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chriswright

My very first two knives

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Hey guys, I'm Chris. New to the forum and new to knife making. I will say that I have fallen in love with this art and I'm so thankful I have found this outlet. I have read many posts from this forum in the past through my countless hours of research and study, but I just recently decided to join this group. I've learned so much from you guys already and I'm blown away by your support for one another as well as your friendly hospitality. Having said that, I want to show you the first two knives of my new passion. Both are made from 1084 steel. I don't have the space or resources to forge just yet so I am limited (for now) to stock removal. A 4.5 inch angle grinder was used to cut out the profile and then I used a 4×36 belt grinder I found used on Craigslist from there. Heat treat was a blast! Once my steel was to temp and cooled in peanut oil I put them in an oven at 400 for 2 hours for the temper. Twice. They turned out perfect and the file skated across them like would be hoped for. Then the sanding began! Then I did more sanding. After even more sanding I moved on to the handle. Oh, btw, used a hand cordless drill for the holes and what a pain. Took me forever and I chewed through several bits from Lowes. Once they were through I put my scales on and started sanding more. I couldn't have been more surprised at the difficulty of putting on and profiling handles. After all was done I was glad that they turned out so well. Made a ton of mistakes, and several setbacks. Had a terrible time with my bevels, but I'm hoping that had more to do with the fact that I was using a 4×36 grinder. I have a long way to go but I'm so anxious to get better tools and equipment and go to town on many more knives in the future. Any comments or feedback will be so welcomed! I know they have a lot of flaws, so feel free to be honest and give me any pointers you can. Thanks for welcoming me to your circle and for being so great to each other! Maybe if everyone became knife makers then we would finally have world peace. Lol. Chris

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Edited by chriswright
A few spelling corrections were needed

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Looks like a promising start to knife making.  Spend some time looking at the edge geometries, and bevels of the more experienced makers here, and forget what the bevels of most commercial knives look like.

Based on the grind lines in your bevels, it looks like you did them after hand sanding the rest? 

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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I find myself wondering a little about your order of operations. Did a file skate after you threw them in the oven? Did you cut the bevels before or after heat treat? I think everyone has issues getting even bevels by hand at first, regardless of equipment. For drilling pin holes, go slow, use lube, keep your tang soft. Trying to cut through a hardened tang is never fun. 

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I agree with Brian. Next step is edge geometry and bevels, which you should put 90% of that in before hardening.  Just leave the cutting edge about the thickness of a dime or a little thicker depending on your forge atmosphere.

BTW if your blade is still hard enough to skate a file after tempering @400 f then you either need an oven thermometer or a new file. After all you should be able to sharpen a knife with a file.

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I have heard that you should use Cobalt drill bits instead of the speed steel..or is it fast steel I have no idea which one..I may be wrong but thats what I have heard.

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Cobalt definitely drills better through most blade steels better than high speed steel.  You still need to run your drill slowly with even pressure.  A little bit of cutting oil (I use Tap-Magic) helps out as well.  The best option is to use a true carbide drill bit, but they are extremely expensive for everyday home use. 

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Thanks for the feedback guys! I did the bevels before heat treat. Well, most of the bevel. Then afterwards I went back over it to finish up and put an edge on it. Holes were drilled before heat as well. Still was tough when using a cordless drill. It skated before tempering in the oven. Actually, I don't think I checked it with a file after the oven. I just wanted to make sure it was hard after the oil bath. Once I was done with sanding I didn't go back to the grinder again. Was too afraid of having to do all that work again. Lol. I went all the way to 2000 grit. Do you have to do that much sanding if you use a scotch brute belt to polish it up like I'm seeing in these YouTube videos? Thanks again for the feedback guys, it means a lot! I use these knives all the time and they are sharp as hell and the edge has held up to some abuse. I'm cited for the next one I make!

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14 hours ago, chriswright said:

Thanks for welcoming me to your circle and for being so great to each other! Maybe if everyone became knife makers then we would finally have world peace. Lol. Chris

Well... I did threathen to beat a fellow forumite and another guy known as "Fluffy" with a foam sword. Not mentioning names ([cough, cough] ItwasVern).  But, the wound has healed, and I have vowed to never again take up my foam covered bludgeon in anger. 

I agree your bevels need attention in the future. Looks pretty good other than that! 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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A scotchbrite belt doesn't "polish" it "scratches uniformly". I still have my one and only "scotchie" (green) I bought years ago. I never went above 600 grit before putting it on that belt. IIRC most working knives I stopped at 400.

(Isn't that little Zeb cute? Just bless his little heart. :D)

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4 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

(Isn't that little Zeb cute? Just bless his little heart. :D)

:angry:<_<:P I'm rubber and your glue how bout that!? Huh? :P:lol::P Yeah, you just got some raspberries. Here's another :P Vern, you are soooo childish :P:lol:

Look Chris, Vern cannot be trusted... Watch him close!

 

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That is the thanks I get for putting Zeb on fluffy's mailing list. Ingrate

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You know, Gabriel Iglesias's publicist probably wonders why this site occasionally shows up in his automated search results...

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On the problem of drilling holes in the tang, there's a couple of ways of addressing it.  One is to drill the holes before hardening the blade.  Another is not to quench the tang.  Then you could stick the blade into a can of wet sand and draw back the temper in the tang.  Yet another method, and the one that I use, is to drill the holes in the tang with a carbide bit.  They are a bit expensive (no pun there) and you won't find them in a hardware store but they're easy to find online.  You will have to enlarge the holes slightly to fit the same size pins in but you run into that  problem with other style bits.  That or find slightly undersized pin material which is not easy.

Doug

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