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Zelix 06-28-2019 07:36 AM

First Knife is finished
So I'm new to this and obviously this knife isn't the greatest in the world. I'm simply over the moon that it turned out better than an African prison shank. :)

So I'm not looking to be some manufacturer or anything special or great... I'm simply just wanting to make a few knives for myself and maybe a couple of hunting pals.

Comments and criticism is welcome.

Crex 06-28-2019 09:43 AM

Mechanics aren't bad, a bad user shape at all. Now you need to make more and focus on the finish issues. Lots of new makers have trouble with finish such as the deep scratches and even plunge cuts at the choil area, etc. That's the "grunt" work on any knife you will make. Getting rid of these takes a good bit of patience and practice.
Don't get caught up in the gotta get more done and gotta use better materials land slides. They suck in a lot of new makers. Stick with simple and get it right until it's a natural thing to do so. The other bling and numbers issues will catch up fast enough.
Welcome to the addiction.

M&J 06-28-2019 01:42 PM

Good job!

Getting the hand sanding down will come. Once you've acquainted yourself to getting coarse grit out, you'll be able to consistently achieve a uniform finish on your works. I can't say they become any easier, you'll acquire the skills to become more efficient so the work time becomes shorter. Get your sanding blocks shaped so that doing these tasks doesn't create additional hand fatigue or stress the finger joints.

Nick Wheeler has some nice videos:

I have sanding blocks to the diameter of my wheels as well as flat blocks.

The plunge cuts come with practice.

jimmontg 06-28-2019 10:30 PM

My first, from start to finish knife, not made from a tempered file was O1 and I did the initial grinding with a 3x18 hand held belt sander clamped to my picnic table outside under the ole shade tree:D I had 1/8 and 3/16" O1 and nobody told me not to grind it almost finished down to 1/32 edge cuz that's what I did before heat treat.

I had experience as a sheet metal mechanic including aerospace and I remembered that somebody had torched off a piece of 3/16 L6 to make some parts from and I couldn't cut the edges where it had been torched on the bandsaw so I cut the parts with an air die grinder and then commenced to try to bend them without the edges cracking. lol We had a heat treating department, the company was that big. I asked the heat treater about the cracking and he just laughed. Told us not to use heat on the material and couldn't we read it had heat treating specs on the work sheet, but that was on the next page so I didn't care what it did and never read the parts that had nothing with me. I had a secret clearance and that's what you did, or didn't do.

He told me how to ht O1 in my charcoal barbecue. I heat treated the precision ground O1 in my charcoal forge now and I noticed the knives if ground thin in 1/8" tended to be a little wavy on the edges. So I made my first knives out of thick 3/16th and I ground them surprisingly flat with my 120 grit belts on my little 3x18 belt grinder. Then I began to teach myself hand finishing using a book I bought at a gun and knife show. There were maybe two quality makers at those shows and my knives were the third best quality knives, for no reason other than I put a nice finish on the metal and wood of my knives yours would've been fourth place. Now this was the early 90s and man there was a lot of crummy knife makers in OKC that sold at the weekly knife, gun show, and flea market:lol:lol

Rasmus Kristens 07-02-2019 02:10 PM

looks good.
I still struggle with the patience required to get a nice finish, but when you achieve that satin polish for the first time with no deep scratches it sooo rewarding!

Keep up the good work, and spend some time getting that finish nailed.
One thing i learned pretty early was to change sandpaper when it was spend. Starting out i used it for so long to save the expenses, but it really just prolongs the time to get the knife finished :-)

Aslo getting things flat is very dificult. I use a file for drawfiling my bevels to get the flat after the initial grinding. Some good files is a must :-)

Looking forward to the next knife.

Rasmus Kristens 07-02-2019 02:11 PM

One more thing. That photobucket logo is pretty annoying. Maybe use imgur or some other photo uploade service?

pcpc201 07-05-2019 03:37 PM

I agree with the others, it will come with time and patience.:rockon:
One other thing since Rasmus mentioned sandpaper, use it like it's free. You can thank me later...:D

Zelix 07-09-2019 08:15 AM

Thanks for the kind words. I'm looking into making a 2"x72" belt sander. I think this would help tremendously.

Doug Lester 07-09-2019 01:53 PM

Just be honest with yourself about your metal fabricating skills and be realistic about having the tools needed to make a belt sander. Some tools, such as a drill press, you will need to help fabricating knives. So if you don't have one already then it's not buying a tool to make the grinder but getting something that you will need on a regular basis. Also be aware that the cost of parts can add up rather rapidly. It's also rather common for homemade grinders to need constant tweaking until all the bugs are worked out. In the long run a lot of people have found that buying a finished grinder or at least a kit is not all that much more expensive.


M&J 07-09-2019 05:31 PM

Sounds like the making bug is getting you. Great!

Doug makes a good point about the cost efficiency to be up and running against the fabrication aspect of making machines. Some enjoy that challenge and if one has the background to build, that's great. Used gear is available as makers move up the chain in machines. The efficiency using a nice tool makes the process more enjoyable and reliable. My mentors stated buy good gear since they had gone through the steps. They gave me a list and I gradually acquired those recommendations.

The machine that is iffy in my shop is the 12" Harbor Freight benchtop drill press. It was a gamble and I knew that going in. A buddy got some of the decent ones so he suggested this would be a chance. Not in my case. The head is not perpendicular to the table and regardless how I attempted to shim it, the table also has squareness issues. This was a secondary drill press for low level tasks that a critical hole wasn't needed. Leather and Kydex sheaths and polishing various parts are the primary uses. The Jet 14" drill press does the main drilling, tapping and such.

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