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Chris Christenberry

Just finished Knife #2

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Really well done on the knife, it looks fantastic and I would definitely buy a knife from you.

 

My only suggestions is as that the pins position looks a but off. Especially the front one. I think had you move the pin back slightly to have the same distance on the front of the burl as you have at the back it would have looked more balanced.

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Quickly tried in Photoshop. Here are two alternatives.

 

cc knife2.jpg

cc knife1.jpg

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The second one looks better.

Just a observation, the only piece of art theory that I retained from growing bonsai is even numbers of anything is bad, our eyes tend to group even numbers.

Not sure if it applies, but I've always gone for an uneven number of pins.

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39 minutes ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

The second one looks better.

Just a observation, the only piece of art theory that I retained from growing bonsai is even numbers of anything is bad, our eyes tend to group even numbers.

Not sure if it applies, but I've always gone for an uneven number of pins.

Sometimes a handle will just not look "right" with too many pins and another pin in that handle would constitute that anomaly so (imnsoho) your art theory may not transfer to knifemaking Gerhard.

 

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4 hours ago, Garry Keown said:

Sometimes a handle will just not look "right" with too many pins and another pin in that handle would constitute that anomaly so (imnsoho) your art theory may not transfer to knifemaking Gerhard.

 

I believe my record is 11 pins :lol:

It was a very large knife, but I wont do it again :ph34r:

 

As far as Chris' knife is concerned I couldn't help thinking about one mosaic pin in the middle of the handle, and maybe two small brass pins.

Problem with that is the small pin on the bird's heads might not look right.

 

Hmmmm.......mosaic pin as the eye of the bird and hidden pins just for strength B) 

 

 

Edited by Gerhard Gerber
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Thanks for all the pointers, guys.

 

As I was telling Josh in a PM, I drilled the holes before I HT the blade.  Being the newbie I am, I hadn't even thought out what I was going to do with the handle.  Next time I'll plan the handle before laying out the locations for the pins.  I think I need to learn more about hidden pins, though.  So much to learn!  Thanks again.

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As Chris already knows, my vote is the first one. I like the way it relates to the point of the bird beak. Sitting on the line that bisects the point (or close enough). 

A little further back would be more on the line and the space between the front pin and the edge would match the space between the rear pin and the edge. 

Visual balance.

 

19 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

but I've always gone for an uneven number of pins

 Odd numbers of elements are generally more attractive. It's a Greek/architectural thing. It visually establishes the center. 

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

 

 Odd numbers of elements are generally more attractive. It's a Greek/architectural thing. It visually establishes the center. 

:lol:

Odd numbers, not "uneven".......:wacko: English 2nd language.

In bonsai the rule was applied especially to group or forest plantings. I've always liked even numbers of anything and everything, having 3 of a thing bugs me :wacko:

I made group plantings and frankly they looked shite, nothing age could fix, and then on a forum one day somebody mentioned this "rule", changed quite a few things for me.

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10 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

:lol:

Odd numbers, not "uneven".......:wacko: English 2nd language.

In bonsai the rule was applied especially to group or forest plantings. I've always liked even numbers of anything and everything, having 3 of a thing bugs me :wacko:

I made group plantings and frankly they looked shite, nothing age could fix, and then on a forum one day somebody mentioned this "rule", changed quite a few things for me.

I believe it is a universal design rule of thumb. Not always applicable though...

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All these "rules" for knife handles ............and I can't find the book anywhere. :o

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1 hour ago, Chris Christenberry said:

All these "rules" for knife handles ............and I can't find the book anywhere. :o

 

Golden ratio, Fibonacci sequences, 3:5 ratio, and it has to be comfy...:rolleyes:  

 

Only the last is a fact.  Use of the ratios does tend to make things more pleasing to the eye because it imitates nature, but it is not necessary to make a "good" knife. B)  If you think that's wild, wait until you try wrapping your head around Peter Johnsson's sword design techniques using geometry!  They work, but your eyes will cross the first time you try it...

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I know about those because of my furniture building, but I've not seen where any of that would be helpful on a knife.  Someone will have to show me an example of how that would work.  I have various French scrolls to help with radii, but as far as layout of pins and things like that, I've found nothing.  I'm writing down what people are recommending in their critiques..........kind of making my own "book of rules".   As far as the "comfy" rule, most everything I've shown you guys for examples of my prototypes has felt comfy to me.............but not so much to other's who've felt them.  Guess I'm just too adaptable when it comes to comfort, huh?! 

 

As far as "Geometry", Alan, I barely got out of HS because of Math and English!  I took Algebra I in 9th grade..........and then in Summer School that summer because I failed............and then in 10th grade because I failed the class in Summer School.  After failing that third class, the Principal called me into his office as told me if I'd promise him I'd not enroll in another Algebra class, he'd wave the State's requirement that I take a foreign language.  I jumped on that like a Duck on a June-bug.  (because having to take a foreign language absolutely terrified me)  So he enrolled me in Applied Math and I "kind of" made it through the 11th and 12th grades math requirement.  Never could figure out all that "a" x "b" divided by "x" stuff.  All I could think of was "Y".  (why?) :D  High IQ, high mechanical aptitude, extremely High resistance to school instruction! :lol::D  That's why I wanted to be a teacher.  95% of my teachers never reached me.  I spent my time with my head on my desk or looking out the window wondering what was happening in the real world. ;)

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To be perfectly honest, I just eyeball it for everything but pins.  ;)  Those I measure and mark.  Otherwise ( and this was touched on in another thread), no center scribe, no height gauge, just a short ruler when needed, compass/dividers and calipers when required.  And they would be required on that handle to get the layout right!  Then again, I'm not that good a knifemaker. :lol:  Axes, tomahawks, swords, seaxes, I'm competent to decent.  Knives like this, I'm average to below average.  

 

All that said, it seems my eye is calibrated in such a way that the ratios just show up.  On a brokenback seax, the handle to blade ratio is 2/5 : 3/5.  Usually.  On smaller ones it approaches 1:1, on larger ones it slips a bit the other way.

 

On a classic period bowie, the ratio of handle length to average handle width is usually around 4.5 : 1.  

 

Opinion warning :ph34r:: Just make it visually harmonious to you and don't worry too much about it.  Sometimes an unusually proportioned element makes the piece, sometimes it throws it off.  That's the art part of it.  

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I hear ya, Alan.  Thanks.

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On 2/14/2020 at 9:46 PM, Alan Longmire said:

 

Golden ratio, Fibonacci sequences, 3:5 ratio, and it has to be comfy...:rolleyes:  

 

Only the last is a fact.  Use of the ratios does tend to make things more pleasing to the eye because it imitates nature, but it is not necessary to make a "good" knife. B)  If you think that's wild, wait until you try wrapping your head around Peter Johnsson's sword design techniques using geometry!  They work, but your eyes will cross the first time you try it...

 

I'm a believer now B)

 

On 2/14/2020 at 10:09 PM, Chris Christenberry said:

I know about those because of my furniture building, but I've not seen where any of that would be helpful on a knife. 

 

I first saw it applied to calculate the width of a ricasso.

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6 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

I first saw it applied to calculate the width of a ricasso.

I tend to use it for this.  However, I am finding that now when I do it by eye I come pretty close without measuring.  Call it calibration.

 

Interestingly, I watched  a speaker a couple of years ago about the golden ratio.  It does show up in nature, and it has interesting applications in geometry.  However, according to the speaker, the claims that it was a guiding factor for ancient architectural design, or even for later design are grossly overblown.  His claim was that if you actually look at the real dimensions of the features claimed to be using the golden ratio that they aren't really that close.

 

As with all thing, you need to judge for yourself:

 

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8 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

I first saw it applied to calculate the width of a ricasso.

 

Thanks, Gerhard, I hadn't thought of that.  Will consider that on the next knife design.

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Chris,

 

I think for your second knife you should be very proud.    Remember that when you ask for opinions that they are just that and everyone's will be different.  The main things that are not subjective are blade geometry and handle comfort.  

 

If I were to really get picky I would find only small things to change on your next.  One would be to be sparing with the use of brass.  Many customers baulk at it.  Some have already been brought up like pin placement and ricasso size.  If in doubt use the golden mean which Alan mentioned---1 to 1.618.  It makes things more pleasing to the eye.  Also, one of the best tips that I can give you is to occasionally make a knife and test it to destruction so you know what your knives can and cannot do.

 

All in all I'd say that you've got a winner.  Nice job.

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Thank you, Gary.  Your comments mean a lot.  I'm taking all of these criticisms/comments to heart and trying to learn from them.  And, yes, I realize that '"some" of them are merely opinions and others are valid tips.  I'm trying to work through them and define which is which.  I've a bunch of wood carving knives to work on since I've set those aside recently, so my mind will be on other things for a while.  Still have to get my forge finished and up-n-running.  Thanks for the tip on the Brass.  Everyone I've handed the knives to seems to really like the Brass..............but your comment makes me wonder.  What would I be better off using for finger guards and bolsters?  I've considered forging the finger guard into the knife blank itself, but I read this is a pretty lazy way to get out of making guards.  I wouldn't know............I'm new to all of this.  The only sheath knife I've carried in my life with a finger guard had it as part of the blade blank.

 

Thanks again for  you comments.  They are much appreciated.

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More than one professional maker has told me that brass cheapens a blade.  That it's too common, and people see it as inexpensive.  I don't agree, but some people do feel that way. Plus it is what's included with all those kit knives.

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That's the main reason I use 416SS now. Not because I don't like brass...

 

 

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6 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Thank you, Gary.  Your comments mean a lot.  I'm taking all of these criticisms/comments to heart and trying to learn from them.  And, yes, I realize that '"some" of them are merely opinions and others are valid tips.  I'm trying to work through them and define which is which.  I've a bunch of wood carving knives to work on since I've set those aside recently, so my mind will be on other things for a while.  Still have to get my forge finished and up-n-running.  Thanks for the tip on the Brass.  Everyone I've handed the knives to seems to really like the Brass..............but your comment makes me wonder.  What would I be better off using for finger guards and bolsters?  I've considered forging the finger guard into the knife blank itself, but I read this is a pretty lazy way to get out of making guards.  I wouldn't know............I'm new to all of this.  The only sheath knife I've carried in my life with a finger guard had it as part of the blade blank.

 

Thanks again for  you comments.  They are much appreciated.

 

 

I would recommend using either 416 stainless or bronze for your fittings.

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Thanks, Gary.  I'll put that in my notes for future consideration.

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Chris,  I can indirectly identify with your situation in High School with Algebra.  I met a man once who was an architectural engineer.  He told me that when he was in college he needed to get a C in calculus to get his degree but he was pulling a D+.  He went to his instructor and asked if there was any way that he could bring his grade up to a C and his teacher said that if he would promise never to build anything above the ground he'd give him a C.  The man I was talking to made the promise and had kept it throughout his professional career.

 

Doug

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17 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I tend to use it for this.  However, I am finding that now when I do it by eye I come pretty close without measuring.  Call it calibration.

 

 

I've eyeballed it nicely a few times, but I also got it wrong, so I appreciate being able to fall back on this.

 

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