Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

How I make a Knife

Knives are made in factories by complicated machines, aren't they? An individual can't expect to make a knife of any real quality by hand. That seems to be the belief of most people who are not aware that meat and vegetables are not delivered to the grocery stores by elves.

When I make a knife I use power tools such as a belt sander and a drill press but there are no automated processes involved. I also use a lot of files and sand paper. My "machine shop" is about the size of a shoe box but it does contain a miniature CNC machine that I use to do inlays in handles and for a little work inside some folders.

What I want to show you now are the basic steps that I follow when I make a knife. Since my site is mostly visited by people who are interested in knives but do not have an in-depth knowledge of the subject, I want to try to make the concept of a hand crafted knife real to them.

You probably could build a knife by using this information as a tutorial but that is not its intent and much of the finer detail is omitted. However, if you want to build your own knife and have questions about it, feel free to drop me a note.

There is quite a bit of information here and about 40 pictures so I've arranged the material in sections. You can choose to look at the construction of a kitchen knife or a folder. Within those sections will be chapters containing a few paragraphs and usually 3 pictures. In this way the time you have to wait for the download is controlled and you can quit and come back later without having to load all of the same material again.

Some of the text right at the beginning of both sections is practically the same because all my blades are made by stock removal and the heat treat process is pretty much the same for all blades if they are made of the same steel. After that point the two sections differeniate rapidly. So, let's get started....

This is my grinder, the hub of my shop. Nearly every process uses this machine in some way.

How I Make a Kitchen Knife

How I Make a Folding Knife

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives