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Old 01-05-2017, 03:18 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Saukville, WI
Posts: 74
do i need to heat treat display knives

Ha guys and gals I am knew to the site and new to knife making, been making knives about a year now, and have a ? about display knives, do they need to be heat treated if only used as display to show what I make? Sounds like a dumb ? but I really don't know the answer, I never finished a knife that was not heat treated, so I am not sure if the two types will finish up with the same results. Thanks for the help
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:48 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,793
Well, from what you said I gather that you have done heat treatments on knives before so why not HT your display knives? For someone who had not done heat treating before I would have said if you don't HT the blade it isn't really a knife.

A display knife is probably pretty fancy but some are merely pretty. It might be a generation or two down the line but, sooner or later, someone may very well try to use that knife. Even after I am long dead I don't want one of my knives to fail someone. How about you?

Finally, steels finish differently after they have been treated. They become more rust resistant, especially the stainless steels. Once you're set up to do it not much time is required so why not do it? If you're sending them out then it's a few dollars out of your pocket. If you aren't going to HT the blade then you might as well show your potential client a picture of what you make...


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Old 01-05-2017, 05:26 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
In my experience just because you are selling them as "display" knives doesn't mean people won't pull them out and use them. Build all your knives to use to avoid any embarrassing moments.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:59 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Saukville, WI
Posts: 74
Thanks guys, the display knives are just that, knives I will show to potential buyers, they are stainless so I do in fact send them out to heat treat, I have not taken that step as of yet, but hope to heat treat all my knives in the near future. I kinda {kinda used loosly} knew the answer, but wanted some opinions from more experienced makers.

Thanks again
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:07 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
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One last thing on 'display knives'. Every maker I know, including myself, has tried to have a few knives around to show off what we make, often that is a knife that we carry and use every day. And, every maker I know, including me, has at one time or another and for a variety of reasons sold that knife to someone who just had to have it no matter the cost. If you make real knives you could be that lucky too.

What we make is not static. We change designs, our skills improve, some designs get dropped when new ones are added. If you make real knives you can sell these models when you no longer need them instead of just throwing them in a box to rot...


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Old 01-05-2017, 09:24 PM
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BCROB BCROB is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC
Posts: 884
Just heat treat them....

B.C. Canada
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:15 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,483
Like Ray said HT'd blades finish differently. They are examples of your work, make them true examples.
Heck, I even HT my miniatures just so they "look" right. And who of the wee people made need one some day.

If you decide not to HT make sure you mark them permanently as such. Knives get handled and don't always make it back to their original resting spot. One mixup and your rep goes out with the dish water.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
Knifemakers Guild, voting member
Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

Blade Show Table 5-J
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:03 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 444
+1 and some of these pieces go together so well that you don't want to find that you wished it was heat treated because a buyer had $$ ready. Good practice too because the finish is different when heat treated.

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Old 01-11-2017, 01:11 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: putnam county NY ....about 45 mins north of new york city
Posts: 1,443
I would heat treat everything, and you sound like you may be in a similar situation that I am just starting to sell knives and make a bit of money. well I am sure all the other makers here would agree with me this buissness depends ALOT on reputation. i wouldn't let any knife out of my hands OR in a display case that isn't heat treated that deffinitly aint the way to build a reputation. and even if you don't sell them but say your at a show wit these knives in your case and some one asks to hold it and look at and goes to cut something a lot of people that really like knives would tell that something is off right away
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