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Old 07-05-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin
Default File knife without annealing

Kevin Smith told me on this thread. . .


. . . that I could make a file knife without annealing it first. So I thought I'd give it a try. I worked on it yesterday and today and just finished it.

Although it saved me from having to do any heat treating (except tempering), I'm not sure it was worth it. It took me several hours to grind this knife, and it gave me a crick in my neck from looking down at it. I had a difficult time drilling holes in it, too. I did like Kevin said and used a torched to heat the handle part, but I didn't get it soft enough at first and I destroyed a couple of my drill bits. I tried again and heated it until it was slightly red, and that time I was able to drill the holes.

I wondered how I might heat the handle up without destroying the temper on the blade. I ended up wrapping the blade up in a wet rag and putting that in a vice. It seemed to work. Here's the rainbow it created.

I was most concerned about ruining the temper while using the angle grinder, but I'd just grind a little, then pour water over it, then grind some more. I never got any rainbowing, so I assume the temper was good, especially because of how hard it was to grind. I went through two 50 grit belts that were nearly stripped down to the cloth. Then I used two 80 grit belts.

I'm pretty happy with how the knife turned out, but I'm not sure I'll do that again. It just took too much time, and I'm lazy.

Thanks for the idea, Kevin! I learned something new.
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