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Brian Myers

Folder advice?

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I feel it's time for me to try my first folder. I've done quite a bit of research and video watching to get an idea of what needs to be done. But I always want advice, tips and tricks from you guys since I've seen the work done here and know the quality that people here can produce. I have a decent idea about pin placement, pivot placement and the hole layout. I plan on making it with an old table saw blade, kind of a mystery steel run through before I switch to a known metal. 

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And, I remember when I thought I was ready...

My first worked, but I used the wrong thickness titanium for the linerlock and I couldn't peen the detent into place. Must've been the wrong grade titanium or something.  

Titanium has to be worked with slow tools too, so I actually spent money on slower tooling before I could make it.

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We can dream....

In my dreams I make a living from making knives....

In the cold light of day I realize the only way that will every happen is if I make folders....

I tried to restore a slipjoint, and trying to peen that lot together again broke my heart and my fingers.

Best of luck to you, I'll hold back for now.

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13 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

What kind of folder?

Oops, lol. Sorry I meant friction folder. Nothing fancy to start with, just get my feet wet so to speak. Right now I'm debating between a Spey point or sheepsfoot. Something that can be used as a nice little work or camp style blade. Around 2.5 to 3 inch blade. I'm probably going to make up a 1/4 inch blank of black micarta to use as the scales. That way if/when I screw up I won't ruin any of my exotic wood blanks lol. 

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Good logical course there. I'd consider a spear point. It will teach you about keeping the point inside the handle, plus, it's more useful.

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15 hours ago, Gerhard said:

We can dream....

In my dreams I make a living from making knives....

In the cold light of day I realize the only way that will every happen is if I make folders....

I tried to restore a slipjoint, and trying to peen that lot together again broke my heart and my fingers.

Best of luck to you, I'll hold back for now.

I don't think that's true. Lots of people make a living off of fixed blades. It's just tough. I imagine folders to be just as hard though.

 

9 hours ago, Brian Myers said:

Oops, lol. Sorry I meant friction folder. Nothing fancy to start with, just get my feet wet so to speak. Right now I'm debating between a Spey point or sheepsfoot. Something that can be used as a nice little work or camp style blade. Around 2.5 to 3 inch blade. I'm probably going to make up a 1/4 inch blank of black micarta to use as the scales. That way if/when I screw up I won't ruin any of my exotic wood blanks lol. 

A wise choice!

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16 hours ago, Gerhard said:

We can dream....

In my dreams I make a living from making knives....

In the cold light of day I realize the only way that will every happen is if I make folders....

I tried to restore a slipjoint, and trying to peen that lot together again broke my heart and my fingers.

Best of luck to you, I'll hold back for now.

I can make several fixed blades, and sell half of them in the time it takes for me to make a "modern" folder. If you run in the circles where many people are willing to pay you the equal of a decent hourly wage for the time it takes you to hand build a folder from scratch you move in more rarified air than I do. 

 

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Brian, when I started making folders, I started with slipjoints. There are fairly easy when compared to lockbacks or liner locks. 

I would highly recommend the book How to make folding knives by Wayne Clay, Frank Centofante and Ron Lake. I'll look for a link later, it's hard to find. Otherwise, you might want to go out and buy a small slipjoint folder. Something with a small blade. (1.5") then carefully take it apart. Lay the blade, spring and one side of the frame on a photocopy machine and enlarge it to the size you like. Now cut out the shapes and super glue them to your blade steel and liner stock. Grind and file to shape.

Here is the link to that book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Folding-Knives-Step-Step/dp/0873413903

 

Edited by Joshua States

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I have this insane idea to make a folder as well, I plan on cheating though. I got my son a wooden kit knife and I will attempt to replicate the parts and assemble them into some sort of folding cutting something or another.

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On ‎12‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 4:59 PM, Zeb Camper said:

Lots of people make a living off of fixed blades. It's just tough. I imagine folders to be just as hard though.

First: Define "make a living" in terms of annual income and quality of life.  Second: Do the math and see if it balances.

I don't think I know any full time knife maker whose only source of income is through knife making. Multiple income streams is pretty much the norm. See these threads:

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/forum/67-the-business-end/

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Sorry, I'm pretty much a noob at this adult life stuff so far. I mean I just graduated high school a couple years ago. If at any point you feel the need, just say "shut up, simple!". I was under the impression people do it. I have crunched a few numbers, made a few schemes, (mostly large quantities of stock removal via waterjet services) and would like to think it's possible. But, I've never tried it.

My main intention was to say, "you don't have to make folders to make a living off knives". Maybe I should've said "you can't make a living off either". 

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I read that thread. Lots of good stuff there. Very smart taking your blades to art shows. I liked your point about people at gunshows not wanting to spend $1000 on a knife, but people at art shows might be more willing because it is art and they appreciate that (hope I didn't butcher that).

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Hey Zeb, there's no need to apologize at all. If I seemed like I was chastising you, I should apologize, that was not the intent. There is a ton of info on this site and it is nearly impossible to have read all of it, so I tend to try and shepherd folks to the bits of info I do know of. If you would be so kind as to do the same for me, I would appreciate it ;)

What I meant by "first define make a living" is just that. The definitions of "a living" and a desired quality of life may vary greatly from person to person. Each of us has to define those terms and set the standard for ourselves. They also change as we age. What seems important to you today might be insignificant 20 years from now, it might not. I know my priorities change and have grown considerably in the last 20 years. I think this is true for most people.

You got my point about art shows. Mind you that idea is still theory at the moment. I have yet to sell a $1000 knife at an art show. Lots of interest, but I have not been able to close the deal. I put that out there to encourage folks to try different avenues for selling their product and to raise public awareness of knife making as an art form. If we as makers limit our public exposure to things like gun shows, knife shows, and other restrictive venues, we will forever be in the fringe elements of society.

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Don't feel bad about wishing for something either that is how ideas come about. Just remember what my Grandpa told me

"If wishes were horses, we'd all be riding ....and  there'd still be some poor SOB who's job it was to clean the stables"

Edited by Vern Wimmer

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No worries, or offense taken. Just saying I barely know anything, and there I am giving business advice. "Dobby had to iron his hands" .:lol: Not really, I reread my message and I see how you could have taken it that way though. I was shooting for my usual blend of light hearted sarcasm. That's the problem with the interwebs, no body langage or tones of voice. 

 

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