Crooked and hook knifes
from steel to tool II
Last blog ended with the crooked blade in the forge, so we better start here by getting it out.
But first I heated the oil that will be used for quenching the blades, just up to a little over room temperature.
Simply by dipping a red hot piece of iron into it a couple of times.
Taking of happy, this was a happy way to start the day.
Filiz brought croissants and just baked sour dough bread and put fresh strawberries on top.
Ok I know it, I enjoy life way too much here.
Now time to heat the blades to red hot.
The way to test the temperature is to put a magnet on the blade when red hot, once hot enough it will no longer be magnetic and it’s time to quench it.
Here you see my magnet tool, will post about this at a later time.
Here the hook knife blade are quenched.
Then the crooked, as you can see keep your head away from the oil as it sometimes catch fire.
Blades out of the oil.
Yes I sure think that forge will be a joy in the shop.
Here the hardened blades.
Crook looks fine.
The hook knife also seems to have hardened well.
I test it with an old file and it leaves no marks.
Now time to bake some bread or at least temper the blades at 200 degrees C in a oven.
This will remove the brittleness from the blades.
For the crooked knife handle I had a piece of antler.
It should give a good grip.
Something like this.
But then realized I had this wonderful piece of wood in the shop.
Since I thought my crooked knife should be basic like they would probably have been normally in the native American way, this was what I went for.
Yep, that’s a perfect match.
Do you get it?
Time to fit the blade.
First sawing to length and then a flat surface to the cutting side.
After drawing the blade onto the handle, the bed for the blade are hollowed out.
Try to make a fair fit.
Drilling a hole for the blades tangs bend to fit in.
This will make the knife able to take great pulling force.
Now simply put in place.
I make a leather string.
Ohhh was on a walk in the forest today, brought home some handles for later knifes…
Closed the ends with lacquer now they will rest for at least six months.
Also making a glass of hot water with baking soda to soak the leather sting in.
This is how the blade looks fitted in the handle.
I use rawhide glue to make the blade get a perfect fit.
This will just make the fit better, the glue will not stick to the metal.
(You can use epoxy, but I wanted to keep it authentic).
Also I glued a thin strip on top to hold the blade in place.
Like this I feel sure it will be strong enough for most use.
I have seen different versions on the Natives, some are with no top.
Then sanding it a wee bit to fit the handles shape.
The soaked leather string are attached I do this by drilling a small hole and wedge it in place.
Then wrapping as tight as I possible can and secure it in the other end also.
A Native American crooked knife.
I will keep the rough look, no more shaping, imagine this is how the normal workmans knife would have looked.
Then sharpen it.
I use the stones and grid 1200 sandpaper.
The handle are finished with a coat, just to preserve the bark a wee bit.
Ok back to the hook knife.
First drilling a hole in a piece of Kenyan ebony.
Then mounting the blade by holding a cold cloth around the blade while heating the tang and then putting the tank in the wood while it was hot.
The shape are roughed out on the band saw.
Then sanded to where I like it.
After sharpening, it’s time to test.
It really works well, I am more than happy.
A good grip.
That wood really makes a fine match for the blade.
Happy to give it my brand.
Sharpening are done with Arkansas stones and grid 1200 wrapped.
Then finally polished on a loaded leather strap.
Home with the family.
I think it fits right in.
Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools, after all this is why I take a detour out the black road now.
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.