John Heisz is a woodworker. He has a YouTube channel dedicated to various woodworking projects, workshop improvement, homemade machinery and similar stuff. However, he also works with metal, which makes for very artistic and interesting projects. For example, a couple of years ago he used a broken shovel and some broken concrete to make a knife. And what a beautiful piece it is.
Shovels are not something people generally consider useful for knife making. However, if you think about it, steel has to be pretty strong to go into the ground, which, of course, is very abrasive, and not break or get dull quickly. Its sides are almost flat too and, as Heisz demonstrated in his video, metal was hardened and tempered. He used a small angle grinder and an inexpensive diamond cutting disc to do the majority of the cutting and shaping, and a belt grinder to do some more fine adjustments to the shape. The final polish was achieved with some hand work.
Not only it looks amazing, but also Heisz makes it look like anyone could do it. The tools are relatively inexpensive and most handy people already have them. Of course, this just goes to show how skilled Heisz is and how good of a video it is – he just makes it too easy to believe. Encouraging and inspiring.
It is not the first knife made on John Heisz’s channel. This one he made from an old cold chisel and some homemade mikarta.
People often feel discouraged to make knives because self-proclaimed knife making experts are always teaching how to use the best quality steel available, how to harden it properly and to temper the final product, and to not use abrasive shaping methods and so on. However, while most of these things are true, it also mystifies the process. Heisz got a lot of criticism about making his knives from recycled materials. People disregarded his skills and experience saying that his methods of shaping the blade actually worsen the metal and the blade will not hold the edge. So Heisz performed a test, which involved his shovel knife as well.
Nodum once in a while will recommend YouTube channels that might interest people looking for inspiration or thinking about making something. John Heisz channel is definitely one of those channels we really suggest you to subscribe to. There is a lot to learn and be amazed by.