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Zach Greig

Average work time start to finish

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It almost seems like a question nobody wants to answer but I really am curious so: How long on average does it take you to make a knife (whatever kind you make most) from bar to final product. (ex: not including time to make Damascus) Break down of how much time each step takes would be cool too.

 

So far I am averaging about 24 hours of work time per knife (4 1/2" or so utility knives mostly) but the only power tool I have been using is a bench grinder for cleaning up the profile shape. Lots of hand work. (>.<) Seems like way too much time but idk if it's just because I'm still fairly new, the lack of power tools or what.

 

Also, wasn't sure exactly where this thread should go so went with the safer bet. Sorry if it is misplaced.

Edited by Zach Greig

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I'll bite, though I hope you realize there is not such thing as average...

 

I can make a simple small seax in about 6 hours, not counting heat-treating and epoxy cure time... or the time it takes to make the sheath.

I made one last year that I lost count of the hours somewhere around 50, I'm guessing I had around 70 hours in it, all told. I think that is my record, but some of my early knives... The good news is, the more you make, the more efficient you become, to a point.

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This one took less than 3 hours

 

IMG_8552 (640x427).jpg

 

This one, I've probably got close to 60 hours in, and it's not done

 

IMG_8553 (640x427).jpg

 

IMG_8556 (640x427).jpg

 

IMG_8558 (640x427).jpg

 

Don't really know if that helps

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Keyes

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wow, that must have been one intricate knife. And yeah, I can imagine there are so many variables in bladesmithing that "average" wouldn't even exist. Just trying to get some kind of reference point I guess. Plus, I can't be the only one who wonders about this. :blink:

 

Maybe this would be better as a "how to be time efficient" thread. Thoughts?

 

Also, how the hell do you make a knife in less than 3 hrs? :blink:

Edited by Zach Greig

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Also, how the hell do you make a knife in less than 3 hrs? :blink:

Pure wizardry ;)

 

John

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This question is a bit like: How long does it take you to complete a run?

 

Answer: Depends if you're running a 50 yard sprint, or a marathon, and (of course) how fast you run.

 

There are far too many variables.

 

Just one example of these variables: Are you using monosteel, or making pattern welded material? I've had over a month of most evenings and weekends in a single billet before, and that's just producing the material to start forging the blade.

 

If you gave an example (like Geoff did) of what kind of knife you were interested in learning the average build time for, you may get something like a normalized range of build times.

 

Luck!

 

Dave

 

PS -- Geoff: That Tanto is looking sweet! I'd love the recipe for that pattern. . . --Dave

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It seems like all the knives I have made so far have taken about the same time, from a 3" boot knife to a 5 1/2" hunter. But, I guess we can go with the latter for specific examples since that's what I'll likely end up making the most of. (Really want to make a seax though too) Really any kind of example or advice would be helpful.

 

Glad to see people have actually been posting here though so thanks to everyone. :)

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I work pretty slowly, most of the time, very slowly right now. I decided that I wanted two things. I want a group of pieces on my table and web site that are not in the $300+ range, but that I can afford to sell for $100-150, and still be substantially hand made. And I need to be able to do them fast. I took a piece of .1250 1084 and sawed out a blank, with profiling, 5-10 minutes. Rough grind, about 15-20 minutes. HT, about 40 minutes (which I discount for myself, with a batch it's really only a few minutes a piece, plus some time to heat the forge.). Another 40 minutes of grinding and about the same of hand finish, plus slabs.

 

I'm having a group of these waterjet cut, so 0 profile time (Ok, a minute or so a blade), 15-20 minutes of rough grind per, HT, 1.5 per grind and hand sand, cut and finish on handle, 20 minutes, just under 3 hours a piece. As I get better at working at that kind of speed, 2 - 2.5 hours per.

 

If I decide to go even more mid-tech, I can have the handle materials laser or cnc cut, and the HT done off site. Just to be clear, these are not forged blades! Neither are they the price of my forged, one off pieces.

 

Partly it's seat time, partly it's the tools I own. If I had to do these with files and an angle grinder, I couldn't do it.

 

Sorry, no magic involved :lol: .

 

Geoff

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All of these five rough and ready knives took me less than an hour and a half..of course these are RR spikes.... and this includes HT and all that. NO SHEATHS though...

 

I have these down to like 10 to 15 mins each working in batches of 5 to 10....if you want to "up output" you need to work smart, and not waste time..while things are heating I am doing file work/fitting, not just standing around with my finger up me nose...

 

 

Simple sgain/boot knives, bronze bolsters and hard wood grip, less grip cure time of 12 hours..I am looking at about 2 hours eachor so..here again working in batches of 8 to 12...from rough bar to done knife..here again no leather..

 

 

JPH

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Edited by JPH

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