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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i'm wanting to try to build/make a knife similar to one I've seen, and it's fairly large. Blade will be 8", overall about 14 or so. 3/16 is going to be too thin, wondering if 1/4 is too thick, and uncertain if they make 7/32 stock to make it out of. Thickness and material suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

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I have a BK2 and really like it.

http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/9-becker-knives-for-survival/

The blade is thick and most people would probably say it's too heavy but I like the weight, it makes it easier to drive it in to whatever it is you are trying to butcher, cut, split, etc.

To me the length is just enough to allow me to use it for small carving work and yet still enables me to cut wood for a fire or open the carcass of a large animal. I've split pine and even oak up to 4" in diameter.

I also have used it to cut down brush and small trees for building camp equipment and fires. The heavier blade makes it pretty easy to cut branches and such. With it being freshly sharpened I can cut up to about 2 inch branches with one strong stroke (at the point where they join the main trunk of the tree).
 
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Discussion Starter #4
HH, good question, but I'm not sure I can answer it. It's a big knife, so mainly heavy hacking and slicing. Several years ago, I saw an article in a gun mag about Walter Brend, and really liked his "number 2" knife. I recently looked up his website, and found that the Brend #2 goes for $2400 (6.5" blade) to $2600 (8.5"), which is a little steep for a cop's salary. So, I'm playing around with trying to build my "closest that I can get" version....
 

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If you want a heavy, indestructible knife, ask HH about his! He gave me one a while ago, and I used it and his fearsome dark-ages hatchet to help down and split a couple of trees. Tough stuff!
 

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I have a Cold Steel Trailmaster, which is a 9.5" long 1/4" thick blade; it's almost too thick for general use, but great for hacking and chopping. It's a fairly huge knife, but it's very nearly bullet-proof.

Can I ask why you think 3/16" is going to be too thin? IIRC, Randall uses 1/4" stock for a lot of their knives, but then they grind a lot of that away when they contour the blade.

Cold Steel Trailmaster
 

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Discussion Starter #7
good question....it's not that I definitely think 3/16 will be too thin, just wondering. I was just thinking that with a blade length of 8.5", 3/16 might be too slim and have too much flex. I am convinced, though, that 1/4 would be too thick, so that's why I was wondering about 7/32; right in between the two.....
 

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A buddy uses a 12 in machete in the field to chop wood and other camp chores. The blade is 1/8th thick. With a convex grind to the blade it works pretty good on wood.
 

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good question....it's not that I definitely think 3/16 will be too thin, just wondering. I was just thinking that with a blade length of 8.5", 3/16 might be too slim and have too much flex. I am convinced, though, that 1/4 would be too thick, so that's why I was wondering about 7/32; right in between the two.....
Give the Steve Woods Hide Fighter a look. I have two of them and they are good as they get for a fair price.

http://www.knifeart.com/hidefighter.html
 

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A chopping blade & a slicing blade are two different things. For chopping you want thick, heavy metal allowing the blade to do the work. For slicing you want a thin blade as the wider the blade the more resistance when slicing.

Remember the old saying that no one blade will do it all.

HH
 

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Knives

Before goin to Vietnam in 68, I bought a Randall Knife.
I had my name put on it just to piss off the guy tryin to steal it.
I could shave with it then and I can shave with it now.

If you're goin to build one from scratch, get an old car spring. They say it's the best material
 

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Or a sawmill blade.
 

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Both leaf springs & old sawmill blades are high carbon steel & make quality knives done properly.

HH
 

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Custom Knife

Try hitting a local machine shop for their worn flat files. I think they are called (flat *******).
 

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Files are tool steel & don't make the best knives. Just too brittle. Spring steel is a better choice.

HH
 

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Dan Dennehy (Dan D) one of the founding members of the Knifemakers Guild and a Hall of Fame member started making knives on board ship for Marines. He was a retired Navy CPO. He was also a friend. He used to say that you could make a pretty good blade out of an old nicholson Mill ******* File if you knew how to control the temperature when forging and heat treating. That's what he started doing. Over the years he spent time with Bo Randall learning some things and also with John Nelson Cooper. Dan made some fine knives.

The Randall's that are so famous are made of Swedish Tool Steel similar to O1 and their stainless is 440C, just for the record. They use both to forge blades using a trip hammer behind their shop. 440C tends to be hard to forge and can get flaws in it during the process and I have seen at least one model 16 that was sent back from Vietnam, snapped at the guard. Wayne Potts replaced it with a tool steel model 14 and I sent it back to my brother. Wayne was the shop foreman at Randall at the time and he told me they have some problems with 440C forging from time to time and the flaws that showed where that one snapped were an example. My brother felt the stainless was harder to sharpen and keep sharp and that the tool steel made the better more usable knife.

Jimmy Lile used a lot of D2, which is a semi stainless in the Rambo knives, both the Mission and the Sly II "First Blood." It's good stuff. Loveless started the use of 154CM which was originally developed for turbine blades for jet aircraft engines. Now lots of people use it and I personally like it a lot and have several knives including some Benchmade AFO switchblades and a Neeley survival that my son is going to use made from it. It's good stuff too, but more expensive than 440C.
 

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The Kamis that make these khukiris in the picture use leaf springs, preferably from old mercedes benz trucks. It is 5160 high carbon steel, great for blades - except the rust factor. That khuk is 20 & 1/2 inches long and weighs four pounds with a very keen edge that takes sharpening well. The pocket knife in the pic is a ZT350 in S30V steel. S30V takes a little more work to sharpen but holds an edge very well, no rust issues. It is a powdered steel developed in the U.S. specifically for blades. That is a quarter in the pic for comparison.
 

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The Kamis that make these khukiris in the picture use leaf springs, preferably from old mercedes benz trucks. It is 5160 high carbon steel, great for blades - except the rust factor. That khuk is 20 & 1/2 inches long and weighs four pounds with a very keen edge that takes sharpening well. The pocket knife in the pic is a ZT350 in S30V steel. S30V takes a little more work to sharpen but holds an edge very well, no rust issues. It is a powdered steel developed in the U.S. specifically for blades. That is a quarter in the pic for comparison.
S30V can't be forged and must be stock removal made only. The 5160 high carbon leaf springs, most likely would have to be hammer forged to produce a knife. Those are things that one must consider when the decision to build a knife is made. Do you have the equipment to forge or do you only have the equipment to grind. Forging requires both while stock removal requires only the latter. Good luck.
 

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For a tough whack um, chop um, stab um knife, 1/4" and 8" blade will do...

And for Survival is not a bad thing to have...

But for a real "using" knife, for butchering, camp and kitchen chores, something thinner and around 4 inches is a much better choice.

Nothing wrong with having one of each.
The "using" knife can be a good folder. If you can find a German Puma or a Boker, they hold a good edge and are easy to sharpen with a DIAMOND STONE.

PS, I put myself through school as a Butcher, and I have gutted, skint, and butchered a LOT of game meat over the years, from elephants to squirrel, so I know a little about "cutting stuff" with a knife...

PSS, Elephant meat is good to eat... Giraffe and cape buff too...
 
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