I liked the shape of my aluminium-grinder-test-dummy-knife so much, that I decided to do the exact same knife out of real steel. I had ordered some 1.2003 (C75) steel at a knife makers online shop together with some black and white vulcanfiber sheets and a diamond sharpening block.
The stuff arrived pretty quick and when I got home from work I immediately went to my workshop. I threw the aluminium dummy on the steel and transferred the form on the steel with a sharpie. Finally I could try out all the techniques I learned in the Videos, like cutting out the form with an angle grinder, shaping the edges with my belt grinder and finally grinding in the bevels.
As it was my first knife I did not even think about grinding the bevels free hand. So I built myself something out of a small block of wood where I ground one side to an angle where I could hold my knife to. And then I started grinding. For me the bevel grinding is the most difficult part.
The first results turned out pretty good – until I unintenionally took the wrong side of my bevel-grinding-wood-block and ground an ugly vertical line into the plunge. After fighting my self hate I took a sharpie and drew big black arrows on my wood block to save me from my idiotic self.
I managed to correct my mistake by grinding all over the side of the blade and finished the bevels with a nice flat angle. Next was drilling the holes with my cordless screwdriver and I soon learned, that I will need to buy some decent drill bits. Just to try it out I filed a grooved structure on the spine for the thumb. Lastly I polished the blade, just because i could.
As I had no wood for the handle I took some firewood I cut roughly into shape and cut in halves with a hand saw. For the pins I had bought some steel and brass rods and pipes of different diameter. I chose 5 mm steel pins.
I did not want to sacrifice the new vulcanfiber for the first knife so I decided to do my own. I built some motorcycle parts out of carbonfiber in the past and I have a good amount of epoxy left – also I have some experience in hand laminating – and I have colored cardboard from my kids – so not a big thing. I chose wine red and white cardboard (or more a thick paper around 130 g/m²) and laminated them together with the wooden grip plates.
My epoxy is pretty slow so I had a 12 hour brake…
The rest was simple. Cutting off the vulcanfiber to have it in line with the wood, drilling the holes through the would and getting the first finish to the plunge side of the grip and at the heel – I had decided to do an eye for a chain or something on the heel of the grip.
I glued everything to the blade with epoxy and again had another brake…
Last thing to do was getting the handle into shape – man I loved how my vulcanfiber turned out. To protect the wood I used an alcohol based varnish I had from oil painting – not a good idea. The next knives will be done with boiled linseed oil.