Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is my first real blade. I just completed building my forge and this knife was a stock removal project I was doing in parallel to completing the forge. So there isn’t forging on this knife, but will be on most new blades going forward. I did use the New forge for normalizing and HT the blade. The blade is 1095 and is 7” long. The handle is a full tang, 5” long. Overall length is 12”. The handle is lined with black micarta and the scales are the Purple Heart wood. The guard and pommel are reprovisioned tool parts because I wanted a piece of my father in the first work. This is a WIP, I still have to put the guard and pommel detail back on. I changed some shape for fit after assembled, so they were complete with rope like design, but I will need to recreate that detail now that I have changed some shapes. I also have to finish the blade polishing, it is about 80% complete and finish sharpening with stones and stropping. I am most happy with the lessons I have learned during the process. I will carry those learned lessons over to my next projects which will be for the kitchen. The only reason I started with this hunter is because my niece’s husband picked up a 1” thick plate of A2 for me to beat on. So he received my first blade (good and bad from my perspective, since later work will get much more tight). By sharing, I am happy to receive any and all feedback. I expect some constructive comments and I welcome them. I have also been posting on IForgeIron’s forum and have received great feedback that I do incorporate as I progress.

Thanks for allowing me to be part of this forum. It is a great community of peers and experts that I know, from my other forum experience, will accelerate and improve my abilities in my new found hobby and passion.

i included a pic of the guard before I made changes during the fit. I will restore the detail like is shown on both the pommel and guard. It is also on the spine. So imagine the guard and pommel being a little better looking for now. I will post pics soon with the finished version.

4016BD59-86A8-43B5-8465-6C9462ED5B60.jpegABE459CE-F6C7-4516-A7E5-04932CAA85B6.jpeg

Edited by DavidF
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David, welcome to the forum! Let me start of by saying I like the profile of the blade portion. 

I noticed this is up for critique... Understand that I want to try and point out flaws you likely already see and I just want to help you. 

Your guard and pommel are too large blocky, this effects the users comfort as well as balance and makes it cumbersome. 

Your saw teeth look too tall and blunt and dont go far enough up the blade to be useful, and may inhibit stabbing.(I would never put saw teeth on a knife myself. 

Your handle contours look uncomfortable. 

Try and take 5 steps back on the next. Full tang, no guard, drop point, flat grind, 2 pins, flowing lines. A well made simple knife will always look better than a poorly done complicated one. Work your way up. 

Hope this helps!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What Zeb said.

It looks more like a fighter than a hunter. Hunting knives generally have 3"-4.5" drop point blades. It gives more control for processing game than longer blades. 

Hope you like brutal honesty as much as I do. My knives would look like shit if I didn't come here for critique. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

What Joël said :lol:

Check out Joël's first knife. It's a good simple first design, and he set out to make it perfect.

It might be a smart move to follow in his footsteps, and perhaps even utilise the power of finitiob. 

I'll try to grab that thread for ya.

keep it simple first, learn the basics. seeing the finished product, and understanding what it takes to get there is a lot easier to see when your mind is not cluttered with all the details of a sophisticated project. 

Have fun. Don't get bogged down with too much information at once. Focus on the foundation (heat treat, clean bevels, and a comfortable handle). 

I recently tought a guy to heat treat and pointed him in this same direction. Learn stock removal first with simple, slow moving, cheap tools. You can ruin a piece in an instant forging, or with power tools (grinder). Even now I still manage to do that. after that, see if you still have the bug, then go buy the big, expensive, dangerouse tools. 

Again, I'm not trying to step on your toes, or insult your first knife (It looks much better than mine btw). I want to help you save some of the hard lessons and heartache. Keep this one though. It's good to look back to see how far you have evolved.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning the craft is a bit like eating an elephant: there is a whole lot there but you still have to do it a bite at a time.

I mean, that, it is easy to look at some of the work of others, with much more experience, and try to do what you see them doing now. The level they may be working at today is most probably not the level they started at. Take it like most folks do. Work on the blade design -make it suit the intended purpose. Work on the bevels, understand what a ricasso is and why it is there. Understand the option of a choil, understand distal taper. Learn about the ergonomics of a proper guard and how it works with proper handle design.

I see quite a bit of unbridled enthusiasm there, an impress amount, and the fact that you took on so much and completed it shows you have the needed determination and good on you for that. I think that if you slow down a bit and work on each basic technique and learn more about blending the techniques, and parts of the knife together, you could be quite successful.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

Hi David, welcome to the forum! Let me start of by saying I like the profile of the blade portion. 

I noticed this is up for critique... Understand that I want to try and point out flaws you likely already see and I just want to help you. 

Your guard and pommel are too large blocky, this effects the users comfort as well as balance and makes it cumbersome. 

Your saw teeth look too tall and blunt and dont go far enough up the blade to be useful, and may inhibit stabbing.(I would never put saw teeth on a knife myself. 

Your handle contours look uncomfortable. 

Try and take 5 steps back on the next. Full tang, no guard, drop point, flat grind, 2 pins, flowing lines. A well made simple knife will always look better than a poorly done complicated one. Work your way up. 

Hope this helps!

Zeb, thanks for the perspective. I agree on all points. You will see a simpler approach on my next project which is a kitchen knife. Simple blade and handle construction. No saw, pommel, or guard. Simple flows and beauty by simplicity. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel, I wanted to get some input and perspective on the drop point versus clip point for a hunter. I have been tossing this back and forth in my head and I wanted to hear your input. For the hunters I have used, all of them have been a clip point. And as I say that, I know that you can use different tools for different purposes by improvisation. At my house, I have seen several butter knives thrown away after using them as an improvised screwdriver. ;) But in my experience, the clip point was excellent for getting under the pelt. With that said, I see a lot of drop point options and based on your feedback, it seems like you have some background and experience with recommending a drop point for a hunter. So I wanted to see if you would share your input since I am a new comer to this obsession. What and why would you prefer the drop point over the clip point for a hunter? Would you have multiple knives for skinning, processing, etc? My perspective may be skewed because I always tried to carry one knife for the field work. But thinking back on my last round, I used both clip point hunter (inexpensive variety) and actually pulled out my folder for a lot of the intricate work. The folder is a drop point (Kershaw 1650ST). So as I thought about that last experience and your comment, I wonder if I stumbled upon some concept that was captured in your response. The drop point folder was sharper, which was the age of the blade and maybe the SS. But it may have also been something with the shape that expedited the process. As you can see, you got my wheels turning, so I thought I would ask if the shape for the point is something that has been noted and I should become familiar with the reason to go with one vs the other. In addition to this huge brain dump, lol, I have two “hunting” knives which are older and both are clip point. Hopefully all of the background helps you understand what I am tossing around in my thoughts. Simple summary question, “why is a drop point preferable to a clip point for a hunter?

Edited by DavidF
Link to post
Share on other sites

If I may intrude I can give you one perspective on the advantage of a DP. Actually part of it goes fairly far back before Bob Loveless popularized the DP. The primary, for me, is found in the Marble's "Woodcraft" design and carried forward in, to me, a "properly designed" DP. With the cutting edge turned upward in the hand a proper DP, in the comfort of the living room, will slide across a magazine on a coffee table with the knuckles in contact with the mag as well. The back of the blade, where the tip terminates, will be in contact but the tip itself will not dig in. Raise the knuckles around 1/8" or a bit less and the tip will dig in. In the field this translates into the ability to make the opening belly cut, on deer or larger, using the knuckles as a depth gauge, with the blade upturned from the inside out without unwanted puncturing of viscera. No gut hook needed. 

Most clip points have a hard time meeting that bar. In addition, if skinning to preserve the hide intact, a clip may be a bit "pointy" for ease of use.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Vern! That helps me a ton. My brain is hard wired for logic and “use cases”, so your feedback was a perfect explanation. Additionally, I read a lot of materials tonight that compared the two styles. Nothing substantial was given as evidence, so I was starting to feel like it was an “opinion”. The only valuable point I had seen, prior to your post, compared tip thickness for dejointing and heavier tip work. After that reading, I still felt like it was more an “opinion”, although I could  see their perspective, that if you are processing large enough game, the additional tip could provid better leverage and prevent potential breaks (although this may be more of an issue with hardness and HT). Your magazine example for skinning really turned on a light for me. So although clip points are an acceptable shape for a hunter, I think I have been show that the drop point is a superior design for the task. Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I want to form these same opinions about one design over another and have a strong opinion to pass on to the others. You have definitely helped me to that end for this subject. 

Edited by DavidF
Grammar and sentence structure
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now I'll add something else.

A lot of folks who make knives don't grasp that purpose. I see a lot of nice DP blades that are dead straight on the spine and it carries through to a dead straight handle. This forces the user to raise the hand higher and negates the "depth guide" feature of the knuckles. To make it user friendly it takes a gentle curve to blade and handle or a slightly modified blade.

A great example, and cheap, is the Gerber "LST" folder. That little knife has just about the optimal shape. BTW, despite its size it is capable of "field stripping" a coastal Blacktail deer.:)

Gerber has had som QC problems with the design. I have had/have several. I was gifted with one that didn't just have a "spear point" it was a single edged dagger. I gave it to a 30 yr old yutz who kept trying to borrow my knife." Here, sorry Mommy won't buy you a knife of your own. Now you DON'T have to pester other people."

Link to post
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...