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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 08-27-2008, 05:43 AM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Getting started

Hello all,
I am gathering the tools to get started making my own knives....

I already have a pretty good drill press but was wondering about belt grinders...

I was thinking of buying this



http://grizzly.com/products/Combo-Be...-Grinder/H7760

I am sure this is fine to start out but are the grind wheel and belts below good enough for metal grinding and are 2" x 27" belts hard to find. I can not find anyone that carries them except for Grizzly. Here are links to their disks and belts:

http://grizzly.com/products/6-X-3-4-...1-2-Bore/G1980

http://grizzly.com/products/2-x-27-S...0-10-pc-/H5022

Thanks for all of your help ahead of time.....

Joe
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:12 AM
Wade Holloway Wade Holloway is offline
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Do a search on Grinders and you will find loads of reading material on this supject. But to answer your question, IMHO I do not think that machine will help you out allot. Like you said the belts are hard to get and you will use allot, for that reason alone I would not go with that one.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:47 AM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Cool, I am open to suggestions then but be frugal the wife is not allowing me much to start this new hobby.

Thanks,
Joe
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2008, 07:55 AM
AcridSaint AcridSaint is offline
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I'd take a 1x30 or a 1x42 over a short 2" sander for basic work if I were going to do it, but I'd suggest buying good quality files instead. You can draw file stock very quickly and finish with sandpaper from there. The grinding wheel is only really useful to clean up profiles, not much use on the knife grinding side of things.

This is coming from a guy that started on a belt sander and refused to believe folks who told him it was not any good for making knives.


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  #5  
Old 08-27-2008, 08:46 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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What's the budget look like? Let's go from there.


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  #6  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:54 AM
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spaknives spaknives is offline
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Knowing the budget would help. Grizzly sells a knife makers grinder that I think is about 400 bucks and would probly be a good one to start with. you can find 2x72 belts all over the web for pretty decent prices, Super grit, trugrit, ebay to name a few. Also most all the knife making suppliers sell the 2x72 belts as well like Jantz supply, Sheffield, and texas knife supply. You could also make your own grinder. Andrew made a no weld bolt togethor grinder that looks realy good and it's a 2x72. I wish I would have made my own to start out with. Thanks, Shane
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2008, 11:04 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Small grinders have their uses but as a primary knife making tool they pale next to any 2x72 grinder. Buy the Grizzly 2x72 (I did), build one, or buy any other 2x72 that somehow falls into your lap but I wouldn't count on a 1x30 or 1x42 or any of the 2x?? sanders meant for wood working as a primary blade making grinder.

Grinders aside, the suggestion about files and sandpaper is very workable and affordable and will teach you a lot about what you will need in power tools later .....


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  #8  
Old 08-27-2008, 02:23 PM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Wow thanks all, great input and wil be heeded. The budget is slim like I said prob only $250 to start (for tools anyway). I will start checking around for a 2x72 and yes I was going to pick up a set of files as well.

Joe
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2008, 02:31 PM
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Look for a 2x42 Craftsman. They are cheap new and used.
Good Luck
Dave
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2008, 04:44 PM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Hmmm looks alot like the on I had selected from grizz but nore powerful...

I going to be using files alot (especially to start) this would really be used as a light "finishing" tool.

I figure it is like learing to drive a care if I learn on a standard then going to an automatic is easy but not vice versa.

If I start making blades by using files then going to a disk/belt grinder should be easy but not vice versa.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2008, 05:31 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Listen to Ray and get the files. Get a large mill file in bastard and smooth cut. I know that using a large file to make a small knife sounds counterintuitive (just nod you head up and down...it'll make be feel better even if I can't see ya). The reason is that you will work your way down the file as you draw file and the teeth fill up with shavings. Take about 20 strokes or so and move to a clean section of the file. When you reach the end of the file you break out a file card and brush the shavings out of the teeth or they'll gouge the heck out of the steel. If you don't know how to draw file, google it and you should run across some good illustrations. Even after you get a good grinder, you'll still need files occasionally so you might as well start out with them.

Get a piller file, they have safe edges, is good for cutting plunge lines. Half round file are good for cutting rounded contours. Round files are good for cutting round notches (immagine that!) Get a good set of needle files to enlarge small slots and connect drill holes to make the small slots in the first place. Don't forget the rasps for shaping your handle.

Other things that you will need is a lot of sandpaper and a small hard sanding block or some stones for polishing. I have tried both oil stones and water stones. I was totally underimpressed with the water stones, especially at the price of them things. I prefer oil stones, the kind that tool and die makers use to polish steel. They're pretty reasonable on a tight budget. I get mine online at Columbus Tools. You'll need a selection of grits. The general recommendation is to get semi-hard stones Remember that stones are for polishing not shaping a blade. Do all that with files before you harden the blade. S'matter of fact, it helps to do your course polishing with stones before you harden the blade too.

Remember if you've got an electric hand drill you've got a buffer. Just about any tool-in-a-box store should have the adaptors to hold buffing wheels and the buffs. Clamp the knife in a vice and hold the drill/buffer in your hand.

One good thing about files and stones/sandpaper are that they are slow. That is especially nice when you're starting out and don't know where to stop each operation. Grinders can overshoot the mark real fast. Remember that you can always grind/file more steel off but you can't grind/file more back on. I was doing pretty good on a Persian dagger I'm making until I burgered up the ricasso area on the grinder. It's still worth finishing but not fit for more than giving away.

Doug Lester


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Last edited by Doug Lester; 08-27-2008 at 05:35 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:58 PM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Ok so it looks like, I am starting with files and paper.

On to the next question, is this just a hobbie for most?

I only want to start this as a hobbie but like my motorcycle hobbie it takes money for up keep and parts and upgrades. While it is not that easy to make money with my motorcycle, knife making on the other hand has an ability to pay for itself.

Is it un heard of for a Newbie such as my self to sell a handfull of creations to buy that grinder or even more blade stock and materials?

If not no worris this will just be a hobbie but will take longer to be funded.

joe
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:42 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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You ask very deep question, young grasshopper...is this just a hobby for most? It is real easy for this to become an obcession and forever control your desteny, it will. On the serious side, which I'm trying to avoid, few makers make a living or any signifcant part of it by making blades. I think a lot of the "full time" professional knifemakers have another source of income, like a pension or a part-time job that brings in a regular paycheck and maybe supplies health insurance. Maybe they have one of those wierd job that they have something like one week of 10hr shifts then a week off or maybe like a fireman who has two or three 24hr shifts a week with the rest of the time off.

Depending on the skill level that you achieve, knifemaking could pay for itself but I think that that has to be secondary. Learning the art has to be the primary reason for building knives or you won't learn it well enough to have someone want to buy your knives. We have to offer something special. Why would someone pay one hundred, two hundred dollars and up (possibly way up) for a hand made knife that looks pretty much like a production knife that can be had for less than $100? Learn to make that special knife and you will make a knife that someone will want to buy. Concentrate on making a knife to sell and you may not learn to make it special.

Doug Lester


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  #14  
Old 08-27-2008, 09:52 PM
Dragon-X Dragon-X is offline
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Great advice once again.

First and for most, I have only been a member for a couple of days and you guys have been so helpful.

Here is a pic of my first kit:



I know it was an easy one but I think I have been bitten by the bug and all I can thing about now is learning to make my own blades.

Again thanks for the advice....

Joe
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2008, 10:39 PM
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DiamondG Knives DiamondG Knives is offline
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Joe

You have recived some sage advice here.

Please be warned..... This starts as a hobby and can easily become an addiction.
Lord help you if you should start forging! And as far as making a living at it, I think if I were to win the Lotto tomarrow, Id probably still make knives untill I ran out of money

All the fun aside, Invest what you can afford wisely. I have a LOT of tools that I once "thought" Id use. The best suggestion I could make would be to try and visit a knifemaker in your area. Ask lots of questions. Most makers I know will go out of there way to explain what they do, and guide new makers as best they can.

I can reccomend the Grizzly Knifemakers Grinder whole hog, Ive had one for at least 12 years, and even though I have a KMG now, I still use the Grizz a lot. With just a bit of tweaking, its a great machine. I also have Grizz 12" disc grinder, and a 1HP twin arbor buffer. I have not bought any tools from Grizzly I havnt been happy with.

Kick back, cruise the forums, ask LOTS of questions (there arnt any dumb ones) the are a lot of archived threads oin here, so use the search button, youll be amazed how many threads there are on diffrent topics.

And I always remember what MS Jim Crowell told me once "Knifemaking is like life, its a journey not a destination. Enjoy the ride"

If I can ever be of any help, please feel free to email me @ mikegarner69@hotmail.com

God Bless
Mike


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