Making The Hook Knives

I had several of these heavy power hacksaw blades hanging in the shop. I decided to cut one up and make some hook knives.
The blades were wide enough to cut two widths, then halved to make 4 knives.

I used my cheap crappy Beaver Craft knife as a sort of template. I used a piece of aluminum flashing to make a template of sorts. I tend to make things larger than I need, and in this project that is not a good thing. Bending the aluminum to shape, marking it and then straighten it back out I got the right dimensions.

I used the grinder to form a rough bevel. I’ve now done this both before and after heat treating and I’m not sure there is a big difference. Obviously after heat treating you need to make sure you don’t let it get to hot, but its still very doable.

The “forming a rough bevel” step could be completed with a hand held grinder if that’s all you have. If you annealed the blade first you could even use a file,

Cutting to rough shape was completed with a cut off wheel in the hand held grinder.

I’ve made a couple of these knives so far. I’ve used both my propane mini forge and nothing but the mapp torch. Obviously the mini forge is a little quicker to heat, but the mapp gas does just fine.

To form the hook I clamp a piece of steel rod (1″ black pipe works as well. I used the black pipe until I found this piece of solid steel in a pile of metal scraps I had)

Here i made the final bend. I held the knife in the vice, heated it and bent it with an adjustable wrench.

It was then heat treated using canola oil.

I have also purchased some 3/8″ O-1 rod to make hook knives.

The rod took a little more forging, but seems to have a more consistent results. I heated and flatten the hook end and ground to shape similar to the blades above. I then bent it by forming around the steel rod the same as I did above.

A word of caution. The first one i made I accidentally thumped on the bench after heat treating and before tempering. It snapped it in half. Be careful. After heat treating the blade is very brittle.

This seems to be a little easier to sharpen, but I’m also advancing my skill level so that could come into play a little as well.


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