Hollow handle survival knife.

Post it here if it's "Made In America"
Image
User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:30 pm

When I was a kid I had a couple hollow handle knives and both of them broke eventually. The reason was they were two pieces, the handle and blade. Way back when I got into knife forging and metal working I started contemplating how to make one that was integral (one piece). It finally hit me to use a fusion of forging and machining. I got a hold of some high carbon 1 1/8" round bar and bored out a 3/4" hole 4 1/2" into one end. Then I fired up the forge and started flattening out the area just past the handle to become the blade.

After a few screw ups I finally finished it. It's more a survival system then just a knife. I cut the teeth (by hand) to be similar to chainsaw teeth so they actually cut vs more saw back knives that don't. Inside the handle I have water/wind proof matches, two ferrocerium steels, fish hooks and line and a 2" piece of hack saw blade. The teeth pull a better spark then a flat edge. The handle is a Kevlar epoxy composite, very light and strong.

This is my first attempt which I subsequently screwed up. But just as well since my second attempt was a longer chunk of steel to get a longer blade.
Image

Cutting the saw teeth with my guide jig I made up.
Image

Image

Image

The pommel (cap) has a compass and an internal hollow to hold some magnesium thermite. The thermite mix also has some course titanium filings since they make a good ember after the initial flare up. It's turned from aircraft grade 2024 aluminum and the guard is titanium.

Image

Image

The collapsible sharpening stick is a 1/4" boride EDM stone and will touch up the saw teeth as well as the blade. The body of it is magnesium with 1/8" wall. It can be slivered off for firestarting with the ferrocerium stick inside the knife handle.
Image

Image

Image

At one end of the sharpening handle is a small cavity full of magnesium thermite with a magnesium spike inside to ignite from the thermite. So the handle body can also function as a very bright signal flare when placed on the end of a stick.

Magnesium thermite is 1:1 mixture of black iron oxide and magnesium powder. With the iron oxide donating oxygen to the magnesium it will burn much hotter. Regular thermite is a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum. Usually around 75% iron oxide and 25% aluminum powder.

So now I have a hollow handle knife that is one integral piece and very strong. I am on four different custom knife making forums and over the last six years on them I have not seen anyone else use this technique for a hollow handle knife. They all make them two piece. Obviously you can make a two piece knife very strong if built correctly and I am not casting any doubt on many of them. But at the end of the day I would rather just have one piece made out of good quality carbon steel.

I have the whole process and all the steps and photos posted over on the Primal Fires knife forum.
http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1936?page=1
Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.

sudden
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby sudden » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:08 pm

That's a beautiful knife. How did you grind the blade?

I'm curious since I have been reading up on convex edges vs. others, thinking a convex edge would be better for a survival blade, good for chopping tasks. I've never sharpened an edge by hand. Always used a lansky system or a chef's choice grinder. Convex like an axe just seems better for a multi-task blade.

Nice of you to solve that age old problem of broken handles :)
"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."

User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:19 pm

Thanks. I draw filed it and then hand sanded it to 320 grit. Me and the belt grinder don't get along too good with blades. Everything else goes great. I have never screwed up a blade with filing but with grinding it can be pure carnage. :o And I am not a big fan of hollow grinding but for a chopper that is the preferred edge. This knife is very forward heavy and the length will allow chopping towards the tip and saving the center to the choil for cutting/slicing/shaving.
Last edited by Bfinnigan on Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.

User avatar
Ridgerunner
Posts: 5258
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:08 pm
Location: SW, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Ridgerunner » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:58 pm

Nice job, Bfinnigan! That is a lot of filing but sure turned out nice when all was said and done. ;)
"Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".....Thomas Edison

"Live Life....Love Life....Ask More !

User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:08 pm

Thanks! It's built for pure function and not appearance. I get frustrated on the knife forums sometimes because it's all about art knives and looks. To me it will always be a tool first. I like making period knives with emphasis on capturing the look and using the techniques to make it that were used at the time. But if I am ever lost, cold and wet I would not give a rat's.....backside about what wood I used, if it has visual flow and balance. Or if I hand finished it to 2000 grit with mother of pearl inlays.

Can it cut and chop, stay sharp, fit my hand good and not break? That is all that is needed to determine if I walk out of the woods vs being carried in a body bag.
Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.

User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:25 pm

This is a demo of magnesium thermite. It's only a beer cap full and you can see that for fire starting it's far better then just magnesium shavings alone. With the titanium added in it gives you a very hot ember. If you can't start a fire with this stuff then you better just stay home and away from the woods.



Forging down the 1 1/8" round bar to 1/4" flat bar. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get it down to the working thickness.

Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15753
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby zelph » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:06 am

Can it cut and chop, stay sharp, fit my hand good and not break? That is all that is needed to determine if I walk out of the woods vs being carried in a body bag.


That's what we want in a survival knife. We like fire as number one survival tool :D

You sure do nice work. First survival knife I've seen in one piece. The teeth on yours will work just fine :D

The magnisium that i've burned always seemed to crust over and smolder rather burn vigorously. I'll have to make it into a compound using iron and potassium nitrate and maybe some sulfur with a dash of charcoal :lol: Otherwise it sure works great in moist conditions.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:36 am

Thermite can get up to 5000 deg (F) so it will give you more of a chance even with less then dry tinder. Here western WA that could really help.
Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15753
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby zelph » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:15 am

When I get to it I'll try a pile of magnesium on top of steel wool and see what happens. Coarse wool with the mag dispersed into the wool.

Have you ever tried welding with the thermite. I've read that railroad rails were welded together with it. They were butt welds.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

User avatar
Bfinnigan
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Rainier WA

Re: Hollow handle survival knife.

Postby Bfinnigan » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:01 pm

I have never welded with it yet. So far I have just used it to make a couple steel alloys. And it's very unpredictable for that. It is good for getting close to pure iron though. Last Easter I used a small amount to disintegrate one of those stupid peeps. I hate peeps. I was able to post the vid of it on FaceBook and it created quite an uproar from all the peep lovers. :D
Even a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day at the office.


Return to “Made In America Gear”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest