Crafting an Athame

Covens Shadow Craft  ► Articles  ► Crafting an Athame
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An article on how to craft your own athame from scratch.

The tools we use in our craft are very sacred and a necessity. Many people buy these things in occult shops while others create them themselves. I will go over on how to create some of these tools. Please remind yourself that certain materials can be dangerous and should not be used if you have no knowledge about them.

Crafting an Athame

The athame is a double-edge blade knife made from steel or iron, here's how you make one:

Go out an purchase a piece of steel from a local metal working shop. It does not matter how big it is just as long as you are comfortable with the length. Once you get your steel, take a torch and heat the steel until it is a dull red. This will soften the steel for easily workings later, once itl is red let it cool off naturally. Do not rapid cool it with water, this makes the steel brittle.

Now take a piece of soapstone or pencil and draw out the design you want for your blade. Making sure you leave a long tang/shaft at the base of the blade to be inserted into a wooden handle. Next take the torch, bandsaw, or grinding wheel and cut out your design. Once again let itcool off naturally.

Take the steel you have cut out and use a file or grinding wheel to shape the edges of the blade. This does not have to be razor sharp, it will be sharpened latter on after creation.

Your blade is now ready to be tempered. Heat it up again until it is red hot and plunge it into oil, machining oil works best. Allowit to cool off and then wipe it off and sand it down with sandpaper to clean it up. Heat it up again and repeat the last steps.

After you've done that, heat it one final time and once it turns in to a bluish, dip it in to the oil again. The steel is now ready.

Creating the handle

Take a piece of wood and place the tang of the athame on it.

With your pencil trace out the design of your choosing on two pieces of wood. After that, take a chisel and chisel out the tang area on both pieces until you have made enough room for the steel to be inserted between the two pieces of wood and they are able to fully touch together. When you have accomplished that, take the wood and roughly sand the inside where they will meet together.

Your next step is to apply some epoxy glue to the wood and insert the tang of the athame between them, in the chiseled spot. Using clamps tighten the wood together and let sit to cure. Once the glue has dried/cure you can remove the clamps and begin carving your handle into what you want it to be.

Later you can etch or engrave your covens name onto the blade using a engraver tool, sulfuric acid, or iodine. If using acid or iodine you need to protect the rest of the blade with melted beeswax and, using a sharp nail, write the name you want into the wax leaving exposed steel for the acid or iodine to etch.

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