In the last knife making guide we covered the bare bones tools required for making a knife. This article is going to looking at the custom knife making supplies that you'll need to build your very own knife. There are a whole bunch of products out there and it would be nearly impossible to cover them in one article so I'm going to do my best to cover the major areas and give you guys some places to go get your custom knife making supplies.
Custom Knife Making Supplies: Steel
The first thing you'll need is going to be your steel, now I'm not going to go into what I think is the best steel for making knives here but I will say that O1 Tool Steel is a good place to start for beginners. It is pretty easy to work with and makes a good knife as well. I wouldn't go for any high end Damascus steels right away until you get the hang of the knife making process. You're likely to ruin a few knives in the beginning so it's good to look for a cheaper steel like O2. Another one that you might want to give a try is D2 steel, it's a great steel it comes annealed so that it's easier to work with but once hardened it holds an edge really well.
Custom Knife Making Supplies: Knife Handle Scales
This is probably my favorite part in making a custom knife, with all of the different materials available it allows you to really give your knife a unique touch and personality. Micarta is a very popular handle material that's used in both custom and production knives. Micarta is lightweight, durable, cheap and easier to work with than other materials. One great thing about micarta is that you can find it in a huge range of colors and textures which allows for even more uniqueness in a knife.
Another popular scale material is wood which is probably my favorite scale material. There are hundreds of types of woods each with it's own unique grain pattern, color and hardness rating, there is just something about shaping wood into a handle for your own knife that I love and that's why I prefer it over other materials. You can find wood scales at a lot of different price points, for example you can go to a hardware store and pick up some mahogany for under $10 and make several scales with that or you can go exotic and pickup something like snakewood which has an awesome grain pattern and it'll cost you around $45 for a pair of scales.
G10 is another well known handle scale material that's used in production knives as well as custom knives. G10 is similar to micarta in that you layer a material and then cast it in resin. Where G10 is different is that instead of using something like linen or canvas to make layers like in micarta, G10 is made by layering fiberglass cloth and then cast in resin, compressed and baked. The result of this is a super strong and lightweight handle material that holds up to punishment. Also like micarta you can find G10 in an array of colors which again leaves room for a more personal touch.
In addition to these you can find scale materials being made from water buffalo horn, ram horn, antler, bone and many more. These are all really cool looking, I've personally never worked with them but I'd bet that they can be a little troublesome to work with and the price is pretty high for some of these materials. Although if you have your handle making skills down pat or your just wanting to try something different, then it might be worth investing in some of these more exotic materials.
Custom Knife Making Supplies: Pins and Mosaic Pins
Pins are something that can be overlooked when making a knife, even larger companies producing knives will skimp on this, probably to save money but still it's a great way to add some fine detail to a knife handle. Pins are used to keep the scales attached to the steel of your knife handle, and with a little epoxy they create and strong handle that's not going to fall apart. Some of the more popular types of pins would be more like screws rather, on certain knives they work but for other knives they can be kind of an eye sore. Generally I find that actual pins look better on knives with wood scales, but, that's just me. You can find plain brass rods on Amazon for about $15 for 5 36" pieces and cut them down to size and you'll have plenty of pins for making knives. If you want to go another step in customization you can get mosaic pins which look really cool, you can find these online too but they're going to be a little pricier that just a solid brass pin. You can make these too buying several types of brass pins, round tubing and square tubing then inserting them into the larger brass tube and casting them in resin. So when it comes to pins and screws it really just depends on what you think would look nice, what your time and budget allows.
As you can see there are loads of ways you can customize a knife to make it one of a kind, the main thing is to just get creative spend a little money and make it yours. All the work will be well worth it in the end especially if you turn around and make a profit off of it. If you need an online source for your knife making accessories be sure to check out TexasKnife.com they offer a wide range of products to assist you in making knives. If I left anything out that you guys can think of share it down below. Anyways that concludes this article hope you guys liked it thanks for reading. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter; don't forget to subscribe and pick up a copy of our bug out bag checklist if you haven't already and check back into Preppers Unlimited soon for more articles on the blog. If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them in the comment section below or send us an email.