Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Here's my latest piece that I would like to get feed back on. 180 layers of 80CrV2 and 15N20. 4 inches from tip to guard. Nickel silver guard and pin with G10 spacers. Patagonian Rosewood (also know as curupay) handle. First hidden tang that I've done and first time using spacers. The handle looks like it has a big bulbous butt, but it is actually not.

 

IMG_1624.jpgIMG_1622.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have two questions for you before I comment. Both of them only require a single word answer.

1. Have you made a list of things that you think you could/should have done differently or better? (this is a simple Y/N question)

2. How detailed a critique would you like? 

 

A few more pics would also help. Maybe a shot from the top and bottom, if you can manage.

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I can see it looks nice but I agree with Joshua that a picture from the top to get a better look at the handle would be nice.

 

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I have two questions for you before I comment. Both of them only require a single word answer.

1. Have you made a list of things that you think you could/should have done differently or better? (this is a simple Y/N question)

2. How detailed a critique would you like? 

 

A few more pics would also help. Maybe a shot from the top and bottom, if you can manage.

1. Yes.

2. I would appreciate as detailed as you want to give. 

 

As requested a few more pics.

IMG_1629.jpgIMG_1628.jpgIMG_1632.jpgIMG_1631.jpgIMG_1635.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ok Bill. I'll give it a go FWIW.

First of all this is a well designed and executed piece. There are a few things I would not have done, because of personal preference, but they are minor.

The fit and finish is great. It looks like you took your time with it. The Damascus looks very clean, no weld flaws visible and the random pattern came out well. It's difficult to tell from a photo, but it looks a little washed out on the left side. It may have benefitted from a more aggressive or longer etch. Hard to say. It could just be the pic or the lighting.

 

What I see that needs some further technical attention (on the next one) is the pin hole. It looks like it's off from one side to the other like it was drilled crooked. There is also what looks like a gap between the pin and the wood on one side. I find that many people try to drill this hole after the shaping is done and it never comes out right. If it does, it's a stroke of pure luck or tremendous fiddling. I do not drill this hole until the guard and spacers are fitted to the tang and still in rough shape. The face of the guard is finished to about 320 grit. Then what I do is take a square block of wood and slot for the tang. Once I get the tang slotted, I insert the tang with the guard & spacer package attached and get the front edge of the block sanded flat to the spacers. Once everything is all nice and tight, I draw the profile on the block and cut it out. Sand the profile down to 220 or better. The handle is very chunky at this point with flat sides.

Now mark the pin placement, take the block off the knife, and drill straight through the whole block in a single go. Mark one side of the tang with a black Sharpie pen. Stick the tang back into the block (black side up) and hold everything tight while you reinsert the drill bit just far enough to mark the tang. Remove the tang and drill the hole in it at the mark. Works easy-peasy.

I'll admit that I sometimes have to over-size the tang hole a little to get a clean passthrough. 

Another technical suggestion is the buffed Nickel-silver. Just don't do it. That stuff never buffs out right and remains scratch free unless you are prepared to sand it to like 2000 grit. I just take it to a nice 600 grit satin finish and call it good. It just scratches too easily for a buffed shine IMO.

It also looks like there's a hiccup at the very top of the wood to spacer junction. The line of the top of the wood does not flow straight through to the blade spine.

 

Now for the minor stylistic points.

I think the finger slot is too high. I like the crest of the finger groove to be tangent to the line of the bottom of the ricasso. 

The backmost fiber spacer is too thick. I would have left it out or matched the thickness of the front fiber spacer. It looks unbalanced to my eye.

The guard is too short. I like the guard to come down as far as the blade edge or a little more.

The point behind the finger slot, and the belly in the handle and the upcurve for the pinky doesn't work for my eye. The line is just wandering around along the bottom of the handle. Too many elements to cram into one line. I think it would have looked better with less. Maybe forget the point and make the belly a little more pronounced, coming right off the finger slot. Maybe leave the point and loose the belly making the bottom of the handle curve upward and then down to the bird head. That would have continued the theme of the curves you started with that choil and the finger slot. Three curves. Each one bigger than the last one.

Speaking of the curves, there's something in the curved choil and finger slot that bugs me and I cannot truly say what it is. Maybe it's the finger slot being too high. If it was lower, they might seem more like brothers than cousins, if that makes any sense.

 

Well, there you have it. I think this is a great first partial tang creation. Now go make another one!

 

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Ok Bill. I'll give it a go FWIW.

First of all this is a well designed and executed piece. There are a few things I would not have done, because of personal preference, but they are minor.

The fit and finish is great. It looks like you took your time with it. The Damascus looks very clean, no weld flaws visible and the random pattern came out well. It's difficult to tell from a photo, but it looks a little washed out on the left side. It may have benefitted from a more aggressive or longer etch. Hard to say. It could just be the pic or the lighting.

 

FWIW is gold. Thanks Josh for the very through analysis. I've said before that I have learned a lot from your WIP's and the challenge post. I really appreciate all your post describing the tricks of the trade. Some comments about your comments (not excuses, just where I was in the thought process and several of the items off of the list I made to question #1 you asked):

 

I think the reason the etch looks washed out is that I use 80CrV2 instead of 1084/1095 for the counter to the 15N20. I like the combination for a variety of reasons, but it never deep or dark etches. This one was etched 6 times for 10 minutes each etch with agitation in 1:3 FeCl3. I don't know metal chemistry, but my guess is the chromium in the 80CrV2 resists the etch just enough so it doesn't get real dark. Oh, this blade also spent 48 hours in 5x instant coffee (didn't do a damn thing...).

 

7 hours ago, Joshua States said:

What I see that needs some further technical attention (on the next one) is the pin hole. It looks like it's off from one side to the other like it was drilled crooked. There is also what looks like a gap between the pin and the wood on one side. I find that many people try to drill this hole after the shaping is done and it never comes out right. If it does, it's a stroke of pure luck or tremendous fiddling. I do not drill this hole until the guard and spacers are fitted to the tang and still in rough shape. The face of the guard is finished to about 320 grit. Then what I do is take a square block of wood and slot for the tang. Once I get the tang slotted, I insert the tang with the guard & spacer package attached and get the front edge of the block sanded flat to the spacers. Once everything is all nice and tight, I draw the profile on the block and cut it out. Sand the profile down to 220 or better. The handle is very chunky at this point with flat sides.

Now mark the pin placement, take the block off the knife, and drill straight through the whole block in a single go. Mark one side of the tang with a black Sharpie pen. Stick the tang back into the block (black side up) and hold everything tight while you reinsert the drill bit just far enough to mark the tang. Remove the tang and drill the hole in it at the mark. Works easy-peasy.

I'll admit that I sometimes have to over-size the tang hole a little to get a clean passthrough. 

The pin hole IS off a bit and it is one of the things from your original question #1. that I need to change. It is these "tricks of the trade" from you that I was talking about. Everything that I have read has said "drill the pin holes before HT". Great; so that's what I did. Now trying to line that existing pin hole up "blindly" and have everything remain tight is what made this the fourth handle that I had to make for this knife. Thanks for the insight. I assume you draw the temper way back on the tang to make drilling the hole after HT easier?

 

BTW, there isn't a gap around the pin on the one side. It looks to be reaction between the wood and the nickel silver, the epoxy, or something making for "stains" in the wood. If you notice the dark ring around the pin in the last picture. It is actually just a big bit of staining. I like the wood but this is the second time I have had this issue with some kind of staining. :unsure:

 

7 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Another technical suggestion is the buffed Nickel-silver. Just don't do it. That stuff never buffs out right and remains scratch free unless you are prepared to sand it to like 2000 grit. I just take it to a nice 600 grit satin finish and call it good. It just scratches too easily for a buffed shine IMO.

It also looks like there's a hiccup at the very top of the wood to spacer junction. The line of the top of the wood does not flow straight through to the blade spine.

Yeah, I'm finding nickel-silver is not that great. It does seem too soft for lasting shine. This guard was only taken to 600 grit and then I used a buff wheel loaded with pink and it came out this shiny. Chalk it up to being too soft...

 

The hiccup at the top is another item from question #1. That happened as I was sanding the finger groove in the guard. Happened unintentionally and I was kicking myself when I actually noticed it. If you look in the first picture in the second set I uploaded, you can see the "hiccup" actually extends the whole way around the guard - the guard actually flares out a bit when going from the handle toward the blade.

 

On the list of things to improve: don't get so lost in the zen of sanding.

 

7 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Now for the minor stylistic points.

I think the finger slot is too high. I like the crest of the finger groove to be tangent to the line of the bottom of the ricasso. 

The backmost fiber spacer is too thick. I would have left it out or matched the thickness of the front fiber spacer. It looks unbalanced to my eye.

The guard is too short. I like the guard to come down as far as the blade edge or a little more.

The point behind the finger slot, and the belly in the handle and the upcurve for the pinky doesn't work for my eye. The line is just wandering around along the bottom of the handle. Too many elements to cram into one line. I think it would have looked better with less. Maybe forget the point and make the belly a little more pronounced, coming right off the finger slot. Maybe leave the point and loose the belly making the bottom of the handle curve upward and then down to the bird head. That would have continued the theme of the curves you started with that choil and the finger slot. Three curves. Each one bigger than the last one.

Speaking of the curves, there's something in the curved choil and finger slot that bugs me and I cannot truly say what it is. Maybe it's the finger slot being too high. If it was lower, they might seem more like brothers than cousins, if that makes any sense.

 

Well, there you have it. I think this is a great first partial tang creation. Now go make another one!

 

Regarding the finger slot and choil; What I was shooting for was to have to choil "curve" into the arc of the finger groove. Didn't quite work out the way I had wanted.

Noted on the spacers and guard. 

Interesting comments on the flow of the handle...I can picture the "three curves".  I like it. I was sanding to fit comfortably in my hand and lost sight of the aesthetics. 

My guess is the thing that bugs you about the curved choil is what I alluded to earlier. It was meant to line up with the curve of the finger guard. It doesn't, so the line is broken and it does look "off". On the list from question #1...Either cut the choil a bit higher (couldn't because of spacing on the tang), or drop the finger groove (already noted).

 

Thanks again for the critique. Already started on the next. Piece of cable damascus with the same basic shape. Trying to make it better.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Bill,

I have a couple more helpful tips for you.

 

2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

Everything that I have read has said "drill the pin holes before HT"

You can do it that way, and I used to. There is a way to do it which I will outline. I don't do it this way anymore because it requires a "best guess" at the pin location, and it never ended up where I really wanted it. If you do it before HT, you need a drawing of the finished knife to work from. Lay the rough ground blade (ready for HT) on the drawing. Approximate where the guard shoulders will end up and mark the spot for the pin hole. Drill it a little oversized as it will never line up perfectly.( Sometimes it never lines up at all and well that's another set of how-to-fix-this post.) After you have HT'd and finished the blade, get your hardware all fitted and tight. Slot for the tang and profile the handle shape, leaving the sides flat. Now Lay the tang on top of the wood block instead of inside the wood block, get the spacers pushed tight against the face and clamp the tang down. Now drill the hole in the block. Drill towards the front of the hole rather than in the center to account for the taper in the tang (unless you have made the tang hole size much larger than the pin). The trouble with this method is that all the work prepping the guard and spacers, prepping the shoulders, and the minor differences between the drawing and real life, all add up to the hole placement moving from your original position that you thought was aesthetically correct. Does it work? Yes, but I hate it when that pin is not where I originally wanted it. Yes, you have to draw the tang way back in order to drill it. I draw all my tangs back anyway. You will also need cobalt or carbide drill bits to drill through it, unless you can isolate the heat well enough to fully normalize the pin location 3X.

 

2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

the guard actually flares out a bit when going from the handle toward the blade.

I noticed that and I like the design element. I would just prefer that the top didn't do that. It just takes some hand sanding to blend that in so the spine is straight and the sides have the flare.

 

2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

What I was shooting for was to have to choil "curve" into the arc of the finger groove.

I figured as much. Really nice design idea. Hard to achieve, but worthy of repeated attempts.

 

2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

BTW, there isn't a gap around the pin on the one side. It looks to be reaction between the wood and the nickel silver, the epoxy, or something making for "stains" in the wood. If you notice the dark ring around the pin in the last picture. It is actually just a big bit of staining. I like the wood but this is the second time I have had this issue with some kind of staining. :unsure:

I did notice the ring around that pin. As for preventing the staining, I also have a trick for that. Seal the wood with whatever finishing oil you plan to use before glue-up. get a little bit inside that pin hole. This also helps with keeping the overflow epoxy from sticking to the handle material, and helps keep the Vaseline resist from staining the wood. I do 2-3 coats of Danish oil before glue-up.

 

2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

Already started on the next. Piece of cable damascus with the same basic shape. Trying to make it better.

Good plan and good luck to you sir.

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

or something making for "stains" in the wood.

Just in case...another thing that can cause dark rings around pins is letting them get too hot if grinding them off.

 

 

Nice looking knife, Bill.  Thanks for letting me know to keep 80CrV2 out of my damascus.  

 

ps- my Aunt and cousins live and work in Carmel.

Edited by billyO

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...