Process

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The blade of a hunter after forging

Each knife from Jordan’s Blades is hand forged and meticulously assembled to create a handsome, durable product. To create a knife, I start with a flat bar of high carbon steel. I forge the taper to the tip of the blade first, and then forge a distal taper, which enables greater flexibility and strength in the knife. The edges are then packed to create the bevel and refine the grain structure in the steel for better edge holding capacity. I then turn the blade around, cut it off of the parent stock and draw out the tang. All forging is done with a hand hammer. There are no power tools involved in this step, only human muscle, as has been done for thousands of years.

At this point, the blade is ready for the rough grinding. On a belt grinder, I refine the outline of the knife and grind the bevels closer to their final shape.

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Drilling the tang hole in the finger guard

After the rough grinding, I cut either brass or stainless steel bar stock to length for the fittings. To make the quillon, I drill a hole to admit the tang and open up the hole with a small, square file, to admit the wide base of the tang. To make the end cap, I drill a hole of the right size to fit the thread of the tang, and thread the inside of that hole so that it will screw on to the handle.

The handle is next. Handles for my knives are made primarily from wood grown on my farm that I harvest myself. I split out a section of a tree and make it roughly square with a drawknife. Then, I put it in a vice and drill a hole through the length of it to admit the tang. To ensure a very close fit with the tang, I heat up the end of the tang in the forge and burn the tang into the hole in the handle. The hole in the handle takes the exact shape of the tang and will fit snugly.

After the handle and fittings are made, I carefully harden the knife in oil, and stress relieve the blade to make it tougher by heating it in an oven.

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The final grind

The blade is then ground again, but this time to its exact final shape, and is ground very smooth using a fine grit sanding belt. The knife is then assembled with epoxy so that it will endure significant use without the fittings coming loose. The handle is then shaped using the belt grinder, and sanded to a fine grit.

To finish the knife, I give the handle a coat of tung oil followed by a coat of paste wax. This finish is water proof and shiny, and will stand up to years of use. I then sharpen the edge using a whetstone and an Arkansas oil stone.

A leather sheath protects the blade and facilitates carrying it on your belt. I make knife sheaths out of quality vegetable tanned cow hide stitched and riveted together. They are finished with a liberal coat of neats foot oil. Sheaths made in this way are simple, but strong and will protect the knife well in almost any environment you encounter.

The careful craftsmanship that creates a knife from Jordan’s Blades speaks to the quality of the product. A hand crafted knife is a joy to use. May yours serve you well on many an adventure.

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One thought on “Process

  1. Pingback: April Collection | Jordan's Blades

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