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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 01-13-2019, 01:16 AM
Rasmus Kristens Rasmus Kristens is offline
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Advice on design requests from customers

Hi all.
Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New years Eve.

So a girl i know wants me to make a hunting knife for her husband. No problem i say lets talk design. I have a few of My designs i send her so she can help with materiale selection.

Yesterday she returns with 6 image of knifes that would be her husbands "dream knifes" and asks if i can make one similar to one of those.

They are highly complexe and quite Ugly, by My opinion. I dont want to replicate another persons design, and im not sure how much of the design from the Pictures i should try to incoorporate in My Own designs.

So My question is, do you Guys make knives as the customer describes, or do you have some "standard" design customer can make slight customizations on?

Im running a very low tech operation, and use a lot of time on just one knife Even thought its one of My own known designs.

Hope you can give me some guidance 🙂

Last edited by Rasmus Kristens; 01-13-2019 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:08 AM
WBE WBE is offline
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Never make a design you don't like. You will not be able give your work the attention it should have.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2019, 07:20 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I agree with WBE, if you don't like it don't make it.

One of my rules is never try to do anything you have never done before for the first time on a custom order. So, if these designs have features that are significantly different from anything you have used before or done before then don't make it.

No matter if its just a new material or a different style handle or a strange grind - whatever the new part might be - you will never make it as well the first time as you will after you've made it five or six times. That means you can't do your best work the first time you try something new. Therefore, trying something new on a customer's order is a bad idea ...


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Old 01-13-2019, 02:56 PM
Rasmus Kristens Rasmus Kristens is offline
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Thanks both of you.

I have made som changes from the pictures she send and made my own design. It's definitely seen before, but i feel its more my design now.



SO let me get it straight Ray. You don't do custom designs for customers? You present them with design you have made before and feel comfortable making? Or do you have enough experiance to "just" do what ever they want? :-)
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:52 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
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Echo as mentioned by WBE and Ray. Depends on the complexity so this may be "challenging" to undertake if willing. Make what you are confident in building up generally. Folders change when scaling up-down and those can be PITA's to re-design if significantly different from your usual spec. That said some of those challenges are good for improving one's skill set.


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Old 01-13-2019, 06:50 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'll do custom designs as long as I think the design is reasonable AND there are no elements in the design that I have never used before. For instance, if I normally made the knife in your picture except that I usually did it as a regular hollow grind then I would not accept the order if it included that tanto style grind which I had never done before.

In fact, I have done those grinds and find them tricky to do, especially if you try to match both sides of the blade. Chances are, if you have never done it you won't get it right the first time you try.

Another example: same knife and you always make it as a full tang but the customer wants a single pin stub tang which you have never practiced. You'd probably want to pass on that until you had time to make a few test knives with that type of handle.

You could accept an order to make that same knife - or a roughly similar one - with the blade an inch longer and without the finger loop. That kind of order doesn't require you to do anything much different than what you have practiced. But, if they asked for that knife with a 10" blade and you never made one before........


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Old 01-13-2019, 08:30 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I like the second design more than the first but I actually don't like either much. The ring at the ricasso doesn't serve any function. It's too small to get an index finger in at all or at least with the danger of getting stuck. The tanto grind is nice for katanas but pretty useless on hunting knives. That grind is meant for following the arc of a slice and slicing. Unless you want to be accused of making a bad knife, even though you were following the customer's design, I would pass on this one but that's just my opinion.

Doug


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Old 01-14-2019, 09:35 AM
Rasmus Kristens Rasmus Kristens is offline
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Again, thank for all your comments.
Doug, i totally agree with you. I have already made 4 templates in plywood to try to tune the "finger ring" to make a nice fit, but no matter what i do, it just seems off.

I was also split between the choices of making a knife that the customer wants or making a knife that i now would be usefull.
My previous design sugestions wasn't in his taste. I think i will end up skipping this one :-)
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