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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2017, 11:04 AM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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First Knives

Hey Everybody,

I wanted to post a couple pictures of my first 2 knives - it sure seems like a lot of guys start by making two. Everything I've done has been by hand with the exception of drilling, I've used a hacksaw, some files, and a bit of blood and sweat.... more blood than sweat. They were heat treated in a BBQ forge my friend and I built and seem to skate a file, although I don't expect it to be high quality steel. Both were made from a file only because I didn't have any known steel to use. I've already got some 1084 on order for the next few.

The kiridashi style knife was more just a test bed to use for trying out different ways of filing, sanding and heat treating. That said, I've given it to a friend who works in a warehouse and he says it sees regular use daily and has been holding its edge with no breakage and the other one sits on my shelf. The second knife I made, I spent a bit more time refining. I actually went back after these pictures and ground off a bit more excess from the blade after I realized it couldn't slice an onion (it was sharp, but way too thick) and did a little better job of sanding.

I know that these aren't "finished" knives, and moving forward I do plan to put proper handles on the rest; this was just a way for me to learn a few of the quirks, before I tried making something pretty. Let me know what you guys think and post some pictures of your first knives.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Both_Knives.jpg (396.0 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg Knife-Nwrap.jpg (392.0 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg Knife-Wwrap.jpg (401.4 KB, 35 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2017, 11:14 AM
PoolQs PoolQs is offline
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Great looking first knives ash. My first two were made of soft metal from Lowe's. I knew they were not
going to be used for anything except for my own experience. Keep up the good work and just have fun !!
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2017, 11:23 AM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Thanks for the encouragement. I've tried a lot of different hobbies, and this has been my favorite by far. There were a few days where I started late in the morning and would look up just to see it was night time. Just get to put on music and forget about everything else.

Do you have any pictures of yours?
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:33 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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awesome job! they look great I am happy you didn't grind off all the file marks it adds so much character to a blade!
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2017, 12:17 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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very nice first couple of knives and I agree with dtec1, the file marks add to the character.

Carl
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2017, 12:52 PM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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Good first knives ash! Just out of curiosity, is the tip of the larger knife from the part of the file you would normally handle? Did you temper these or anneal and reharden?


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Old 01-27-2017, 02:31 PM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hunter10139 View Post
Good first knives ash! Just out of curiosity, is the tip of the larger knife from the part of the file you would normally handle? Did you temper these or anneal and reharden?
I'm not sure if I quite follow your first question. If you mean is it the tang of the file, then nope, I used the working portion of the file. And yes, I annealed them in a fire pit (put them on a couple bricks so they wouldn't bow too much), let that die while the blades were still in it, and then let everything cool in there. Then I did most of my profiling, tossed them in the forge to heat treat, quenched in veggy oil, and then tempered them in the oven twice.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:34 PM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Originally Posted by mr.HC View Post
very nice first couple of knives and I agree with dtec1, the file marks add to the character.

Carl
Absolutely agree. I planned on keeping this one and I wanted to make sure anyone looking at it would know it started life as something else. I liked the double cut pattern especially. Once it was sanded and polished up a bit, it looked like fish scales.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:56 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Ash, the very first knives I ever made were files and I just tempered them back in an oven and ground them down at work being careful not to heat them up. I used them for filleting fish as they were still very hard. I used tape and ice cream sticks for the handles. I worked a commercial boat on the weekends in the 70s. They saved me time not sharpening knives.

Your knives are quite good for first try and handmade. Try to get a grinder, my first one when I started making knives again was a 3x21 belt sander clamped to a table just cause I already had it. Worked surprisingly well. Hand finished the rest. With your patience a small grinder would work very well. Patience is necessary even if you have the best equipment.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:40 PM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Originally Posted by jimmontg View Post
Ash, the very first knives I ever made were files and I just tempered them back in an oven and ground them down at work being careful not to heat them up. I used them for filleting fish as they were still very hard. I used tape and ice cream sticks for the handles. I worked a commercial boat on the weekends in the 70s. They saved me time not sharpening knives.

Your knives are quite good for first try and handmade. Try to get a grinder, my first one when I started making knives again was a 3x21 belt sander clamped to a table just cause I already had it. Worked surprisingly well. Hand finished the rest. With your patience a small grinder would work very well. Patience is necessary even if you have the best equipment.
That's an awesome story! That's why I like people's first knives, they usually come with a little extra.

Thanks very much for the advice. My biggest problem right now is not having a good work space. I spend half my time in my friend's garage (which is already low on space because of his equipment) and the other half in my basement using my freezer as a table

That said, this is a great time to ask... How much louder than hand filing (or another power tool you can compare) might it be? I know that's sort of hard to put into words, but I live in a townhouse with an unfinished basement, so noise can be an issue. I have used plenty of power tools in the past, a bench grinder is not one of them, however.

Last edited by ash_a101; 01-27-2017 at 03:42 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2017, 03:45 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Great White North Ash? Just where is that? I live in an apt. and have my grinders on carts so I go outside, nobody complains, but I don't make noise at night.

Last edited by jimmontg; 01-27-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2017, 04:32 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Just to be clear since I think Ash may have misunderstood, when we say 'grinder' we aren't talking about a bench grinder - we mean a heavy duty belt sander. A bench grinder is nearly useless to most of us for knife making.

Some of the alternatives to a belt sander might include an angle grinder but in your situation I would think any type of hard wheel grinder like that would be too noisy. Most any belt sander would be far less noisy than that. Jim recently found what appears to be a decent deal on an inexpensive grinder that might do to learn the basics. I'm sure he'll tell you about it if you ask ...


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Old 01-27-2017, 04:36 PM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Originally Posted by jimmontg View Post
Great White North Ash? Just where is that? I live in an apt. and have my grinders on carts so I go outside, nobody complains, but I don't make noise at night.
The middle of Saskatchewan. Although this year you could call it the great brown north, global warming seems to be helping us this winter.

That's actually a good idea that I didn't think about. I do have a small deck I could probably use. I forever have small screaming children running around my place, so I don't spend a lot of time on my deck and kind of forget it's there.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:43 PM
ash_a101 ash_a101 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
Just to be clear since I think Ash may have misunderstood, when we say 'grinder' we aren't talking about a bench grinder - we mean a heavy duty belt sander. A bench grinder is nearly useless to most of us for knife making.

Some of the alternatives to a belt sander might include an angle grinder but in your situation I would think any type of hard wheel grinder like that would be too noisy. Most any belt sander would be far less noisy than that. Jim recently found what appears to be a decent deal on an inexpensive grinder that might do to learn the basics. I'm sure he'll tell you about it if you ask ...
I think we're on the same page, I've been looking around and found this guy http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...er/A-p8532293e and was thinking of picking it up. Princess Auto is like your harbor freight. We call it the man store. I can by a pair of socks, a new bag of fish breading, and power tools all in one place. And I mean, who doesn't want to own equipment labeled POWER FIST.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2017, 04:51 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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That's a 1x30. Lots of guys try to start with those, including me, but most give up after a few days. They are terribly under powered and the belts are so small they wear out almost instantly. Personally, I can make a knife faster and easier with hand tools than with a 1x30.

Since you're in Canada I don't know if you'll be able to find that grinder of Jim's but it would be worth the extra trouble to try....


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