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Ron Benson

My first "whole" knife.

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Some time ago I put a handle on a finished blade I bought to make a handle for. This knife was for practice. The story and the first knife are here. For this knife I used the full tang blade I made in the stock removal class I took in March. The scales are Bubinga and a wood similar to walnut that I have had close to forty years and can't remember the name.

This knife was also practice, but I am also trying to do the best I can, and just get practice. I was also looking for more "gotchas", and boy, did I find them... :blink: The blade I used was about 8", and I would have preferred 9" to 9.5". That left me with two choices - either make the blade or the handle too short. I chose to make the blade too short since this is an ongoing process and I also need to work on handles.

I would appreciate honest critiques - you will not hurt my feeling, (probably :lol: ). Here is what I found either wrong, or not to my liking. As mentioned, the blade is too short, but my choice of extending the bolster onto the blade made the blade look even shorter. And I wish the transition between the bolster and the scales was smoother, plus I somehow managed to put a few dings in the bolster. The scales follow the shape of the blade, but I did not do any shaping from side to side for ergonomics. The mosaic pins are off center because I took a bit off the bottom of the blade although I suspect they were a bit off when I drilled them. I also managed to scratch the blade at some point, so I messed up the finish on the blade trying to remove that scratch.

Now, what did I learn? First, epoxy is very slippery and very messy. :rolleyes: I did not make the first set of scales big enough, and wound up having to make a second set. When drilling holes in scales, clamp them to the drill press because if the bit catches and racks the scales, you wind up with out of round holes, (I forgot to mention that above...). Tape the blade as soon as you finish sanding or you may wind up scratching it. There is probably more, but I can't think of anything else except that I thoroughly enjoyed making the knife, and will make more. 

Sorry for the crappy cell phone photos:

 

 

 

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Well, I think you did pretty good.

I dont like that the handle overhangs so much of the blade,  I'm not crazy about convex edges on such a small blade, and I like sand scratches parallel to the edge.

But it's got a good profile, distal taper, I think the pins look good, everything except the blade itself has a nice finish to it. 

You gave a more detailed critique, so I suspect the next one is gonna be awesome! 

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I think it is very nice.............especially since it's your first "whole" knife. I like the over all shape of the handle and the pins are a nice touch.  It looks to me (I could be incorrect) that you added a piece to your handle to make that section that overhangs the blade.  If that's correct, I think it might have been a nice touch to make that add-on out of Ebony for contrast.  I also think some more time with finer sandpaper grits and a buffer (if you wanted a mirror-polished blade) would have spiffed it up a little bit.  If high polish isn't your fancy, then I'd say just don't stop sanding until you are in the 1000 grit range.  Good job.  You ought to be proud.

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Thanx for the comments Zeb and Chris.

Zeb - I agree that the handle goes to far out on the blade, and the sanding on the blade looks crappy. I'm not following your comment about "convex edge". Would you mind giving a little more detail?

Chris - You are correct that I added a different wood to the tip. I had planned on using walnut, but didn't have enough in a usable condition, so I subbed the closest wood I had. It is too light in color. The blade did look much better before I tried to remove a scratch. I wanted a satin finish, so I guess I should have gone to a higher grit on the blade.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Ron Benson said:

Zeb - I agree that the handle goes to far out on the blade, and the sanding on the blade looks crappy. I'm not following your comment about "convex edge". Would you mind giving a little more detail?

Sorry, meant convex grind (meaning the primary bevel geometry being rounded) . It is a convex isn't it? 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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Looks good, and looks like you will develop your own style very quickly. On a practical note, the 'bolster extensions' will make it a bugger to sharpen!

I've been dabbling with knifemaking on and off for a long time, and am starting to realise that some things are 'as they are' on most knives, as that's how they 'need to be' ! The chefs knives im doing now have 'evolved' into classic Japanese profiles, even though I have not set out to make them that way. It just seems to be the shape they end up to work well. Just musing.

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Zeb - not convex. It's a flat grind, but I eased the the edge where the bevel meets the flat grind.

John - Thanx. I have already discovered that the extension makes sharpening harder...   

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