Homemade Brass Utility Knife


today I’m going to make a utility knife I made a prototype off-camera it didn’t turn out great because I was working it out as I went along but I liked it so I’m gonna make a new one in this video it doesn’t have any special or clever features just something that looks good feels great to hold and a pleasure to use I’m not sure if anyone else would want to make one but if you do I’ll put a link to the template in the description I’m using a piece of 1″ by an 1/8″ brass flat bar and to help line the template up I’m marking the center the front two holes need to be tapped for an M3 thread and for that I’m using a 2.5mm drill bit and while I’m at it I’ll drill pilot holes for the rest of the holes now I need to mill a recess for the blade to sit into I don’t have a milling machine but because brass being so soft it’s no problem using a trim router and a good carbide bit I routed a dado in an old piece of MDF to hold the bar while milling it I measured 42mm from the edge of the router base to the cutter so I’ll clamp a square at that distance to guide the cut I was going to mill down one edge and then move the square to the other side but it makes more sense to
clamp a guide on each side now I reckon that went very well and the router cut it easy as anything it just needs to be a good fit so it’s nice and flush and I had to go a little further on the two corners just so the blade fits in there next I’ll make the piece that holds the blade in place I’ve just drilled those holes out to 3mm so the M3 bolts can turn freely I’m flattening the inside faces using a strip of 180 grit sandpaper and then 240 grit to get them ready to glue together the piece at the front is to fit the blade and by the way I just evened that those milling marks just with the blade and it only took a couple minutes it didn’t really need doing but I couldn’t help myself but this piece at the back that gets stuck down with epoxy I’m going to do that and then I’m going to drill the holes through and put pins in there to further reinforce it but before I do that I need to put the template back on
there and the reason I’m doing that now is I can line up the center of those
crosses with the holes and get it in just the right position although the template will be glued on
back to front the paper is thin enough that I’ll still be able to see the outline after cleaning the pieces with acetone I’m masking the front edge of the blade cover with PTFE tape and then putting it dab of furniture wax where the point of the blade fits to stop the epoxy sticking to those areas I used five-minute epoxy on the prototype but that really isn’t good enough so I’m using high-strength epoxy here I’ll leave it overnight it is warm so that should set up by the morning I started marking out the outlines but the template was just a bit too much of a mess so I drilled the hole through and I reprinted the template while I was at it I added a template in reverse for the back of the knife and I use that one I used a step drill to remove most of
the waste but that only went up in 2mm increments so I had to finish it with a regular drill which was 12.5mm ‘m blowing compressed air onto it not only to remove the swarf but to keep the brass from getting too hot to fill the holes I’m making an inset out of an old piece of copper pipe and filling the center of that with a silky oak dowel and I’m just using five minutes epoxy to glue that together the the inset pieces are mainly for show but they also add strength to the knife there’s a fair amount of surface area there that’ll get glued into the holes and that will help keep the whole thing together saying that I’m a little concerned about the brass heating up and melting the epoxy when I start grinding and polishing so I’ve decided to drill more holes and I’ll put brass rod in those and peen them to make a physical
fixing and not rely entirely on the glue so the pins don’t come out when they’re peened I’m tapering the hole from either side using a spade bit and doing that by hand to prevent the end of the pins from
cracking I’m rounding the ends over before I peen them this is the first time I’ve used my
anvil I still haven’t set it up yet so I’m getting comfortable by kneeling on some bubble wrap it’s a bit over the top and I probably should have used my old
smaller anvil which would have been better suited but I just couldn’t resist trying this one out I’m hoping when I grind and sand these back that they will be invisible or nearly invisible anyway I’m definitely happier though than just
relying on the epoxy while I start grinding the knife I’ll take a moment to tell you about the Makers Mob with plans and woodworking
tutorials from YouTube’s top makers like Jimmy Diresta, The Samurai Carpenter, Jon Peters, John Heisz and Frank Howarth I’m also excited to be teaching woodwork on the Makers Mob too along with 50-plus other woodworking projects my “Build a mini workbench” project is now live inside the Makers Mob and for the next 72 hours you can get access for 75% off so you can check out the makers mob
for only $4.95 so click the link in the description below see if that deal is still available and along with the rest of our world-class makers community I’ll see you on the inside as I said earlier while drilling I’m trying to keep it cool with compressed air as brass and copper can get very hot and melt the epoxy but also it can burn the wooden dowels now I need to finish shaping the blade
cover and to do that I’ll fix it back in place with the two screws that’s pretty much the final shape but before I start sanding and polishing I need to do a couple more things I forgot to drill out the hole for hanging it onto my tool wall and a step drill does
a great job of this leaving a nice chamfer and also I’ll stamp my logo on to the blade cover that’s starting to look pretty good I’ve sanded it to 400 grit now I’m going to put a cork belt on the grinder and polish it up and ease the edges over the polishing belt is 400 grit I do have an 800 but I don’t reckon it’s worth going that high as it’s gonna get scratched and dinged with use anyway and I reckon it will look better when it’s got a few scars and that used tool look I’m very happy with how it turned out it has a nice weight to it it feels great to hold although it’s not perfect there’s a slight gap around a couple of the copper pipes where I reckon the pipe couldn’t have been perfectly round and I got a bit close to the end where the hanging hole is I really enjoyed the project both designing and making it hopefully you enjoyed the video too if you did please like and subscribe thanks for watching and I’ll see you on the next one

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