Newbie needs a steel recommendation...

Kev

Well-Known Member
I'd like to get some expert opinions on what type of steel would be the best fit for this type of knife? They are generally 15-18" long and pretty thin, compared to like a chef knife. I'm going to attempt to make one for my father for Christmas. I'll make a couple practice blades first, and if it doesn't happen for this Christmas, I'll get it for the next one I'm in no hurry. If I have to send it out for heat treat or whatever I can live with that. I'm a stock removal guy right now, and that's how I intend to make this one. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Photo and knife are not mine... just for the record.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
knives like this are a tall order for a new maker. My suggestion would be to make at least two blanks to afford yourself a second chance.

I would use .070 of some variety of stainless. I like AEB-L.

You definitely want to grind it after heat treat.

I send my blades out. In steel this thin, I know that I will have to flatten it several times before I send it to heat treat. It will bend when you cut and grind the blank to shape. It will bend again when you drill holes. Don't be alarmed by that, just expect it and make straightening part of the process. Then stretch wrap your finished blanks to a flat board and send to heat treat.

When you grind the bevels, the blade is going to pull toward the hot side. Make a few passes on one side and then flip it and make a few passes on the other. Always keep an eye out for warp. Go slow. As you get into higher grits it helps to grind vertically on the platen to do any blending and to remove high / low spots.


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Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
Any steel will do for a flexi like this, use something that comes in sheets not rollsand is about 0.1” or less... a good heat treat on any steel will be good...
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
knives like this are a tall order for a new maker.
I agree!

If you're a new maker, long, thin blades are probably not a good choice to start with. Lots of issues/problems that you are likely not aware of. That being said, John's advice is solid. My advice would be to give yourself some time for skills/knowledge to develop before tackling a project like that.
 
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