This beginner-level guide explains, step-by-step, how to make a fixed-blade hidden tang knife and a matching leather scabbard. Used by hunters and fishermen the world over, hidden tang knives have tangs that are completely hidden by the handle material, which makes for a more comfortable grip on the knife. Knifemakers will find the 200+ photos and diagrams, the tools and materials lists, and the detailed instructions perfectly suited to creating this knife. The guide requires minimal use of power tools and equipment and also provides knifemakers with an understanding of various types of steels and handle materials for subsequent knife projects. The section on tools and steps necessary for making a sheath round out this guide.
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 Hidden Tang Knives focuses on the making of “hidden tang,” “stick tang,” or “narrow tang” knives – whatever you prefer to call them – using the stock removal method with simple hand tools, plus a drill press – hacksaws, files and sandpaper are the order of the day. This is entry-level knife making; you get a low financial investment in exchange for more elbow grease.
The making of the cover knife is described in detail, step-by-step from planning to completion, up to but not including heat treatment (that is left to an expert). The blade of the example knife is made of stainless damascus steel, so you also get a tutorial on etching and finishing that material as well as an excellent chapter on making a pouch-style leather sheath. Finally, you’ll find some background information on tools, blade steels and handle materials, and a list of suppliers.
This book is a good choice for beginners who don’t have access to a shop filled with knifemaking equipment, and are not looking to forge (if you are, try Basic Knife Making). If this sounds like you, start here – before long you’ll have a few knives under your belt and will be ready for your next knifemaking challenge.
Making Hidden Tang Knives
by Heinrich Schmidbauer & Hans Joachim Wieland
Spiral Bound, full color, 108 pp.
Here are links to all of the titles in this series:
Basic Knife Making: From Raw Steel to a Finished Stub Tang Knife
The Lockback Folding Knife: From Design to Completion
Pocketknife Making for Beginners
Making Hidden Tang Knives
Making Integral Knives
Making Leather Knife Sheaths, Volume 1