For those of you that keep a Knife Making or Shop Log

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I was looking through a shop log I kept last year and realized most of what I had put in there didn't help much on future projects. Probably one of the reasons I quit using it.

What do you guys put in your log/journal or what ever you want to call it, that you find helpful as a learning/teaching aid?
 

Owl

Gold Membership
I don't keep a detailed shop log, but I do record my heat treating procedures and what the results are in terms of HRC numbers and amount of warping I get.
I also take pictures of most finished knives.
Mistakes seem more apparent in a picture, and it usually makes me feel better if I can compare current work to a knife I made several years ago.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I don't keep a detailed shop log, but I do record my heat treating procedures and what the results are in terms of HRC numbers and amount of warping I get.
I also take pictures of most finished knives.
Mistakes seem more apparent in a picture, and it usually makes me feel better if I can compare current work to a knife I made several years ago.
I haven't really tracked my heat treating procedures. I have a general idea of how each turns out but no actual record. That's one I definitely need to do.
I do take photos periodically, but I haven't kept them in any really organized fashion.
Thanks for the tips
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I keep a log of every heat treat I do. I also do build sheets for each knife and keep track of them on a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet includes heat treat lot, model, steel type, hardware, handle type, and sheath type.
Thanks...this is kind of what I've been looking for. I'm thinking a spreadsheet makes more sense than just a journal.
 

soundmind

KNIFE MAKER
I have a sketchbook where I've kept concept designs and notes in the past.

Recently I've been taking pictures of knives I draw. That way I can keep my ideas in digital form also.

I like the idea of keeping my builds more organized by cataloguing them digitally, too. I'll probably end up doing both.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I have a sketchbook where I've kept concept designs and notes in the past.

Recently I've been taking pictures of knives I draw. That way I can keep my ideas in digital form also.

I like the idea of keeping my builds more organized by cataloguing them digitally, too. I'll probably end up doing both.
Good idea also. I'm kind of pulling ideas here and see what will work better more me. I have lots of photos, but they aren't very well organized. I have an odd assortment of knife drawings as well. I never thought to photograph them. That's a good idea.
 

soundmind

KNIFE MAKER
Yeah I'm surprised it worked out. I'm trying to figure out how to balance the blade shape with handle design. So recently, I've also even used my phone to take pictures of knives on the computer. That way I have a whole bunch of pictures all in a row of my drawings and other people's knives, in order to work out a functional design that's comfortable, and pleasing to the eye. (hopefully without stealing any design).
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I have a ledger book that I record in. I write the customer's name, knife steel, serial #, handle material, sheath type, date, any special options, and price. I also keep my photos organized by serial #. In the same ledger, i record most of the supplies purchased so that when I reorder I can quickly find what I used previously. i keep track of my heat treating recipes just like cooking recipes. Once I have one perfected, I make a index card with all that info and keep it right beside my Evenheat.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I have a ledger book that I record in. I write the customer's name, knife steel, serial #, handle material, sheath type, date, any special options, and price. I also keep my photos organized by serial #. In the same ledger, i record most of the supplies purchased so that when I reorder I can quickly find what I used previously. i keep track of my heat treating recipes just like cooking recipes. Once I have one perfected, I make a index card with all that info and keep it right beside my Evenheat.
That sounds quite organized. Which is what I'm working on, getting better organized. You say you keep your photos organized by serial number. So you put a serial number on each knife? I've thought of that but currently don't have a way to do so. I have a stencil for my logo but that's it.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
That sounds quite organized. Which is what I'm working on, getting better organized. You say you keep your photos organized by serial number. So you put a serial number on each knife? I've thought of that but currently don't have a way to do so. I have a stencil for my logo but that's it.
Number punch on the recasso?
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
That sounds quite organized. Which is what I'm working on, getting better organized. You say you keep your photos organized by serial number. So you put a serial number on each knife? I've thought of that but currently don't have a way to do so. I have a stencil for my logo but that's it.
I use steel number stamps. Sometimes I put it on the ricasso, opposite side of makers mark. Sometimes, if I think it won't fit or would detract from the looks, I'll just hide it under the scales, never to be seen again.i started numbering when I sold my first knife and only number knives that will be for sale, not test, keepers, or prototypes.SmartSelect_20200214-170144_Gallery.jpg
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I use steel number stamps. Sometimes I put it on the ricasso, opposite side of makers mark. Sometimes, if I think it won't fit or would detract from the looks, I'll just hide it under the scales, never to be seen again.i started numbering when I sold my first knife and only number knives that will be for sale, not test, keepers, or prototypes.View attachment 71933
Nice work! I'm assuming the steel has to be fully annealed in order to use the stamp?
 

Casey Brown

Well-Known Member
I keep a spreadsheet of every knife that I sell that includes all of the details of the knife. I use it for tracking for yearly sales, and the number of knives I have sold. I also take photos of every knife that I finish, and I include a photo of the knife on the COA.
 
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