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Karambit - First Attempt

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I recently got over a broken leg, so I was finally able to get back to my forge after 4 months. I went in with the idea of making an ulu, but got sidetracked and decided to try a karambit instead.


I started with a broken farrier's rasp. Don't know the exact content of the steel.





The first thing I did was drift a hole for the finger ring. I'd never done this before, so it was a neat experiment. It turned out pretty well, but I learned I need a bigger drift.


After that, I bent it around for the hook of the blade, and then did some shaping with the grinder. Looking back, I could have done more shaping with a hammer (in less time, too!) but I wasn't confident enough in my hammering skills, and after all the effort to shape the hook, I didn't want to screw it up.







It still needs some shaping. I fee like the handle is a little too big, and it obviously needs bevels. And right now, for a karambit, it's pretty heavy. I planned on pinning hardwood scales on when it's finished. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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I'm not quite sure what you mean by making the belly parallel to the spine. Can you dumb it down for me?


I did decide to move the ring...down...for lack of a better term. It needs to be offset from the handle more. I've rehearsed it in my head how I plan on doing it tomorrow (enlisting one of my rug rats to hold a drift through the hole while I beat on the backside...of the ring, not the kid)


I'm kind of shaping it until it feels right, rather than strictly following a plan. Not sure if you can make out all my sharpie marks, but there'll be a lot of stock removal. A lot of it could have been shaped with a hammer, if I was a little more skilled with it.


On the bright side, there's only one way to get that skill. :)

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Well crap.


Tried to move the hole down, and then re-flatten it while the steel was too cold. There's still plenty of good steel left there, but I'm not sure what I'll do with it.

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And the second attempt.


Slightly longer piece of farrier's rasp, still about 2 inches wide. The first thing I did was bend the arc into it. I also DIDN'T center the hole. I offset it to the inside of the arc.


After that, I hammered on the sides of the spine to put a little more arc into it, until I got it to more or less match the pattern.





Like before, I imagine I could have done a lot more on the forge, if I was more confident of my skills. I thought about thinning out the inside edge of the blade (the cutting edge), but I couldn't figure out how to do that without flattening out the arc. So the rest of it will be good old [mind-numbing] stock removal. :blink:


I didn't think to cut a slit before I drifted the hole, I just punched it out with a drift and then widened it with successively larger sizes. For the last one, I used a cheap ball-peen hammer, since it was the only thing I had on hand big enough, but it had the added advantage of beveling the edges. Yup, a karambit with a comfort-fit band, just like a wedding ring...only less likely to get irritated when you forget your anniversary. :P




The ring is basically shaped, and I'm starting on the handle. My angle grinder burned up and I haven't replaced it yet. Trying to grind the inside of the handle on a bench grinder is a pain. The other grinder motor keeps getting in the way.


On the plus side, I didn't break the ring this time! :)

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Spent a couple of hours grinding this afternoon. Learned I need more music on my phone. I got the profile 99% done, and started the lovely task of grinding down the rasp teeth, and trying to clean up the sides. That's the downside of using a file or rasp. I could leave the teeth on, but in the words of my mentor, "it looks half-a**ed." I'm also starting to even out the thickness of the whole thing. Due to pounding in the arc and pounding on the spine to give it more arc, it's got spots about 3/16" thick and spots that are almost 1/4" thick (some of that is just the rasp teeth, too).


I use a HF 5-inch wide belt grinder, with a 36 grit ceramic belt I got at Lowe's. It's the coarsest grit I could find, and the ceramic grit seems to last longer than whatever is usually used. They're about $13 a belt, but for what it saves in time I think it's worth it.



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  • 2 months later...

Got the profile finalized today. A little sweat and blood, and some advice from co-workers with tactical backgrounds, and it's not turning out too bad, if I say so myself. I have a friend who can do blueing, and I plan on having it blued as black as I can, and using some oak or walnut for the scales. Brass pins to hold them on, because that's what I have.









Nice and thin, about 1/8" thick, once I got all the rasp teeth ground off. And of course, I had to add a little blood and sweat to it. Kind of interesting to see a chunk of skin hanging off the point.



Edited by Buck Hedges
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  • 2 years later...

I was gonna say! they do bite, no matter what stage of the game. I leave the tip blunt and quite large(yes it looks funny but saves fingers) and wrap the last 1/2" with tape. to finish that secon I later file it down close and finish with a high grit belt and take my time to blend it in, finishing with sandpaper. but your on the right track!!!

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You two do realize that this thread is over two-years old?


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