Knife buildoff challenge discussion

Sep 26, 2012
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@Verrt

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Not a bike build challenge, but I was inspired by @OddJob's model kit bash, and I feel it's kinda on theme for the audience here.

I made this a few months ago, I think I posted it here somewhere, can't remember.
20200825_000048.jpg

By made, I mean I took a cheap knife from Menards with decent steel and a thick spine.
Broke off the thin plastic grips, polished the matte finish off. Cut some brass rod into pins, attached and shaped some handle scales made from a whiskey barrel. Now I have a $50 knife instead of a $10.99 knife.

Sounds pretty rat rod to me!

So, the challenge. I have some more scales and a couple of knife blanks I'd like to get to, and thought it could be fun to do with others in the spirit of friendly competition.
20201221_103506.jpg


At this stage just looking for expressions of interest. Any any skill or ambition level welcome! If you've never done anything like this before or you're an ABS Master smith. Whether you got a build your own knife kit for Christmas, wanna powder coat and flamejob your trusty pocket knife, or you're gonna hand forge a new knife from an old file!

Plus it can be done on a small workbench indoors, for those here in cold winter climates who usually work on their bikes in the yard.

Any type of knife welcome, too. A bike themed pocket knife could be cool. :39:

This would be my second knife build ever. So bar for entry is not high. You can seriously do this with a small block of hardwood, almost any fine work saw, some epoxy, a bunch of sand paper or a file, and an old kitchen knife.

Timeline would probably be three months, starting when enough people said they were interested. Jan 1 would be the absolute earliest start. Would be neat to see at least three people on board, including myself.

Hit up this thread if you're keen!

Ideas and suggestions appreciated, even if the suggestion is "This is a bike forum, take this somewhere else!"
 
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Mar 26, 2012
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I AM IN! Never done anything with a knife build, but I am a devoted Forged in Fire fan and am intrigued by your idea.

I like the bend of mixing two or more ideas /knives / handle materials / designs. That makes it 'rat' in my book.

Rat Blade Build Challenge? :inlove:
 
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I AM IN! Never done anything with a knife build, but I am a devoted Forged in Fire fan and am intrigued by your idea.
Love it! Forged in Fire is what got me doing this as well :bigsmile:
Maybe we can have some some cut tests or something silly at the end?
a1QjMdG_460s.jpg


I like the bend of mixing two or more ideas /knives / handle materials / designs. That makes it 'rat' in my book.
Great idea. I'm hoping to try some wire filigree with this one, so that would get two materials in there. If it were a rule I'd say it should be something like a "you tell us what makes it rat" rule, keeping it flexible to encourage anyone who may be on the fence about trying.

Rat Blade Build Challenge? :inlove:
Ratted in Fire challenge? :bigsmile:
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Yeah @Verrt you posted that blade, and I was filled with jones. And more than a little inspired
Forged in Fire fanboy here too, but I have no supplies of any sort, and we're entering a new level of lockdown in four days. I'd love to play, but don't know what I could come up with.
 
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I don't know if I possess the ability to do this... but I'd like to give it a try. I'm in if it happens.

if we buy a knife kit, is that ok? or does the handle have to really be scratch built?
 
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Yeah @Verrt you posted that blade, and I was filled with jones. And more than a little inspired
Forged in Fire fanboy here too, but I have no supplies of any sort, and we're entering a new level of lockdown in four days. I'd love to play, but don't know what I could come up with.
Bet you have an old knife, some wood or other shapable material, a couple of large nails for pins, a file, a saw, and a spoon of creativity. Just Amazon some two-part epoxy and you're good to go. :thumbsup:

Ruin one of those nice kitchen knives you showed the other day. Got some old pedals? Carve the blocks into new sides for your old swiss army knife. Think like a rat rodder!


I don't know if I possess the ability to do this... but I'd like to give it a try. I'm in if it happens.

if we buy a knife kit, is that ok? or does the handle have to really be scratch built?
A kit is fine by me. I'm sure you'll add in a little something to make it all your own.

Most of the kits make you get your own scales separately, anyway. Technically I'll be using a kit, but the scales came separately, and I'm gonna try add an extra fiddledeedee in that may be massively overestimating my skills and blow up in my face :bigsmile:

Shivs allowed?
Doesn't get more rat rod than that. But I'd say want to go more towards the wood handle held on to a sharpened piece of scrap steel with strips of a leather belt variety, than the broken glass shard wrapped in a cloth kind.
For a build off it should really be your steppin out shiv, not your disposable shiv.
 
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I updated the first post in the thread to keep track of who's in.

@MattiThundrrr @hamppea are you guys in?

We can probably start talking start dates now that there's three INs. What works for everyone?
Maybe Feb 1, or March 1? give people some time to gather up some supplies and their thoughts.
Something like what I did is really only a few hours work, but I'm real slow and tend to work in 30 minutes bursts, several weeks apart. So I'm for a 3 month duration.

I also like oddjob's rules from the model bash where you put the name of your build in bold at the top of a progress post.
 
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While I'll probably go with the knife pictured in my first post in the thread I thought I'd post a couple of other options I'm thinking of, to discuss and maybe give anyone else here some ideas.

20201221_192935.jpg

Left to right.

70s pocket knife:
Got this on an antique shop / garage sale ride a year or so ago. It needs some maintenance, cleaning, and tightening up. It also bothers me that the scales aren't a precise fit. I have some fake pearl sheet my wife got to repair an inlaid antique chair, could use that for the handle, then I have some mosaic pins I could maybe use to replace the wobbly originals.

Kobolt box cutter:
Not glamorous, but this is the one that's usually in my pocket. It's small so doesn't take up much space in the black skinny jeans pockets, has a nice thick spine, sturdy lockback lock (my fave), and a pocket clip (also my fave). But I've kinda always wished I had a version with a real blade rather than a razor. Because I don't have a forge or any skill, this would involve taking a sheet of 4mm steel and cutting a rough blade shape out of it with an angle grinder, then trying to put an edge on it.
No heat treat because of the previously mentioned lack of skill.
Super rat rod points on this one.

Cleaver:
I use this all the time in the kitchen, but I wish the handle was fatter. I have a piece of oak tree root stashed that may be dry by now. This could fit the bill.

Someone's grandpa's knife:
Can't remember where this one's from. Had it forever. But it looks like my grandpa should have given it to me. He didn't...
It really doesn't need much except a real good clean and restore. I only put put it in to round out the photo.

Opinel no. 7 (or was it no. 8?):
I've seen a lot of people carve cool handles for their classic French Opinels and have always wanted to try it.
This one has a plastic handle with a whistle in it. So I'd probably buy a new wood handle Opinel to carve up.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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I'm not in yet, but I'm looking through my stuff to see what I have. The closest I've come to a knife build in the past was a paracord wrap on a fixed blade blank. It looked pretty cool, but I wouldn't call it a build. Lol it is Canadian winter, won't need the mower for like 5 months, I wonder if I could get the blade off of that...
 
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welp, I'm committed now. I'll start looking for inspiration around the house and call some buds to see what they have. Oh boy.
 
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In the 80s I used to dumpster dive behind all the bike shops. I took thrown out alloy crank arms and made the top of knife handles out of the big end of them. I posted a bunch of photos of them somewhere here on one of the forums but can’t find them. I made probably 4 or 5. I gave one away. I made one out of a leaf spring I found on the road when riding my bike. Another I made from an old file. The leaf spring one broke as I over hardened it.
 
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In the 80s I used to dumpster dive behind all the bike shops. I took thrown out alloy crank arms and made the top of knife handles out of the big end of them. I posted a bunch of photos of them somewhere here on one of the forums but can’t find them. I made probably 4 or 5. I gave one away. I made one out of a leaf spring I found on the road when riding my bike. Another I made from an old file. The leaf spring one broke as I over hardened it.
Here you go

Screenshot_20201222-102010_Chrome.jpg

Impressive stuff.

You should go on Forged in Fire
 
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Sep 26, 2012
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In the 80s I used to dumpster dive behind all the bike shops. I took thrown out alloy crank arms and made the top of knife handles out of the big end of them. I posted a bunch of photos of them somewhere here on one of the forums but can’t find them. I made probably 4 or 5. I gave one away. I made one out of a leaf spring I found on the road when riding my bike. Another I made from an old file. The leaf spring one broke as I over hardened it.
Did you do all the leather work as well?

That's a skill I'd like to try.
My dad is (was?) a quite impressive leather worker.