Improvising a fixed blade knife

A couple of posts ago I talked about how I had made a fixed blade knife with the small pocket knife blade that I keep in my wallet. It was a pretty easy little project. It only took about two hours. I've never made a knife handle. I've never even read about how to make one. I just put it together off the top of my head. Everything I used either came out of my wallet or can easily be found in nature. Any suggestions on how to make a better knife handle next time will be appreciated. Anyway, here's what I did.

I started with a stick that was about the size of the blade.

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I battoned the stick in half.

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Then I "sanded" them into the rough shape of a handle by rubbing them on my patio. Any flat rock should work. After getting the rough shape I drilled holes in them to line up with the hole in the blade so that I could pin it in place. I started by digging out a hole with the blade then I used my diamond knife sharpener to file out the holes to the same size as the hole in the blade. I also carved out a space for the blade on one of the handle halves.

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Once I got everything to fit flush I pinned the blade in place with a stick. I also wrapped the handle with some string.

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Before taking it apart I put it through some normal knife tasks just to see how it handled. I chopped up some meat and vegetables for dinner.

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I also tried starting a fire with the small striker that I keep in my wallet. While it provided plenty of spark I couldn't get a fire started. I suck at making fires with firesteels. It's one skill that I've never been able to master just from reading about it on the internet (among many others). In this case practicing doesn't seem to help much, either.

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My overall impressions of the knife aren't bad. It had no play from side to side but quite a bit forward and backward. For normal cutting tasks it functioned well enough. Much better than it would have had it not had a handle. The handle definitely allowed for a lot more torque and control. I didn't try doing anything wild and crazy like battoning logs (besides the handle) or cutting down trees and it wouldn't stand up to that kind of abuse. If all else fails I'll be glad to have it during an emergency.


Anonymous said…
I keep a couple of cheap throwing knives for occasions like this, but that improvised handle you show is far more comfortable to use. I've used old lawn hose pinched over the handle - works okay.
Bitmap said…
Neat and interesting project.

Do you have anything in your kit that could be used to cut a groove in the stick instead of splitting it? Maybe a saw blade from a Leatherman tool or maybe even a jigsaw blade or a short piece of hacksaw blade.

Seems to me that the knife would be stronger with just a slot or groove instead of splitting the stick all the way through.

I have a pile of jigsaw and sawsall blades. I think I'll look at them and try to find a good one for this purpose to add to the stuff I carry.
dakotas5 said…
You could have used a piece of stiff wire through the hole in the blade and wrapped it around itself. Would be alittle easier and better than a stick. Just a thought.
But a stick is much easier to find in nature. To be honest the stick was really easy. You just find a small one that fits the hole in your blade. Then you carve out the holes in your handle to match. "Pin" everything together with the stick then ground it flat. Hard wire would probably be pretty uncomfortable.

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