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Step-by-Step Knifemaking: You Can Do It!

A knife is the most basic tool, and the average adult uses a knife almost every day. Yet there are very few individually made knives in existence, and few people who know how to make knives. Step by Step Knifemaking, by master knifemaker David Boye, is widely regarded as the classic on the art of handcrafted knives. Thorough, clear, detailed instructions guide the reader through each step in how to make a knife. Generously illustrated with photos and drawings on most pages, this book reads like a one-on-one workshop with a thoughtful teacher. The reader is led to discover the spiritual connection between himself and his work, to develop his sense of artistry, and to acquire practical skills for self-sufficiency. Completely self-taught, the author guides the beginning knifemaker through the thinking processes necessary to make a knife; inspires confidence in the reader to begin at his own skill level; and shows how it can be done on a financial shoestring. Topics covered include tools, setting up a shop, knife design, grinding, heat treating, polishing, sharpening, blade etching, sheath making, and more. Boye's outdoor knives, kitchen cutlery, and utility knives are functional and "peace-loving," and the chapter on etching designs into the blades is one of the few guides to this unique art in print. With over 175,000 copies in print, Step by Step Knifemaking has deeply moved thousands to involve themselves in this craft, and they constitute a visible portion of today's knifemakers. This book can impel the reader to a personally satisfying, alternative backyard career, making his own useful knife art. It is an enjoyable, indispensable reference for those wanting to learn knifemaking, become more self-reliant, or for anyone with an interest in the ancient craft of blades. "Handmade knives are unique," writes David Boye, "reflecting the skills and personality of their maker. They impart a personal touch to what would be a cold impersonal item. Thus it is with a handmade knife, or a handmade article of any kind, that there is a subtle exchange of electromagnetic energy that is transferred from the heart and the hands of the craftsman to the heart of the person who sees and uses the handmade article. Hopefully, the product will be the embodiment and expression of love and beauty in a useful, sanitary, and safe cutting tool - a hint of a deeper, more profound spirit in the process of living." 272 pages; 170 illustrations; 155 photographs.

Paperback: 274 pages

Publisher: Boye Knives Press; Revised edition (June 2000)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0615116590

ISBN-13: 978-0615116594

Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #40,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #4 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Power Tools #15 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Metal Work #3280 in Books > Arts & Photography

This book primarily covers making knives (mostly kitchen knives) by starting with thin plates of steel (HUGE bandsaw blades), cutting out a knife blank, and shaping the knife by grinding it. I personally far prefer forging a blade, which this author does not even touch on.However, Mr. Boye does offer solid knowledge on grinding, heat treating, attaching handles and bolsters (all necessary skills no matter how you make knives)... and an extensive section on acid etching which I have yet to find equalled in any other knifemaking book I've read.So while I may not care for Mr. Boye's chosen method of production, I recognize his pure artistic ability and am gratefull for his willingness to share his hard won knowledge.

This was the first book I bought on knifemaking, and my copy is falling apart (it's 28 years old!) I absolutely love David Boye's sense of design, and his work has inspired my own considerably. That said, I learned a great deal about knifemaking from other sources, and I use few of his methods. Specifically, I would never use a wheel grinder on knife steel, it generates a great deal more heat than a belt grinder, isn't nearly as accurate, and the cutting surface is smaller. I would NEVER cut out blades with a cutting torch, unless you wanted to grind away at least 1/4 in from the cut edge, you're messing up your steel's microstructure doing this (see p. 111 under grain growth!) I appreciate the lengths he's gone to to describe heat treating, but had little luck with it myself; I would strongly advise against trying to heat-treat complex steels like D2, 440C, or 154CM yourself, unless you like throwing your work away. Finally, though I absolutely love the acid etchwork in the book, the beeswax/asphaltum etching ground recommended here is a very tempermental one, I would use commercial etching ground if I were doing this. Since messing with aqua regia at home is not the safest thing, I'd suggest looking into some of the other methods, such as electrochemical etching. So, I would say to the beginning knifemaker that I'd use this book for inspiration, but go elsewhere for methods. If at all possible, talk to someone who's been doing it a while.

I knew nothing about knifemaking when I started reading this book but now I've just completed my first knife using Step-by-Step Knifemaking and am very proud. The instructions were stright foreward and easy to understand. By the time I was finished with the book I had a good basic knowledge of knifemaking and a basic under standing of steels. I would recommend this book for any beginner.

I got this book from a used bookstore years ago. It's a testimony to Boyd that it's still in print. I liked the book, but have not tried to make a knife the way he described. I'm more interested in forging, which Boyd does not talk about. The book concentrates on the method of stock removal, i.e. how to grind a knife shape out of a blank and then hardening and tempering. Still if you are interested in how a knife can be made, this is a good book to read. Very entertaining.

If you are a novice in the knifecraft, this is THE book for you. It countains every little thing you need to know to design and construct your first knives - and advance in techniques and complexity, as you advance in the pages of this fascinating, amazing and honest book. For me, it was (and still is) a most usefull master, everytime I want, everywhere I need it. It'll be a very good friend & teacher to you, too.

Holy crap! How old is this book? Looks like one of the old manuals I would dig out of my grandpa's garage. Photos are very old and grainy black and whites. I am a beginner knifemaker, but I know there are a lot more effective tools and techniques out there. There is a near complete absence of any tool or tech from the last 20 years in here (i.e., drum sander for drill press, etc), some of which can save substantial time and improve results greatly over what is taught here. The leather stitching chapter is useless and, again, does not utilize modern tools that are very cheap and easily available. There is a great chapter on etching with acid, which was pretty great. Overall, I was disappointed. If you want to learn basic knifemaking, just check out some youtube videos, if you are already making knives you will learn very little from this book.

This book has proven to be a very good starting point. Always wondering what the steps and actions were for making my own knife, this has given me the knowledge to start a very prospective hobby. Thanks!

David Boye writes as an old friend might write to you via e-mail, describing his hobby and how he makes knives, soon infecting you with this 'disease'. By the time you've finished your subconscious will be telling you "I've got to become a knifemaker!". The book covers tools, knife types, stock removal, grinding, building the handle, heat treatment, regrinding and polishing, handle materials, buffing, sharpening and maintenance, etching and even how to make the sheath. For a beginner like me who has recently rediscovered the world of knife collecting and knifemaking, this book is simply amazing. I've got no regrets buying this. You should add it to your library.

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