View Full Version : Any knifemakers in here? starting my own...
11-12-2004, 10:19 AM
OK, I'm going nuts here with nothing to do... starting my own knife on monday.
Using a design I found online for the first, it's a loveless style hunter.
resized it to 9.5" to fit my hand better.
Should be interesting with one hand, but we'll see what happens.
Already know that HT will be done through a local shop(takes a week or two since they send em out and it depends on shipment size... sheath work will be from Vadim when I make one that gets that far.
Any tips or hints? I'll be bolting down to the work bench and using power tools.
I made a knife once from an old file. I gave up knifemaking right after that. I did make some woodcarving knives that are useable. They were made from old crosscut sawblades. I can get them razor sharp. They rust as they are high carbon steel. The file/knife has not rusted yet tho. A fun hobby.
11-12-2004, 03:12 PM
Take a look at the British Blades site.
There are loads of great knife makers only too willing to share hints and tips. Take care of that wrist!
Regards Ken ;)
Knifemaking is also one of my hobbies. If you want to take a look what I've made so far, you are kindly invited to visit my homepage (http://members.chello.at/robert.fruehauf) :)
As for the hints and tips...
Whatever you do - do it slowly and be patient! I know that this is not really the advice one likes to hear when starting to work on the first knife. Believe me, when you work slowly there is less risk of injuries and mistakes.
Make a template out of cardboard (scale 1:1) before you start. You can use it to test the handling of the knife and you can make any changes easily. After everything is perfect use it to scribe the outlines on the steel.
When you are drilling the holes in the tang, only use quality drill-bits with a low speed on your drillpress and not too much pressure. Drill-bits made out of a cobalt-alloy work best for me.
I only use hand tools for my knives except of a drill press, so I cant give you any special hints or tips on power tools but one: If you are using a steel which doesn't need to be quenched in oil or water (I don't know the correct technical term in English - air hardener maybe???), be careful with power tools and don't overheat the steel while working on it. Most likely it will become a pain in the a## to work with it, because the surface will harden. I even registered this effect when I was using a simple file a bit too quickly :mad:
I hope the above was not too boring to read :rolleyes: If I can be of any assistance, do not hesitate to ask me! I'll try to help as good as I can.
Have fun making your first knife! That will be an experiance you'll never forget!
P.S.: I hope we're going to see the result of your efforts!
11-12-2004, 07:22 PM
Aloha VW !
Wow...right on man! Just be careful with them tools being "one handed" and all!
I agree in cutting your design out in cardboard first to see if it actually feels like what it looks like...I do all my proto's out of acrylic...don't have the room nor the $ to go full on real steel yet...ahhhhh, maybe one day. ;)
Please do show us the end result bro! Take care and I'll e ya later!
I just read in the other thread that your hand is injured right now. I hope that everything turns out well for you.
Be VERY careful when you work on your knife. Get well soon!
Patrick> I started to make my own knives a few months back(just after the car accident) only got about 4 months in till the Cancer thing hit. I have a few in process and some steel and micarta and G-10 I bought from George Tichbourne. When done he will get the blades heat treated for me. Using 440C to start with as I like it in a user blade. With the bevels...go slow there is definetly a nack to it. Practice. If using a file to do the bevels(which I want to try also) that would be easier to start I think. What steel are you using, handle matl, etc. I have well over three dozen designs now...just gotta pick which ones to start with. Good luck and hope your wrist is feeling better:)
11-13-2004, 05:29 PM
Have 3 feet of 1/8"x2" 440c and about 3 feet of ~1/4"x~2" 5160...
plan to start with the 440c since it'll be easier to work with it(it's flat and 100% the same size through it all)...
dunno about handle material, gonna try a wrap first, might pick up micarta from house of tools.
what's george charging for HT? it's $8 a blade through House of Tools and they have to send to alberta anyways. Vadim is charging "$30-40" for a sheath, depends how big it ends up.
Rob F> I spent months on end reading the knifemaker section in both BFC and KFC... Never mind the few times I've read my book ("How To Make Knives" by Barney & Loveless). I'll take any info and tips I can get, and you'd have to get pretty dry to be boring for me(been working away at learning latin since summer 98, and I've given a report on nuclear warfare & it's effects on the environment).
Guess I'm chopping up a box to make a pattern on...
As to the wrist... I was feeling not too bad thursday and friday on my meds, until I picked my niece out of a shopping cart an hour before physio friday... just about dropped her from shoulder height. Caused myself some really intense pain tuesday night/wednesday morning at 0100hrs... did something because I felt it all shift though when I pulled and twisted. Nothing like laying in blinding pain for an hour to teach a lesson(and thats WITH a high pain tolerance and meds).
11-13-2004, 08:09 PM
Knifemaking is a lot of fun. I can't tell you how much pleasure I get out of it.
The more time you put into it the better you get. After you grind about 50 blades, you will be good at it.
I have been making knives part time for about 15 years. It took me several years to get to my 50.
Good luck, have fun.
VW, from what you've read you should be ready to go :) I think almost every question has been answered on one or another knife related forum. The interesting thing is that normally problems show up while you are making a knife that you never would have thought of :rolleyes:
I think the pattern you have chosen is excellent for a beginner because it has many straight lines. Do you really want to cord-wrap the handle? I just can't imagine a Loveless-style knife with a wrapped handle. If it was my choice, I'd go for Micarta or maybe stabilized wood. Just my personal opinion...
Oh, and another thing: I would make it without bolsters - just because it is easier if you have never done it before. The chance to screw them up is higher than to get them perfect ;)
@ gull wing: Any chance to see your knives somewhere online? I always like to see what kind of knives others make.
11-13-2004, 09:39 PM
The plan for it is to be a horizontal carry, right on the belt line.
handle is bound to take a beating, which in my mind rules out naturalized wood. Micarta or G-10 would be nice to use for it to beat on, but don't know how well they'll take light prying with the blade(stress is bound to follow through to the handle).
With a thickness of approximately 3 mm (if I converted the 1/8" right), light prying shouldn't be a problem. A rather short knive will most likely not bend if you just use it for everyday tasks and light (!!!) prying. The handle slabs will also stay in place when you glue the slabs in the tang with epoxy and use the pins only to hold them in place. But who uses a knife for prying anyway? :D
I think that Micarta would be better than G-10 because you can buy thicker pieces of that stuff. If you like experiments, you yould even make your own custom Micarta :) I've only seen G-10 in sheets of ~ 3 mm thickness, so the handle slabs would be as thick as the tang of your knife. That works fine for small knives, but for a user I'd prefer a handle which fills the hand a bit more. When you work with one of these materials do not forget to wear a respirator! The drinding dust of both, G-10 and Micarta, is toxic!
11-14-2004, 10:21 PM
Rob: who uses a knife for prying? The same guy that has beat on a ss 'fly for 3yrs and runs an edge on it as low as the blade grind lets me(and it shaves too)... :D
I've got a lead on black paper micarta(dunno how thick yet)...
dunno if I want to use brass pins or not, might check out stainless ones.
I've got goggles and a mask already, bought a few months ago.
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