Six levels of knife making - from easy to difficult

Originally published at:


I always thought there were seven levels, wrong again.


The guy who made my Damascus dagger does classes in the colder weather where you can make your own knife… they are just pricey, but I’d love to make my own.

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Gloves when using a bench grinder? Makes me shiver. jeez.

And her “respirator” when using the plasma cutter appears to be nothing of the sort. It looks like it is just a dust mask.

She needs to perhaps do a course on metalworking safety.


That paring knife is stunningly gorgeous.


There are.

The 7th level is making your own steel, either blister or tamahagane…

Not as difficult as you’d think either.

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Unfortunately this is pretty common among knife makers. Most I’ve seen wouldn’t use gloves near a grinder, but too many don’t use proper breathing protection.


Where are you located? There are tons of makers all over the place, and many offer classes or just let people bum some shop time.

If you’re anywhere in So Cal. I can teach you damascus.


the first rule of fight club is
the second rule of fight club is
on the the third stroke the time will be…

the first rule is where to put it down
and where is it etcetera

When I was in graduate school, one of the sculpture students was degloved by a 20" disc sander. I did not see it; I gather it was extremely unlovely.

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I’m in Kansas City, he is in Omaha. You’re probably right, but I like the guy who made my dagger so one reason why I’d like to take it with him. But now that I think about it - why not look around local.

Thanks for the offer, though! I’ve never made it clear out to CA. Nevada is as far as I’ve gotten.

I gather making a knife blade is like making croissants, roll it out,fold it, and repeat a bunch of times, until there are many layers.

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Never been to CA? You’re at the same time missing a lot, but not missing much…

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c’mon now, my multivitamin has vanadium in it, I’m just microdosing vaporised metals, all the cool kids are doing it.

Does she dry sand some micarta too?

I don’t understand why buying a heat-treated knife blank and gluing a handle on is a higher level than forging your own blank. The forge (and anvil, hammers, etc.) adds a huge level of complexity and price to the process.

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I got a uncle in Eureka, and my Grandpa used to live there a long time ago. In the 80s I guess he found out what his old house was going for now and couldn’t believe. I want to say he was in San Francisco, he was a career Coastie.

If you’re going to make a knife for actual use make it out of good steel designed for the purpose. Old rasps are not great knifemaking steel.

I’ve really got to get myself one of those knifemaker belt sanders.

I never made a knife, but in high school shop I made a screwdriver. That did include heatiing up metal, and hammering it into a point, then grinding to even it out.

Hardly the same as making a knife, but more than adding a handle to a store bought blade.

Nothing really special, but looking back it did show off various techniques, including tapping and die-ing.

Wait, you are, IIRC, a veterinarian and a blacksmith? Seems like there’s a nostalgic BBC series in there somehwere…