Completing a few kits for Christmas presents


September 16, 2010, 01:00 PM
I want to do a kit-knife for my dad, and both father-in-laws... But I will be starting with a kit, or pre-treated and finished blade. I know this might be cheating, but with the tools I have available, it is really my only option.

I have a few questions about the process that I have not been able to find answers to...

Is Jantz Supply a good place to buy my blanks from? I will be buying materials to make 4 total, maybe a few more for brother and brother in laws if it goes well... Some hunters and maybe a few tantos (my dad likes this style).

I want to use tubing instead of pins because i like that look. Is that doable? or should I stick to brass pins for my first efforts?

Etching... I know I can not claim the blade, but I saw someone else talk about putting only their name on some, and their name plus "handforged" on the ones they truly built from scratch. Is that Ok to do here? I want them to know that I did the leg work and finishing...

Also, how expensive are the etching setups? they look fairly simple... i guess...

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice!


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September 16, 2010, 01:11 PM
It's not considered proper to make a kit blade as a maker would. It is perfectly OK to etch "To Dad from Brad 2010" or even to mark "Assembled by Brad".

Jantz, Texas Knifemaker Supply, Knifekits are all good places for materials.

Tubes have the challenge of being difficult to set square so that you get round "holes" instead of ovals. If you have a drill press or end mill you should be able to do it.

September 16, 2010, 03:00 PM
I like the massive selection from Jantz, but Knifekits has some of what I like too...

I guess I could stay traditional and use pins this round. Its not like I am "better" at one or the other.

I just did this in Word and Paint to show what I was thinking for the etching... Btw... 704 is my b'day...

September 16, 2010, 03:02 PM
I just figured out the "hidden bolt fasteners"... I might be able to do that more cleanly than even peening the pins...

Black Toe Knives
September 17, 2010, 01:25 AM
Brad, Give me hollar and I'll help you make a knife or two. I have everything you need. So you can put made by Brad Taylor. HSO problem solved. LOL Brad again Thank you for spotted the error on the website. LOL I reworked the whole site and built a knife today.

September 17, 2010, 05:38 PM
Jim, thank you for that offer, and I might just have to take you up on it to get started...

I have a question also about using rasps/files for making blades. Are they all basically created equal? I know I have some dull rasps laying around, and some cheaper files that just dont get used. Could I realistically form blades from those and then worry about firing and tempering?

Black Toe Knives
September 17, 2010, 06:01 PM
Brad, No Rasp and files aren't created equal. Black Diamond Rasps make incredible knives. Look in my gallery and you see a big bowie made from a Rasp.

September 18, 2010, 01:47 AM
The dull ones I am thinking of are the ones my grandfather used, but I don't really want to go practicing on those... Maybe I'll check a few of the local Pawns for some old and big rasps, if I can get them cheap, then they'll make good learning-stock.

I just remembered something... In all my dorkiness, and at about 12 years old, I used several paint stirrers and wire nails to make a complete folder. :) I recall the blade being about 4" and I even had a mock edge on it... NO telling where that ever went...

Black Toe Knives
September 18, 2010, 07:40 AM
There you go thinking too much into it. Flea markets are great sources for files.

September 18, 2010, 08:06 AM
Heck, Jim, if ya'll "collaborate" mark it with both your names.

Learn him to make knives and we'll have more for everybody.

Black Toe Knives
September 18, 2010, 08:18 AM
HSO, We can never have too many knives or knifemakers.

September 18, 2010, 09:26 AM
Don't tell some of the ABS guys that. Once it becomes your only business that supports your family it can become more about business than about artisanship for many, but then I'm sure you've had that discussion at hammerins and ABS gatherings.

September 18, 2010, 12:33 PM
If Nicholson or Simmons (spelling ?) is stamped on the file it is excellent steel. I haven't made a knife from a Craftsman file yet because I haven't managed to wear one out. They seem to be as high quality as the Nicholsons and Simmonds.

I have never made a kit knife but I have dealt with Jantz Supply for a few years. They are a first class operation. They ship quickly too.

September 21, 2010, 10:16 AM
I was at our Body Shop this morning looking and saw something that could make good, but very thick, knife steel... Fan Clutch Wrenches... they are about 16" long and the handles are flat bar "high Carbon" steel, about 1/4"-5/16" by 1.5" wide...

And I cut this out of my machete blade... I'm gonna have to research more about how much to heat it.

Jim, I definitely want to get to your shop and see how it is really supposed to be done, I am just a dreadfully impatient person and couldn't wait to get this started... :)

September 21, 2010, 11:04 AM
45 minute later update... after some grinding, sanding, grinding, shaping, sanding, lighter sanding, more sanding.... This is what I am holding right now... the blade is so short that instead of the floppy machete, it is really really stiff... I am wondering if heating, quenching and tempering are really necessary? But it is now magnetic and holding all its shavings. I read that a good blade is not magnetic, so I guess I will do all the heating to get rid of that at least...

still working on getting a better edge...

Black Toe Knives
September 21, 2010, 02:24 PM
Don't tell some of the ABS guys that. Once it becomes your only business that supports your family it can become more about business than about artisanship for many, but then I'm sure you've had that discussion at hammerins and ABS gatherings.
I haven't join either the ABS or Guild. To be honest bladesmithing just doesn't excite me at all.
So the ABS is out. The Guild I am thinking about. But to be honest I know a lot of the guys. They really don't need me. They have it all under control.

September 22, 2010, 10:56 AM
Update on the skinner... I finished this one last night... Well, as much as it will be finished for now. Last things to do are make a better jig for my grinder, so I can get a deeper grind, and decide how to finish the scales. They arent actually glued, just pinned... My brother has some Candy Red mix (he's a painter) and we talked about rubbing that into the wood and then using flat clear to seal it... still undecided...

Black Toe Knives
September 22, 2010, 04:53 PM
There you go, looks good. That is what it is about. BTW all knife steel is magnetic.
You should be proud of what you have done.

September 22, 2010, 05:23 PM
I am VERY proud... Actually, I can't quit talking about it, thinking about it, planning the next one... :)

I am pricing materials to make a sheath for this one, and leather AIN'T cheap... :( Do we (as THR) know anyone that owns a tack shop? haha...

September 24, 2010, 02:09 PM
Here is what I am working on now... I decided against making it double edged, and will flatten the back. The scales will actually roll forward a bit to make a better front guard.

Also, I just got back from Tandy Leather and got a piece of heavy leather, needles, artif sinew, and a groover... :D

September 24, 2010, 05:17 PM
Lookin' good! You're starting how I did - no kits just jump in and make a knife or three. :)

September 25, 2010, 08:20 AM
Thanks valk... I will post up a picture of the finished knife soon, and the sheath that I am making right now too....

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