The making of a knife , part 2 .

Click here for Part 1 . Click here for Scrimshaw.

After grinding the blade with grit 120 , I continue to 180 . Then I change to the Trizact-belt A 65 and A 45 .
Now it is time to make some decorations , i.e. filework .
The first thing that I do is using a marker pen and dye the area that will be fileworked . Then I mark the centerline with a scribe and also marks the places where I will do my working .

When this is done do I take a small square file and marks the places better . The next thing is to use different files to different fileworking patterns .

Experiment a lot to find out some special patterns that you like .

When all this is done do I send the blade for proffessional heat treatment . When it comes back I start to do the hand sanding , using a flat piece of soft wood or plexiglass to the flat parts and a piece of hard rubber hose or a ice hockey puck, ground to the same radius as the contact wheel, for the edge .

Because this is Damasteel and I have to etch the blade , I stop hand sanding at grit 800 . Otherwise , I go to 2000 or 1200 depending on what type of finish I want on the blade , polished or satin finish . Now it is time to profile the handle slabs , I will have a "frame" of damasteel around the mammuth ivory and mark the handle profile on to the ivory . After that I move the markings appr. 5 mm inwards and cut it oput with a bandsaw . Take it very easy , mammuth ivory is very sensitive to heat .

I clamp one of the ivory slabs to the handle , in desired position and drill the pin holes .

After that I clamp the two slabs together and drill the holes using the first slab's holes as markers .

Using two old drills as "pins" , I start to grind the two slabs together , making them a pair , same size and form .

When I have the size I want , I mark the form of the slabs on a piece of spacer material and cutting and filing it out exactly .


When the handle slabs are finished it is time to etch the Damasteel . I use a 1 liter plastic bottle , cut off at the top , filled with hydrochloric acid . Let the blade be in the acid 25-35 minutes , a little bit depending of what koncentration and what temperatur the acid has .
Be sure to use gloves , eye and inhalation protection , work in a well ventilated area because the vapour is toxic !
( I sometimes use acetic acid , but it takes a couple of days for the acid to work properly , but it is much healthier ! )

Sorry , no photo from the acid process , I didn't want to destroy my camera .

I have used 1,5 mm goldthread for the pins , be sure to have flattenend or doomed ends of the pins to get them properly peened . Use 24 hour epoxi-glue , to be sure that you don't run out of time when gluing the handle slabs .

The finished work before scrimshaw looks like this :

Now it's time for SCRIMSHAW !

If you have any questions , please contact Anders Johansson at