My one day knives making course

This is the knife that my student expect to make in the one day ‘Making a Working knife’ course.

It is started as 120mm peace of car suspension coil spring (metal is presumably 5160).

We forge the blade in a gas kiln, then final shaped the profile of the blade using angle grinder. During the annealing stage we talked about knives making in general, forging and heat treatment process, handle constructing , material and finishing the knife. After one hour we made the knife bevel , using hand tools and sand paper

hand made knife             Handmade knife

We heat treat the blade. While we add lunch we put it in my kitchen oven for tempering.

After lunch we finish the blade using finer and finer grades of sand paper.

One day knives making course

We drill the wood that we used as handle and, cut the plastic spacers. We glue everything, using fast setting epoxy.

We shape the handle and sharpen the knife. Then we finish the handle by cover it with linseed oil.

At this stage we add to step and let the oil cure for few days. Then we buff the lot, blade and handle.

As this stage of finishing the handle, taking too long. I think of making the handle out of combination of stacked thick leather and wood, so to allows the student to go home with fully finish knife.

Scandi knife

And if you really in to it, I also offer a short course on how to do the sheath for the knife. It is probably three hours.Leather knife sheath


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Making wooden star knob

How to do a wooden star knob, for using with M6 bolt.

If you remember last post I talked about a homemade metal sheet bender (if you don’t remember, I advise you to read it). I used three Star Knobs. Obviously I didn’t have knobs like that in my shop. So, like always I build it myself.  Mind you, the internet is probably full with instruction on how to do it but, I couldn’t be bothered to look. In any case my method work well.

I found three M6 Coach bolts so I used them.   You also need 12mm (or there about) thick hardwood.

I first  used  25mm Holesaw, luckily it had a 6mm pilot drill bit, if not you will have to drill the middle hole to 6mm size afterword.

Wooden Star Knob Wooden Star Knob







I draw circle 25mm in diameter and divided it into six segments.  Then I  traced it on the wooden batten that I cut earlier.






Now, saw the  wooden battens (knobs) along the six dividing lines to the half  depth of 7mm round rough  file for metal.

Wooden Star Knob






Clamp it on a vice and start to shape it into Star knob. I used two files. The first one was a triangle fill to help establish the position of the grove and I then finis the grove with the 7mm round file.








Now all you have to do is to apply some glue around the top most end of the coach bolt and drive it into the knob’s hole.

And that it. if you in to it, you can now paint the wooden part. I didn’t.

Come to think about it, I saw deferent method on the internet.  You first cut six holes around the edge of the desire knob size and, then you cut the knob out of the peace of hardwood.


Maybe its les complicated.

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Homemade sheet metal bender

In the last two years I am trying to figure out how to construct a complicated Automaton machine. It involve few wooden human figure (in small scale obviously), that interact between themselves, in synchronised movement. It involve a lot of cogs and pulleys. Some of the cogs seats on axel that supported by thin brass sheet bracket.

Automaton gear

One can bend the brass sheet using his vice, or hammer it maybe.  I did try both but, it is very difficult to do it accurately and consistently.   So I decided to built myself a Sheet Metal Bender.

It is small and primitive but it work for me and, it was easy to build out of material that I found around my workshop.  I won’t bore you with the exact dimension, as you can adjust it to your own needs. Instead I show you all the parts that I used and if you zoom in you will be able to see the shape  of the various elements. See below. The mug of coffee is essential part of it, yes.

Homemade sheet metal bender

And here is how it works.

My Homemade Metal Sheet Bender.

Homemade sheet metal bender

If you want to repeat the same dimension on few pieces, then you need to set the length of the sheet that you want to bend. Lock the adjuster fence and the  sheet  clump using the knobs (next week post, is how I built the knobs hades). All you have to do now, is to bend the free plate (on the right) upwards  (right angle to the fixed plate) (fixed on to a vice).

Homemade sheet metal bender Homemade sheet metal bender





Note the shape of the clump metal strip (on the fixed plate), it is chamfered to 45 degrees to allow for sharp right-angled bend. You may say that, from the photos, it doesn’t look as if it worked. You will be wrights but, it is not because of the metal strip hedge angle. It is because I used a very flimsy hinges and when I bend the free plate there is a slight gap between the two plates.

It is simple to rectify the problem by using more robust hinges and a better quality wood for the plate.

Well that I will do next.

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Beef stew with vegetables in open fire

Beef stew with vegetables in open fire.

Dear diary, it been a while since I.. No, no, I am joking , but it feels like it. i.e. it’s been a year and a half since I started   my blog and shame to admit its not exactly going nowhere.

You may say, well, maybe it’s about time to stop, you probably right. The truth is that I do the blog partly for record my live. It will be interesting to look at it for when I will be old (older).

And yes, that why it’s feel like (my blog) privet diary and, anyway I always wanted to use that phrase (Dear diary, it been a while since I..).

Back to the recipe.

It is the end of the summer and we had one last opportunity to cook outside. So we used it to cook a nice stew, using Dutch oven.

Beef stew with vegetables in open fire

That is the end result. If you find it appetising you can look billow for the recipe.

Outdoor beef stew with vegetables.


1.5kg Skirt or any other beef joint good for slow cook.

2 Big onions, roughly sliced.

3 Celery stalk, roughly sliced.

1 Celeriac, cut to 8 wedges.

2 One green and one yellow bell pepper roughly cut.

8 Garlic cloves half.

1/3 White cubage roughly (again) cut.

600mm Chicken stock.

1 Teaspoon turmeric.

1 Tablespoon dry marjoram.

Olive oil


According to the recipe title, we used a Dutch oven but, I guess one can cook it on his kitchen hob.

However I highly recommend to do it outdoor on open fire. It is great fun (especially if the weather is good) and, the food cooking method of open fire cookery add a great flavour to the finish dish. Something you can’t achieve on your ordinary household oven hob. I do not give here instruction on how to cook using the Dutch oven, but I am sure the internet is full of instruction on it.

So, brown the meat and set aside. Sauté the onions in the Dutch oven and once it starting to be transparent add the remain of the vegetables, the spices and seasoning. Mix well to completely coat the vegetables with the oil. Add the meat and mix.

Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and gently mix.

Cover the pan and slow cook for at least two hours. As usual for this type of cookery, time to time check that there is enough liquid in the pan, if not add some more.


P.S. If by any chance you do read that recipe and you cook it, please leave a comment on my blog.

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