Jump to content

Intro and First Knives (WIP)


Casey Cardwell

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I just started getting into knife making, and would like to start participating in the forum, so I figured I'd start up a quick intro thread.

 

My start into knife making began with the desire to make my dad a knife for his birthday. My dad is a collector with a discerning eye. He likes bushcraft and neck knives (among others). I didn't feel like I have anything to add to the bushcraft category, so I figured I'd delve into the neck knife and small FB arena. My dad has just about every knife style there is (he literally has 100's of neck knives, both custom and production), so it was tough trying to figure out something that would be unique or special. So I started with something I knew I would like.

 

I like Kukri's, so I played around with handles that might accommodate that shape, and came out with this (all these knives are still pre-heat treat):

 

Kukri.jpg

 

I like this one. It feels great in my hand (though it's pretty blade heavy) and I think it's fun looking (I have since brought the bevel up a bit). But I wasn't sure that the blade style would appeal to my dad (maybe too much of a curve). So I then went for something with a more average blade.

 

FullSizeRender-2.jpg

 

This one is fun. Pretty small, but still feels really nice in the hand…though it definitely needs a lanyard to finish out the grip.

 

The thing about these two is that they didn't feel very personal. It's supposed to be a birthday gift and there really isn't anything that says "For Dad" about these. Don't get me wrong, I know my dad would love it if I made him a prison shank, as long as I tried hard. But I wanted something, well, a little more mushy I guess. So I decided to turn Japanese.

 

58283a51-c63d-47bd-97e1-5c31f85ecd25.jpg

 

Again, there isn't really anything personal about this one, but by taking it a little more Japanese, it gave me the space to etch in some kanji:

 

IMG_0311.jpg

 

It's not exactly what I was hoping for (I'm not sure exactly what I was hoping for), but on both sides are the kanji for Father, Mentor, Friend, and a fake hamon. My hope is that when it gets back from heat treat I will shine up the hamon and the kanji and leave the bluing/slag in the recess and it will camouflage the bevel line a bit and add a nice contrast. I'm planning on a dark handle (maybe walnut or ebony) and a file textured grip.

 

For the sake of practicing with finishing this one, I made a different blade with some similar etching.

 

FullSizeRender-3.jpg

 

This is also the first knife I used a belt sander to freehand grind the bevel. I'm not very happy with how it turned out. I'm hoping I can clean it up after heat treat, but in any case it was a blade meant for the learning process.

 

I've got one more knife in the works (just for fun), but don't have any pictures yet.

 

So, that's my story. I've been really appreciative of all the information on these forums, and I would be very happy to receive some (or lot's of) constructive criticism and advice. Like I said, my dad has a discerning eye. He won't care, but he will notice if the bevel is centered or if the plunge lines are even…and I am worried about being able to do those things well.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by Casey Cardwell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are your first blades? Wow, from one beginner to another, that is impressive.

 

I love the japanese one. I think it has a lovely shape and flow to it, and the etching came out great. I'm sure your dad willl be thrilled that you made that for him. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice work, you have an eye for clean grinds and good design, IMO.

  • Like 1

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

RelicForge on facebook
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome!

those look great for first knives. You guarantee I still win the award for ugliest first attempt. (or first 10). really nice.

 

The major suggestions I have for future work would be to try some with a straighter junction between spine and the first couple/few inches of the handle, and then put a slow drop on it (not that the smooth curve approach you took isn't good and valid and appealing, just another sort of style to try out).

 

Bring the grindlines up, as you get better (and maybe get a better grinder - don't know what you have now, we all started with Delta or Craftsman but those don't cut it).

 

Also, get some nice wood, or if you don't have any and are strapped for money send me a pm and I will send you some. make some handle scales and get practice with that part.

 

The etching is a nice touch. Most impressive, I would say, is your creativity. We all have a balance of working with the traditional forms because they work so well and have been tested, and are beautiful, with making things that are new and different and definitely ours and not just a copy. Your work makes it seem like you will be good at that.

 

keep 'em coming!

kc

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and encouragement everyone!

 

Kevin, thanks for the feedback. I have created a little handle theme with this batch...I'll try to break out of my mold with the next set.

 

I've been grinding the bevels at about 10*. How steep should I take them?

 

My "grinder" is a 1x30 from Harbor Freight. It's terrible, but it's not in the cards to buy anything new (my wife is in graduate school so debt and survival is the name of the game).

 

As for wood, I'm still formulating a plan. I don't have any burl wood, but I've got loads of black Walnut and a little palm. I found some gorgeous spalted mulberry out hiking last month but it'll be several months before it's dry. There is a wood craft store near me, so if I don't like my current options I can always buy something from them.

 

Here's the mulberry

 

image_1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you can get beautiful curly maple, curly oak, and walnut off of ebay. whole boards are only 20-30 dollars (for beautiful stuff).

 

The exotic woods cost more.

 

If you can find good wood, as you have, then go for it.

 

I meant take the grind lines all the way (or almost all the way) to the spine, so that the cutting bevel is at a very acute angle, and the wedge shaped from the knife bevels is as thin as it can be given the thickness of the spine (thin and gradual in slope).

 

great work. keep at it.

kc

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The curly maple is a good suggestion Kevin. I have a few board feet, so if you want some Casey, let me know I can drop a little bit in a USPS flat rate box, so you can try it.

Otherwise, looks like you have a great start :) I dig the etching.

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

http://www.krakenforge.net/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...