New Cleaver

I was commissioned to build a fixed blade, EDC cleaver. Challenge accepted! I drew up a quick design and after getting customer approval, got to work.

design laid out on steel
Design laid out on steel

The original design included a swedge on the top of the blade with a chiseled, tanto styled tip. The angles in the drawing didnt quite add up. Instead of trying something new on a customer’s knife, I eliminated the swedge and the chisel grind on the tip. In the end, the simple design made for a better looking knife.

After grinding the bevels, draw filing the blade,
After grinding the bevels, draw filing the blade,

This is the point that I realized I needed to the replace the platen on my belt sander. I make plenty of errors and nasty grind marks on my own, the last thing I need is an inconsistent platen making it worse. As you can see, I still need  a ton of practice, but theres nothing here a little elbow grease and files cant take care of.

Hand sanding is complete, ready for heat treat.
Hand sanding is complete, ready for hardening.

At this point, I started to wonder if this thing was going to be “big” to be an EDC knife. The knife was hardened and  I realized I had forgotten to put the jimping in. After buying a file just for jimping, I still forgot it! I annealed it overnight and got to work the next morning cutting the jimping.


Files are not something people tend to get excited about, but I would be lying if I said “cutting this was boring”. I used a checkering file (which is probably the most expensive hand tool I have ever bought). Back to hardening and heat treating.

The handle material selection I had on hand was fairly limited. I have some ebony, black linen micarta, and walnut. My favorite to work with is walnut, but this being for a friend, I decided on the ebony with copper hardware.

I could not have been happier with how it turned out.

Just before finishing up the handle.

After finishing the knife, the only thing left to was to make the sheath. This is the fourth sheath I have made and the progress is showing, but I am still not consistent enough to advertise myself as a leather worker.

Finished knife with leather sheath.
Finished knife with leather sheath.

Thanks Brian for giving me the opportunity to make a little dough making something with my hands!

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