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John N

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John N last won the day on September 15

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About John N

  • Birthday 04/18/1975

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    Manchester UK

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  1. Good looking forgings. (tangs look a bit stumpy mind!) - I normalise at least x3, and they tend to move about each cycle, progressively less. I push them back to true before the next cycle, and I now tend to get 'true' from the quench. Sometimes on 200mm plus knives they still gently banana after quench, but its easily bent back to true in the 30 seconds of grace time you get, I always wear the red welders gauntlets when im quenching so I can hold the hot blade for 'true up' !
  2. Don't think I shared these 2 I made earlier this year, They are Hitachi Blue2 core, with Ni barrier, and a cladding of wrought iron and a high chrome bandsaw blade 'damascus' - from memory about 100 layers per side. The 'K' tip ended up in the scrap pile die to a slight weld flaw, which was a shame as it kind of forged itself to that shape (it was my first 'k' tip!) - Ill make another though. The traditional profile is still waiting for a handle! Both blades are about 220 length. All the geometry is forged in, only the lower bevel ground. They look a bit washed out in the pictures, but there is quite a bit going on in the metal. I will probably re-finish the survivor with a kasumi lower bevel, I did a rough stone finish on it before I went the ferric route, and it looked a lot better than it currently does!
  3. Crazy face on the tipped blade, might be as well that one died !
  4. Workmanship looks good, the welded cable looks great! (I must try it sometime) - I concur with the other comments on the handle looking a smidge long for the blade (hard to tell from a photo, as feel has a lot to do with it.) The pin / hole position does not flow as well as it could. Middle pin up a bit, and forward a bit, tube at the back down a bit ! I try and pay attention to the 'top line' of the knife. If you look at lots of photos of knives that make you go 'ooooh' a lot of them have a very gentle curve along the 'top line' top of handle, and spine of blade dropping away from the bolster. Might only be a fraction but it makes a big difference on a knife of that style. (weirdly, the japanese influenced chefs knives I make seem to look better with the handle angled up a couple of degrees from the spine of the blade....)
  5. Interesting stuff - your situation sounds painful to me, having to make profit (or make enough to settle debts or favours owed), can really suck the joy out of something. I'm about the same age as you, and at some point in the future would like to derive a part of my income from knife making (so I always have economy of time and resources in the back of my mind). I'm fortunate that I have more 'day job' work than I know what to do with at the moment, but unfortunate in so much as I am lucky to get a 1/2 day a week to devote to making, and often I really don't have much left in the tank when I get some making time. It sounds very much like you are in a 'resource poor' area as far as western style knife making supplies go. (your belt troubles etc). Have you considered using 'hard' abrasives instead of belts ? I often see footage of makers in Pakistan etc doing 95% of the work on a 'hard' grinding wheel, 12" plus dia x a couple of inch face. You can really rip some metal off, for next to no abrasive costs. Even getting a bit handy with a small angle grinder can get you 80% of the metal away in very short order. Last year I built a water cooled grinder using a 'hard' grinding wheel, (about 18" diameter) - the wheel is mounted horizontally so you are grinding on a flat face. I can 'cob out' a blade on a 36 grit ceramic belt (or could use rough grit hard abrasives if I had too) Then onto the wet grinder, then minimal hand finishing abrasives. Just some rambling thoughts really... to make money you have got to make efficiently.
  6. Stay enthusiastic , enjoy the journey, embrace the fails and learn from them, and you will be on the right path in no time. Look forward to seeing your first steps !
  7. Thanks James, I cant afford to eat there though ...............
  8. Looks good! small detail, but I would get annoyed by the bit behind the plunge cut at the edge stopping me 'have at it' sharpening !
  9. Thanks guys, keep the thoughts coming. Alan - I took the 1st prototype to the restaurant months ago (very rough knife not pictured!), and it was actually quite interesting to see a different thought process. They were asking each other 'how do you hold a knife' when you are eating, and trying it in all different hand holds etc, basically stuff I would never have considered! The handle always seemed to be 'out of the back' of the hand so hopefully the extra length does not effect the ergonomics. The handles are 135mm long. I tried shorter handles, and the knife just looked 'dumpy' ! On the knife care concerns I hear you loud and clear! - the saving grace is its a small restaurant (30 odd covers), and they are moving towards hand thrown plates etc, so there is some care for the tableware. I would probably be supplying blade only, as they have a woodworker who has made lots of the fittings for the place who they want to get involved with the handles, and there was some talk of the staff being involved in making the handles, with the joiner in his studio, as a 'team building' project. (this would suit me, as I have a low tolerance for repetition) I kept the design simple with this in mind, the knife tang is 5/16", and basically resin bonded into a drilled hole! - It it the kind of place where there is a story to everything, the knives would become part of the story I think!
  10. Some months ago I was contacted by a local restaurant (which is held in very high regard nationally) with a view to potentially supplying them with table knives. Its not something I would normally give consideration to, but the place is full of potential customers, and it seems it will be a great opportunity if the project goes ahead (and Im sad to admit, a bit of an ego boost as well). They are very into 'local' produce, suppliers etc. I found it amazingly difficult to work on small knives, as they basically just look 'wrong' to me. I also could not find any work to be (cough) 'inspired' by, so had to go from scratch with the design. The restaurant did not want classic 'steak knives' , and did not want them too 'pointy' Even if the project does not progress it was interesting being pushed outside my comfort zone ! Be interested in your thoughts on them, and would love to see any table knives members on here have made. These are the finished prototypes, they are all a bit different, a mm or so here and there makes a big difference to how the knife feels ! again I would be interested to hear if any of them look better (or less worse?) to your eye than the others ! - the F&F would be improved on the run of blades if it goes ahead, these were 'lashed up' !
  11. The 'Turdyploop' pattern is a pattern I forged with @James Higson, and big Sam, when they visited one day. Kind of a modified 'w' pattern if memory serves, where the 'w's (should) escape and flow into a canvas of mono steel in the billet. There was a problem with the pattern development though, I am a bit 'surgical clinical' on my larger power hammer, and only one of the 'w's dared to escape into the mono steel. At the moment of reveal in the ferric, we stood excitedly waiting to see what we had created.... It was a bit like when Baldrick created 'Green' in Blackadder.... we stood there, amazed. The solitary 'W' that dared break rank sitting in the mono steel. We all thought of something nice to say about our creation. The kindest descriptive metaphor we could summon was like a turd splashing into a WC,........ and so Turdyploop pattern was born. Can it ever be recreated ? who knows.... would anyone want to recreate it ? I suspect not. But for sure, that day a pattern was born.
  12. Should be a great piece when finished! The seax you have made looks very good indeed
  13. There is an old file at work, 1" square (or more), must be 2' long. I want to make a katana from it, but in equal measure respect it for what it is. One day ill squash it. one day.
  14. Random question time. Is the hammer in some of your photos made by James Wood ? its lovely
  15. Wow, there is some energy in your post ! good work That middle seam on a feather billet will open up if you so much as stand on the wrong foot when you hit it. Love the big twisty steel.
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