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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 01-28-2014, 03:01 PM
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Naboyle Naboyle is offline
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Cool Would this be considered a "funk"?

So as I was in my shop last night I noticed something. I haven't "finished" a knife in a while. As I looked around I realized how many projects I have started but none are complete. I have blades forged out, ground out, some heat treated, some not, some are 1075 and some are 1080. Some have handles cut and ready, some have pins in them. There's pipe and fittings for another forge. Wool in garbage bags and grinding belts laying everywhere. There's damascus billets half complete, some pieces ready for welding. I have hammer heads I want to cut and re shape. And other that just need handles. I love this hobby. I love reading about every aspect of it. I love doing the work. But for some reason once I begin something I either get bored/tired of it and start another. Has this happened to any of you guys before? Am I in a funk? I don't really feel like I'm funked! Any opinions? Should I throw away all my "projects" and start a fresh blade, and don't stop till it's finished? Helpppp!
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:12 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Maybe not so much a funk as a lack of focus. For me, it didn't take long to discover that if I started several different (or even identical) knives at the same time it quickly felt like work when trying to finish them. Worse yet, it takes three times as long to finish two knives at the same time than it would take to finish them one after the other (for me, anyway). Imagine how much worse that becomes with as many projects as you described. Bottom line for your method could easily be that you rarely ever actually produce a knife.

Pick a project (a knife or a billet but not both), scrape everything else off your work table, and finish it. Repeat as needed ....


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Old 01-28-2014, 03:31 PM
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Well Annoyed. I think Ray has the likely solution to OUR problem. Lol. For me I think it has a lot to do with just having so many different knives that I want to make so I end up not finishing any. I did finish a bunch for a gun show this past Sunday. I have one more I have to finish then I will "regroup". My garage is a disaster because I recently moved so I should definitely start there and then move on to the next thing.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:50 PM
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Naboyle Naboyle is offline
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I think you're on to something Ray. I do rarely get a knife done. I have the ambition. And I enjoy doing it. For some reason I always think I need another new "tool" to help me. Had a forge but wanted a bigger one. So I built a big one. Then wanted something that was small to heat treat in. So I made another. Then I bought a KMG and now I'm thinking I need a variable speed disk sander. I began a stub tang and began looking at buying a Bridgeport to cut slots in guards!! Maybe I shoulda named this thread "I need a buying tools intervention" lol
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:30 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Nick, that's a completely different problem but just as common. Among guitar players that problem is known as GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome). I guess we could call it Found Another Tool To Acquire Stupidity Syndrome (FATTASS). Anyway, in our crowd it's a very commonly affliction. You're not alone brother, we (and our wallets) all feel your pain.

BTW, if guards are all you plan to mill a much smaller and cheaper mill than a Bridgeport would probably be a better choice ....


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Old 01-28-2014, 05:58 PM
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MVPeterson MVPeterson is offline
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had the GAS problem myself for awhile Ray, had 5 guitars at one time. As far as unfinished knives I do batches of 3 to 5 now from start to finish, then clean the shop good before I start the next batch.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:05 PM
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Only 5? I've got 10 at the moment, used to have more. Some guys have dozens. But 3 to 5 knives at time isn't bad as long as you have the discipline to handle it. For many makers like myself doing even 3 knives at a time makes it seem too much like work and takes all the fun out of it. If you can still enjoy it that way then consider yourself lucky and more power to ya ......


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Old 01-28-2014, 06:31 PM
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I generally build one knife at a time from start to finish. It helps me learn and incorporate "lessons learned" on my next project. Although I did start my second folder while I was building a fixed blade. I am just about done with the fixed blade now so I can dedicate all of my time to the folder.


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Old 01-28-2014, 07:02 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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I had GAS bad, but now I'm all better thanks to Ray!! He has it now.

With knives I found that if i did one at a time i.e. profile,ht, temp,grinds then handles and sand it was a while after finishing that i started another or id just make lots of blanks and not finish any of them. So now what i do is cut out 4-5 various profiles then normalize and ht all of them then work on one at a time till they are all done then start another batch. That way when Im done with one all I need to do is the grinds and handles on the next.. I find that its faster for me. Maybe last year I got 7-8 knives finished...now since I switched gears in the past 2 months Ive got 10 done and under my belt.

I have lots of projects I want to get done but I'll be ####ed if I end up like one of those old guys with 100 projects out in the yard who wont part with any of them cause he swears he will finish them all before he dies yet they just sit and rust away all the while......you know the type..

Nick, I guess just take it one project at a time and push yourself to finish it completely then move on....before you know it they will all be done!

Good to see ya back Bud!
~Nate
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:29 PM
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Well then I have FATTASS!!! I've always been amazed at machinery. And now I'm always "needing" something new. And yea Ray I could buy a smaller mill....but it'd be more awesome saying "I have a Bridgeport!" Guess that's the FATTASS in me

Nate I'm gonna be the guy who dies and his family hates him cause of all the junk and unfinished projects laying around! How's that forge build coming???
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:10 PM
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Fulmaduro Fulmaduro is offline
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Naboyle, your description of your affliction described me to a T! You are not alone brother!

What nobody mentioned is the root cause of this affliction! But in all actuality it is really good, something that you do not need a 12 step program to help you right your ship! It is called creativity. Obviously many knifemakers are essentially creative artists, working with steel and fire and leather instead of canvas and paint. Which is a good thing!

Tackling a bunch of "projects" all at one time can be overwhelming, but just figure out your way to complete a knife or a small batch or large batch, whatever works. And just hope that one day you don't lose that creativity and ambition. Then it wouldn't be any fun! Or you would only make one kind of knife, one size, one style. Boring. I've got to figure out my process too! And get a mill.

Good luck,
Tony Z
Kansas City


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Old 01-28-2014, 08:11 PM
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Hello, my name is Wes, and I'm a FATASS. Lol. Although new to this particular affliction. Yet to build a forge, wanting to build a NWG, have only two knives I'm working on with my 4x36, which works but not that well. And I want to make more knives. Plus no heat in garage other than a small buddy heater. Oh. Forgot, I have six other knives rough cut out. Two in need of some welding. And there is some jigs I would like to build and my shop is a mess. I walk in there and my head starts swimming. I'm glad I read this now. I definitely need to step back, regroup, and get done what I need to finish a knife, and go.from there. I guess at least I'm not in denial of being a FATASS, Lol.I do the same with my wood and leather work too though.

Last edited by Blue EagleBum; 01-28-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:17 AM
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Kitchabelliachin!
It's all part of the game. Just think how many people out there are "having" to do something they don't want to do just to survive.
If it's a hobby...enjoy it when you feel like it. Don't let the car drive you.
If it's a "paying" hobby...same thing.
If it's a business....get off your butt and go to work. You could be sloppin hawgs or working in the back of a school cafeteria. Be glad you got a job you can enjoy most of the time.

If none of that works for you, go fishing! (and think about that next knife or turtles)


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Old 01-30-2014, 11:34 AM
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Naboyle Naboyle is offline
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I think I'm just gonna hit the shops and do a good cleaning. Then just pick one that I like and finish it! Jeremy, I've honestly just lucked out and have a very good paying day job. So to drop a couple bucks on a KMG or hand tools or whatever doesn't take food off the table or a roof from over our heads. If I don't sell a knife or don't want to I don't "have to" to keep making more knives. My shops aren't anything extravagant or high class. Just my basement for the grinding and finishing and my garage for the forge and saws. Planning on a brand new garage this summer. Half for both cars and the other half for my shop. Wait a minute......am I starting another project?!?!
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:19 PM
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ericbrinkerhoff ericbrinkerhoff is offline
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Farting Around Trying Another Stupid Scenario
Finding Another Thing And Sidestepping Success
Foolishly Agonizing Thinking About Silly Speculations
Finally Acquired The Absolute Self Satisfaction
Fully Accomplished Tinkerer And Steel Smasher
Forced Achievement Takes Away Simple Serenity.
Sometimes it can be anticlimactic to finish something so near and dear ,so I've taken to carrying my pieces around with me for a while when they're in a state of construction so I can fondle them and become more intimate with them .This helps me decide witch direction they are heading in .
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art, billet, blades, common, damascus, forge, forged, grinding, guards, gun, hammer, heat, heat treat, hobby, knife, knives, leather, made, make, pins, problem, tang, throw, tools, welding


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