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Hi everyone!


a few months ago a dvd from an old western movie called ''CHINO'' with Charles Bronson staring fell in my hands.

the movie was not that good but who cares :D .

in the early scenes a knife flasses for a few seconds and my eye really liked the design.the dvdplayer made some weird noises as i paused and forward and then back and pouse again and again to see the shape and how was it made.

the blade shape was simmilar to a J.RUSSEL hunting knife but the handle had metall pieces in the front and deer antler scales with many thin pins(i think).

i forged two simmilar blades one from an old nicolson file and one from 1095.i also wanted to try how would they look with hamon.


here they are just after i took the clay off.....




the 1095 blade had a minor crack on the front of the blade exactly were the hamon line was so i had to reshape it a little.




etching them correctly was more pain than i expected and the two different steel type blades reacted completely different.

here are after the first etch...






and after the first cleaning trying to ''catch'' the hamon.....






and finally the first one ready(the file blade).i also had to try making my first rawhide sheath(many first things in one project).













the handle scales are palisander wood.

thanks for watching!

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nice job, sheath is interesting too. Like the quilled medicine wheel

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I think that is a sweet looking knife. I don't know about historical influences or any of that, but I think it looks very well done. Be proud, you made a good knife!

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I forgot to say in my last post:

1. the two steels are probably very similar. It depends somewhat on the age of the file. I have a bunch of, "New Old Stock" Nicholsons from the 1970s. I also have a bunch of Disstons from the 1940s-60s. The Nicholsons are supposed to have a little vanadium, and the Disstons definitely do. They both have more than 1 percent carbon. This makes the steel ideal for traditional Japanese-style blades.


Edited to add: the Disston company had a proprietary crucible steel process that they used to make what was essentially W2. The old files from them had as much as 1.3 percent carbon, sometimes a little chromium, and I think vanadium. I am not sure about the vanadium and chromium, though.


LONGMIRE? He may know more.


Newer Nicholsons are essentially 1095, I believe (but I do not have the specs). They are W1 or 1095 or something. They keep getting cheaper in material and crappier in performance. The NOS ones rock in use. Then, when they start to dull, they become a hell of a knife. Just make sure to get all signs that it was a file off of it. Despite the historical commonality of re-using steel (including files) to make other tools, there is a strong negative reaction to using a file to make a knife.


2. If you etch the blades with vinegar or lemon juice (since you have the handle on, the easiest way is to mix a drop of dish soap like Dawn in a bowl with the squeezing of a lemon). Rub this up and down each side of the blade, especially where the hamon is, for a few minutes. Lemon juice is faster than vinegar.


3. Get FF or FFF pumice and leather or felt or 0000 steel wool and rub the oxides off and repeat. Rub the area over the hamon like you are trying to rub a hole through the blade. For the area above that, don't worry to much, just enough to get the oxides off. In fact, for the area above, you can just use 2000 grit or so paper, or silicon carbide powder of 1000 grit or higher.


Repeat 4 or 5 total times. You may want to use the pumice dry and just use your finger tips to go back and forth in short stroke directly over the areas of the hamon that you are trying to accentuate. You will feel the pumice start to bite more in some places than others. You can do a lot to emphasize a hamon by rubbing the hell out of those areas.


I learned a lot of this by watching a Walter Sorrells video that he sells. Except he uses Silicon Carbide (which is great, just pumice is easier to buy).


Hope you don't mind the lengthy set of unrequested advice.


Best wishes,



Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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Kevin, you know more about the Disstons than I do! The last made-in-USA Nicholsons (during the ownership of Coopertools) were 1095. The Mexican Nicholsons may as well be mild steel judging by their performance, but they are probably still 1095, just with abysmal heat treatment. The Brazilian Nicholsons last a little longer, but still not nearly close to the USA ones.



Sorry, forgot to add Nice Knife! Very good take on the Green River style.

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thank you everyone!



Hope you don't mind the lengthy set of unrequested advice.



you found time to write half encyclopedia with information i would have to search very long time to gather and i would mind??no sir i don't mind at all.


i used both lemon and vinegar in both blades.lemon worked better for the 1095 blade and vinegar better for the file blade but created some spots on the surface that are still visible.citric acid worked great for the 1095 blade too.i will definitely use your way on the next project.

thank you for all the help!

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Really nice knife Krateros. It's so cool that you saw a knife you liked in a crappy old movie and recreated it using your own hands. All the information that the other members posted was great, this forum rocks.

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