Knife Making

On of the projects I did over the past couple of years was knife-making. I made two sets of eating knives with prickers. Both times under the guidance of Master Edward Braythwayte

For each knife, I started with some steel bar that I copied the outline of the knife on. I then cut out the blank with an angle grinder.

Knife 1 shaping

Getting the basic shape

Knife 1 Shaped

Shaped worked out. I messed up slightly with the hilt end.


After that, I used a linisher to find the profile of the knife


Then it was a case of sanding the blades by hand to get all the scratches out. This was a long process as I started with a fairly coarse grit sandpaper and worked up to a fine grit, each time trying to slowly remove the obvious sanding marks. I think I went through 80, 120, 240, 400, 600 and then 800 grit papers on each blade.

Knife 1 cleanup

Once that was completed and holes drilled for the rivets that will hold the scales in place the blade was heat treated and quenched to harden it.

Knife 1 tempering

Waiting for the blade to go cherry red


After tempering it was back to the sandpaper to remove the blacking that had happened and get the shine back on the blade.

Knife 1 tempered

  After tempering

Knife 1 after tempering

Cleanup started

Knife 1 more cleanup

After Cleanup


Once that was done I selected some wood for the handle scales and cut them to roughly the right size. these were then drilled for the brass bar to help hold them in place before being glued to the knife. They were then left overnight for the glue to cure.

The next day was all about shaping the handles. First up was getting the basic shape done on a belt sander, then it was back to sandpaper to finish the shaping and get a nice smooth finish.

Knife 1 handle shaping

Shaping the handle. Note the blade is wrapped in tape to protect it from the belt sander

Kinfe 1 finished

Finished knife, with others from the workshop


The second blade was done in the same way

Knife 2 shaping

Knife shaping

Knife 2 clean up

Polishing the blade up.


Gluign the pricker handle

Knife and pricker handles glued

Knife and pricker curing

Knife 2 fancy end

Brass strike plate added

Pricker fancy end

Brass strike plate added

Knife 2 bolster detail

Bolster detail

Knife 2 finished

Finished knife and pricker

About Ian Piddington

I have been involved in re-enactment since 1993. My main group now is the SCA in New Zealand. Within the SCA I am Baron Sympkyn of the Moor
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