is that it's already a flat piece in the right thickness. Just a matter of taking a hacksaw, cutting torch, or some kind of rotary tool to it to make your blade blanks from it. After that, it's just filing, sharpening, and honing to put a cutting edge where you want it.

Nope haven't done it yet, but I can easily picture doing that in a situation where a lawn mower is no longer useful or necessary.



posted on Oct, 25 2011 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by Springheel Jack
I've made crude knives at work for cutting various things. I've made SS knives for cutting K-Wool which is an industrial fiberglass insulation for gas turbines, using a plasma arc to cut 1/8 th inch stainless, and a 4 1/2 grinder with a sanding disc, pretty simple really. Nice thing about stainless, it holds an edge longer and it wont rust on you.

Carbon steel is obviously a little easier to work with and cheaper/easier to find. If I wanted to make one right now, I would just go out to the garage and grab one of my old lawnmower blades and cut it down to whatever size I found appropriate.

If you have the tools and time, its fun and not hard to do.


Exactly the opposite of what you posted is true except for thr rust resistant part.

SS is less prone to rust.
High carbon steel such as 1085 or 5160 is much harder steel, and much harder to work.
It takes a bit more to sharpen a 1085 blade than 440c stainless, but the 1085 will hold a better edge for longer.
To make a proper knife you need to know a bit about edge grinds, blade dynamics, and the purpose of the knife.

Knifemaking isn't all that hard, but it isnt as easy as some people here seem to think.



I make knives for a hobby, Ive sold a few to friends but Im not a knifemaker by trade.




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