Making Ol’ Rusty: An Overview of Knife Making

How to create a custom hunting/survival knife from start to finish.

As a first priority in the new shop, we wanted to make something special, to demonstrate many of the techniques and processes that are involved in making a knife. We set to work to redesign a classic from one of Adam’s original pieces and bring new life to a tried and true knife.  We call it, Ol’ Rusty. It earned its name over years of service. We use that knife in our house every day. If you have ever bought a knife from us, chances are we used Ol’ Rusty in its making.

Adam, Pete and I hope you will find the video series to be informative and that you will all go make something after you see it!  This series is meant to be a comprehensive overview of the process of making a knife from start to finish. The entire series covers everything from designing a knife all the way to a finished knife, plus a bonus video about Kydex. We will be releasing the second half of the series in the near future, so if you are not signed up yet, get on our Newsletter for updates. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video how-tos, tips and tricks and other fun adventures in knife making.

Making Ol’ Rusty Video Series

Prt 1. Design & Prototype
Creating a prototype and cutting a finished design

Prt 2. Shape Profile
Using the belt grinder to refine the rough cut out edges

Prt 3. Drilling Pin Holes
Do it now, because you can’t do it later

Prt 4. Grinding Profile
Grinding blade profile before the steel is fully hardened

Prt 5. Clay Temper
Creating a differential heat treat for hard and tough blades

Prt 6. Heat Treat
Normalize, Clay, Quench, Temper

Prt 7. Handle Materials
Overview of some Biltsharp favorites and top picks for Ol’ Rusty

Prt 8. Grinding Bevels
Wet Hot American Knife Making

Prt 9. Grinding A Swedge
Tapering the spine toward the tip

Prt 10. Tapering The Tang
Taking the junk out the trunk