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Cason Hicks

First knife attempt... Tanto

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Here's my first attempt at making a knife. Probably took 25-30 hours (I also live-stream my work on Twitch, so that added some time). This is stock removal from a section of old pry-bar (I assumed 5160). This was WAYYY too thick of metal for a good slicer (1/4"), although I think it's going to be immortal.

Edge geometry leaves me thinking chopper, but length doesn't match that. Great for batoning most likely. Primary bevels were ground at about 23 degrees, and secondary at 25ish. Won't slice through paper, but will shave with a little force applied. Handle is made from red oak and oiled with Old English cabinet oil (it's all I had). 

If I had it to do all over again, I'd have cut my bevels steeper. Also would have done my edge apexing before expoxying handle on (jig didn't like the handle being on there). 

I am happy with it for being my first knife, but I did learn a lot. Thoughts?

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Very nice first one!

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Excellent first!  I really like how you had a plan and stuck with it.  On the next one, take what you learned that worked and do it again.  What didn't work, figure out a way to do it different and see how it goes.  Don't be afraid to ask questions here.  There's a ton of guys that will freely share their experiences and will help to guide you around some of the more aggravating issues that can pop up.  Welcome to the madness!

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Thanks a lot Steve and Alex. I lurked here for a good while before creating an account and even longer before attempting anything. 

Do we think it’s a safe assumption that an old (20-30 yr) pry bar is 5160? 

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It's never safe to assume anything with tools and steel types, but if it was a Stanley wonderbar, it is 5160 as far as I can tell. Octagonal bars are often 1060-1075, but may be anything hardenable.

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Thanks, Alan. The bar was not branded, unfortunately. I would have seen the brand while grinding down the stock to flatten it. Definitely wasn't octagonal, more of a rectangle with rounded ends (__________)  imagine that with a top line as well. I had to grind the sides flat/square to become the edge and spine. It seemed to harden well, as a file skated nicely off of the edge but not the tang (unhardened). 

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