A knife is a fundamental tool, one of the first ever crafted. It’s an essential tool for almost everybody. You can use a knife in the kitchen when preparing food or for camping and hunting. In worst cases, it becomes self-defense tools.
Step #1: Sketch
First step of knife making is creating a required design. Trying to use most practical and useful types of blades.It might sound easy, but is very important how knife feels in hand, how is balanced and on the end of process, how it going to cut, chop…
Step #2: Choosing Steel
All my blades are made of CPM (Crucible Particle Metallurgy) steel CPM S90V and CPM 20CV (.196” and .157”) are my favorite.
Crucible’s CPM S90V steel approaches the very pinnacle of wear resistance and edge retention. As you’d expect the carbon content is very high but the secret here is the extreme quantities of vanadium, almost three times that found in Elmax or S30V. Yes it’s ridiculously expensive, and yes it requires the patience of a saint to sharpen but outside its less common cousin CPM-S110V .nothing holds an edge or withstands abrasion quite like CPM S90V.
CPM-20CV is Crucible’s version of Bohler’s popular M390 steel which also influenced Carpenter to copycat with CTS-204P. As a Powder Metallurgy (PM) tool steel, you get a combination of impressive wear resistance and edge retention plus the added benefit of being highly corrosion resistant due to high levels of chromium. It’s still fairly new in the market but makers like Benchmade are already using CPM-20CV. In fact, Benchmade claim their M390 is marginally tougher but 20CV has better edge retention.
Step #3: Steel cutting
Stock removal is the process of taking sheets or blocks of material and removing material until it gets final shape.With angle grinder i turn (usually 12” long and 2” wide ) sheets to required shape.Than with belt grinder and bevel jig is created bevel. Sometimes freehand (depends on situation).Next step is hole drilling to the tang for future pins and lanyard tubes and lot of extra holes through all tang to make knife lighter.
Step#4: Heat treating process
Every single blade is hardened,tempered,cryo treated and tested in Santa Clara,California by Byingtonblades.com.
VACUUM HARDEN – DOUBLE TEMPER – CRYOGENIC TREATMENT – 100% HARDNESS TESTING – CERTIFICATION FOR PROCESS PROFILE.
About their process: Our heat treatment process for air hardening steel is first done in our vacuum furnaces. The vacuum helps keep the surface finish and appearance on the steel, while at the same time minimizing the oxide, scale and decarburization of the blade. The blades are control quenched in a partial vacuum with pure Nitrogen gas to ensure air quench properties are met while minimizing any surface contamination. An optional addition to the process is cryo treatment following the quench, where we submerge the blades into a subzero temperature environment to stabilize the blade and eliminate retained austenite. We will follow up with tempering the blade to a final hardness, and offer the option of providing a second temper to help ensure a uniform temper throughout the blade to the desired hardness.
Step #5: Handles
Each knife i made is with full tang,it is most used method and i think most durable. There is tons of materials on the market. Epoxy resin,Carbon fiber,G10 and stabilized wood are one of my favorite. On some of my knives you can find material called Juma (Juma is a high quality, resin-based material that is mixed with different mineral bases.).There. Is few knives with hybrid scales witch is usually combination of stabilized wood,aluminum honeycomb and epoxy resin.There is thousands of combinations so it’s all about creativity. There is always G10 liner between scale and tang and same color liner between different materials on handle.
Step #6: Knife sheath
Not big fan of leather,so Kydex is always my choice. Pressed with kydex press and tighten together with 1/4” black oxide eyelets. Tek-lok,UltiClip,Soft loop or simple belt clips are ideal to wear knife on belt or backpack strap.
Step #7: Final sharpening
One of my favorite process of knife making is sharpening.I am going always with V (flat) grind using Edge Pro Sharpening System,starting with 120 grit and than 220,400,600,1000 and 2000 and 3000 polish tapes for mirror finish.Very rarely convex grind using Ken Onion sharpening system with Blade grinding attachment and ceramic belts from Red abrasive.