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Why Do I Hate This Knife So Much


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Well I broke my last piece of black walnut so I ended up using some rosewood I had. It's no where near finished on the rough sanding but damn I hate this knife. Any ideas before I make it worse?

My issues:

The guard looks all wrong. 

Wrong wood but oh well

Handle shape is ugly

Any comments and suggestions are welcome. 

IMG_1230.JPG

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The guard is fine. A bit more polish to match the polish of the blade would help. The handle looks great except for the pommel. That hooked end will cause hot spots on the pinkie. Other than that, it looks like it would fit the hand really well. Very nice blade! 

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Is the bolster contoured yet? Also it looks like the end of the handle has a somewhat flat taper to it which you can't fix, ideally it would flare out again at the end. The handle looks  long, too. I don't know how large your hands are, but if my pinkie only went to the middle of the curve at the end of the handle, I would consider cutting some of the end off. Maybe you should decrease the amount of swell on the edge side of the handle? It is really hard to tell exactly what is wrong with the handle, but you are right, something is definitely off.

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I don't think it's all that bad, but to my eye, there are three main areas for improvement. Most importantly, the shape of the choil doesn't work with either the handle transition or the blade itself. A smooth half circle would suit the curves of the blade much better, and can be mirrored on the inside curve of the guard. The next problem I see is that the handle is too big for the knife - it looks like it should be about 3/4" shorter, the butt end should be a fair bit less bulky, and the curve to the butt should be evened out - indeed, all curves should be either a section of a circle or a section of a spiral - a French curve is a very useful tool to get this concept ingrained until it is automatic. Finally, the spine of the handle and the blade should be a continuous line - unless you have a very good reason to have that step, it severely interrupts the flow of the piece. I've done a very quick and dirty mock up in paint of what I mean:

alter.JPG

Obviously reshaping the spine is dependant on the size and shape of the tang hole, but all this can be done very quickly and easily with rasps, files and paper...

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I really love the knife, but I don't like the handle-

with the sweeping shape of the blade I think a Persian styled handle with a downward curve that ends in a round would compliment the blade contour nicely- also the cross section of the handle would look nice with a flare towards the end of the handle.

Your knife just seems to be wearing the wrong pants :)

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53 minutes ago, jake cleland said:

... indeed, all curves should be either a section of a circle or a section of a spiral - a French curve is a very useful tool to get this concept ingrained until it is automatic.

That is an interesting bit of design advice I had not heard.  It is easy to tell when a curve isn't fair, but I sometimes have a heck of a time sketching something that is from scratch.

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What did you want it to look like?
Did you have a design? Were you trying to make a specific style of knife?
These things are necessary for us to know why you don't like it.

How long is your handle?
Terminations and transitions should be payed attention to.
The point is a termination as well as the heal of the handle.
The ricasso, guard and bolster are both terminations and transitions and have to have alignment and rhythm.
The lines of the ricasso bottom and spine should align with the top of the handle and the curve transition from the guard to the bottom of the handle.

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Hey thanks guys, awesome input.

Jake I appreciate you taking the time to do that. A couple factors that did play into was that the blade was longer and more curved but then ended up with a crack near the tip. Luckily the sharp curve allowed me to grind it down without screwing up the heat treat.  

I had had a super nice piece of black walnut initially I broke putting in the pin. Got in a hurry and too aggressive. So no excuse. 

The blade and hamon were supposed to be the star but the wood isn't helping that. 

I think I can mostly fix they choil and some reshaping per the suggestions but I think this is going to be a B- with an A+ intention. First curved blade I've done so I'll chalk it up to experience. I've been getting a lot of lately but I keep doing different things. Just not too keen on making oodles of drop point hunters though the occasional one is fun. 

Original blade shapes attached. I guess this is what happens when you get off plan, I did draw it out beforehand. I tried, Salem, to stick to a design but the knife gods had other ideas. 

Ill apply the fixes and repost some pics. I think there is hope with the prescribed treatment otherwise I'll have to rename it the Billbilly Deluxe. Looks like someone went the Opera in bibbed overalls. Ha.

IMG_1220.JPG

Edited by Charlie Meek
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12 hours ago, Charlie Meek said:

I keep doing different things. Just not too keen on making oodles of drop point hunters though the occasional one is fun. 

Herein lies the crux of the situation. Just how many drop point hunters have you made? Did you have the last 5 of them come out exactly as you planned/hoped, or were they almost, but not quite there? It really helps to get something down pat style-wise before venturing off into uncharted territory. When you do venture into something new, it's best to have a good example of it, from another maker to work toward. Not necessarily copy, but more mimic. 

12 hours ago, Charlie Meek said:

tried, Salem, to stick to a design but the knife gods had other ideas. 

BTW that was JJ Simon, not Salem. Anyway, when the Gods start messin' around in my shop and screwing with my work, I chase those &^%$#ers out the door. Here's what happened Charlie: You started with a plan and something small went south so you deviated from the plan a little and tried to roll with it. Then something else took a left turn and you followed. Then the snowball started to roll down hill and you were chasing it. The knife took control away from you. 

When I find myself in a situation where the plan goes awry, I stop and put everything aside. I bide my time and work on something else. Sooner or later, the fix comes to me. Usually, it is how to get the knife back in line with the vision. Sometimes it is how to put the knife in the bucket of broken dreams and start over. Making rash decisions is not advisable. Sometimes I think these things really do have a personality or soul to them and they do fight us when they want to be something else. Maybe the knife was talking to you, maybe not. Maybe you should stick it on the bench and ignore it for a few days and see if its attitude improves.

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Joshua all good advise. I think I will let it mellow for a bit. The oh shit the handle broke and its covered in wet expoxy moment absolutely took control. What does it matter that I see it to the side. I'm not making these for sale yet. 

I'll get this tiger by the tail. As always I appreciate the input. 

Salem had quoted Don a while back about having a plan in one of my earlier issues. I did attempt to draw it out but I'm sure with time it'll all congeal. I shouldn't expect earth shattering results on my 10th knife every constructed. Seems like patience is what I'm lacking. I get in to big a hurry and sometimes I am quite limited in my playtime. Regardless I'll rather make efficient us which means less waste. 

I just get too excited when I see all the stuff you guys put out though. I just wanna be part of the club. Haha. 

Edited by Charlie Meek
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You are part of the club Charlie! I totally understand the patience part and the lack of time. Like I used to tell my guitar students, there's no substitute for practice and "slow now, fast later". 

This art has a very steep learning curve. It's going to test you, try your patience, challenge you in ways you never imagined, and give you a sense of purpose that only rock climbing can equal. :-)

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