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Quick & Dirty Design method.


Joshua States
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A question came up on another forum about proportions of handles to blades and the ensuing discussion was rather diverse. It did lead me to put together a short step-by-step of how to design a knife from scratch and I thought I might post it here for those of you struggling with freehand sketching and getting the form and profile to flow.

First I decide on what type of knife it will be. For this one, I will do a smallish Bird & Trout/EDC knife.

In the first step, I draw a cross on a piece of plain paper. This represents the Center line of the handle and the front face of the guard.

Step (1).JPG

Now I make two lines perpendicular to the center line to denote where the end of the blade and grip areas are.

Step (2).JPG

Then I decide on the width of the blade and draw parallel lines to create a design box. This B&T will have a 3/4" wide blade so the lines are 3/8" either side of center.

Step (3).JPG

Take a French curve and put in the edge. Decide what type of point (in this case I decided to drop the point a little) and define the ricasso if you have one, and the guard thickness.

Step (4).JPG

Step (5).JPG

Add the Choil, the guard length and the spacer (again, if you have one)

Step (6).JPG

Start sketching the handle profile freehand using the box as a guide.

Step (7).JPG

Make a bunch of erasures, change it a little here and a little there until it looks like it might just work.

Step (8).JPG

Then I place the drawing on the floor and walk around it to get multiple perspectives. I will make more subtle changes to this drawing as I go. Once I have the profile set, I start adding more details in the form of notes along the side of the drawing. Handle materials, furniture material, pins, handle type (frame, solid, etc.) any embellishments (file work, multiple spacers in a package, etc.) Then I'll add a top and bottom view sketch and a cross section of the heel and the guard. Then I make photo copies and add the tang inside the handle/spacer and prepare templates for the blade and handle from the copies. Then I am ready to start forging the blade.

Edited by Joshua States
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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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Nice break down of the geometry, like  a cross between basic drafting logic and art 101 base lines for sketching.

Well done Josh................................B)

Edited by Clifford Brewer
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Quote

A question came up on another forum about proportions of handles to blades and the ensuing discussion was rather diverse.

So, you've used 4:4.75 .

Was that the consensus in this 'other' discussion? (I like your design, by the way!)

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There was no consensus. There are too many variables based on style and function. The only real consensus is that form always follows function. The proportions are a facet of form and will vary based on style and function. The ratio of handle to blade will differ across typologies. A chef's knife will have different proportions than a puuko which will differ again from a Bowie.

That's why the initial design drawing becomes a critical step in the process. It allows the maker to lay out the proper proportions before any fabrication starts.

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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