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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 04-26-2001, 11:07 PM
Ed Caffrey
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Designing a blade for a rope cutting competition?

Last night I forged a blade that is specifically intended for a rope cutting competition at the 2001 MKA show. In order to stimulate a bit of conversation, what are your thoughts on what blade material(s), geometry, a hardness levels you would use for a blade that was designed to win one of these cutting comps.?
What factors/features do you think would be the most important, and would you "step out" of your normal methods/materials in an attempt to create a winning blade?

To get it started, I chose a steel that I have been playing with for several months......SUJ-2 (brownie points to whomever can correctly identify it), and decided to produce a blade with a medium curve into the edge, in order to achieve a better "bite" through the swing. I'll stop there so as not to taint everyone else's input............................Next?
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Old 04-26-2001, 11:15 PM
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Forgive this newbie ,but are the knife specs the same as the rope cutting competition at the hammer-in?
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Old 04-26-2001, 11:18 PM
Ed Caffrey
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yea, let's use this as our guideline...........
blade not to exceed 10", and overall lenght not to exceed 15". Blade width must be 2" or less.
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Old 04-27-2001, 01:29 AM
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Just steal Schemp's knife

Did you get a close look at his in Oregon? I went over and gave it the third degree and he explained what he did to it.

There was a lot of geometry going on in that knife! It was tapered down from the edge to the spine, and then the bevels were ground.

I definitely see a benefit to a straight edge or even a bit of a recurve. The tip being heavy keeps the momentum driving down and through.

Does it have to be forged? From what I've seen, something like 3V would make a pretty scarey rope cutting knife, but I have no idea if it can be forged (I know you're going to forge whatever you make for the competition, I'm just thinking out loud).

Did you see Kramer's knife? He actually had some brass on the end of it.

I think a lot of it boils down to a sharp edge and a fluent swing.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with

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Old 04-27-2001, 10:22 AM
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: Quote from Nick Wheeler
Just steal Schemp's knife
: That's a good one!

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Old 04-27-2001, 01:13 PM
Tom Ferry
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Hey Ed I too will be playing with a rope cutting knife for the MKA show. One thought I was playing with is putting a reverse distal taper, instead of thick at the handle and thinner towards the tip. Do just the opposite say maybe a 1/4" at the tip and 1/8" at the handle. This would give the weight forward. The cut needs to start as close to the handle as possible so as the rope doesnt run off the end of the knife and this reverse taper may slow that momentum. Dont know just an idea but I will give it a try.
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Old 04-27-2001, 01:58 PM
Jon Christensen
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Well I'm gonna jump in on this also. I just finished forging a blade for the rope cut comp. in Missoula.
I was thinking on the way home from the Or. show that a design similar to a grafting knife may work well. Grafting knives (for those not familiar with them) are flat on one side and chisel ground on the other. They cut extremely straight which seems like it would be a benefit for the rope cut.
Combining that with a hooked blade may work well.
I like Toms idea of the reverse taper. Think I might try combining that also.

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Old 04-27-2001, 03:42 PM
Tom Ferry
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I forgot about the steel part of it. Well I will probably use 1084 since I have the most experience with it. It does tend to be brittle but I think that any blade capable of winning or cutting that much rope will have to be on the upper end of the hardness scale. And it will be flat ground. I also think the spine needs to be rounded off or beveled. If nothing else this will be fun and out of the normal knife designs.
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Old 04-27-2001, 05:59 PM
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Rope cutting

Iwill jump in here . [ have been some ABS cutting
contest.I fel ihave cut against some the best .Best Icould do was place 2nd to Jim Cowell. He ueses only 1084.Iwill stick by my 52100. The May Hammer in this year is a hunting knife 5 inch blade max. 101/2 inch max.I feel the edge geometry is is what it comes down to. In the ABS cutting conest we don't know what we will be cutting. Jerry Fisk will come up with somme real hard ones.

Troy Brown ABS Journeysmith
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Old 04-29-2001, 09:31 AM
Raymond Richard
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Ed, couldn't get away from my table on Sunday, by what I have read Ed Schemp must have won. I didn't hear the out come of the contest at the show. How many did he do this year and did he also us last years knife or a new one this year? As for the knife design I think it is quite critical but the proper tecnique in the swing is also a big part of it. I think he has a rope cutting vidio out for $20.00. Ray
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