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First Knife for a new knife maker


Shane Harvey

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I completed my first knife recently. My initial foray into knife making began with a rusty railroad spike and evolved, I say evolved because there was no real plan, into a kind of drop point fighter of sorts.

 

As a first effort I'm happy with it overall. I had just the right amount of success balanced with lessons learned to make it an enjoyable experience. One of my lessons learned is that I'm not sold on Loveless bolts. Because the center piece (brass in this case) is threaded through the "nut" (nickel silver in this case) I was left with some asymmetry when ground flat due to the threads. Perhaps I should have peened better? A second lesson learned is that great tools make a huge difference. I have been fortunate to be able to set up a nice little shop in my garage with a few of the key tools like a top notch grinder, drill press, files, etc. In this respect I'm not starting from ground zero which is helping the learning curve quite a bit. Third, having somebody to talk knives with is a big help. I have a friend here in Anchorage who in turn has a good assortment of tools and provides me with somebody to bounce ideas off of...and a buffing wheel and hydralic press to use to boot. Choose your friends wisely! :)

 

Many lessons to come no doubt. Great hobby. Having access to this forum has helped very much. I'm constantly amazed at how willing to help this community is. Thanks for your posts and willingness to share information.

 

FirstKnife1.jpg

Showing the spike I began with next to the finished knife. Long but fun road.

 

FirstKnife2.jpg

I decided, last minute, to add a bit of a false edge. I left the handle pretty squarish to carry on with the spike theme and I have long fingers so the extra handle volume felt right. The fun part of not starting from a plan or sketch for my effort was the winging it.

 

FirstKnife3.jpg

My favorite element of this knife is that the pommel clearly tells of the knife's origins. Of course, it makes it a bit tail heavy too so it isn't a "well balanced" knife by a long shot. You can just make out the asymetry in the Loveless bolts "Birds eye" I mentioned in this shot.

 

Thanks once again and I'd appreciate any and all feedback.

 

Shane Harvey

Anchorage Alaska

Edited by Shane Harvey
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My first spike knife was nothing like that. Wow good job man.

John W Smith
www.smith-forge.org

Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.

[Points to sword]

This you can trust

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Sounds like your knife making friend is one hell of a cool guy! *grin*

 

Great job bud.

 

Dave.

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Outstanding for a first! I agree, it's the nicest spike knife I've seen.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

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awesome.

 

What he said :blink:

Let not the swords of good and free men be reforged into plowshares, but may they rest in a place of honor; ready, well oiled and God willing unused. For if the price of peace becomes licking the boots of tyrants, then "To Arms!" I say, and may the fortunes of war smile upon patriots

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:blink: i've been doin this for over a year and my knives arent half that good! absolutely stellar!

jared Z.

 

lilzee on britishblades.

 

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

-Sir Winston Churchill

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Better keep your instructor. Might be hard to find another that good. You show much experience on the choil, grind on the whole blade, and the guard with the hidden pins, straight flat grinds on the handle and finger grooves.

 

Buffing in its self is very commendable for a beginner.

 

Well done.

 

chuck

Edited by sandpile
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Well, you suck...........

I was just about to take pics of my first knife and hawk, that I "WAS" proud of and show them off, but not now, no I'm going to hide them so no one can see how bad they are.

You're the same dumb pilgrim who I've been hearing for twenty days, and smellin' for three!

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Damn. As soon as I leave Anchorage that's when I find out about the amount of makers actually up there. Great knife. I bet you'll be doing mosaic damascus swords in a month if that is your 1st! If I remember there was a maker by the name of Cary Whales that had some neat knives that lived up there. Any of you Alaska guys know who I'm talking about?

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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Better keep your instructor. Might be hard to find another that good. You show much experience on the choil, grind on the whole blade, and the guard with the hidden pins, straight flat grinds on the handle and finger grooves.

 

Buffing in its self is very commendable for a beginner.

 

Well done.

 

chuck

 

Chuck,

 

While the knife was a solo effort in terms of building it, frankly, you guys, my friend, this forum, books, videos, websites and alot of time just dinking by myself in my shop are all collectively and nearly equally my instructor, so thank you. So much material on "how to" for knife making is available today from many sources. As an example, Anders Hogstrom, whose work I like, was even willing to answer several of my emailed questions on some of his techniques. Many good knife makers are happy to help it seems to me. For me, it is a large part of why it seems like such a great hobby.

 

I genuinely meant what I said about tools making all the difference. I can't imagine building that knife without the KMG for instance...the hollow grind would have been more difficult without it and the top notch work rest and finger grooves impossible without the 1 inch wheel. I consider myself fortunate to have the tools I do. My hat is off to all of those who do this more manually and to those who started before information on "how to" was so readily available.

 

Thanks for the compliments on the knife Chuck. It is very much appreciated. To let you know how new I am to this I had to look up what a "choil" was Chuck!

 

-Shane Harvey

Anchorage Alaska

Edited by Shane Harvey
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Sandpile,

 

While the knife was a solo effort in terms of building it, frankly, you guys, my friend, this forum, books, videos, websites and alot of time just dinking by myself in my shop are all collectively my instructor, so thank you. So much material on "how to" for knife making is available today from many sources. As an example, Anders Hogstrom, whose work I like, was even willing to answer several of my emailed questions on some of his techniques. Many good knife makers are happy to help it seems to me. For me, it is a large part of why it seems like such a great hobby.

 

I genuinely meant what I said about tools making all the difference. I can't imagine building that knife without the KMG for instance...the hollow grind would have been more difficult without it and the top notch work rest and finger grooves impossible without the 1 inch wheel. I consider myself fortunate to have the tools I do. My hat is off to all of those who do this more manually and to those who started before information on "how to" was so readily available.

 

Thanks for the compliments on the knife Sandpile. It is very much appreciated. To let you know how new I am to this I had to look up what a "choil" was Sandpile!

 

-Shane Harvey

Anchorage Alaska

 

 

This is an amazing first knife. Tools help, but they don't create or inspire. Without the idea, a tool is useless. I can prove it - just give me all of your good tools, and I will give you my rr track anvil and $110 belt grinder!

 

Seriously, good work, and you are right about the community and the amount of information. I played with making knives as a kid from stock removal, and back then it was hard to get anything that really explained what to do.

 

Keep up the good work,

 

Kevin

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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That is a beautiful blade. You have set the bar high for the rest of us beginners. I have not forged a blade yet but I really getting the itch to do so. I have almost everything ready to go. I have decided to go completely unplugged so I'm not going to use any electricity to make my first one. I hope it looks half as good as yours.

 

Racca

 I have heard that those who celebrate life walk safely amongst the wild animals.

When they go into battle, they remain unharmed, the animals find no place to attack them

and weapons are unable to harm them.

Why? Because they find no place for death in them.

 

Shamanic Proverb

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What type of steel is a RR spike?

 I have heard that those who celebrate life walk safely amongst the wild animals.

When they go into battle, they remain unharmed, the animals find no place to attack them

and weapons are unable to harm them.

Why? Because they find no place for death in them.

 

Shamanic Proverb

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how did you polish the pommel end and get that good of a finish in the groved and curved areas? MAN, this is freaking great. Your first.. no way.. ha.

Scott Hale - www.halestormforge.com

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Wow! That's quite the first knife! You haven't left yourself much room for improvement have you.

 

What type of steel is a RR spike?

I've read somewhere that HC (high carbon) spikes are 30 points of carbon. Not great for knives, but fun to show the recycling aspect of smithing.

Edited by Mike W
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I really like the handles on this, most/all of the RR spike knives that a have seen have been simple twists in the handle area. The pommel-thing really defines it as a RR knife.

I hope my first attempt is even close to yours.

Greg

Catch the wind in mainsails high,

Race the dark and stormy skies.

Land ahoy! To port we ride,

And there we drink our hearts to nigh.

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What type of steel is a RR spike?

 

 

Racca,

 

It looks like there are low and high carbon spikes. The HC spikes are approximately equivalent to 1040 steel. Still, the spikes out there have been manufactured by so many companies that there is alot of variation.

-Shane Harvey

Anchorage Alaska</SPAN>

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how did you polish the pommel end and get that good of a finish in the groved and curved areas? MAN, this is freaking great. Your first.. no way.. ha.

 

 

I was able to go to 600 grit over the entire knife with the KMG. By making the finger grooves and the right and left side of the knife just ahead of the pommel with a 1 inch wheel I brought the whole thing to 600 grit without too much hassle. Then I headed over to Dave's house to use his buffer and went from black to white and then to pink buffing compound. The 8 inch buffing wheels fit into every area except the last finger groove (used the corners quite a bit) by the pommel...just a little pushing and it worked though. I probably sat in his garage buffing for over an hour to get it right!

 

This was one of the coolest parts of the project to see the knife come up to shine and completion. Respect the buffer...it'll bite ya! Cheers.

 

-Shane Harvey

Anchorage Alaska

Edited by Shane Harvey
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