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Ambidextrous Striking Knife

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Project by Oldtool posted 05-30-2015 11:32 PM 1062 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My interest in striking knives was generated by Adam Cherubini’s article in the April 05 issue of Popular Woodworking, number 147. I’m sure most of you will recognize the drawing of two types of knives as seen in photo #2. My thought was to modify the sketch to allow the knife to be used on both sides of dovetail layouts.
My modification was to use two shallow angled sides, rather than making one skewed cutting edge with only one point. I achieved this by making the two sides at an approximate 86 degree angle from the cutting edge. After completion and testing, I’ve determined that this will work as I hoped, or at least I’m satisfied with the results. I’ve used a spear pointed commercially made striking knife and found it to either wander from the desired cut by following grain, or in a few occasions shave the edge off of my aluminum 4’ yard stick. This knife seems to eliminate both of these situations, by keeping the cutting edge low to the wood.
Photo #3 shows the tool steel bar stock from which I cut the knife, purchased from MSC Direct, O1 tool steel, 1/8” bar stock.
Photo #4 shows the knife after all cutting, filing, sharpening, and polishing.
Photo #5 was directly after hardening, using a Bernzomatic torch, with MAPP Gas & Oxygen, purchased from the big box store, as well as photo #6.
Photo #1 is the finished knife, polished & sharpened again, to the point where it shave hair from my arm.
I primarily used this project as a learning experience for myself, because I intend to restore many of my old wooden planes, and I’ve never heat treated steel before. As such my takeaways from this are:
Completely forming the pointed end & sharpening the blade prior heat treating worked out well, without any warping of the thin knife edge or the pointer end, as I’ve read could occur per some sources for heat treating.
Heating the steel with this torch occurred very quickly to a bright red, and no home made kiln was required.

Thanks for viewing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln





5 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2675 posts in 2651 days


#1 posted 05-31-2015 12:11 AM

Huh, I’m not familiar with striking knives… what are they used for? Looks like about the same grind as a chisel. I like making tools from O1 stock, it’s pretty cheap and works easily (for steel, at least). Will you make a handle for it too? I like the differential temper on the tang.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2375 posts in 1658 days


#2 posted 05-31-2015 12:23 AM

bobasaurus: these were used instead of pencils in the past, and provided a good index for a chisel or saw in low light. No, no handle is intended, the pointed end is also used for marking or making index holes, and a fat handle in the middle would prehibit inserting the knife edge in between dovetails or tight spots. I like the long flat construction for this reason, where my spear point knife with a handle only had a 3/4” reach.
Thanks for viewing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#3 posted 06-01-2015 04:43 PM

Nice steel work and a well thought out design. There’s a definite utilitarian beauty to the plain steel with no wrapping or handle. Great job and I hope it continues to satisfy your needs.

BTW, that’s a beautiful square in the first photo too!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Levo's profile

Levo

19 posts in 476 days


#4 posted 09-25-2015 02:17 AM

I know this post is old….but…What brand square is that in the phone? I recently inherited a ton of amazing hand tools and a box full of squares was one of them. This was inside, I cleaned it up and is polished like new. I just can’t find a brand. Was wondering if you could help me out?? Thanks!

-- Chris - Residential Custom Wood Work - Jacksonville, FL

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2375 posts in 1658 days


#5 posted 09-25-2015 02:36 AM

Levo,
I don’t know the square manufacturer, can’t even remember where I purchased it – Ebay or on one of my “antique store” visits. It has no markings on it, except a previous owner’s name: J. DAVIES.
These items are in abundance on Ebay, and from most of what I’ve read, they typically came from England.
Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Tom

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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