Thinking of adding your personal touch to your knife collection? Yes! You can definitely make your own creation. Design it any way you want it!
So, how to make a DIY pocket knife?
Making a gravity pocket knife requires some time. First, you need to design your pocket knife on a piece of paper. Then, cut the shapes on a metal plate and drill the pinholes in the right place. All these components will go through heat treatment. After that, make the knife scales. Finally, pin the components and the scale together.
There are numerous ways to make a DIY pocket knife. This is just one of them. However, if you want to know the full version of the tutorial, read along. You’ll only have to spare a minute.
Making DIY Pocket Knife: 8 Simple Steps
There are people who collect pocket knives. Some who study about them. Then there are others who make their own.
Making your own pocket knife is the perfect way to ensure all your requirements are in check. So if it’s your first attempt, get someone experienced to help you out.
Now, there are varieties of pocket cleavers and knives. However, we’ll be making a folding gravity knife with a locking mechanism.
Before diving into the steps, set up and gather all that you need. Make sure you have the required tools-
- 1095 steel plates (1/8th and 1/16 thickness)
- Disc meta grinder
- Sandpaper/ Grit paper (400,800 and 1500)
- Drilling machine/ drill punch
- Iron Pins
- Flap sanding wheel grinder
- Construction paper
- Fiberglass resin
- Bevel plunge cut jig
- Bevel angle grinding jig
- Belt sander
- Epoxy glue
If you’ve gathered all that’s needed you can proceed.
Step 1: Design Your Knife
The first step for you would be to design. All you have to do is find the perfect shape for your knife. The kind of knife handle you want to be comfortable with.
There are two ways to go about this step. You can either draw it on paper. Or you can digitally design the look of your knife.
Step 2: Put The Measurement In Paper
Now that you have the design, draw all the components on paper. These should match the actual size of the pocket knife. The components of the knife are-
- The blade
- The lock
- The backplate
- Two identical liners
For drawing the actual measurement of the components, you can either search it up on the internet. Or take the help of any old and unused knife.
Step 3: Cut The Components On Metal
If you’re done measuring and drawing, you can begin cutting the shapes on a metal plate. We prefer using 1095 steel plates.
The blades, the locking mechanism, and the backplate is going to be cut out from the 1/8th thick metal plate. And the two identical liners should be cut from the thinner plate with 1/16th thickness.For cutting the metal, you need to use a disk grinder. And if you’re using it the first time, take video guidance or help from people.
Keep some space around the edge so that you can shape them during the process. The edges need to be smoothed down with a flap sanding grinder. Or else the knife components will not fit together.
Step 4: Drill The Pin Holes
Now all the components of the knife have some pinholes. You can fix the placement on the demo-knife measurement paper first. Experiment until you get the perfect folding and locking mechanism.
For making the pinholes, you need to use a drilling machine. You don’t want to ruin the shape of the metal.
Step 5: Make The Knife Scales
After making the pinholes, you can start making the knife scale.
You can buy the one perfect for your knife. Or make it yourself. For that, you’ll need-
- Construction paper
- Fiberglass resin
Mix all the elements and laminate them together. Shape it according to the two liners. If needed, smooth the edges out with sandpaper or a grinder.
Step 6: Grind The Bevel Angle
For grinding, you have to find out the angle you want in your knife. You can place the blade in a bevel plunge cut jig. And grind the blade using a bevel angle grinding jig. If you’re using a 1-inch belt grinder, it’ll take a lot of time.
Do remember to polish the blade using sandpaper once you’re done with beveling. First, you do it with 500/800-grain sandpaper. Then you can finish it up with a 1500 one.
Step 7: Heat Treat Your Blade
Basically, you have to heat it up to a cherry red state. After that, quench it in the quenching oil. And let it cool down.
You need to do a tampering process of the knife components. You need to put the components in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours. Open the oven when they are completely cooled down. Which can take 12 hours. This process makes the knife super hard.
Step 8: Pin The Knife And Add Micarta
After the heat treatment is done, your only job is to pin the components together. You can use ⅛ bolts for this or a metal rod.
Once the bolts are fixed and pinned, time to add the micarta to the handle. You need to use epoxy glue. Put epoxy glue between the metal and the micarta. Hold the pieces together with a clamp.If they are glued, finish them off by cutting or grinding any uneven part. You have your own knife! If you want you can sharpen the blade every once a week.
Question: How often do I have to sharpen a pocket knife?
Answer: You can sharpen a pocket knife every once a month at best. But you could sharpen them regularly with a ceramic rod.
Question: How long do pocket knives last?
Answer: A good-quality pocket knife usually lasts a lifetime. However, if you don’t properly maintain it. You might have to replace it soon.
Question: What is the best material for a knife scale?
Answer: Stainless steel, fiberglass, woods, and even bones are popular knife scale materials. Aluminum, stag, and Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon are also used.
Now that you have your own DIY pocket knife, you’ll be able to use it for anything you want. So go cut those apples in style. However, you should take proper care of the knife.
Do let us know how it was making your own knife. Comment your thoughts below!
Until then, keep on grinding.