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bRIBEGuy

First Knives and Rambling Stories...

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Well, I've decided to let the proverbial cat out of the bag, and show off my first three knives. And by "show off", I mean "post online and hope the ridicule isn't to harsh".......LOL. Seriously though, I am looking for any and all open comments and criticisms. I know I certainly have a ton!

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I've been interested in knives for quite some time, and have had blades in one form or another from the time I was a fairly small kid. Over the last year or so, however, I really started to get drawn to the appeal of trying to build one from scratch. Since I was finally starting to get my garage sorted out a bit, I figured it was high time to try.

Now my grandfather (RIP) used to make knives (utility/kitchen) out of old saw blades back after WWII, and to this day, they are still the favorite knives that both my Mother and Grandmother use (despite me buying my Mom some nice Henkels years back). His knives were always pretty rough and tumble from a fit & finish perspective, but they were highly functional, and hold a surprising edge. While my ultimate interest is in making some folders, I figured it'd be a fun nod to my family history to start with a few fixed blade knives.

Now as much as I love all of the techy goodness out there in tool land these days, I'm not quite lucky enough to have been born into a machine shop, have buddies at a water-jetting company, or anything like that. Despite having solid abilities in CADD (I do piping design/drafting professionally), I opted to go all old school on these knives using basic power tools, and heaping piles of elbow grease.

Current shop set-up:

-2'x42" Belt Sander
-69" blade metal bandsaw
-Drill Press
-Scroll saw
-Dremel
-6" Bench grinder

And with that...........it was off to the races. I ordered up a short length of 5/32" 154CM steel, and starting thinking out loud on paper.

Now one of the other drivers in this project was my wife's side of the family. When her grandmothers old house was packed up after her passing, we came across a stack of old new-stock seed bags from when her grandfather worked for McKenzie Seeds sometime way back when. We took a few of them and used them for various projects, but the ultimate plan was to try our hands at some Micarta. I built a ghetto-fabulous press out of some mild steel plate and layered plywood, and we trimmed one of the bags into 2" strips. We did a thin test strip first, successfully making a 12"x2" block about 3mm (1/8") thick. For the second block we went thicker, and came out around 6mm (1/4"). The micarta is a nice natural canvas color with lots of dark flecks, and some blue stripes. Looks pretty cool, imo. For the third press, we opted to die the canvas in a red and a black batch, and then layered them up in an alternating fashion for a second 6mm block.

By this point, I had come up with a design I kinda liked, and was ready to move forward. The plan was to cut 6 blanks of the same knife, and then use them to focus on grinding and finishing. Of course, the steel didn't go nearly as far as I though, so I ended up with only two full size blanks. Each blank had a cut off scrap just big enough to play with, so I opted to make a tiny knife in a similar style. The remaining 6" or so turned into a shrunk down version of the main knife at my wife's suggestion. So in the end I still got my six........just in two sets of three designs. Oh well.

I've finished up the first set in the natural micarta, and am currently working on the second set in the red and black. I'll post pictures of those when they're done as well.

But enough talk.............here's the pics.

First knife has a 4" blade, and a 9" overall length. Copper corby bolts and SS lanyard tube. Full flat grind on the front of the knife, and a convex grind at the back.

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Medium knife comes in with a 2.2" blade and a 5-5/8" overall length. Pretty much the same as the big one otherwise, but with a rounder handle shape.

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The tiny knife has a whopping 1.75" blade, and a 4.75" length. SS acorn bolts were used here. Full flat grind. I left the front edge untouched since I kinda liked the color from the heat treating.

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All the knives were professionally heat treated by a local shop, and tested at between 60-61 hardness (depending on the blade)

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And there you have it......my little story.

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Looks like knife making really does run in your blood :). I love these, they look so good. Absolutely adore the handles in particular.

Just wondering, would you be willing to share some pictures of your grandfather's knives? Would love to see what they look like and how your styles differ/are similar.

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1 minute ago, Elise said:

Looks like knife making really does run in your blood :). I love these, they look so good. Absolutely adore the handles in particular.

Just wondering, would you be willing to share some pictures of your grandfather's knives? Would love to see what they look like and how your styles differ/are similar.

Pairing these up with my grandfathers knives would be super cool, but unfortunately hard.  My Mom has one (which I could likely get for a short while), but the rest are with my Grandmother in Saskatchewan.  They're really nothing to look at, but no one is willing to let them go or give me one!  Ha ha ha!

Thanks for the kind words, I'm pretty happy with them, and I too LOVE the look of the home made natural micarta.  I'm just finishing up another batch with the red/black micarta I made (same seed bags, just dyed), so hopefully I'll have pics of those up soon too.

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3 hours ago, bRIBEGuy said:

Pairing these up with my grandfathers knives would be super cool, but unfortunately hard.  My Mom has one (which I could likely get for a short while), but the rest are with my Grandmother in Saskatchewan.  They're really nothing to look at, but no one is willing to let them go or give me one!  Ha ha ha!

Thanks for the kind words, I'm pretty happy with them, and I too LOVE the look of the home made natural micarta.  I'm just finishing up another batch with the red/black micarta I made (same seed bags, just dyed), so hopefully I'll have pics of those up soon too.

Aw that's a shame. Would still love to see the one your mom has if you ever get the chance, though. I think it'd be interesting :)

Keep sharing pics. It'd be awesome to watch how your taste and style changes from one knife to the next! :)

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Picture time!

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The next three blades got finished up, and I finally had a few spare moments to snap & upload some quick pics.

I tried out a slightly different shape for the finger choil and a bit of a shorter handle length on the larger knife.........and decided I'm not as big of a fan. I'll change that back on the next ones.

Profiled the handles a bit differently on the smaller two, and I think it's an improvement. The died black & red micarta is cool, but I think I have a pretty strong preference for the natural.

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 really like that blade shape - great work :)

My favorite "chopper" is a megamart-special kitchen cleaver vs. a hatchet for better precision with the aim on the chop. These would work great for that :)

An unexpected benefit of the 'hanging hole' at the front of the blade is that you can run a loop of paracord etc. through it, and turn the blade into a makeshift drawknife pretty easily. Far from perfect, but it adds extra utility :)

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