Kieran Klein knives and shop.


June 17, 2014, 10:58 PM
I have been meaning to put this together for a long time, but just have not had the time until now.

I haven't been knife making too long at a on again off again 7 months or so. Anyway here are some pictures of my knives and then some pictures of my working environment.

If you have any questions or comments let them fly!


First the fun stuff. Finished knives first.
For blade material I have been using mostly 1075 and 1084
Handle material so far is exclusively micarta
Corby bolts are the handle hardware ( ( ( ( (

Work in progress. ( (

Now on to the tools!

Coal Forge (

Metal bandsaw (

Wood bandsaw (

Drill press (

KMG belt grinder (

Buffer (

Heat Treat oven that I made that is 95% finished (

Miscellaneous benches and organizers (

phew! ok I think that is all for now.

If you enjoyed reading about "Kieran Klein knives and shop." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 17, 2014, 11:01 PM
Nice work. Are those differential heat treat lines I see on the finished knives? Are you doing the heat treat in another oven until the one pictured is finished, or are you having it jobbed out until the oven is finished?

June 17, 2014, 11:10 PM
Thanks! Yes they are differentially clay heat treated. I use the coal forge for heat treating until the electric oven is completed. Since they are simple 10xx series steel it is very easy to heat treat this way with great results.

June 17, 2014, 11:27 PM
I very much like the look of those blades! Thanks for sharing.

Sam Cade
June 17, 2014, 11:43 PM
What are you claying your blades with?

I've had good results with refractory cement.

June 17, 2014, 11:48 PM
I use Rutlands refractory cement. So not clay technically I guess I say that out of habit haha.

June 17, 2014, 11:58 PM
Really like the hamon….would love to own one of your knives.

June 18, 2014, 09:16 AM
I really like the blade shapes you show, except for the recurve. The rest I find absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for showing your work.

June 18, 2014, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the compliment. I was messing around with the recurve on a whim. I will most likely change it to make it less severe.

Sam Cade
June 18, 2014, 09:31 AM
Don't listen to JShirley. The recurve is great and I love it!

June 18, 2014, 09:41 AM
Hey, I'm not a fan of most recurves, so don't sweat it.

(Edit) Okay, I take it back. The recurve is off. Eh...this is a learning process.

Handles...well, sometimes you have to feel a knife to see if the handle's right. OTOH, it's frequently obvious when a handle's wrong. Yours aren't obviously wrong.

June 18, 2014, 09:43 AM
Ok then it shall be finished as is. This is only my second recurve so still trying to find the right ratios.

June 18, 2014, 09:57 AM
on again off again 7 months or so

That's very impressive for someone who's just been on/off at it for half a year!

Did you have prior experience working a coal forge for blacksmithing or ornimental ironwork?

How'd you learn the techniques you're using?

Any plans to attend an ABS Hammer-In or one of the ABS schools and expand to bladesmithing?

Is your coal forge naturally asperated or are you running a blower? Where are you getting coal these days? Are you coking?

Why coal and not gas?

What sort of controller are you running on your heat treat oven?

Did I mention that it is remarkable the work you're doing after half a year?!

June 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
Uh I had a little previous experience. I started blacksmithing coat hooks and railroad spike knives last March. Then I wanted to make better knives so I just slowing evolved into that.

I am solely self taught though I will give credit to the books I have bought and Bladeforums. That place has priceless information.

I do plan on going to some hammer ins. I just have to see what is around in Virginia or North Carolina. I wish I was able to to go Blade Show this year but just couldnt swing it. I will be going next year.

I am using a blower for the coal. I get my coal in town from the local heating company. I do coke it up so it is as clean as possible.

I use coal due to being very cheap. I had the forge pot anyway and the table. So it was $150.00 in coal to run a calendar year.

I am running a PID controller with ramp/soak features.

Thanks again!

Sam Cade
June 18, 2014, 12:38 PM
Could we get a shot of one of your knives next to a ruler or dollar bill to get a sense of scale?

June 18, 2014, 12:46 PM
That is quality work, and downright amazing for someone who's not even been doing it a year!

June 18, 2014, 01:06 PM
Thanks Madcap.

I hope this clears things up. I can't show them all as some were sold. Also shows knives in different stages of development that I didn't notice until now. (

June 19, 2014, 12:22 AM
Very nice work, especially at a year of doing it. Keep it up!

June 19, 2014, 01:47 AM
The $64.00 question.

Why would someone buy your knives?

June 19, 2014, 09:09 AM
Thank you Valkman

I sent you a pm Water-Man

June 19, 2014, 09:12 AM
Wow, what an offensive way to ask a reasonable question, Water-Man.

June 19, 2014, 10:56 AM
Nice work; especially like the way form follows function with your knives.

June 19, 2014, 12:23 PM
Why would someone buy your knives?

Very simple:

You either like/dislike the maker

You either like/dislike his knives

You either like/dislike his prices

All three are a go as far as I can see.

June 19, 2014, 12:25 PM
Oh yea, what is that old lever gun in the one pic? :)

June 19, 2014, 12:29 PM
Yep. It's a marlin 1893 made in 1896 in 38-55 caliber.

June 19, 2014, 12:32 PM

June 19, 2014, 11:15 PM
New knife finished tonight ( ( (

June 19, 2014, 11:22 PM
How long are the handles on your knives? I like a full 5" handle.

Oh, and I like that very much!

June 19, 2014, 11:31 PM
Thanks Valkman I like how this one came out. Especially because it is my first leather sheath. I think it came pretty good for a first one.

I make handle lengths on different sizes. Typically they are 4.5" like this one. Though its easy enough to make handles bigger.

June 19, 2014, 11:32 PM
That's your first sheath? VERY well done.

June 19, 2014, 11:38 PM
Yep first one ever. The leather finally came in the mail today. Thanks again for the compliment. I am pretty hard on myself so its good to know that I am on the right track.

stan rose
June 20, 2014, 07:52 PM
I would be very interested in buying one, or probably two of your knives. Very nice work.

June 20, 2014, 08:55 PM
Thank you very much. Pm sent

June 21, 2014, 11:42 PM
Same profile as the last one but with more character. (

Sam Cade
June 21, 2014, 11:49 PM
Looking good.

I like that the edges of the scales are softened.

June 21, 2014, 11:50 PM
I rounded the edges way more than usual for a more comfortable feel. I used redwood burl and black paper micarta.

June 22, 2014, 01:11 AM
Fantastic work!

June 22, 2014, 09:13 AM
Thank you. I am proud of this one.

June 22, 2014, 09:58 AM
That is stunning.

June 23, 2014, 03:58 PM
New profile I am trying out. Inspiration comes from different knives I have seen floating aroud the web. (

June 23, 2014, 06:47 PM
Looks very nice!

June 23, 2014, 08:42 PM
All ground out and ready for clay for tomorrows heat treat. (

Sam Cade
June 23, 2014, 08:51 PM
What grit do you take it down to before HT?

June 23, 2014, 09:11 PM
I take it to 80 usually. Most people take it to a higher grit but since I will need to thin it up alot post heat treat it would take forever to do at say 320-400.

So to take the edge down faster I just take it from 80 on up to 220 once the edge is at the thickness I want. Then hand sand.

June 23, 2014, 09:14 PM
I'd guess thats somewhere around 80 grit +20.

June 23, 2014, 09:16 PM
You are correct!

Sam Cade
June 23, 2014, 09:42 PM
I take it to 80 usually. Most people take it to a higher grit but since I will need to thin it up alot post heat treat it would take forever to do at say 320-400.

I go to 600 usually now. My high thin asymetric grinds in particular don't respond well to stress risers from coarse finishes.

I go:
36 to 80 on the grinder.

80 grit on a vised palm sander to set Pre-HT edge thickness and get out scratches.
Then 80-120-320-600 on the palm sander.

Then hand sand.

I haven't hand sanded a blade since June 6. It is marvelous. :cool:

June 23, 2014, 09:44 PM
Since I have a hamon on most every blade hand sanding is mandatory.

June 23, 2014, 10:36 PM
You are correct!


Don't be too impressed. I just spent 3 days with 18 kids, 14 bladesmiths and their forges, anvils, and various hammers, tongs and files, and a KMG and TW 90 grinder looking at a lot of forged, ground to HT, ground to finish knives (~3x18~75 knives) that I deburred and final sharpened by hand.

June 23, 2014, 10:44 PM
I love my kmg, but would like to see a tw 90. They look nice

June 24, 2014, 11:22 AM
There are some great features and tools with them that make me think it might be a bit better than a KMG, but just a bit.

June 24, 2014, 01:14 PM
And over twice the cost. Though their surface grinder attachementioned looks spiffy.

Sam Cade
June 24, 2014, 01:17 PM
What do y'all think about the Suremak?

June 24, 2014, 02:22 PM
I remember finding that when I was first starting out. Looks like a over built Coote grinder. Only thing bad I heard of that style is too much vibration. I would get a kmg or clone if possible.

June 24, 2014, 02:54 PM
The specs and design look out dated by today's knife grinders. The motor needs to be bigger (~2hp total), speed should be variable, the max rpms need to be higher. Belt changes are much faster on more up to date grinders and that gets to be very important as you step up in grit.

It looks like it would cost $1250 to get it up to "speed" and still fall short of a Burr King or KMG or, swoon, TW 90.

You could go the other direction and mod out a Craftsman

June 24, 2014, 06:25 PM
Two knives in progress. Only difference on the big one is I decided to put a swedge on it though it's not a great angle here to see it. (

June 24, 2014, 10:22 PM
I'm not sure I'd call that a swedge.:scrutiny:

June 24, 2014, 10:49 PM
Shh it's a baby one.

Sam Cade
June 24, 2014, 10:52 PM
Tis a swedgette.

June 24, 2014, 10:57 PM
Exactly! Honestly I didn't want to go over board. I wanted a sleek feel on there. If it needs to be bigger later I can change it.

Charles S
June 24, 2014, 11:12 PM
I want one. PM sent.

June 25, 2014, 07:20 AM
Shh it's a baby one.

And sooo cute! :D

I like the spine to be rounded or even peaked like that for specific looks and applications. Swedgettes throw good sparks.

June 25, 2014, 08:56 AM
I always get paranoid trying make them perfectly the same on both sides.

June 25, 2014, 10:05 AM
Yep, symetry is essential in making knives (yes, I know the chisel grind isn't symetric).

June 25, 2014, 11:27 AM
Personally I am not a chisel grind fan.

June 25, 2014, 11:55 AM
Me neither, but there are applications (sushi) where they are useful.

Sam Cade
June 25, 2014, 06:49 PM
Getting an asymetrical grinds to work correctly is all about matching grind height to stock thickness and task. Something that is almost never done correctly in production knives intended for the american market, which, sadly, often exhibit edge geometry that would be more suitable for a lawnmower blade than a knife.


June 25, 2014, 10:54 PM
Cool shop equipment and fine looking blades.

June 25, 2014, 11:27 PM
Thank you very much.

Charles S
June 25, 2014, 11:31 PM
PM sent

June 26, 2014, 09:27 PM
Finally got this thing heat treated. The Hamon came out nice. ( (

June 29, 2014, 01:27 AM
Newest knife finished. (

June 29, 2014, 11:02 AM
Another good looking piece.

What are you using for adhesive?

June 29, 2014, 11:35 AM
Thank you

West systems epoxy

June 29, 2014, 12:27 PM
What are the handles and bolsters made of?

June 29, 2014, 12:29 PM
Black paper micarta and redwood burl.

June 29, 2014, 01:45 PM
Great combination.

June 29, 2014, 02:44 PM
Thank you. I am anxious to try more.

Charles S
June 29, 2014, 05:49 PM
Wow! that is gorgeous! I cannot wait to get mine. I will post pics when I get it!.

June 29, 2014, 09:58 PM
Big boy knife in the works. ( (

June 29, 2014, 10:02 PM
Now that's a knife.

June 29, 2014, 10:12 PM
1/4" thick too. This guy wanted a beast.

June 29, 2014, 11:11 PM
Should be interesting. What's the intended purpose?

June 29, 2014, 11:18 PM
I should have asked him but I didnt. I assume camping and chopping chores. He gave me specs and I said sure!

July 3, 2014, 11:01 PM
Good work .

July 22, 2014, 12:10 PM
It has been awhile since I posted any pics. Been very busy catching up on back orders! ( ( ( (

Sam Cade
July 22, 2014, 12:29 PM
Are these all stock removal?

July 22, 2014, 12:32 PM
Yes. Hoping to try and make some san mai blades before the summer is out.

July 22, 2014, 01:47 PM
Do you have any finished pics of that giant knife from post #80?

July 22, 2014, 02:10 PM
I don't have a finished picture of it yet cause well I haven't finished lol. But here is a pic of it rough ground. It's the newest I have of it. (

July 30, 2014, 02:47 PM
Knives in progress! (

July 30, 2014, 08:28 PM
Nice work. Wow, Almost hard to believe you've only been at it such a short time... sometimes natural talent just takes over.

The white liners are a nice touch with the black micarta.

July 30, 2014, 10:39 PM
Yeah! Looking forward to seeing the progression (and of course the final results)!

July 30, 2014, 11:44 PM
Thanks Will doing to best I can!

Derek yours is in there... I forget which one though sorry!

July 31, 2014, 02:29 PM
It's the one that will have the prettiest hamon :)

July 31, 2014, 11:06 PM

I spy 1075, is that mine?

July 31, 2014, 11:25 PM
I am watching this thread with great interest, it's amazing how well you're doing for how little time you've been doing it.

Have you considered contouring your handle scales more? What are you using for pins? One of the ones you posted looked like you were using micarta rods.

July 31, 2014, 11:42 PM
I think so? Haha I have like 13 roughed like this and forgot to put some in the picture.

Thanks I appreciate your compliments.

I am moving to contour more as I get better. I just didn't want to bite off too much too fast. But your right though and I am moving on working on it more with each knife.

For pin stock I use micarta rod, stainless and copper corby bolts


August 1, 2014, 12:06 AM
I think so?


August 1, 2014, 10:02 AM
I really like your grip shapes. I think with a slight traditional contouring with a palm swell and a slight hourglass narrowing before the guard and just before the pommel would look great with that grip shape.

August 1, 2014, 10:55 AM
That is exactly what I plan on doing with this batch here. Going to get a profile gauge to help keep everything all symmetrical.

August 12, 2014, 06:17 PM
Yesterday and today's grinding. (

stan rose
August 15, 2014, 07:04 PM
Those are looking really good. You're a busy man.

August 16, 2014, 02:08 PM
Thank you. I am trying to get out all my open orders I am a bit behind on so I can start new projects.

August 17, 2014, 03:54 PM
Kieranklein, nice collection of blades you have there. I find it easier for me to do 6 blades at a time when I am forging or heat treating. It would be very helpful to see how you are applying clay on your blades for heat treating and to see how the Hamon turned out on those blades. Thanks.

August 17, 2014, 08:10 PM
Hi Brin

I coat the blades in Rutlands (

I then coat it on the blade. I just smear it on with my finger about 1/16th thick...ish (

This is how it came out today. Still needs more sanding but you get a good idea. ( (

September 3, 2014, 02:49 PM
One of four big knives I am making. Finally finished ( ( (

Bigger chopper final sanding ( (

September 16, 2014, 09:50 PM
New knife finished. 1075 steel 3/16 thick 5.5" blade (

September 22, 2014, 06:30 PM
Finally finished. 1075 steel 9.5" blade with spalted maple handle. ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (

September 25, 2014, 02:12 PM
Newish one I'm working on with 1084 with 7.75" blade (

September 25, 2014, 02:53 PM
Man that one with the maple handle is nice. Good work!

September 25, 2014, 06:16 PM
Thank you I like how it came out as well!

Newest knife finished! 1075 steel with hamon and green micarta handles and 5.25" blade ( (

September 28, 2014, 07:13 PM
Sorry for the bad pictures its getting to be that time again where its getting dark waaaaay to early! I will post better ones in the morning! Anyway...

New knife with new profile AND a new finish.

Its a gun blue and bleach finish. Basically gives it a antiqued look while being scratch resistant. I have noticed that it also doesn't rust as easily. I have left other blades in the shop and they get rust over night. This knife has been in the shop 2 weeks and zero rust.

1084 Steel
Black micarta with green g10 liners
Stainless steel corby bolt fasteners
7 3/4" blade ( ( (

October 1, 2014, 03:57 PM
Another knife finished! 1084 steel with bleach/blue finish. I believe its a 3.5" blade ( ( ( (

October 1, 2014, 05:46 PM
I like that one the best so far.

October 1, 2014, 08:32 PM
I like how your knives are the polar opposite of liontribes. Makes me wonder what would happen if you two worked together.

October 2, 2014, 04:28 PM
Taking a look at liontribes work I completely agree we are very different. And a combined knife would interesting haha

October 4, 2014, 10:07 AM
Just about ready for handles now (

October 4, 2014, 12:18 PM

October 4, 2014, 11:26 PM
Leather shipment coming soon!

October 5, 2014, 07:00 PM
Some new knives!
Knife with hamon is 1075 steel
smaller knife has antique finish with wenge wood and 1084 steel ( ( ( (

October 5, 2014, 08:13 PM
That wenge wood is slick. How do you age the blade like that?

October 5, 2014, 08:31 PM
There are a few ways to do it but the way I do it is I apply Birchwood Casey gun blue paste on the blade. I dab it with a wool dauber and let dry for a minute or so. Then I dunk it in bleach for about 1-2 min. Scrub with 0000 steel wool really well. Then I put it in pcb etchant for another minute or so. Longer you leave it in the darker. Also the longer you leave in the bleach the more it will pit.

October 5, 2014, 10:55 PM

October 8, 2014, 07:01 PM
New knife in 1084 with hamon and curly walnut. Along with a few recent finished ones with final finish. ( ( ( (

stan rose
October 25, 2014, 12:17 AM
My knife was waiting for me when I got home from work tonight. All I can say is "wow". Kieran did an excellent job. The pictures, walnut scaled knife in post 125, do not do it justice, and the leather sheath is beautiful. All around great product and service. Thanks.

October 27, 2014, 09:34 PM
kieranklein's knife giveaway to Group Deals (

It will probably get more looks there anyway instead of here in the knife ghetto. :cool:

October 29, 2014, 09:22 AM
So those of us without facebook are out

October 31, 2014, 05:16 PM
New big knife in working on. ( (

November 6, 2014, 04:27 PM
New chopper! ( (

November 14, 2014, 06:49 PM
From big chopper to new mini's! (

November 20, 2014, 11:38 AM
Knife done with a sheath I had made for it. ( ( (

If you enjoyed reading about "Kieran Klein knives and shop." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!