In this project I am going to show you my way of constructing an amazing Golden Dawn Air Dagger using common tools. I will try to be as specific as possible using images, especially when the steps become a little difficult. If you construct your dagger using these instructions keep in mind that safety comes first, know your tools, have your wood tightened all the time and let's do great magick. This project is very difficult. You can use some of the steps to make your wiccan athame or if you are into grimoire magick, your solomonic knife.
I recommend that you start working with the steel if you have some experience with knife making or if you are quite a craftsman. You cannot make a knife without spending some months before in learning knifemaking. If you are not familiar with that art, please have in mind that this will require a lot of time, you will want to watch some knife making videos and try your best. If you cannot work with steel, buy a blade online or from your local “knife-making " shop. The second choice is probably the best.
The following 2 images show the steps for the steel and the handle.
Step one - Buying steel
You will need an O1 steel. The best choice to work is a 3 mm thick piece of steel. Unfortunately in my country there is only one place where O1 steel is sold and it is 8 mm. Therefore, my air dagger is strong, heavy and damn powerful. If you choose a 8 mm or an 6 mm steel you will spend at least a week to form the bevels. The total length of the steel is your choice. In your measurements you will have to add the length of the handle as well, because the steel runs inside the handle to send the energy from your hand to the tip immediately.
Step two - Cutting the steel
With an acrylic painter draw the shape of the dagger in the steel. Put the steel in the vice and with the angle grinder cut it carefully. Of course take all safety preqautions and use them. Sparks will attack your hand, your head, hands and eyes. If you lose concecration you might cut yourself and then you can forget the dagger, forget magick. A good magician is a safe magician who uses his energy wisely. If you are using a thin steel, you can cut it with the iron saw. After you have cut the shape it is time to polish it.
Step three - Polishing
Use the rock on the angle grinder and dull all edges. Use the sandpaper disk and remove all the dark black layer of the steel until you will see the steel shining. You have to make quick and even movements with the grinder. The black area is the industrial layer and it should be removed because it has no carbon i.e. you do not need that.
Step four - Bevels
With the acrylic marker draw the bevels. Use the mark to paint the edges of the knife that will be sharp. Now, if the thickness is 8 mm you will need an 8 mm drill. Take the small drill and mark a line to the painted edge. The line should be exactly in the middle. Now, it is time to create a filing jig. Check this video. Use a bastard Nickolson file and start the work. Do it on all sides. The thickness of the sharp edge should be no less than 0.5 mm. When it gets to 1 mm thickness you should use the Second Cut type of file to do a lighter work. This work will take a week if you are working with an 8 mm thick steel. Many mistakes happen at this stage, meaning you have to start over.
Step five - Sandpaper
Now use 80, 100, 200, 300, 400, 600 grit sandpapers to polish the blade. This will take several hours. It should have no scratches. Use a piece of wood to support your sandpaper.
Step six - Fire
Set up a charcoal fire. See some videos of how to create a fire for knife making. This is a very long process. After painting it with charcoals you should dip it in oil.
Step seven - Oven
Put your blade in the oven at 200°-220° Celcius for 2 hours until it takes on a wheat color. I left it some minutes more. This is a minor mistake. Take it out as soon as you see that blond-white wheat color. Let it cool in the air for a night.
Step eight - Sandpaper
Again use sandpapers with grits: 100 220 320 400 500 600 800 1000 1200 1500 2000 2500 to make it perfect. (sanding) the tip. Be careful not to cut yourself with the tip.
Step nine - Sharpening the Blade
Buy a sharpening oil stone (Norton is great) and adjust it in the filing jig. Use the hard side and then the fine side. You must sharpen only the outer edge, not the whole blade. Be very careful here not to make any fast movements, because it will destroy all the work you did with the sandpaper. Protect your fingers. Test the blade on a piece of paper. If it cuts it easily, it is ready. Cleanse the blade with soap and you are ok. For better results rub the blade with Camelia sinensis oil.
Step one - Buying the wood
Use fir wood that is very easy to work with. If you want a strong wood, buy beech or oak. You will need two pieces of 18 mm thickness.
Step two - Cutting the handle
Use a pencil to draw the handle on the wood. With f flanks to support the wood, use a hand saw or an electric woodsaw to cut the wood. Put them on the vice and using sandpaper no. 60 or 80 begin shaping the circular handle. This requires a lot of patience and craftsmanship and remember to use safety precautions.
Step three - Preparing the handle
With a chisel and a small hammer start preparing the inside area of the handles that will enclose the iron part of the blade.
Step four - Glue
Buy epoxy glue for metal and wood. I use epoxy which cures in 2 hours. Glue the handle with the blade. Make sure that the blade fits perfectly and make sure no area of the steel outside the wooden handle. Secure it with flanks. Do not oversqueeze. Let it for 24 hours.
Step five - Finishing
With sandpaper remove any glue parts. Now you have to cover your blade. I use tape and some papers inside. Use 100, 220, 320 500 grit sandpapers to make the handle perfect and smooth. Apply a little oil to the wood like teak oil, tung oil etc. This will refine and protect the wood.
Step six - Painting
Paint with gessho and professional type acrylics. I primed 2-3 times with gesso and then painted 2 times with yellow acrylics. After the gesso layer, use a 500 grit sandpaper. After the yellow layer use a 1000 grit sandpaper to smoothen the color and give a more realistic appearance. Then use purple acrylic for the magical Holy names and your motto. After it dries, use gloss varnish for acrylics. In the end I applied some Camelia sinensis oil and I let it dry for a day. Now you have completed this step you will need to make a sheath for the knife.
Step seven - Making a Sheath
Most knifemakers use leather to make their sheaths. This is another art in knifemaking. I work with wood, because I am good with wood.
Whether you choose to make your own air dagger from scratch or not, make sure that you observe all safety precautions. Eye protection, gloves, ear protection, long sleeves, jeans, flanks, vice, proper use of the tools. I recommend that you buy a ready-made blade, a fixed blade for a dagger. You can search online or go to your local knife shop. Ask for a knife blade that is ready to be attached to a handle. The handle is something you should make. Construction of a magical tool is not a quick process. While working you transform and you invoke the energies in your life. You will need to acquire new abilities of working with tools and you will learn patience.
Have fun and make good magick.
If you find a knifemaker to make the dagger you want, make sure that you have money to pay him and learn what method he is going to use. The knife can be made differently, not with files as I made it, but with hammer and fire or with a power grinder. The last method is the quickest but the knifemaker won't be investing as much time and effort as you would do yourself with the other two methods. The result with the grinder is perfect, while the files give a medium result.
It amazes me how so many traditions follow these ancient protocols and roles,