Noob maker, lemme have it!

Otto76

Active Member
Hello KnifeDogs. I just started up about a month and a half ago, managed these six so far with three more working. Pics are in order from first to most recent. I want to start focusing on cleaner plunge lines and finish on the blades. Ordered a satin finish wheel, hope that works out well. I’d appreciate any criticism or tips you’ve got to offer, I’m sure there’s a boatload of details I’m overlooking on these. The blade designs are mostly very similar to the point of being a little boring, all but the first two have gone to friends and family and I have a few more to make for the same. I’m trying to keep it fairly simple and give them the best knife I can manage.
These are all 1095 steel, I have a bunch of 1080 on the way to keep the heat treatment a little simpler. 9D8D046C-A3F1-4A3B-9752-E8EF28714B95.jpeg8A2C6A14-E0D7-49F3-8D3B-6B6164347825.jpegB979918F-39CA-4927-AF9D-375A8C86B72C.jpeg6C549B3F-22C2-4886-AE1F-8BC2EE4CBC09.jpegE1B5C01D-2B06-4DC3-B395-9CC80CEE1379.jpeg74EA775D-CD12-49BE-BBDA-E0209597A589.jpeg8DBA25CF-E349-4DAA-9ABF-F12DCD50EBF1.jpegC570006A-786C-45B3-B990-EA47E0D769A7.jpeg5436C4D0-0456-4373-A06E-D7647EE2FD6C.jpegA381189C-14EC-4F36-B1B0-06FE39899A78.jpeg
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Otto, let me start off by saying that you have a very good eye for balance and proportion. These are very, very good for anyone’s first knives.

The next step is to continue what you are doing with a focus on improving the finish. Hand sanding to remove any remaining scratches will elevate your work immediately, because these are already good knives. I think you already know this because the finish of last two is miles better than the first two. But it looks like you used a machine to do it because your grind lines got washed out. Still, a remarkable improvement.

I think you know where to go from here. You are on a great path already.
 

Otto76

Active Member
Otto, let me start off by saying that you have a very good eye for balance and proportion. These are very, very good for anyone’s first knives.

The next step is to continue what you are doing with a focus on improving the finish. Hand sanding to remove any remaining scratches will elevate your work immediately, because these are already good knives.
Wow, thank you! Appreciate that. I will definitely spend some more time on the finish. I’m having so much fun with this that I think I’m rushing on to the next knife too quickly.
 

Otto76

Active Member
I agree with John's input, I second taking more time/effort on fit and finish. That aspect of knifemaking cannot be overstated. Always do whatever it takes to make your current knife better then the last one. ;)
Thank you! Appreciate the input.
 

Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
John's advice is spot on. If I may offer something, slow down and take your time. Don't be in a hurry to see what the finished knife will look like. I think we have all been guilty of that. With a little more time and attention to detail your knives will go from being "nice" to "outstanding". You have a good foundation, Keep at it.
 

Otto76

Active Member
John's advice is spot on. If I may offer something, slow down and take your time. Don't be in a hurry to see what the finished knife will look like. I think we have all been guilty of that. With a little more time and attention to detail your knives will go from being "nice" to "outstanding". You have a good foundation, Keep at it.
I think you guys are all dead on with this. I can get focused on a thing almost to a fault but patience, end game, follow through have never been strong suits. I’m actually hoping to develop these things through knife making with the hope they bleed into other areas of my life too. Very grateful for all the feedback here, I posted up on a couple other forums that weren’t knife specific but had places for it...crickets. This is great!
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
You’ve been given some great advice here from some excellent makers.

One thing that stood out to me in your first post, buying a finishing wheel, made me decide to comment here. When I first started making knives, I tried to do as much work as I could on machines, then I found this forum. I kept reading posts about hand sanding and seeing the results in the knives that experienced makers were posting. They looked way better than the machine finish on the knives I was making.

In my opinion, learning the hand finishing techniques should be the foundation of fit and finish for making knives. Once you have that down, then there are things you can learn to do on machines that will make the hand finishing faster and easier.

I think it was John Doyle that said something to the effect that new makers think over time they will get faster at making a knife, but when you get to making good knives you find it takes longer to get a quality look to them.
 

Otto76

Active Member
You’ve been given some great advice here from some excellent makers.

One thing that stood out to me in your first post, buying a finishing wheel, made me decide to comment here. When I first started making knives, I tried to do as much work as I could on machines, then I found this forum. I kept reading posts about hand sanding and seeing the results in the knives that experienced makers were posting. They looked way better than the machine finish on the knives I was making.

In my opinion, learning the hand finishing techniques should be the foundation of fit and finish for making knives. Once you have that down, then there are things you can learn to do on machines that will make the hand finishing faster and easier.

I think it was John Doyle that said something to the effect that new makers think over time they will get faster at making a knife, but when you get to making good knives you find it takes longer to get a quality look to them.
That wheel just came in the mail today! It will be hard to do because I love new toys but I will shelve it for a while. The overwhelming consensus here seems to be slowing down and elbow grease. I ran that wheel over the knife I made for myself and it did put a nicer finish on it but I know it could be better. Thank you!
 

Otto76

Active Member
Everything said here is spot on...I just want to commend your productivity! I think when you dial in your finishes you will be a machine!

Watch out O Paul....lol. New speedster in town...
Ha, thank you! To be faaiiiir I’m in between careers right now. Working on my real estate license, making knives and generally just screwing around. It’s not half bad! Point being I’ve got a little extra free time right now.
 

KentuckyFisherman

Well-Known Member
I'm a newbie myself, Otto, so I'll make an observation very different from these experienced guys. I'm a deer hunter, which probably explains my preference for drop point blades and skinners. I'm skinning whitetail deer, not bison, so I don't grip my knives like a hatchet, making long, powerful sweeps. Instead, when I pick up a drop point or skinner, my index finger automatically goes atop the spine. On a couple of your blade designs, the top of the spine doesn't align with the top of your handle. On one or two, there's an almost pointy-looking hump there. I can't say for sure, but I don't think my finger would feel like trying to lie along that line. There may be plenty of hunters who don't hold a knife the way I do, but you might seek out some of your friends who hunt and ask what they think. Other than that one observation, I'd say you're off to a great start.
 

Otto76

Active Member
I'm a newbie myself, Otto, so I'll make an observation very different from these experienced guys. I'm a deer hunter, which probably explains my preference for drop point blades and skinners. I'm skinning whitetail deer, not bison, so I don't grip my knives like a hatchet, making long, powerful sweeps. Instead, when I pick up a drop point or skinner, my index finger automatically goes atop the spine. On a couple of your blade designs, the top of the spine doesn't align with the top of your handle. On one or two, there's an almost pointy-looking hump there. I can't say for sure, but I don't think my finger would feel like trying to lie along that line. There may be plenty of hunters who don't hold a knife the way I do, but you might seek out some of your friends who hunt and ask what they think. Other than that one observation, I'd say you're off to a great start.
That’s a really good observation and I appreciate you sharing it. In Oklahoma (Kentucky too I’m sure) even a small edc knife ought to be a capable skinner. I don’t do a lot of hunting but have done a little and I think I agree with you on that spine shape. Full disclosure, I shaped it that way because I really like the look on this Winkler knife I own but it’s not really a skinner, more of a large-ish survival type. Given that I hope to sell some knives at some point I should consider the hunter because most of the outdoor types around here are hunters!
Thank you.
 

Stang Bladeworks

KNIFE MAKER
Looks great man, keep up the good work. I think there has already been some great advice given here. I think the best way to improve is just keep making more. Compare them to each other and look for areas to improve. I think most guys are their own harshest critics. If you are truly happy with a knife there is a good chance many other people will be as well. As the maker you will be aware of every flaw. Im sure over time you will have fewer flaws to find.
 

Otto76

Active Member
Looks great man, keep up the good work. I think there has already been some great advice given here. I think the best way to improve is just keep making more. Compare them to each other and look for areas to improve. I think most guys are their own harshest critics. If you are truly happy with a knife there is a good chance many other people will be as well. As the maker you will be aware of every flaw. Im sure over time you will have fewer flaws to find.
Thank you, appreciate that! Just had a look at some of your work, love the frame locks. Really good looking folders.
 

RayJ

Member
As a complete noob myself these look amazing, I can't believe they are your first knives, I'm still working on my first and will post that shortly, but its nothing close to the fit and finish of your knives, keep it up you obviously have a talent for it!
 
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