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My First Solo Knife


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This is the first knife I have made completely by myself. Previously, I have had help with one aspect or another.

Stock Removal Process:

Overall length is 8 1/4" with a 4 1/8" blade.

1095 steel, heated in a coal forge, using a pipe to assist in heat treatment, and quenched in peanut oil.

Blood wood handle

Brass pins

1/4" Copper tubing for thong hole

Handmade leather sheath, hot waxed for durability.


I ask for any and all criticism, as I truly enjoy making knives and want to do the best possible job.

I made this for myself as a EDC KNIFE.image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg

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I really like it--can't think of any criticism--I like that simple style for an EDC: just the blade and handle with a prominent choil to keep your hand where it needs to be. I like the simple pouch sheath too--nice combo.

Edited by Pete Dirksen

Esse quam videri

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Neat job on that! Looks comfortable, (no sharp edges on the handle)

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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Nice first knife. Not a lot to critique; nice simple design well executed. If I had to say anything, I would say to work on the polish, but honestly, it's a user knife. Good fit and finish too.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus


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I agree with the above, particularly Wes, but if you want another opinion I see three very minor things that would improve the package:


1. On the knife itself, the area behind the choil at the plunge looks like it drops below the line of the edge like the kickup on a folder blade.




This means you can't use it on a flat surface like a cutting board and get the full use of the edge. That's a design limitation on a folder that can't be helped, but it is a functional concern on a fixed blade knife. I see this a lot on first knives, and I've done it myself when I was starting out. I don't do it anymore and I suggest you don't either. ;)


2. The sheath could use a welt strip in the sewn seam to keep you from cutting the thread.


3. Also on the sheath, invest in a seam groover tool so the thread lies below the surface of the leather. This both looks neater and protects the thread from wear.


Please don't take these points the wrong way, they are very minor aesthetic and functional opinions you may not agree with, and that's fine.

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Nice for a first knife.


I would only like to add that on a daily user knife I use Mobil One motor oil as a lube and final hand sand my last pasts on the blade drawing the sandpaper towards me for a satin brushed kinda finish. A lot easier to do and maintain.

”Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor!”


George Brackett

American Bladesmith's Society,

Apprentice Member

Hialeah, Florida

Blademark photo 375x75BladeMarkPunch-125-sm_zps2e740d6d.jpg

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Thank you all for the insight and guidance.

In reference to the area behind the choir; it does extend below the edge and would prevent certain use. Something I never thought of before.....

As for the sheath; there is a welt strip to protect the thread and I did use a groove tool, although after looking at it I can tell why it looks like I didn't use either.

Again thanks to everyone and look forward to posting more of my knife making attempts

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like it!


Slightly smaller stitch holes will make the seam look a lot cleaner. Try the smallest dremel bit you can find. They make some really tiny ones. Also be very deliberate with the stitch placement. If you don't have a rolling stitch marker try a small fork with the tines close together, salad fork or baby fork. Wet the leather to get the marks to stay then drill or punch your holes exactly on the marks with the tool dead vertical. A small drill press can make it look really good.


It is also worth while to dye the leather after the stitch grooves, edge bevels, welt sanding, steps are already done. The edge burnishing can be done after the dye since it won't take dye as well after burnishing. Then glue and clamp the welt, if needed sand the welt even then drill and stitch, then edge coat or burnish the edge. I'm not a complete expert but I studied this process pretty hard and did a couple, I noticed the same issues in my own first tries. I did one in about 800% speed in a video if you are interested.




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I ask for any and all criticism, as I truly enjoy making knives and want to do the best possible job.


Well, you did ask for it. :unsure: 1095 into peanut oil is not doing the best possible job. 1095 pretty much requires water or an extremely fast oil such as Parks 50. Without, you will not have as much hardening as will happen with a faster quench and that means a loss in performance.


The only other things are minor, work on your finish, and subjective, not a fan of mixing brass pins with copper thong hole. That said, for a first knife, this is way better than my first! There is a very good tutorial on hand stitching leather, by Chuck Burrows, in the "sheaths and leatherworking" area that will improve your stitching immeasurably.



“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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All's been said that I could have said.


For a first knife, you've done yourself proud. Little details like Alan mentioned will come with experience.


Stitching the sheath? Ugh! Firstly, you need to assemble the sheath from a heavier leather, in my opinion. Looks like you used an old boot for your source material.


Put the entire sheath together with elmer's glue. Nothing fancy, you just need a few drops to hold all the pieces where they're supposed to be. Of course, make sure you sew the belt loop on before glueing the thing shut or your SOL (seems I always forget that part!) Anyhow, after glueing it up, use a sanding block or belt sander to smooth the edges. Like on a knife, a sheath is all about the little details, and a smooth curve to the edge, with all the parts blended together, is a little detail that you need to pay attention to.


Only after you've smoothed up the edge do you run the groover to give you a place for the thread. A nice smooth edge on the leather means you can track it and get a nice smooth parallel groove for the stitches. Does that make sense?


Second to that, SMALL stitches. Yea, it takes longer to sew it all up. But it looks far better. A good rule of thumb is six stitches per inch or eight stitches to the length of the needle. Three or four stitches to the inch is just a big huge pile of no!

When reason fails...

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