CNC Knife Making

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Using a CNC machine for part or all of the process related to knife making is growing. It's no secret that Tormach CNC machines have exploded into knife making. Using a CNC machine doesn't take away from the all hand crafted knife. It's simply another way to make knives. Many knife makers have, or want to, use a waterjet to profile blanks. Why? Because time is money.

Post anything related to any CNC process used to make a knife. This includes CAD, CAM, CNC machines, costs, equipment, videos, tutorials, successes or failures.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
My last batch of knives I water jetted...outside source. I have two cnc milling machines...and...knife steel is tough...endmills are expensive...etc.

You cannot make a knife completely on CNC...Though I am trying hard to...lol.

It's just that to have the "custom feel" there has to be a lot of attention by hand...

Once I removed the "legacy rules" from my mind and installed a new rule..."Ted...make the best knife you are able to via any means available..." the balance of handwork and cnc fell naturally into place....and it's about 2 to 1...mostly hand work...with cnc roughing out handles and finishing blade profiles.

The biggest thing that I see as to increased efficiency is not "CNC or not"...it would be shop layout. I do things sometimes just to "get going" and find three years later I am still working with the same clugey disaster. I have in the last two years streamlined my shop to where I am more efficient. Most of these improvements were hand operations...
 

Don Robinson

Well-Known Member
Using a CNC machine for part or all of the process related to knife making is growing. It's no secret that Tormach CNC machines have exploded into knife making. Using a CNC machine doesn't take away from the all hand crafted knife. It's simply another way to make knives. Many knife makers have, or want to, use a waterjet to profile blanks. Why? Because time is money.

Post anything related to any CNC process used to make a knife. This includes CAD, CAM, CNC machines, costs, equipment, videos, tutorials, successes or failures.
Done did all that at work many years ago, Tracy. I was a CNC, CAD programmer, supervisor, toolroom supervisor.

Hope you enjoy using the machine. I would have liked to have one at home, but couldn't afford it. A CNC cost several hundred thousand $ way back then. I also programmed water jets and others.
 

Nowicki

Active Member
Got to get the cad programing down. Have excess to a water jet and need to start using it. I'll be watching
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Got to get the cad programing down. Have excess to a water jet and need to start using it. I'll be watching
For waterjet you just need a 2D Cad. Fusion 360 is free to use for hobby use. It is 3D but will easily knock out 2D drawings. There is no reason to learn the 3D side of it for waterjet and you can pick that up with just a few tutorials.
Generally, you will want to set the holes up undersize for .010 to .020" and then drill ream to size. Most jetters can take a .DXF file but can also take most typical file export formats.

Avoid using the SPLINES tool. This is the first tool everyone seems to use when they discover it. Splines gives sleek, sexy curves so it's a natural to use. The problem with splines is they are millions of tiny lines and not one smooth arc. These millions of tiny lines choke the controller of most any machine and will cause your jetter guy to complain - loudly. Some CAM software can smooth this to true arc's but most won't. Use several arc's to get the organic look you want. Many jetters will modify your drawings to eliminate splines and you may not get exactly what you want.
 
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