Monday, 19 November 2012

18th Century Clasp Knife from Scratch.

You will remember my first attempt at making a friction clasp knife, it turned out okay, but not the best. It was a good learning experience for me, and I said at the time I would make another one. Well I made it yesterday.
Unfortunately I had to work in good light for the video camera, this meant that when I had to heat the tab on the blade to bend it, I could not see the colour of the steel and it was not hot enough and broke off!!!
This I corrected by fitting in a pin in place of the tab, but it is not an 18th century method as far as I know. So today, I removed the pin and fitted a ring, which is an 18th century method. I think it turned out well, and I am pleased to have it and use it. It is much lighter than my present period clasp knife.

The blade I made by cutting it out of a saw blade with a cold chisel and then final filing. The handle is deer antler. I found a diagram of original 18th century blade shapes on the net, printed them out, and transfered the design I wanted onto an ice cream container lid using my awl. Then I cut the shape out.
I placed the cut-out on the saw blade and scribed the shape onto the steel with a stylus. The part I cut out I used to mark where the blade hinge pin goes, and this I transfered to the steel blade using a center punch. Only hand tools were used in the making of this knife. See what you think of it.

The design of blade I used is marked with a tick.

The pattern I made with the stylus and just to the left the circular saw blade I cut the knife blade from.

My anvil is a piece of railway iron.

The finished knife with the stop pin.

The same knife with the steel ring I made and fitted this morning in place of the pin.


Gorges Smythe said...


Joel said...

Nice work. The ring definitely looks more in keeping than the pin.

Le Loup said...

Thank you Gorges.

Le Loup said...

That is praise indeed coming from yourself Joel! I am not up to your standard yet, but it is very kind of you to say so.
Regards, Keith.

Frontier Carpenter said...

I like the knife

Le Loup said...

Thank you Frontier, I like it too. Much lighter than the period clasp knife I normally carry.