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Chris Christenberry

Just finished Knife #2

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Finished this just this afternoon.  Haven't put an edge on it yet, but just couldn't wait to show it off!   Time for critiques.

 

 

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Edited by Chris Christenberry
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Very clean work! I like everything on this knife. We don't see this butt shape much except in European knives.

 

It is especially impressive that it's only your second one B) 

 

Now since you asked for critique, and if I was to let my OCD take over, only two things bug me just a little. First being the ricasso is a tad wider than the narrowest part of your handle. Second being your pin placement. In fact, the later has me scratching my head because it seems off to my eye, but I can't figure where I'd want them :lol:. It certainly is tricky with multi material handles.

 

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That's fantastic and there isn't much wrong with it. If I was going to order a custom knife with that as the starting point though,  I'd do away with the black. The black wants my attention,  but the burl is where I want my eyes to be.

 

But man, I wish my second knife looked like that.

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That’s a really good looking knife, I would never think it’s only your second..:). that handle shape is different than anything I’ve seen, but I think it’s cool. Great work.

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I already told you what I think, now for the questions.

What are the black bits and how are they held on?

What are the stats? (sizes, dimensions, etc.)

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Thanks for the compliments, guys.  This is going to be my EDC and the birds head is very slightly exaggerated because I'll be carrying it in a horizontal sheath without a strap.  The sheath will be tight and not much of the handle will be exposed.  My thought was the exaggerated birds head would give me a better purchase for retrieval.

 

Josh, the "little black bits" are Gabon Ebony.  I glued up the Ebony, Brass, Black fiber spacer and Elm Burl and then turned it over and cut an 1/8" deep channel on the backside from the wood to the Ebony and filled it with a small steel rod covered in epoxy.  When it cured, I epoxied the entire thing to the tang.  I did that because I didn't want all those tiny pins distracting from the Ebony.  Everything lines up.  (I had enough comments about that on my first knife and wasn't going to get caught screwing that up again!)

 

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the knife is  7 1/2" long over all.  Blade is 3'.

 

 

 

20200211_202434-half.jpg

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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While we differed on some points of design, the execution is very well done and for a second knife is exceptional.

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Really well done Chris. Your efforts have paid off....only thing....... a nice knife like that needs a sheath;)

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7 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Thanks for the compliments, guys.  This is going to be my EDC and the birds head is very slightly exaggerated because I'll be carrying it in a horizontal sheath without a strap.  The sheath will be tight and not much of the handle will be exposed.  My thought was the exaggerated birds head would give me a better purchase for retrieval.

 

Extremely well done, at first sight the bird's head looked slightly too large, the rest is beautiful!

 

8 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

Second being your pin placement. In fact, the later has me scratching my head because it seems off to my eye, but I can't figure where I'd want them :lol:.

 

Since you mentioned it, I noticed it as well, and the only idea I can come up with is smaller pins.....maybe?

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I think it's great.  The exaggerated birdshead is exaggerated enough to show it is a deliberate choice. The slanted lines are well done.  Congratulations!

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Bravo Chris- Did you stabilize the wood yourself or get it done?  I think your horizontal carry choice should be a great canvas for that sheath!

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Thanks for the "flowers" guys, but I really appreciate the design critiques.  I'm keeping track of them for the next build.

 

Yes, Kerri, I stabilized the wood.

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My only critique is ya done went and did too good on yer second knife......................................;)

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I believe that's one of the nicest compliments I've ever had, Clifford.  Thanks.  6db3b93210de140175211a0ff5cd1543.jpg

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I really like the color contrasts. Guard, bolster, pins and burl handle all work together like a piece of art. How did you plan that out?

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Don't mean to sound flippant, mross, but I've been an artist all my life.............in some field or another.  Some things just come naturally, I guess.  But I'm learning a lot about the art of knife making I never knew or thought about before.  I'm super pleased this knife and my first one turned out so nice...........this one much  better than the first.  I can only hope to learn enough from the constructive criticisms I've received to make my third as much better than this one as this one was than the first.  We'll see.  I was a custom furniture designer/builder for 17 years.  I seldom followed rules, but when I'd finish a piece I could almost always go back and verify that much, if not all of the design concept followed many of the basic rules of furniture building.  My problem with knives is I can't seem to find the "rule book" for how to design them.   But I'm taking criticisms and asking question to learn as much as I can.  I'm starting out late in life and would like to learn from other's mistakes so I can leap-frog over a lot of years of "oh no's" through the help of the more expert makers here on the forum.  So far I seem to be getting that help.  Great bunch of guys here.  In other words, I haven't found any out-of-bound egos here!  Nobody looking down their noses at a newbie, thank God! :D

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I appreciate where you are coming from, and you convinced me to look over your pics closely for anything that I would critique.

 

The fit and finish are very good.  They show a lifetime of being a very disiplined craftsman. 

 

The only thing I see that hasn't been said is that the first pic makes it look as if your plunge line runs out through the spine of the blade.  Generally you want to make sure the plunge stops short of the spine.

 

I don't feel I can comment on the design choices you made.  I am not really very good at knife design, and like you I find the subtle 'rules" to be hard to grasp.  However, I find your knife to be very pleasing to the eye.

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Thanks, Brian.  I'll be super careful with the plunge line in the future.  (so much to remember!) :blink:

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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I've done a few knives so far and still screw up at least one thing per knife. I just get better at hiding those :lol:

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I was a custom furniture builder for 17 years.  One of the first things my mentor told me was "they way you can tell a good furniture builder is how well he can cover up his mistakes".  I'm sure there are a hundred variations of that one, but when you've got $3,000 worth of specialty wood in a project, a small mistake can't be the reason for tossing the entire thing in the wood burner!  Gotta learn how to fix them so they can't be seen. ;)

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That's a sweet looking knife, Chris.  The only critique I have has already been said by Mr Dougherty.

Looks comfortable in the hand.  Well done!

Edited by billyO
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@Chris Christenberry you might be new to knife making, but obviously know how to use your hands.

70+ knives in and I might be able to make that handle, but 20+ years in IT doesn't give you the right skills, up until a very few years ago the only power tool I ever used was a hand drill.

 

I think your's is called a flying start! B)

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5 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I was a custom furniture builder for 17 years.  One of the first things my mentor told me was "they way you can tell a good furniture builder is how well he can cover up his mistakes".  I'm sure there are a hundred variations of that one, but when you've got $3,000 worth of specialty wood in a project, a small mistake can't be the reason for tossing the entire thing in the wood burner!  Gotta learn how to fix them so they can't be seen. ;)


Someone on here once said “a mistake repeated is a pattern”. A great way to hide an oops.

What did I think when I saw this knife? I thought you’ve taken to this like a duck to water. Congrats.

Edited by Charles dP
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