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A few knives, mostly kitchen for some critique


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Hey Everyone,

 

This seems like a great place and a little more homie than some of the other general forging forums I've found. I've been drawing a lot, after looking at a lot of blades and wanted to show some of my progress.

 

I'd like some feedback on the patterns, and maybe some help in figuring out what to start on first. Thanks for looking.


KotantoKiridashiandRazors.JPG

 

Tantokotantoandkitchen knives.JPG

 

KoDeba Pairing and ugly kodeba.JPG

 

 

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

 

I think all your designs look very nice. They are clearly Eastern influenced, so I'm not the best equipped to comment on their adherence to that very strict style of blade, but I don't see any major design flaws.

 

My only advice would be to try a full tang knife with no bolsters as your first blade, rather than the hidden tang designs you've drawn here. For a variety of reasons, full tang w/ no bolster eliminates a lot of the "screw up" potential in a knife.

 

Also, if you don't have them, pick up the classics: The Complete Bladesmith, Step-by-Step Knifemaking, the $50 Knife Shop.

 

Finally, almost any question you have has been asked and answered many times here. The search engine built into the forum sucks. Use Google. Type in google: [site:bladesmithsforum.com "What I want to search for here"] and you'll find a treasure trove of info on everything from smelting to steel choice to grinding to heat treating, carving, engraving, etc. etc. etc.

 

Again, welcome to the forum, and welcome to the quest!

 

Dave

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Jerrod: Probably not a good idea, since sometimes we get very experienced smiths that sign on with new accounts. I have thought that I should write up a general intro for the beginner's forum, but haven't got around to it yet.

 

Thanks!


Dave

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I was mainly thinking about the search tip, but while they were getting an email they could get the tip on the books in case they were a newbie. But I see your point about not wanting to bog down experienced folks that are just new to the forum. Now let's just get Wes' custom search site to be the default forum search engine! Good one Wes!

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Not that I'm against the subject of making search tools for newbies easier, but I started a thread asking for feedback on drawings, got one relevant comment from Dave (thanks Dave) Then the rest of the thread has been about various ways of searching the forums, when I wasn't asking a general question in the first place. I was asking about specific comments to my work.

 

I don't get it.

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Our sincere apologies Trevor.

We can be a little tangential around here, but you are absolutely correct. Back to your topic!

 

Those drawings show a lot of thought and I imagine many hours of reading.

I really like all of them, despite the fact that I don't generally care for stub tang knives. I would go for the middle knife on your last page for a first knife. Really just personal preference, but it is also helpful that it is slightly smaller so easier to keep everything smooth and flat etc.

 

As Dave commented, full tang knives without metal bolsters tend to be more forgiving for a first knife as they minimize the number of joints you need to fit together.

On the other hand, with the hidden full tang knives I have made (and 1 stub tang) I found they were actually slightly easier than fitting a metal bolster and handle material to full tang knives because you can focus on 1 joint at a time.

Fit the bolster to the tang and ricasso; then take it off and fit the back side of the bolster to the handle material. Small pins in the backside of the bolster, parallel to the tang so they stick into the handle, make it easier to keep everything lined up the same way each time you put it together-take it apart-put it together...

If you are going to pin the handle, after both bolster and handle are fitted, drill an oversize hole in the tang and then mark its location on the handle but don't drill yet.

Assemble the handle on the tang with epoxy, be sure the pin hole in the tang IS filled with epoxy and clamp it all up tight.

once the epoxy is cured, drill the pin hole all the way through, coat the pin with epoxy and tap it in place.

Good luck, and welcome to the forums!

James

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Yeah, I'll take responsibility for that, sorry! :o

 

I couldn't tell you why, and I have never used one, but I have always been drawn to kitchen knives similar to your last drawing. I would think the edge needs to angle up just a tiny bit less. Again, no experience with them, but I really want to make one for my kitchen. Probably will later this fall, with a micarta handle.

 

On the subject of stub tangs and their relative length (yours all look long enough, though a couple in the second image are possibly border-line); I always think back to the ABS JS bend test. I firmly believe that a 90 degree bend is WAY overkill (who does that and why?), but remembering something extreme like that helps me with the big picture of finding a weak point. Where is the thing going to break in a plausible situation? If the stub is too short it will either rip out of the handle material, or the handle material will fail. Like I said, yours look long enough. I'd be afraid of the person that can get that much leverage on just the handle material past the stub! Even if it is a kitchen knife, someone down the line may use it for something else, and if you can build it to be more robust with little extra effort why not?

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My apologies as well Trevor.

 

I would have to agree with what Dave has said and James followed up with. Start with a full tang knife without bolsters. It will be good practice since you must get each slide of the tang as flat as possible to ensure a good fit. Your drawings look good though. I certainly applaud you drawing them; there is a little bit better sense of line and proportion when hand draw. It's easier to spot problems(or at least it is to me). But no matter the choice, keep up posted about what you are working on.

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Thank you Wes, Jerrod, and James

 

James, less time with the reading, more time studying as many different japanese kitchen knives as I could, and trying to find something in the utility/vegetable/petty range that would serve. Which is where the ko-santuko like thing (the last image that Jerrod seems to be talking about) came from.

 

The full tang stuff just isn't nearly as appealing to me, and I have rehandled rather many wood chisels, carving tools and a very old japanese kitchen knife. That ability to remove the handle during resharpening is a major boon, and much easier than western bolstered blades(I'm usually the guy that brings waterstones to friends houses when we are cooking because I know I'll not find a sharp enough knife).

 

Jarrod, that knife which I'm intending to be a ko-santuko is a toughy. I've seen some that seem to curve up a little more, and some more flat. I cut out a paperboard template with a slightly flatter trajectory towards the tip which might work out. Unfortunatly I don't have a camera on me today, but tomorrow in the shop I want to get a picture of the few things I've started on.

 

Wes, I totally agree about drawing, there is no way to accuratly gauge your intentions without a drawing to follow.

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