This installment of the knife workshop series explains how to design and build an integral knife, a knife made out of a single piece of steel. From basic patterns and principles to technical solutions to various variations in design and process, this guide is ideal for the intermediate to advanced knifemaker. Through step-by-step instructions and images, three integral knife projects with varying levels of difficulty are explained. Learn how to make a hand-filed knife that doesn’t require much equipment, a knife made using a milling machine, and a knife made with a piece of steel that has been professionally prepared with a wire-erosion process. With 350 photos and illustrations, this comprehensive guide is ideal for mastering how to make integral knives.
Reviewed by Knife World Staff
This series of knifemaking books has followed up its initial three releases, Basic Knife Making, The Lockback Folding Knife, and Pocketknife Making for Beginners, with three new titles created in the same spirit. Each of these were originally written for a workshop series published by Germany’s Messer Magazin and have subsequently been put in book form and translated into English. They are all filled with LOTS of superb full color photos and diagrams, and are published in a ring bound format so that they lie flat and can handle some abuse in the workshop. The translation is generally good, though you will occasionally have to lean on the photos to keep up with what’s going on.
Making Integral Knives addresses just that: the making of knives with the blade, guard, and pommel fashioned from a single piece of steel. In this context, we are talking about knives made by the stock removal method – take a block of steel and remove everything that doesn’t look like a knife, then add handles.
The three project knives presented here tackle the ‘material removal’ part using three different methods: with a hacksaw and files (impractical, yet impressive!), with a milling machine, and using an outside source for EDM cutting followed by milling. The basic idea is the same for each and a step-by-step approach is covered in detail, particularly with the most basic example. You don’t get anything on heat treating or sheaths here, but there are a few bonus pages on electrochemical blade etching.
This book is intended for budding makers who already have a little experience with full tang knives. It does suffer from more translation errors than the others, though the excellent photography will get you through these (most involve unusual terminology for common tools and techniques). All in all, this is a useful book and one that will be of interest to those who’d like to give integral knives a try.
Spiral Bound, full color, 144 pp.