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The Outpost This forum is dedicated to all who share a love for, and a desire to make good knives, and have fun doing it. We represent a diverse group of smiths and knifemakers who bring numerous methods to their craft.

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  #16  
Old 01-30-2002, 06:29 PM
MaxTheKnife
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Hey, I saw where Gene was using Yahoo photo albums to post his ugly knife and I wanted to try it to see if the pic posts. If it does, here's my answer to the camp knife problem with all my favorite characteristics. Notice how the point is lowered from the centerline of the blade and that it's not needle sharp either. Dangit! Yahoo won't let you post pics from their site. Go figure.

photos.yahoo.com/bc/maxth...t&.hires=t
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2002, 10:39 PM
Jeff Sanders
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Anything goes for me in a art Knife, anything you could imagine , I would like to be able to forge it.I'm trying to get it down to simplicity and function for regular blades. Now is my time to try to find out what I like and dislike about the blades I am makeing, Trial and error for me right now.That ones to big, too fat, to thin, to wide that kind of stuff.For me now its edge geometry I'm trying to get a hold of, Finding out what works best for the given task.sliceing, scrapeing , chopping etc.
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2002, 11:59 AM
Lensmannn
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Lately I've been thinking about one aspect of this question: Blade thickness. I was wondering why so many blades I see on the market seem way thicker than they need to be? A recent article in Blade about stainless vs. carbon went in to it a little bit. A letter in the same issue talked about it too. Something I didn't know what that the stainless stock when it first came on the market for the common maker was only available in 1/4" stock. I guess the stock removers used that as a basis for their thickness and it continued on. My first couple blades seemed on the comparatively thin side when I was done with them but I didn't see the need for all that extra weight. Maybe it's because I'm getting in to lightweight backpacking lately, but I can't figure out why some folks like to carry a hatchet in the shape of a knife. How thick do you guys make your blades? Do you think there is an optimum thickness/blade length ratio? If I do my heat treat right, I should be able to have a fairly long blade that is still tough and springy. What do you guys think?

Lensman
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2002, 01:16 PM
MaxTheKnife
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For me Lensmannn, it's about symmetry and balance. If you're working with a long, wide blade then the thickness should match it in order to be well balanced and plenty strong.

Let's take a bowie knife with a 10" blade. At the ricasso, the blade should be no less than 1 1/4" wide. And the spine should be at least 1/4" thick. A knife that size using 1/4" stock and fully forged or ground from the spine to the edge and with a full distal taper should be extremely light in size to weight ratio. I'm talking about a flat grind here, of course. A convex ground blade will be slightly heavier.

If the width, length and thickess aren't matched to the size of the knife, it'll be out of balance and just won't look or work right. That's my take on it anyway. I use alot of 1/4" stock along with some 3/16" too. But mostly 1/4".


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  #20  
Old 01-31-2002, 03:06 PM
Dana Acker
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Along with thickness, goes edge bevel. Hollow grind vs. flat grind vs. convex grind. Some makers stick to only one basic grind for all their work. Some suit the grind to the type of blade they are making. I tend to go more with the latter. Really big blades designed for cutting and chopping, I prefer a convex or a flat grind. Smaller blades I go with a hollow grind. Obviously a hollow grind can get you the thinnest cross section at the edge (ie. straight razors) which makes for good cutting potential. I try to hammer in the bevels I want, so any grinding that has to be done is just for cleanup. Do you have a favorite grind? What grinds to you incorporate into different types of blades?

P.S. Hey Brother Max, good to see the Banana Republic Bad Axxxxxxx knife again. Muy Bueno, Hermano!
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2002, 08:57 PM
larryharley
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designe


i make everything look like a tad pole
and call it persian
harley
www.lonesoempineknives.com
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2020, 05:55 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Worth a revisit....

While perusing some of the old Outpost posts, I stumbled upon this one. There are some sagely opinions contained therein. Most of the contributors were the usual suspects who made the Outpost such a neat place to hang out. The last post was by Larry Harley, and his usual wit and humor shone through.

For new knifemakers who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Larry, he was a superb smith, and a superb person, who was willing to share his knowledge and could make you laugh out loud while so doing. R.I.P. Larry, you are missed.

For old members of the forum, perhaps you could revisit what you wrote, and make amendments reflecting changes to your thoughts over the years.


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  #23  
Old 09-01-2020, 12:26 AM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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1. Does the blade geometry do the function it's intended for? (Stabby versus slashy, for example) I watched a friend make a very nice dagger for a contest. He lost to much lesser blades because most of the tests called for slashing water bottles, sand bags, etc. I tried to field dress a deer once with a really nice new knife. But it turned out to be too long and awkward to get the job done and I had to fall back on an old Buck knife to get the job done.

2. Does the handle fit comfortably in the hand? People have different sized hands. What is super comfortable for me would be too big or too small for someone else. Finger grooves are great, but that locks in the hand size even more than a straight handle. The material can make a difference, too, particularly if it's slippery.

3. How much of a guard does it need to be safe during use? A guy showed me a very nice knife that he had that he was afraid to use because the guard was almost nonexistent. It was too easy for his hand to slip up onto the blade. A dagger needs a pretty broad guard, but you don't want too much on a hunting knife.

4. Good materials are important, but good technique is just as important. If things don't fit tightly, or if they're not solid, then the best materials won't make it work. Good, even adhesive layers, Good shaping and sanding techniques make a knife really stand out.

5. A knife needs a home. Usually that means a quality sheath. A desk display or a presentation box or anything along that line will help. Don't make a great knife and stick it in a piece of leather stapled together.

6. Power tools allow you to screw things up much much faster than you can by hand. There's a remarkable desire among new knifemakers to buy as many toys as they can. It rarely results in them making better knives. Every knifemaker should buy a copy of Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop. Understand what stuff is really needed and what stuff is just nice to have.

7. Treat those who take the time to share knowledge and teach others how to do knife making or other similar skills as if they were made of platinum. You can learn more in an afternoon from someone who really knows the art than you will learn in a lifetime of reading or watching Youtube. Those who teach are blessed. When you teach someone, a part of you goes forward in their work. Not only that, but if they teach that in the future, a part of you continues long after you become worm food.

8. There is science in knifemaking and there is art. Science will let you pick out the materials and make them work correctly. But art is what makes a knife special. You look at someone who is really an artist, like Tai Goo for example, and sometimes their work is just astonishing. How did they see that form in a block of wood and chunk of iron? Sometimes the art can even be a bit mystical. You make a blade and then start going through the handle materials. That particular blade may not match up with any of a hundred different blocks of wood, but then there's that one block that has just the right grain to give the knife it's own soul. I've seen knifemakers fill a room with blades and handle materials and spend hours trying to get things to match up. It's an art.

9. I love metal polish, but there's a time and place for it. When you go to a knife or gun show and see a display where everything is so shiny that it hurts your eyes, just walk away. They're trying to cover up something by distracting you with "shiny".

10. If you're at a show of some kind and selling your knives, you will never be successful spending your time watching videos on your phone. Look at your customers. Talk to them. Act like they are important in your life - because they are. Nobody gives a crap about what the chef thinks about the meal he prepared. It's the customer's opinions that count.


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  #24  
Old 09-01-2020, 09:02 AM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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"Power tools allow you to screw things up much faster than you can by hand."

Good one! All good thoughts Texas Jack.

I found that at knife shows, one can capture more traffic by standing at one's table, and saying hello to people as they pass by. Knife shows have...well...a lot of knives. After walking lots of aisles, one can get almost dazed from knife overload. Speaking to them snaps them out of it and gets their attention. Knife shows can be as hard work-wise as all that went into making all the knives one has to sell. Knife shows are not "Field of Dreams," it's not "if you make it they will come."


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Last edited by Dana Acker; 09-01-2020 at 09:07 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-01-2020, 09:11 AM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Also great point, Texas Jack regarding science and art. The whole teacher-student relationship was excellent. Pay attention to what he said, there's a lot of wisdom in what he writes.


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Last edited by Dana Acker; 09-01-2020 at 09:14 AM.
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  #26  
Old 09-14-2020, 11:28 PM
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prizzim prizzim is offline
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Wow, 18, 19 years ago? I talked about consistency.

I stand by that. Nowadays, when people ask me how to become a better smith, they're usually chasing some fancy tool, or method of pattern-weld, or fine embellishment... but what I tell them is this: Make a set of steak knives, indistinguishable from one another.

People tend to try and innovate on #2 or #3 to save time, or make it better, or whatever... but the trick is to know your craft well enough that you can repeat the same design, the same profile, the same HT, over and over with precision. That exercise teaches people so much more than doing a single super-fancy blade.

Not a bladesmith? Fine, make hooks... or trivets, or whatever you like... but make a batch of them, then pull out the ruler or micrometer, and dare someone with a critical eye to tell them apart based on the forging.

It was good then, and nearly 2 decades of experience later, I say it's still good advice today.


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  #27  
Old 09-15-2020, 12:45 PM
Tai Google Tai Google is offline
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I think the best philosophy is, no philosophy at all...

A philosophy is like an opinion or position,... once you have one, you spend the rest of your life, explaining it, defending it, and catering to it. Too much work and not enough freedom for my liking!

Ooops, I guess that IS my philosophy... dang! You just can't win.

I've become much wiser and enlightened in my old age, not.

... I've already said too much and got myself boxed in! LOL


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Last edited by Tai Google; 09-15-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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  #28  
Old 09-16-2020, 01:07 AM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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It's a trap, Tai! This thread has been sitting out here for nearly 20 years, harming nobody, and then Dana turned it loose on the unsuspecting crowd!

TKN discussions have dropped off so much that it's rare to see a fun thread - something that used to be a daily occurrence. So maybe we should add to the "Philosophy" that knifemaking is a lot more fun with friends and family involved.


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  #29  
Old 09-16-2020, 09:16 AM
Tai Google Tai Google is offline
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That's cool Jack... At least you didn't ask me to elaborate on my position.

... It's a lot trickier than it sounds.


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Last edited by Tai Google; 09-16-2020 at 10:38 AM.
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  #30  
Old 09-16-2020, 10:03 PM
Dana Acker Dana Acker is offline
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Wasn't fun part of the NTM's philosophy? Like the universe, philosophy, like science, expands, so that it isn't, and therefore, can't ever be static.

Our (NTM's) virtue, which others in the knifemaking community called a flaw in our...well, just about everything, was that, that which we explained, defended, and catered to, our sacred cows, so to speak, we (the NTM's) usually ended up slaughtering and barbecuing.

So, does that make those who hold tightly to sacred sacred cows...vegans?

NTM's...serving up sacred cow burgers daily, or every 20 years or so as Texas Jack pointed out. The best philosophy is that which is served rare.


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