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Paul Carter

The first 3 Damascus knives I made

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Hi, I'm new to the forum, and to knife making. This is my first post. Thought I would post a pic of the first 3 Damsacus knives I made. These are the 4'th and 5'th knives I have ever made. The two matching knives I made for my parents, and they are made from 1084,1095, and 15N20. They are 64 layers with some raindrop pattern in them. The other knife is 1095, and 15N20, and is only 24 layers. Handles are Cocobolo. The handles on the two matching knives have a partially hidden guard that I came up with as a way to fix a mistake I made. I drilled the forward tang hole too close to the guard and it would have left less than 1/4" of wood if I butted the wood up against the guard. I was afraid that would crack over time, so I wrapped the wood around the guard by cutting it out in a mill. All together I have about 70 hours in the two matching knives. Those two knives were made from the same piece of steel, and the handle scales were all four cut from one piece of wood, then one scale from each pair was used on each knife so they are truly matching knives. I tried to make a cross pattern with the raindrop pattern, but didn't come out the way I planned, so they are hard to see. Hope you like them. Any constructive criticism is welcome as I am learning. I started making knives in September. Thanks for looking!

knife001.jpg

knife002.jpg

knife003.jpg

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Hi Paul, it looks like you are off to a good start.  My 3rd, 4th, and 5th knives were pattern welded too.  Most would you advise not to try it that quickly, but pattern welding was the only reason I got interested in knives, so I won't tell you that :)

The pics are a bit too fuzzy for me to do much constructive criticism.  Cleaness of grind lines, and general fit and finsh will improve as you do more, but I'd say you are doing pretty well for just getting started.  Pay close attention to how other makers treat varous elements, and compare those to your own.  Do this both in terms of design choices, and in terms of quality of execution.  

The partially covered guard is a bit odd, but it looks like you executed it very cleanly.  Part of this craft is finding ways to correct mistakes by turning them into features :)

Keep at it, and don't be shy about posting your work!

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Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the comments. I do need to still make a file jig for doing the plunge lines, but for now I am doing them by hand, freestyle. They are a little crooked, but not much. My first knife was a Blacksmiths knife we learned to make in class. I inadvertently signed up for the advanced class without knowing. The second knife I made was a dagger, which probably wasn't the best thing to make second. Those were both made from spring steel. Then the teacher showed us how to make pattern welded steel without flux, and I got hooked. It's a lot of work to do it without flux, but it comes out great, and is fun to do. So far I have made 3 knives from spring steel, and 6 from Damascus. Still need to finish the others out though. Me being an engine machinist, I always seem to jump right in and go for the tough stuff first, instead of taking it slow. Taking it slow is just not my style.

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You are several steps ahead of the game if you have a teacher.  I had someone teach me some basic forging skills, but then had to learn all the kinfemaking stuff on my own (well, all from this forum really) which has been slow and expensive.

I also came to blacksmithing from a machining background.  Must be somethign hard headed about people who turn handles that make us want to jump in with both feet :)

 

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