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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 09-26-2016, 09:58 PM
Onyour6 Onyour6 is offline
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Power Tools for the Beginner

Hello and thanks in advance for the replies. I am brand new to this, meaning I'm only in the interest and research phase. I've cleared a work space and am looking to buy a table-mounted belt sander and drill press. I have researched different tools until my eyes bleed, but haven't yet come up with a good beginner's option. There are SO many conflicting reviews on the different brands/models/sizes. I am willing to spend, preferably, no more than $500 for both. I don't need top of the line (obviously) but I also do not want junk. I'm willing to go a bit up or down on price if the difference in quality is justifiable. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2016, 10:23 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Any belt sander you buy that isn't a 2x72" will be a stop gap measure. There are a few other sanders that guys manage to use for a while but sooner or later it has to be a 2x72". If you're a handy type you can build your own, plans are available. If you buy, a Grizzly is where most guys start.

A good drill press isn't cheap but you can get by at first with a cheapie.

And, of course, there's always the possibility of finding something used.

It might be wise to start simply with files and sand paper. You'll need them eventually anyway and you'll need the skills that come from using them. Maybe build a few kit knives first, good way to find out if you really need to spend more money. Knife making is not a cheap hobby ...


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  #3  
Old 09-27-2016, 12:01 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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$500 max then? OK

Harbor Freight HF, has a decent drill press, if you want to go a little better then get the Skil 10" for about $130 at Lowes or Home Depot HD for short. After that you want a sander, There are not many options in your price range and a 2x48 sander is kind of what you want with a contact wheel. And that is the Kalamazoo. It is adjustable and has a rubber contact wheel which none of the 2x42 belt sanders have that I know of, but maybe somebody does know of one that I don't.

Now for the sander, the cheapest one is at Jantz supply at $409 who also has the cheapest shipping. Here is a link.http://www.knifemaking.com/default.asp

That is the highest quality belt sander you can buy in your price range. That said there is another option, you can buy the HF 4x36 belt sander and then buy a conversion kit for it to turn it into a 2x48. It's called the Jiffy belt sander and is made by AK grinders for with the big wheel and platen option is $170 plus $80 for the HF 4x36. so $250 plus tax and shipping. Here is a link for AK, Grinders,http://www.akgrinders.com/.

Me? and I had your budget with what I know now I would go with the Kalamazoo and go a little over $500 with the drill press from HF. Or get the Jiffy and the Skil 10" drill press and add in a wood and brass cutting band saw, either the HF band saw at $140 or the $130 Ryobi, both take 62" blades. I have the Ryobi even though the HF had higher ratings I got mine on sale at HD for $100 and I know how to adjust a band saw. So that's $250 plus $130 and $130 equals $510 plus shipping. I can comment on the drill press and Kalamazoo and Ryobi as I have used them all. I cannot comment on the Jiffy, but I would think if you were light handed as you will need to be for the Kalamazoo too, under powered at 1/2 HP, it would be ok. It also can be adjusted for 1x42 belts like a J-flex belt for shaping curves and such on handles and has a rubber contact wheel. Here is a link for adjusting band saws, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

Both of those sanders will need a table built for them to clamp down in front of as the little tool holder on the Kalamazoo isn't adequate for knife grinding. I hope I helped you, many will say get the Grizzly 2x72 belt sander, but that will be all you can get as it runs at $587 with shipping included from Grizzly and includes a buffer shaft for buffing. You might want to get just this as 2x72 is the standard for knife makers. So if you can go with out a drill press for a while get the Grizzly, but they need some adjustment too, but the guys around here can tell you about that. Link for Grizzly, http://www.grizzly.com/products/Knif...campaign=zPage Like Ray said it is where you'll end up, but a cheap sander is better than no sander and like he said get some kit knives and get a cheap 1x30 sander from HF to help on the handle shaping it's only $60 and get the cheap drill press too as you can use both for other things.

I'm saving for the 2x72 Kalamazoo because it's American made. It is over $700, but that's the way I am, give Americans the job and from all the reviews I've read the Kalamazoo is better quality and to heck with sending more jobs and money to people who are our enemies, if you think China is our friend you better take a look at how they just treated our President at the recent G2 Summit. I would have said take off and never mind these communist capitalist illegitimate cheaters, but I don't want to get political.LOL

Last edited by jimmontg; 09-27-2016 at 12:08 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:47 AM
jemoran jemoran is offline
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I would take a different approach and develop your bench skills first. Buy a hacksaw, files, and sandpaper,and build a file jig. Make your first couple of knives by hand. If you love making knives afterwards, your experience will tell you what equipment you need, to support your type of knife making.

Even when you have a shop full of equipment, your still going to need those bench skills.

John
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:41 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Having cut out knives by hand with a hacksaw he will need to get a good vise or heavy clamps and it is pure drudgery. I can't afford a steel cutting band saw, but I do have an 4 1/2 angle grinder with cut off wheels. It is also great for getting the outline close to finished and is great for starting the bevels and then finish with a file. The AG is great for that and saves some time for sure. I even glue 220 grit wet-dry sandpaper to worn out discs to get the decarb off of my knives I do in the forge. Heck if you don't want to make kit knives then hand files sandpaper and a decent drill press and an angle grinder with variable speed (very important) will get you started. If you start with 1080 steel or 1080+ from Alpha knife supply you would need a forge and now you see why we said try a kit knife and see if you even like it. If you get a kit knife get one with a flat grind and put a linear grain hand finish with sandpaper to 600 or 800 grit. The sandpaper would have to be on blocks, I use 1/4' by 1 1/2" by 10" piece of dymondwood to do it. You can buy fine grit paper at paint stores and auto parts stores.

The least expensive professional heat treaters I know don't do oil quench steels, I use a forge at the college near me as they have blacksmithing classes from time to time (I live in an apt that forbids propane barbeques) and you can build a forge easily enough, but it gets complicated doing your own HT to start. I would suggest that you use an air quench steel like A2 or 154 CM if you want to make a knife from scratch and send it to Texas knifemakers Supply, link. http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/privacy.php#services. Alex their HT guy aims for a RC hardness of 60 which is where you want to be for most applications for a knife.They charge $6.50 per knife under 10" and add in $4 if you want a quench in liquid nitrogen. and so for $20 plus shipping you would have yourself a couple of superb blades.

I've glued 600 grit sandpaper to my angle grinder discs as well and hand finished from there. I've worked in metal industry since the 70s as a welder and sheetmetal man and if you scribe your lines onto the knife's profile you can get remarkably accurate with the AG. Makes superb plunge lines too. So actually for about $200 you could get a fair setup with less some of the handwork which even with the 2x72 you will still have some anyway. All my knives get hand finished, it's what I spend the most time at usually. Don't want to get into sheaths right now.lol
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:33 PM
Onyour6 Onyour6 is offline
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Thanks so much for the info, much appreciated!
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:34 PM
Onyour6 Onyour6 is offline
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Thanks for the very detailed response, this is going to really help me out!
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2016, 07:35 PM
Onyour6 Onyour6 is offline
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I've considered that option too, definitely something to consider. I too believe in knowing the basics before jumping to advanced tools as a crutch. Thank you!
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:03 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Smile Here is a 12 inch blade dagger I made from 1080

I made it from a 2"x 1/4" x 24" piece and it is just over 19" overall. I made the blade using an angle grinder for the most part and a 1x42 belt sander grinding horizontally. It is a hidden tang, but the tang is pinned with small mosaic pins. By the time I was finished the blade was about .220 at it's thickest point. The handle is Tulipwood (a fave) and lignum vitae I think, but the label fell off, but it is very hard and dense so I think that's what it is, but I acquired it in 1995 so I don't recall exactly. Spacers are G10, blue and white. The pommel and end piece wood are tapped 1/4-20 threads as is the tang there. It is blued using Birchwood Casey Super Blue. I heat the blade in hot water and apply the blueing with 000 steel wool and it is double blued.

It is of course all finished by hand. I made the sheath to hang on the users belt or attached to his calf. Overall it took me about at 30 hours including the sheath. I heat treated it in the forge at the college and tempered down to below RC 54 as it is a weapon designed to be the last line of defense against a bear attack and is a gift I gave to my son. I did not want it brittle so a softer temper is called for. I told him to get a bigger gun for bear than he has (.357), but would he listen to me?

If you do not mind spending some time and being very careful you can make a knife like this, though I would suggest a smaller one to start.LOL I live in an apartment and have to roll my 1x42 with 8" disc Delta sander outside on a cart. Also have my drill press on the cart. I do not think I could sell it for as much time as I put into it, but there it is. I am retired and don't have anything else to do. The sheath's stitching could have been more even, but I ran out of thread a little more the 3/4 finished.
Sorry Ray, this is as small as I could figure out how to get it.

Jim: Took less than a minute to resize with PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 4 and its free software ...
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File Type: jpg IMG_5243.JPG (58.9 KB, 51 views)

Last edited by Ray Rogers; 09-28-2016 at 09:24 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:16 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Talking Another view.



Looks scary with his flip flops and beach shorts on don't it? LOL Yeah the sheath isn't the best, but I'm getting better and heck, it's a big knife. Like my Mtn. scene, bear and trout stampings?
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2016, 11:43 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is online now
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Don't forget that you actually don't need power tools to make a knife. Granted, if I was doing strictly stock removal I would a least profile my knife blank with an angle grinder but I'm a smith so I started out with a good selection of metal files and learned how to draw file.

Doug


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  #12  
Old 09-28-2016, 07:25 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Put some of that money in a good solid large swivel vise - can't go wrong there. Everything else can be done with hand tools and time.


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  #13  
Old 09-29-2016, 12:26 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Ray, I did shrink it smaller than what it came out and I do not know why it was twice as big as what I shrank it too. I have Photo Explosion from my ex-wife she loaned me the CD to install it, but I obviously missed something.LOL I am not very literate with computers I'm afraid. I need one where I tell it what I want and it does it and I don't have to remember a bunch of stuff that if I do not use or do it all the time I forget how I did it 6 months later.

Last edited by jimmontg; 09-29-2016 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:11 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Jim,

I looked at Photo Explosion and no wonder you're having trouble. I know you feel computer illiterate but now is as good a time to learn as any and it just isn't that hard. Here is the link to PhotoDeluxe:

https://www.adobe.com/support/downlo....jsp?ftpID=895

It's free, and at 2.3 mb it is very small and will only take a few seconds to download. Run the file you get and it installs itself. Like all software it will look a little confusing at first but the part you so desperately need is very simple to use. And, if you have trouble figuring it out I can help because that's the software I've been using for 17 years....


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Old 09-29-2016, 02:57 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Tried to download it Ray and when I open it it comes up and says "The destination directory could not be determined for PhotoDeluxe 4.0. I have a fully updated adobe, but I tried 5 times in different ways and when I open the program that is what I get, it doesn't know where it is or supposed to go. I tried sending it to documents and it always comes back the same. No matter what I try it refuses to unzip.

Last edited by jimmontg; 09-29-2016 at 03:05 PM.
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