How to Make a Knife From a Chainsaw Bar

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Chainsaws are a handy tool for cutting firewood, pruning, and more. But when they start to wear down, their cuts become less accurate and take more time.

One way to keep them working is to sharpen them. But how can you do that?

1. Identify the Material

When making a knife out of a chainsaw bar, you want to be sure you have the right material. This will make all the difference in how well your knife performs and whether or not you need to purchase a new bar.

There are a few things you can do to identify the material used to make a knife from a chainsaw bar. First, measure the bar end to end. This is the true bar length and it’s the most accurate measurement.

2. Draw a Pattern

A chainsaw bar is an excellent choice for making a knife. It’s strong and durable, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the blade or damaging the handle.

The first step is to draw a pattern on the chainsaw bar using a piece of chalk or soapstone. This pattern will allow you to see where the blade should go.

Next, measure the bar to find out its effective cutting length. This is the distance from the tip to the point where the bar disappears into the saw body.

3. Score the Outline

Before you can start cutting, you need to score the outline of the knife. This will help you line up the saw and guide it to a straight cut.

This will also make the cut more precise and smooth. Using a chisel is the best way to do this.

First, take a piece of chalk or soapstone and draw a simple pattern on the old saw blade. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something that will get you started.

4. Bust Out the Blade

When making a knife from a chainsaw bar you should bust out the blade first, before you start working on it with the saw. This is a quick and easy way to remove excess metal that can interfere with the shaping process later.

After you’ve busted out the blade it’s time to sharpen it. This involves using a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade, starting at an angle of 15 degrees per side.

When a knife is sharp it will be easier to cut things and also reduce the chances of chipping. So it’s important to be very careful while sharpening your knife and use a lot of light pressure.

5. File the Blade

The blade on your chainsaw is made from a hard metal, so it’s important to file the blade frequently. This makes it easier to cut and gives you better precision.

Start by using a round file to sharpen the side and top plates of the cutter tooth. You should also use a flat file to sharpen the depth gauges.

The flat file should be held in a position so that 1/5″ of its diameter is above the cutting tooth. This creates a sharp crescent-shaped hook on the top of the tooth that is necessary for effective cutting.

6. Sharpen the Blade

To sharpen the chainsaw blade, you’ll need a file of the correct diameter for your saw. You can find these files at hardware stores and online for about $10; they come in 3/16″, 5/32″ and 7/32″ sizes.

Next, use the file to file the semicircular cutting edges of each cutting tooth on your chainsaw bar. Make smooth, level passes inline with the proper angle for your teeth and add pressure back into the curve of each tooth as you file it.

7. Make the Handle

Chainsaws are powerful tools that can cause severe injury if not used properly. They’re best used when you’re in a comfortable stance with your feet planted firmly.

Whenever possible, cut with the bar off to the side or angled away from you, to minimize injury in case of kickback. Also, always hold the saw with two hands.

8. Make the Sheath

Making knives from scrap metal is a lot of work. It takes a long time to grind down the blanks and get them hard enough to hold an edge.

You might want to consider using a saw band or other saw blade, which are already hardened to the right hardness for holding an edge.

Once you have the blade, it’s time to shape the sheath. It’s important to make the sheath symmetrical so the blade is not reversed.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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