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My New Knife Project

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Tophernj, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    So, I built a kit knife which was a lot of fun. A little folder from Texas Knife Supply. While I was on there for the second go-'round, I decided to get some steel and take a shot at doing my own fixed blade. So an order went in for 01 steel.

    I like beefy knives so the steel is fairly thick. Close to a quarter inch if I am remembering correctly. I have a really cool little knife that I got in New Mexico on vacation a couple of years ago at a "Mountain Man" festival in Santa Fe. Something so very cool about meeting with and shaking the hand of the guy that makes what one buys. Plus the story about the handle material was cool as well. So, I am using that knife as a loose pattern.

    As for tools, I have a nice Hitachi grinder, a Grizzly bench mounted belt sander that is proving to be hopelessly underpowered, and a bunch of files and sandpaper. I will be sending the blade out to be heat treated off site as I don't have the time nor inclination to attempt that myself.

    So far it looks ok. I am NOT a pro by any stretch, but I feel that this knife will be pretty special.

    Oh, I also took a bunch of old jeans and made my own handle material.

    Christopher



    PS A quick pic of the inspiration, the pattern, the steel, the blank I ground, and the denim micarta.
     

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  2. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    That's great! You'll have fun and hopefully make a user that you'll be proud of.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Thank you! I'm looking forward to th journey and arrival on this one.

    C
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Wow! Sounds like a cool foray into the hobby! Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    I like the lines on that blade!!!
     
  6. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Thank you Sam's!

    C
     
  7. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Member

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    Do you have experience working with metal? I have a feeling my first go would look nothing like that :)
     
  8. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Not in the knife making sense however I have built a motorcycle in the past. I suck at that. But, it gave me the some of the tools that I am currently drawing on for this.

    Essentially I traced the pattern onto the steel with a sharpie and went at it with a grinder with a cutting disc on it. I got the shape VERY rough and spent the next several hours refining the shape starting with the grinder with a grinding wheel then a sanding wheel. I moved to the belt sander and then to files. There was a bit of back and forth on it as well. As she sits right now, I'm happy with the overall but want to tweak it just a bit more. Gotta wait a bit as I am going out on the town with the wife in a few.

    That's about as much metal working as I've done. I'm a hairdresser during most days so this is just a very fun hobby and diversion.

    C
     
  9. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Member

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    Your lines look great. The only thing that jumps out to me is that the handle could maybe use a little more concavity on the finger side. Grips are obviously strongly personal preference though. I'm hoping to try my hand at a knife in a week or two, but I'll be working with only a file, so I have a feeling I may give it up after the first 3 hours of zero progress :D
     
  10. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    I agree with the shaping on the finger side.

    IF all you have is a file, go for it for as long as you can take then rest. Pick it up again in a few days. Go for it again. Repeat until the shape is right. Good luck.

    C
     
  11. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Yea, making a knife with only files and sandpaper is very tough. I made my first one that way and swore I'd never do it again! I then bought a Grizzly knife grinder. :)
     
  12. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    I got a little more done this evening but it's nothing all that exciting. Mostly just smoothing spots that need smoothing and refining the shape where it needs refinement. Hopefully this week I will start grinding the blade. Gonna watch some more tutorials and then give'er a go. I'll post pics when I get to where I want to be.


    C
     
  13. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    It is looking good.
     
  14. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    So, the current project MIGHT be on hold for a moment...

    I have been emailing a knife maker that is somewhat close to home. He has graciously offered to help/teach me to grind my blade correctly. If it comes to pass, cool. If not, cool. I'll just move forward. We'll see where it goes. I will keep y'all updated.

    C
     
  15. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    So, it's official...



    I am going to go to a semi-local custom knife maker to learn how to grind an edge on this knife. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to get the opportunity to do this. I will share the pics when I get back. I am heading over there on Sunday 8/4 to spend the day in his shop so look to this thread for updates.



    C
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Bring a fist full of wooden paint stirrers or very flat sections of wooden slat so you can burn up something cheap learning to grind.

    Also, bring your own safety glasses and a dust mask so you don't have to borrow his.
     
  17. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Already in the box that is going with me.

    C
     
  18. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    I just got back from the knife maker's place. If it wasn't for him, it would NOT look as good as it does. He is an incredibly patient person with a knack for teaching. 8 hours later and this is where I am at. Has been heat treated. Needs to be tempered and then finished. Scales and such will be amongst the last things to happen. I'm pretty psyched with how it turned out.

    What do y'all think?

    C
     

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  19. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I think it's looking very good so far!

    Part of any new project/hobby that I find interesting is learning how to apply the knowledge and skills one has to turn one's vision into reality. It's amazing what one can do when they put their mind to it. Researching and developing additional skills needed is a fascinating part of the project, as well.

    I made a 2/3 scale replica of a 24-pounder off the USS Constitution as a carbide cannon for my kids last year in time for July 4th. It took some imagination to figure out how to make it look so real, but was well worth the effort. (There's a link in my signature below which shows a video of the test firing of the finished product.) My next project along those lines will be a pair of Civil War era mortars for next year.

    But you've put a bug in my ear that makes me want to try my hand at making a knife of my own, now. If this puts a kink in my plans for the mortars, I'm blaming you!

    :neener:


    Seriously, though...this knife project looks to be a sweet first attempt that is going to turn out to be a real beauty! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
  20. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Thank you for the kind words. If I'm to blame for you delaying the mortar project, so be it. That's the kind of blame I can live with!! :neener:

    I can't wait to finish it. It's so close but this evening the Harley needed my attention. Just got done fussing with it and only one broken part which isn't too bad for me. I will spend a little more time the knife tomorrow evening.

    C
     
  21. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    That looks great! Temper it and get some handles on it!
     
  22. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Made some progress this evening.

    I got home from work early due to a cancelling client. Always a double edged sword as it gets me home early, but with less money in my pocket. Eh, I'll take it.

    Anyway, got the scales 80% done. Got the blade prepped as I'm going to blue it. Nothing too crazy as there are some imperfections in the steel that I really don't mind. Anyway, we're getting there. Lots of dust, some minor sparkage, and a healthy dose of "???" means I'm on my way. Too tired to take any pics. Thanks for following along.

    C
     
  23. Sox

    Sox Member

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    This is great post. Keep it up, can't wait to see it.
     
  24. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    Done

    Basically, she's a done. The "knife" is there. Needs to be sharpened and a sheath made, but I'm callin' it.

    Brownells bluing cream was applied to get the finish. Pins are stainless. Handles are homemade "Deni-Micarta" Steel is 0-1.

    All in all this was a very fun project and an amazing learning experience. Thanks to all for following along.

    C
     

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  25. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Very nice.

    I got to get back to the bench.
     
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