How To Make a Nordic Neck Knife
I had a chance to learn from one of the UKs leading blacksmiths
So I jumped at the chance - here's the results
Last weekend saw the 6th Annual Bushcraft Magazine May Weekend Meet and, as every prepper knows, bushcraft is at the very heart of survival and prepping.
Amongst the many traditional skills shown over the weekend there was one of my favourites - Traditional Blacksmithing.
The show was very fortunate to have one of the countries leading practitioners of the old skill working away showing the rest of us how it should be done.
Ross from Kaos Blacksmiths was busy making all sorts of brilliant metal artwork.
Needless to say when the chance arose to 'have a go', I jumped at it.
This is where it all starts with a field blacksmiths workshop set up and Ross overseeing your work
The blacksmithing task was to produce a 'Nordik Neck Knife' using a bar of 01 steel about 1" wide by 1/8" thick. The initial bar was about 12" long before it was cut down.
Forming The Handle Tang:
Once heated up to a glowing orange, the tang of the knife is beaten and drawn into shape using a 3lb blacksmiths 'heavy hitters' hammer with the metal placed on the anvil face.
The knife tang had to be 'drawn out' by hitting down and away each stroke. Ross says never hit towards yourself - always away from your hand and body.
Finally, after drawing out the tang to about 3-4" long, the very end of the tang was hammered down to a pointed taper ready for the main shaping process.
Shaping The Handle:
The end was heated and easily bends into a curl by simply using a pair of round nose pliers.
This was a two man job and Ross helped us 'beginners'.
Finally the handle is flattened down in line with the blade.
Using a blacksmiths funnel stake and a 1lb pin hammer the handle was rolled around it.
Now we formed the handle back onto itself.
Here's the finished handle shaped and running inline.
By positioning at different points along the funnel stake you then create the handle shape
The finished handle shape was hammered down to meet itself.
A quick whiz on the grinder and the blade is cut down to length.
Shaping The Blade Edge:
As the knife blank was now cut down to size we used the 300mm blacksmiths tongs to do all the handling of the hot metal and a 3lb ball pane for the hammer work.
More heating in the forge and we are ready to start hammering out the blade form. The knife blank is held at an angle close to the anvil edge.
After a bit of light grinding, the knife blank now has an edge.
So it's time to heat it up and start the hardening process.
The Hardening & Tempering Process:
After heating to a glowing orange the blade needs to be quenched in oil to cool down.
Once cooled off there is a crust on the metal - it was similar to metal flakes on each side.
The actual cutting blade edge now needs to be cleaned up and polished with medium sandpaper.
Final stage is to temper the edge. This meant using a blowtorch and slowly heating the back of the knife and watching the blade as it turns straw colour.
Quite a precise process to ensure you do not overheat causing the edge to be too brittle and easily snap.
And here's the finished product
I shall be making a sheath for this little knife in a future post.
Once again, a big thank you to Ross from KaosBlacksmiths for taking time and showing us this great skill.
So a great weekend at the Bushcraft Magazine May Weekend Meet. Lots of new skills learnt and a big thank you to Ross from KaosBlacksmiths for showing some great traditional skills.
Happy Prepping Folks.
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