Knife-Making » Blank Blade

This blade blank is from Frosts in Mora, Sweden. It is laminated carbon steel. This means there is a core of hardened steel in between two laminates of softer steel. None of it is ‘stainless’. The core is hardened to about 62 on the Rockwell C scale, which is pretty darn hard. The blade is not brittle though thanks to the softer laminates. The hardened core of the blade sharpens well and keeps its edge.

The blade is ‘shrinkwrapped’ onto a cardboard carrier. It is flat-ground and polished at the factory. This blade is about 4 1/4 inches long from base to tip. The tang is also 4 1/4 inches long, for a total of 8 1/2 inches from point to the end of the tang.

The blade is razor-sharp. As soon as it is removed from the packaging, the first thing to do is put some tape over the edge for safety sake. I forgot this step with the first Frosts blade I worked with, and nearly lost a finger when the handle slipped during fitting. To date, I have recovered only partial mobility and sensation in the finger, so please learn from my mistake: Safety First!

This is also the point where I’d be deciding what style of handle I was going to make, if I hadn’t already. The blade blank will dictate to some amount what kind of handle is made, and what size. The handle of course must fit the tang. I usually trace the blade and tang onto a couple sheets of paper and then sketch handles around the tang, to find a shape or style I like. Then one of these sketches becomes my ‘template’ for use later on. The template should include the tang, and the positions of any holes that will be used for mounting.