I'm going to describe how I go about planing and making a friction folder, usually folks start with a plan and work from there, but I'm a bit different, when I forge I let the metal tell me what it wants to be. I'm not all that good at forging to a plan, so I start with the blade.
The blade for this begun a while ago while expirimenting on carburizing mild steel in a charcoal furnace. It's a sort of bloom steel, as the steel is melted, and while in the charcoal furnace picks up varying amounts of carbon and forms a chunk of metal at the bottom of the furnace. The bloom at the bottom is really rough looking all pourous and needs to be worked to shape, as the carbon content varies on different pieces of the bloom, it needs to be folded and folded until you work out all the pourous nature of it and in the process the carbon content evens out over the piece. I only had a small bloom to deal with so a small knife was in order.
I used my  little press to draw out and reweld a small chunk of the bloom, I brought this up to 768 layers, and then forged out a blade from it. It should have a nice pattern on it when it's all finished and etched. After some grinding and filing I traced out the blade on a piece of heavy paper for use as a pattern to make the handle.
You can see the blade and the pattern, the two chunks of stuff there are a couple pieces of the bloom steel that I forged the blade from.

I first started with poking a hole in the blade pattern where I thought I wanted the pivot, but It didn't work out quite right, that's why it's alot easier to do this in paper before drilling any holes in a blade that you've got 6-7 hours worth of work into.
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You can see here the two times I tried a pivot point for the blade, my mind was out to lunch and I should've figured that the pivot should be closer to the center of the blade, or the handle design wouldn't quite work right,,,, duhhhhhh.

After I locate my pivot point I then pin the blade pattern to another piece of paper and trace the pattern on it.

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This will let you know where the blade will fit when folded up in the handle. Next fold the pattern to the open position (180 degrees  from where you traced the patern)

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Trace the tang out on the paper so you know where the tang will lie when the blade is open. With these two pieces traced on the paper you've got the definining limits of what the handle can be, just draw the rest of the handle out and you've now got a pattern for your handle. You can see other holes punched for the pivot point that I used to alter how it worked a bit. It's easy to do in paper.

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Here's the handle pattern underneath the blade pattern.

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I then roughly traced the patern out on some 14 gauge mild steel, and cut two halves out with my trusty hacksaw. You can use what ever you want to cut them out, I've got lots of tools at my disposal, but the more I work with them the more I return to hand tools like files and hacksaws, power tools can speed up the work, but they also speed up the mistakes.

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The two pieces are then crazy glued together and another pattern of the handle cut from paper and glued on. Then it's off to the belt grinder to shape the outside profile of both the pieces at once. You can see that I punched a hole where to drill the pivot.

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Clamp it up in the mill to drill the pivot hole, and then I'll heat up the two glued together pieces up with a propane torch so the glue loosens up, a little heat and they'll seperate

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Use the blade pattern to mark and punch where to drill the pivot on the blade and drill it though

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Here's everything that's been done so far. I've got alot more work to do, so stay tuned for updates. Next up will be turning the pivot from some O1 tool steel

Thanks for watching


 


Comments

Troy Christianson
04/21/2012 6:02am

Excellent! I feel the need to try and make steel like you do. Watching your thread on the Bladesmith Forum is interesting. Looking forward to the smelt. It is unfortunate that all the hammer-ins and knifemaking events take place on the coast. Us guys in the north central US should get together. Keep up the great work! Troy

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