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File to knife... #1: Starting the process

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Blog entry by MadJester posted 03-20-2015 10:49 PM 1647 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of File to knife... series Part 2: Feeling good about the progress today! »

Hello all! Let me begin by saying that this is not an original idea, many have done this before…this is just my attempt of it that I have been tossing around in my head for quite a long time now…

I’ve researched online, and I was looking for a way to do this without a forge involved…my friend has one, but I believe that I can shape the knives without losing the temper if I’m careful not to let the metal get too hot.

I started with some vintage files/rasps that I have come across as a “picker”...

Each was about 10 1/4” long before I cut off the tails. I used a hand held grinder, and while this did generate a bit of heat, I kept a bucket of water nearby to dip it in as soon as they were cut.

I had several stones for my grinding wheel (the ones that would work better didn’t fit the shaft, but I work with what I find at the yard/estate sales that I go to…)

I used this to grind down the grooves on the files.

I didn’t go all the way down yet…but I do want to leave quite a bit of where the marks are…I think it adds character. The look I’m going for is rugged and rough, down and dirty…the kind of knife you would use hunting or camping.

Then I marked out where I wanted the holes for the handle and the general shape of the blade.

Then I pulled out some scrap brass rods that used to be….well…whatever they used to be. I sawed off the threaded end (this was important for determining the size bit I would use…it threaded onto the 1/8” sized hole, but by the time it got to smooth rod, it was loose…tutns out it is actually 7/64”).

Then came the fun part (not)...I purchased some cobalt bits with the theory that they would work pretty decently…tried them with my cordless…not even a scuff…(I did divot before attempting to drill…)....I will attempt again on the drill press, but I think I will have to take the temper off the handle portion with a blow torch…the handle doesn’t need to be tempered anyway…

I’ll post more to this project as I move along….

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle



14 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8264 posts in 2896 days


#1 posted 03-20-2015 11:02 PM

A good start, Sue.
I’ve always had luck with plain old jobber’s bits…the black ones. But…I’ve never tried to drill a file.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7491 posts in 1475 days


#2 posted 03-20-2015 11:35 PM

I have quite a few old files.. Have been thinking about perhaps making some knives or possibly a few lathe tools from them. Gonna watch this thread to see what kind of issue you come up against …
THANKS!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3557 posts in 2029 days


#3 posted 03-20-2015 11:43 PM

Sue

I am really excited about what you are doing and can not wait to see more.

Joe

I have several friends who tried to use files as turning scrappers or skews and they said the edge was just to brittle and it kept braking up so they threw them away. I personally have not tried it but I know there are a lot of lathe tools out there that are make of carbon steel that are pretty cheap.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19180 posts in 2143 days


#4 posted 03-20-2015 11:58 PM

Ok, I’m along for the ride….
Looking forward to where this takes us!!!

You said you are a picker….does that mean….
picking for antiques?
Picking peoples’ brains??
I hope you aren’t referring to picking your nose….
The knives may be overkill, for that!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8768 posts in 1308 days


#5 posted 03-21-2015 04:09 AM

Where’s my popcorn? I’m in!

-- God bless, Candy

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1952 posts in 1898 days


#6 posted 03-21-2015 09:29 PM

Yay!!! This will be fun!!

Randy…doesn’t everyone pick their nose with a honkin’ huge knife??? And it’s junk…LOL…I’m a junker….I just get lucky every once in a while and find something that is a little more than junk! (Vintage stuff…little collectibles and whatnot…)

(passes popcorn to Candy….)

Arlin…the files are all older and I’m pretty sure they are tool steel…perhaps the force of the the lathe was just too much for it…I think as a knife, it might not take quite as much abuse along the edge….

Gene…I’ll have to try that too…never know…I’ve drilled through silver plate with regular bits (usually nickel underneath…) but never hardened steel…I think removing the temper from the handle portion may be the way to go…I’ve already seen that I can cut the files with a hand held grinder….and the stone wheel, while slow in removal of the grooves, does seem to work…so it may work out ok…:D

Joe…it should prove interesting, I certainly hope! If not, you will probably be able to hear me cursing all the way down south there!

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#7 posted 03-21-2015 10:01 PM

Fire the handle and kill the temper. When I was young I tried to cut one at work and I watched all the teeth pop off the blade of the porta-band. It was awesome.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

387 posts in 2245 days


#8 posted 03-21-2015 11:35 PM

Excellent, I’ll have to keep an eye on this one. I’ve wanted to do this for a while now.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8768 posts in 1308 days


#9 posted 03-22-2015 03:30 AM

MMMmmmmmmmmmmmm extra butter…my favorite!

-- God bless, Candy

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1952 posts in 1898 days


#10 posted 03-23-2015 05:42 PM

Candy….that’s too funny!!!

Fridge…that’s exactly the point I’m at now…even with a little oil and the cobalt bits, it’s smoking….and I don’t want to kill the bits if I don’t have to…so it’s off to the hardware store for a can of juice…:D

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#11 posted 03-23-2015 05:47 PM

only other thing I can think of is a tiny diamond hole saw or coated bit.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1952 posts in 1898 days


#12 posted 03-23-2015 08:02 PM

I do have some dremel diamond bits…but I’m not sure…can’t hurt to try it though…right? LOL

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1952 posts in 1898 days


#13 posted 03-25-2015 10:18 PM

I took the files, along with some other ones that I will be (hopefully) working on in the future to my friends brother’s house…he helped me anneal the handle ends and if we have to, when the weather gets better, we may fire up his forge if we need to…does anybody know how to tell if the blade is still holding it’s temper or do I just have to use it to see if it holds the edge? Magnet test? Well…that’s something to ponder for later…we worked up (annealed the handle ends) about five smaller files in addition to the two that I’m doing for this blog and I cut down a HUGE farriers rasp that I hope to get two nice mini butcher knives out of…..similar to the one that I did in this project (fourth picture…) http://lumberjocks.com/projects/106190

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1952 posts in 1898 days


#14 posted 03-26-2015 01:51 AM

*Oops…correction…third pic on that blog mentioned in my last comment….

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

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