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I started with a stick of 80CRV2. He had a knife that he wanted copied, so I tried to keep it about the same. I traced the outline on the steel and cut off as much as I could with sawsall. Then to the bench grinder to rough in as much as possible. Next was a 4×36″ belt sander with 40 grit ceramic belt to get the handle and blade shaped. Next was to drill the holes for the handle pins. I started getting the bevels ground on the belt sander, don’t go too thin at first. The spot at the front of the handle was done with a chainsaw file.
The wife bought me a propane fired forge, so that’s what I used to heat treat it. Heat the steel until it goes orange, or just past it’s non-magnetic point, then take it out and let it cool in the air. Do this 3x to stress relieve the steel. When you heat steel enough to change it’s internal crystallin structure, it will loose it’s magnetic properties. This happens somewhere around orange, 1500-1600F I think, you check it with a magnet because my orange may be different than your orange. At this point the steel structure is called Austenite. After it’s non magnetic, put it back in the forge for a little bit more to ensure its hot enough, then pull it out and go straight into a bucket of pre heated oil to quench it moving it up and down, back and forth, but never side to side or it can warp. Keep it in the oil until it stops smoking. At this point the blade will be glass hard and fragile. Smack it on the anvil and it can shatter like glass.
Next is tempering, put your blade into a pre heated toaster oven at 400F for about an hour, take it out and let it air cool. It should be slightly flexible now, so it needs one more trip through the toaster oven for another hour.