Jump to content
Tiaan Burger

Damascus folders -Getting back into knifemaking

Recommended Posts

It has been a while since I last posted any work here, probably because I haven't done much knifemaking for the past couple of years. However, work suddenly dried up in August, and a prayer revealed the answer: "Make knives!" What sort of knives? The market is stuffed with makers. Again I got an instant answer: "Burger, wake up! Make multiblade folders!"

Well so I got back into making knives and it was a struggle at first. One of the prime reasons I stopped was that I just couldn't see up close any more, and my reading glasses, no matter how frequently I changed them, just couldn't keep up. So i learned to make knives wearing +4 Optivizors! It took three weeks and four knives before I was used to working with them.

 

Enough history!

This weekend is the largest knife show south of the equator, the Brooklyn knife show in Pretoria, and I was lucky to get a table. So for the past month I have been working on a couple of special knives:

The first is the second five blade stockman I made, (the first I made in 2012/13) this is knife nr 11 of 2019, and I am quite happy with it. The damascus was made by Henning Wilkinson. Brass liners, bronze pins and MOP scales.

5bladeopen.jpga

 

5bladeopen2.jpg

 

5bladetop.jpg

 

5bladebottom.jpg

 

Then, just to be completely insane, I decided to make some knives i have never attempted before: a split back whittler and a four blade congress,and since both are my first attempts, I just had to use damascus for both.

 

The congress has warthog tusk covers, the blades are crushed w's damascus by Stuart Smith

congress_open.jpgcongress_spine.jpgcongress_inhand.jpg

 

The split back whittler has paper micarta scales, the blades I made from a bit feather damascus I had left over from when I made my first five-blade about seven years ago.20191118_121930.jpg20191118_122028.jpg20191118_122102.jpg20191118_122133.jpg

 

Thank you for looking, questions and comments welcome!

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very impressive folders.  I think you should do well at the show.  Probably a lot of opportunities for future orders, I'd think.  Hope you have plenty of business cards to take with you.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back!  I too am a member of the Optivisor club, during all steps except actual forging and rough grinding.  

 

Those look great.  That split-back whittler was an ambitious thing to try, but you pulled it off very well indeed!  I'm not quite there in my folders, having only made three of the buggers so far. ;)  Keep it up and good luck at the show!  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very clean work! Those are quite impressive. I have a feeling you will do just fine at the show with work like that. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, very classy.  Makes me want one now.  Keep going :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back! Good to see you back in the saddle. Those are very classy knives and I wish you the best for the show.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work!  I've gotten addicted to making folders recently, but haven't tried a multi-blade yet.  That is quite a step up from a single blade.

 

I'm also dependent on optivisors.  I still have 20/15 vision, but it starts about 3 feet from my face :)  Once you get used to the short depth of field of the optivisors, they are a life changer.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all! As Brian said, optivizors are a game changer. After getting used to the narrow depth of field, I quickly realized that my work is much better than it ever was since everything gets a close up inspection. 

A leftover from my bladesmithing days is that I developed a love for traditional designs and materials, I use 1070 almost exclusively, and recently discovered that folding knives with iron fittings was quite common in the 19th century, so that will be another path to explore. 

I also want to get back into the forge, as I found that most of the damascus I can buy is not suited to pocket knives, the patterns are too coarse for such small blades, and the billets are way too thick. 

Again, thank you all for the response and feedback.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that’s what is needed in this modern world..QUALITY!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You certainly didn't loose the edge after those years. Exquisite work sir!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stunning knives Tiaan, well done.

 

I would be very happy if I can every achieve a slipjoint even approaching the quality of yours.....will try in 2020

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all.

The five-blade shown above won Best Art Folder at the Brooklyn knife show. And a three-blade stockman I made won Best Working Folder. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/28/2019 at 3:13 PM, Gerhard Gerber said:

Stunning knives Tiaan, well done.

 

I would be very happy if I can every achieve a slipjoint even approaching the quality of yours.....will try in 2020

Gerhard, I learned one very important thing a couple of months ago. I watched an interview of Tony Bose on YouTube, and the guy asked him how long he takes to make a single blade folding knife. Tony said he takes three days average. Now he is considered to be the best slipjoint maker alive. I always thought a single blade can be made in a day, two days max. After watching that video I slowed everything down and my quality jumped to a new level. 

To make a good knife means taking the time to do everything right, right from the first step. So my advice: don't rush it. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tiaan

 

I'm told by those I respect (here :D) that I'm slow, so I'll be happy if I can do one in a week. :lol:

I have one of those wooden knife kits, a little canoe, plan on using that as a template, just waiting for 1070 from South Africa early next year.

 

I took apart a knackered Joseph Rodgers my grandfather gave me to try and fix a scale, never got it back together.....

Share this post


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...