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  • Writer's picturecmdeyong

My first knife


This is the knife that hooked me on knifemaking. I made it in 1981 after ordering the supplies from Sheffield Knifemaking Supply. I ordered enough for two knives and found the zebrawood at a local hardwood supplier. I was surprised to see how hot rolled and annealed 440c steel looks. It was a lot rougher than I expected and required a lot more sanding than I ever expected. I shaped the entire blade with files (I did not have a grinder). I cut a groove in the wood with my radial arm saw. I wanted to mark the blade before it was hardened and stamped it with with a C and D. All in all it was a great learning experience. Here are the key lessons this knife taught me:

  • Wear a mask with exotic hardwoods if you want to continue breathing.

  • Scratches are difficult to remove.

  • Zebrawood tends to splinter.

  • It takes a LONG time to make a knife with files.

  • 5 minute epoxy means only 5 minutes.

  • Heat treating changes the color of steel and needs to be sanded one more time.

It was a long process to create #1 but it hooked me and knife #890 is still teaching me things.

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