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First knife and plans for second - Stock removal


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Hello everyone, 

I am brand new here and new to knife making, but have been doing a lot of reading and youtubing.
I have a long history of picking up hobbies, obsessing over them then moving on, so have resisted any large financial investments in this one so far, but doubt I will be satisfied until I have forged a good knife. We'll see.

Anyway, I have made 1 knife so far - 1075 steel, stock removal by hand - hacksaw and files. Heaps of hand sanding (ouch).
Heat treated myself with a very makeshift forge, but would need to improve that for actual forging. I am quite happy with the outcome, but learned a lot of lessons on the way! Note: This knife was made with no clear purpose in mind, just wanted to make a nice knife.

I have now developed the urge to make a much larger knife - somewhere between a machete and a general purpose camp knife. Expect to use if for making kindling, clearing a bit of scrub, scaring away serial killers etc.
I have sketched out a rough concept and would like some feedback before I start cutting. This is 1075 carbon steel, 170-2-17 (4.3 x 50 x 430 mm).

If anyone has strong opinions on the design, I would love to hear them!

Thanks, 

Tim.
 

 

camp chopper.jpg

knife 1.jpg

knife 2.jpg

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#1 looks great!  Is that applewood?  

On the camp knife I'd take the bevels a bit higher.  Other than that, looks like it will do the job.

Welcome to the madness!

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That's a pretty good first knife! The only thing I can find is the scales are quite thick. I believe everyone does that on their firsts knives, me included. Thinner scales will give you more control and be more comfortable for prolonged usage on top of being aesthetically pleasing.

Welcome aboard!

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7 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

#1 looks great!  Is that applewood?  

On the camp knife I'd take the bevels a bit higher.  Other than that, looks like it will do the job.

Welcome to the madness!

Thanks Alan!
I agree about the bevels, they DO look a bit low now that you mention it.The wood on the first is Casuarina (from wiki: "Commonly known as the she-oak, sheoak, ironwood, or beefwood"). Made the scales from a fallen branch from my Uncles property.

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3 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

That's a pretty good first knife! The only thing I can find is the scales are quite thick. I believe everyone does that on their firsts knives, me included. Thinner scales will give you more control and be more comfortable for prolonged usage on top of being aesthetically pleasing.

Welcome aboard!

Hi Joel,

Thank you. I deliberately made the scales thick thinking these would sit more comfortably in the hand. I like the feel of the handle less and less as time goes on, I guess this might be part of the reason why. I also dislike the curve which is a bit too pronounced.


Further to this, I sketched the transition from the ricasso into the bevel curved - thought this looked good. Sitting here, I can't really see how I would be able to achieve this symmetrically  on both sides of the blade. Is this likely too ambitious? Anyone have advice? I had trouble lining up my bevels on the first knife, but you can't see in the pics.
Note: I am hand filing for stock removal. This is already going to be a huge job given the size of the blade and the (poor) quality of my files.

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31 minutes ago, Tim Frost said:

Further to this, I sketched the transition from the ricasso into the bevel curved - thought this looked good. Sitting here, I can't really see how I would be able to achieve this symmetrically  on both sides of the blade.

This is very easy. Drill the holes on both scales and put them together with pins in holes. This way, they are aligned correctly. After that just file/sand the curve.

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5 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

This is very easy. Drill the holes on both scales and put them together with pins in holes. This way, they are aligned correctly. After that just file/sand the curve.

No no, not the scales.

I'm talking about the filing of the curve into the steel. The transition to the blade bevel out of the ricaso isn't a straight line. I drew it as a curve (reckon it looks nicer). Filing a straight line should be easy as the file is straight and all you have to do is keep a steady hand. But to get a consistent curve? Not sure how to achieve it.
If this isn't making sense, I can post some pics to explain what I am trying to say - hopefully I am suing the correct terminology and not confusing things.

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That's a solid first knife! Looks solid and I appreciate the finish,  one of the hardest parts I found in the beginning was finishing the details and getting the grind lines out. Hand sanding is hard, but becomes therapeutic/meditative. I agree with the comments above, especially the thickness of the scales. Took me a couple tries to really get that right so it was truly comfortable over the long term. I would say looking at the pictures the scales should be close to half that thickness. 

I've never done a curved plunge line, but I always assumed they were initially formed on a disk sander with the curve of the plunge matching the diameter of the wheel. Maybe someone who has done it can chime in. 

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6 hours ago, Tim Frost said:

The plunge line is curved instead of straight.

Tim, I have never done this and I cannot even think of how (let alone why) you would. Unless, you just mean to make it straight from the edge upward and then have it curve away from the ricasso at the top. That I have done and I do it on a wheel on the 2x72 grinder. Now I just thought of how you would do it, but first let me address the "getting the plunge lines lined up with each other" question first, the curved plunge line will follow.

You need to make yourself a file guide that you clamp to the blade/tang junction where you want to make the plunge lines. Uncle Al's machine works sells a really nice one with carbide faces, but you can make a simpler one from two pieces of tool steel and a couple of cap screws.

FIle Jig on blade (2).JPG

O-1 file jig.JPG

O-1 file jig (2).JPG

This is used for either files (ones with a "safe" edge") or on the grinder (belt or disc) to cut in your plunge lines. Mine is made from O-1, heat treated to about 61HRC.

Now If you wanted a really curved plunge line, you could get one with an angle grinder using this file jig, but you will have to used a flap wheel so it doesn't grind into the jig. You will also need really steady hands and a way to clamp the tang in a vice so the blade is held stationary while you grind on the bevel.

Edited by Joshua States
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Hey all, 

Sorry to spam the forum, but wanted to properly acknowledge and respond to those who assisted - I was away camping and didn't reliable reception for a detailed reply. 

 

On 11/4/2018 at 12:29 PM, aweller said:

That's a solid first knife! Looks solid and I appreciate the finish,  one of the hardest parts I found in the beginning was finishing the details and getting the grind lines out. Hand sanding is hard, but becomes therapeutic/meditative. I agree with the comments above, especially the thickness of the scales. Took me a couple tries to really get that right so it was truly comfortable over the long term. I would say looking at the pictures the scales should be close to half that thickness. 

I've never done a curved plunge line, but I always assumed they were initially formed on a disk sander with the curve of the plunge matching the diameter of the wheel. Maybe someone who has done it can chime in. 

 

Thank you. I figured that a professional knife maker would work much more efficiently and effectively than I would at sanding, BUT, I should still be able to approach their quality of finish through sheer stubbornness. I didn't quite get there - Little issues here and there that I didn't notice or didn't want to notice at the time.
Disk sander makes sense!

 

On 11/4/2018 at 3:11 PM, Joshua States said:

Tim, I have never done this and I cannot even think of how (let alone why) you would. Unless, you just mean to make it straight from the edge upward and then have it curve away from the ricasso at the top. That I have done and I do it on a wheel on the 2x72 grinder. Now I just thought of how you would do it, but first let me address the "getting the plunge lines lined up with each other" question first, the curved plunge line will follow.

You need to make yourself a file guide that you clamp to the blade/tang junction where you want to make the plunge lines. Uncle Al's machine works sells a really nice one with carbide faces, but you can make a simpler one from two pieces of tool steel and a couple of cap screws.

FIle Jig on blade (2).JPG

O-1 file jig.JPG

O-1 file jig (2).JPG

This is used for either files (ones with a "safe" edge") or on the grinder (belt or disc) to cut in your plunge lines. Mine is made from O-1, heat treated to about 61HRC.

Now If you wanted a really curved plunge line, you could get one with an angle grinder using this file jig, but you will have to used a flap wheel so it doesn't grind into the jig. You will also need really steady hands and a way to clamp the tang in a vice so the blade is held stationary while you grind on the bevel.

Joshua - This level of detail and advice is very much appreciated!
I used a jig for my previous knife, but it relied on me being able to clamp the knife down consistently. I was a millimetre or 2 off.
I think a combination of your advice and this jig should help me achieve consistent bevels AND plunge lines.
As for why the curved plunge line? I saw some on knives in a google image search and liked it, but no reason I know of other than aesthetics.
Bevel jig.jpg

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