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Carving Knife Blade

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  • Carving Knife Blade

    This question may have been asked before, please forgive me if it has.
    I was thinking about making a carving knife from a saber saw blade that has never been used.
    Can anyone give me some pointers?

  • #2
    Hand work will take a lifetime. And, you are certain to wreck more than a few files. I go through chainsaw files on crooked knives, 1 file for every 2 knives. Forestry supply place sells in boxes of a dozen.

    I now have a 6-speed grinder. Just touch, touch, touch, to never get hot enough to cook the steel.
    Because the new edge is so thin, I do all the finishing work by hand still so I can't over heat it.
    Brian T


    • #3
      I have a number of pointers on the blog on my website on how to make a carving. One thing I'll suggest is a good belt sander. Stones/sandpaper/files can work but take a very, very long time.

      Also, being able to heat treat the blade after doing rough sanding to shape is immensely helpful. an oxygen bottle + propane bottle + regulators and torch will let you do basic small metal forging/heat treatment. Oxygen is like $200+ for the bottle, $40 to refill. regulators/torch/etc kits are like $300. Propane bottle is like $70 for a 20lb bbq size, you can even reuse your BBQ propane bottle if you got one.

      A small forge is another option. Gives you a lot of options for shaping steel in the future too. Straight and curved wood carving knives


      • #4
        The saber saw blade might be too thick to make a good carving knife unless you are able to thin it down on a grinder or belt sander. Here is some data I have on my own knives that will show you. I prefer thin and flexible blades for most of my carving, but I do use a thicker Flexcut knife when I need a stiff blade that will not flex. This would generally be when I was scoring a stop cut. If you do use a grinder or belt sander, be extra careful to not allow the blade to overheat while grinding. A "normal" grinder or belt sander motor turns about around 3400 rpm. When I use my belt sander, I touch the blade to the moving belt for 3 seconds, then dunk it into a glass of water to cool it down. If the metal turns blue, you've overheated it and it must be either re-heat treated, or ground down until all the blue is gone. I lost 1/4 inch off the end of one of my Pfiel gouges because of this! (plus several hours to get the bevel back)...


        Knife blade thickness.jpg
        Last edited by Claude; 01-16-2021, 07:59 PM.
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        • #5
          Wow those are some thin blades. Most of my knives are made from 1/16" stock (0.0625") and even that is pretty springy on the longer blades.

          What is the thickness at the spine of those blades?
 Straight and curved wood carving knives