They are starting to look like knives...

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
So now that I have the bolsters on I did some grinding to get them close to shape and .......

Woohooo initial fitup! I have 2 more to do, and I think I need a spacing liner for the sunfish/toenail bit it is getting there. Mostly the fitups seem close. The lady's leg seems like there is a bunch left to do, and the sodbuster needs a bunch of spring tweaking. But otherwise, so far, so good!

Scales soon, and then on to work the blades.

I like this part, they are starting to look like actual knives.

Anyone else get excited on fitup, when it actually looks and moves like you expect?



1652383265612.png
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
For a newbie you sure are ambitious. Folders are difficult. Looking forward to see how these all turn out.
Well, they are what I am interested in doing, and perhaps maybe some cutlery. Fixed blades and swords and all that jazz just don't do it for me. And I really have no interest whatsoever in blacksmithing. So, I figure I could focus all that I don't need to learn or do in smithing, at designing and constructing.

I figured if I took 6 of different shapes and configurations and made them all at once I should be able to make all the mistakes at once. This way, when I get done, I will know for sure whether this is something I like or not. :)

After these though, maybe things will get harder with lock-backs or liner-locks. :) I probably won't try them 6 at a time though. :)
 

A_Metallurgist

New Member
Really nice! I have been interested in trying to make a slip joint. Do you have any advice that you wish you knew before you started getting tools/making the parts? I have been woodworking for a while and if I could go back in time I would tell myself not to cheap out on certain tools and to approach projects in a different way, do you have any such reflections?
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
Really nice! I have been interested in trying to make a slip joint. Do you have any advice that you wish you knew before you started getting tools/making the parts? I have been woodworking for a while and if I could go back in time I would tell myself not to cheap out on certain tools and to approach projects in a different way, do you have any such reflections?
My advice to any n00b in any vertical is hurry up and do the things you can before someone tells you it is impossible.

Once people give you advice you start taking it as gospel because, well, these are the experts, they must know something. There are things you won't even bother trying once you know that you "need this" or "have to do that"... There is a degree of "paying one's dues."

I would advise you to do everything you already can with what you already have before spending a penny on new equipment. (Don't let SWMBO see this line, but instead make sure she reads the next one).

Every piece of equipment you hear about in these forums is absolutely necessary, and you can't properly make a knife of any kind without each and every one. :)

If you follow me, you will notice that I just purchased (and it should be here this weekend finally) The AmeriBrade Mastery Package. That is 3K and some. You absolutely don't need it, and you can see what I have been doing with my 4x36 that I think I may have gotten for $10 or $15 and a few modifications, and my pair of Delta 1x30's. However, I don't want to spend my shop time tweaking and modifying equipment that will serve no other purpose. I put some time and effort and even welding into my gouge sharpening station and use it every single time I turn bowls on the wood lathe. But if I had to screw around with it, I would have just spent the money on the Wolverine or something like that.

You will also find that just ordered last night for another 2K or a little less the Grizzly G0781 Mill. You absolutely do not need a mill to make knives. You don't even need a mill to make folding knives, even slip joints. As a matter of fact, in Don Robinson's book "My Way" (the first one) that he gets some bad comments for using so much machining equipment in, early on he makes the statement "A good accurately aligned drill press can substitute for a mill". Keep in mind, that means different techniques rather than simply using a DP as a mill which is a no-no. I took the time to get my DP working as well as it can. It is properly aligned, and if I am careful and plan my cuts right, I can maintain a very high degree of accuracy and precision. However, it is not the route I want to go. It is tweaky for my tastes, and although I can make it work, and have proven that to myself, it is not optimal. I may relegate it to solely woodwork, or it could have some part even after the mill is installed, that is yet to be decided.

I personally have no interest in being a blacksmith. I don't want to swing a big old hammer, invest in a hydraulic press, or power hammer, or even employ 2 young lads with sledge hammers... And I really don't want to buy an anvil. All that said, I don't need a forge, and the accoutrements that go with it. So I ordered a HT oven, which will probably be another $1K+ and is still on back order. :) You can work with metals like "mystery meat" old files, old saw blades, leaf springs, and whatever you find laying on the road. These things can be hardened with an Oxy-Acetylene torch or even a map-gas torch and a bucket of old french fry oil or whatever. But, I personally want to get the optimal (within my abilities) HT on my blades, and since the numbers have been determined, and the HT furnaces tend now to all come with programming, I decided to invest in that. I could have begged around for local makers to HT my stuff, or I could have packaged my stuff up and sent them out to the services and paid their fees and waited their times... That is not really compatible with my personality or my interests. I am more of a saute chef than a baker. :)

I can tell you my strategy, but much of it is determined by what I know about myself, the orientation of my shop, and other ventures that it must cater too at the same time. We build a shop that is 40x22 and has a 20x22 upstairs. The original intent was that I would have my "dream shop" and my wife would have an art studio upstairs. We put in a big mirror so we could practice shag dancing up there as well. Things happened, and we let my son move in to that space and all her stuff got shoved downstairs into my "dream" shop. On top of that, she decided to start refinishing old furniture and selling it in her booth at the antiques mall, in addition to working on stained glass. So my "dream shop" lost a serious 1/3 in area. And in sharing a shop I can't leave anything go. If I turn a bowl, those shavings have to be cleaned up before I leave the shop. Stuff like that, goes with sharing a shop space. I just build that into my shop time as part of it. Sometimes feels like back in school again. :) That said, my side of the shop houses the normal woodworking things, Table Saw, Band Saw, Drill Press, Lathe, Scroll Saw, Oscillating Spindle Sander, Router Table, Jointer, Planer, 60 Gallon Air compressor, 2 2'x4' workbench and assembly table, and a 2'x4' track saw table. However, it also holds my soap making stuff, a small amount of stuff for melting my beeswax and currently extracting honey. And, tucked in the way, are a bunch of antique tools I have not gotten around to refurbishing and hand saws that I have not sharpened or remade handles for. And, now, my band saw with stand and modified table, my modified 4x36, and my pair of 1x30's are all jockying for space.

1. Determine the space you have
2. Determine what tools you have that can do double duty
3. Determine what you plan on doing vs what you can have other people do
4. Determine what you are willing to give up
5. Determine what you are willing to live without

Most things are a compomise between money, space, and time. If you are creating a business, these all translate to money. If you are creating a hobby, then time spend doing any aspect of it should be enjoyable. So spending $1000 to do something faster only makes sense if it is $1000 faster for a business, or is $1000 worth of your time that you don't enjoy doing the hobby.

Everything can be done with hand tools. Doesn't mean it should be, or that you have the patience to do so. One doens't need a band saw, but after cutting out liners, bolsters, blade, and spring for one knife with a junior hacksaw, I personally decided I needed one. You would soon find out how much of my black belt training I remember if you tried to take it away. :) YMMV. Try things the hard way, you may enjoy it. And, remember that just because a tool has a plug, doesn't mean it requires no skill to use. The nice thing about power tools is that you can destroy a piece of work much faster. :)

Lastly, I started this with the intent on making mechanical blades. Folders, pocket knives, slip joints, lock backs, liner locks, balisongs, switchblades, and so on. I may do some kitchen cutlery at some point, but I am not interested in making any of the stuff from Forged in Fire. So, I started right off in folders. From comments I have seen, this is not the correct way to start knife making. Apparently one should start off with simple fixed blade knives and progress to such things as their precision and accuracy improve. So following my lead may not be the best strategy, unless you share the same goals. If someone new were starting out, even with my goals, i would suggest they follow this path:

1. Do a full kit knife fixed blade
2. Do a full kit knife folding blade
3. Try to reproduce 1 aspect of the kit knife (e.g. the scales or liners/bolsters or blade/springs) without using the kit part
4. Try to reproduce more of it without relying on the kit parts
5. Do your own design

Ask questions. Do research. Ask more questions.
 

fitzo

Gold Membership
You have to admit, though, Bradley, that more besides just me told you to make a couple first with what you had on hand before you spent a bunch and you could sort through the self-earned knowledge of what you might want a different way to do.
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
True enough. I take different advices and process them. Sometimes I follow them to the word, other times just in spirit and other times I disregard them. :)

Strategies. It's all about strategies.
 

52 Ford

Well-Known Member
My advice to any n00b in any vertical is hurry up and do the things you can before someone tells you it is impossible.

Once people give you advice you start taking it as gospel because, well, these are the experts, they must know something. There are things you won't even bother trying once you know that you "need this" or "have to do that"... There is a degree of "paying one's dues."

I would advise you to do everything you already can with what you already have before spending a penny on new equipment. (Don't let SWMBO see this line, but instead make sure she reads the next one).

Every piece of equipment you hear about in these forums is absolutely necessary, and you can't properly make a knife of any kind without each and every one. :)

If you follow me, you will notice that I just purchased (and it should be here this weekend finally) The AmeriBrade Mastery Package. That is 3K and some. You absolutely don't need it, and you can see what I have been doing with my 4x36 that I think I may have gotten for $10 or $15 and a few modifications, and my pair of Delta 1x30's. However, I don't want to spend my shop time tweaking and modifying equipment that will serve no other purpose. I put some time and effort and even welding into my gouge sharpening station and use it every single time I turn bowls on the wood lathe. But if I had to screw around with it, I would have just spent the money on the Wolverine or something like that.

You will also find that just ordered last night for another 2K or a little less the Grizzly G0781 Mill. You absolutely do not need a mill to make knives. You don't even need a mill to make folding knives, even slip joints. As a matter of fact, in Don Robinson's book "My Way" (the first one) that he gets some bad comments for using so much machining equipment in, early on he makes the statement "A good accurately aligned drill press can substitute for a mill". Keep in mind, that means different techniques rather than simply using a DP as a mill which is a no-no. I took the time to get my DP working as well as it can. It is properly aligned, and if I am careful and plan my cuts right, I can maintain a very high degree of accuracy and precision. However, it is not the route I want to go. It is tweaky for my tastes, and although I can make it work, and have proven that to myself, it is not optimal. I may relegate it to solely woodwork, or it could have some part even after the mill is installed, that is yet to be decided.

I personally have no interest in being a blacksmith. I don't want to swing a big old hammer, invest in a hydraulic press, or power hammer, or even employ 2 young lads with sledge hammers... And I really don't want to buy an anvil. All that said, I don't need a forge, and the accoutrements that go with it. So I ordered a HT oven, which will probably be another $1K+ and is still on back order. :) You can work with metals like "mystery meat" old files, old saw blades, leaf springs, and whatever you find laying on the road. These things can be hardened with an Oxy-Acetylene torch or even a map-gas torch and a bucket of old french fry oil or whatever. But, I personally want to get the optimal (within my abilities) HT on my blades, and since the numbers have been determined, and the HT furnaces tend now to all come with programming, I decided to invest in that. I could have begged around for local makers to HT my stuff, or I could have packaged my stuff up and sent them out to the services and paid their fees and waited their times... That is not really compatible with my personality or my interests. I am more of a saute chef than a baker. :)

I can tell you my strategy, but much of it is determined by what I know about myself, the orientation of my shop, and other ventures that it must cater too at the same time. We build a shop that is 40x22 and has a 20x22 upstairs. The original intent was that I would have my "dream shop" and my wife would have an art studio upstairs. We put in a big mirror so we could practice shag dancing up there as well. Things happened, and we let my son move in to that space and all her stuff got shoved downstairs into my "dream" shop. On top of that, she decided to start refinishing old furniture and selling it in her booth at the antiques mall, in addition to working on stained glass. So my "dream shop" lost a serious 1/3 in area. And in sharing a shop I can't leave anything go. If I turn a bowl, those shavings have to be cleaned up before I leave the shop. Stuff like that, goes with sharing a shop space. I just build that into my shop time as part of it. Sometimes feels like back in school again. :) That said, my side of the shop houses the normal woodworking things, Table Saw, Band Saw, Drill Press, Lathe, Scroll Saw, Oscillating Spindle Sander, Router Table, Jointer, Planer, 60 Gallon Air compressor, 2 2'x4' workbench and assembly table, and a 2'x4' track saw table. However, it also holds my soap making stuff, a small amount of stuff for melting my beeswax and currently extracting honey. And, tucked in the way, are a bunch of antique tools I have not gotten around to refurbishing and hand saws that I have not sharpened or remade handles for. And, now, my band saw with stand and modified table, my modified 4x36, and my pair of 1x30's are all jockying for space.

1. Determine the space you have
2. Determine what tools you have that can do double duty
3. Determine what you plan on doing vs what you can have other people do
4. Determine what you are willing to give up
5. Determine what you are willing to live without

Most things are a compomise between money, space, and time. If you are creating a business, these all translate to money. If you are creating a hobby, then time spend doing any aspect of it should be enjoyable. So spending $1000 to do something faster only makes sense if it is $1000 faster for a business, or is $1000 worth of your time that you don't enjoy doing the hobby.

Everything can be done with hand tools. Doesn't mean it should be, or that you have the patience to do so. One doens't need a band saw, but after cutting out liners, bolsters, blade, and spring for one knife with a junior hacksaw, I personally decided I needed one. You would soon find out how much of my black belt training I remember if you tried to take it away. :) YMMV. Try things the hard way, you may enjoy it. And, remember that just because a tool has a plug, doesn't mean it requires no skill to use. The nice thing about power tools is that you can destroy a piece of work much faster. :)

Lastly, I started this with the intent on making mechanical blades. Folders, pocket knives, slip joints, lock backs, liner locks, balisongs, switchblades, and so on. I may do some kitchen cutlery at some point, but I am not interested in making any of the stuff from Forged in Fire. So, I started right off in folders. From comments I have seen, this is not the correct way to start knife making. Apparently one should start off with simple fixed blade knives and progress to such things as their precision and accuracy improve. So following my lead may not be the best strategy, unless you share the same goals. If someone new were starting out, even with my goals, i would suggest they follow this path:

1. Do a full kit knife fixed blade
2. Do a full kit knife folding blade
3. Try to reproduce 1 aspect of the kit knife (e.g. the scales or liners/bolsters or blade/springs) without using the kit part
4. Try to reproduce more of it without relying on the kit parts
5. Do your own design

Ask questions. Do research. Ask more questions.
I read most of this, but after "I bought a mill", everything else was a blur. HA! Is the lathe or the CNC plasma table next? :D

Sent from my Champion Forge using Tapatalk
 

fitzo

Gold Membership
True enough. I take different advices and process them. Sometimes I follow them to the word, other times just in spirit and other times I disregard them. :)

Strategies. It's all about strategies.

Exactly. A noobie is going to get barraged with information. Overloaded, to be sure. And you have to pick your way through it because it's not bad information at all, but becomes incumbent on the noob to straighten it out in his head because it's expensive. That's a lot to try to do all at once.
So, I agree. Look at all the advice, process, and make the best decisions for ones own circumstance, which only the person posting will know.
 

52 Ford

Well-Known Member
Exactly. A noobie is going to get barraged with information. Overloaded, to be sure. And you have to pick your way through it because it's not bad information at all, but becomes incumbent on the noob to straighten it out in his head because it's expensive. That's a lot to try to do all at once.
So, I agree. Look at all the advice, process, and make the best decisions for ones own circumstance, which only the person posting will know.

Yep. Just like the news. Looks at a couple different news outlets and sort of average it all out. Everyone has a different way of looking at stuff.



Sent from my Champion Forge using Tapatalk
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
I read most of this, but after "I bought a mill", everything else was a blur. HA! Is the lathe or the CNC plasma table next? :D

Sent from my Champion Forge using Tapatalk
At some point I would like a lathe. The general advice you get from machinists groups is to buy a lathe first. They argue that though you can do most milling operations on a lathe, and most lathing operations on a mill, the lathe is the only one that can completely build itself. I have never seen how that is played out, but it seemed like the advice itself was ubiquitous. I think even if you follow Gingery, he makes the lathe pretty close after the foundry. I always thought his path would be a fun one to take, perhaps great as a group summer workshop or something like that. However, the older I get the less fun it seems, and more like work... I do love his stuff, have his books somewhere.


There are a few operations I would like a lathe for, but between the mill, my drill press, and my wood lathe, and router tables,I think I can accomplish all of them with enough convenience at the present time. Even though I still think perhaps a small one, like the old Unimat with the box and all.

As for CNC, I am not sure how much I am interested in that. I might eventually want power drive on the table, so from there it is a slippery slope :) Although, perhaps laser engraver might be in the cards.

Plasma is kind of interesting, but I would personally prefer waterjet, or EDM, and waterjet is starting to come down. I think I would be more apt to invest in some TIG equipment if I started doing larger metal projects. My O/A and brazing is "acceptable" and my MIG certainly keeps the people who supply angle grinding disks in business. Might have something to do with the fact that I never invested in a bottle, so my MIG is really M with flux..

FWIW, I have been doing woodworking for more than 30 years. Knives will be my entrance into metal work (second entrance since Locksmithing was my kind of first). I just don't really know if I want to do too much metal work much larger than knives. But we'll see.
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
Yep. Just like the news. Looks at a couple different news outlets and sort of average it all out. Everyone has a different way of looking at stuff.



Sent from my Champion Forge using Tapatalk
I usually try to hold back on advice in most situations. Much of the time it is never received well. Especially when it is unsolicited. So, there are 2 pieces of advice I give to new parents, and I limit it to these:

1. If it isn't funny at 120lbs then its not funny at 20lbs.
2. Accept all offered advice with appreciation, grace, and thanks. Then do whatever you feel like doing.

I would like somehow to be able to generalize these better so that they might apply outside of parenthood, but I have not gotten there.

On the other hand, if someone asks my opinion on something, well the answer is usually long. I always have an opinion, and it is usually worth exactly what you pay for it. :) If I am in the process of learning something, well, they will basically get a dump of my research up to the current moment. Or my current plan/strategy. If I don't know, I am usually up to saying that I don't. But rarely have I been asked my opinion about something I hadn't a clue. :)

We all live somewhere between "Imposter's Syndrom" and "the Dunning-Kruger Effect." May we recognize the fallacy when we feel we are moving towards either!
 

A_Metallurgist

New Member
My advice to any n00b in any vertical is hurry up and do the things you can before someone tells you it is impossible.

Once people give you advice you start taking it as gospel because, well, these are the experts, they must know something. There are things you won't even bother trying once you know that you "need this" or "have to do that"... There is a degree of "paying one's dues."

I would advise you to do everything you already can with what you already have before spending a penny on new equipment. (Don't let SWMBO see this line, but instead make sure she reads the next one).

Every piece of equipment you hear about in these forums is absolutely necessary, and you can't properly make a knife of any kind without each and every one. :)

If you follow me, you will notice that I just purchased (and it should be here this weekend finally) The AmeriBrade Mastery Package. That is 3K and some. You absolutely don't need it, and you can see what I have been doing with my 4x36 that I think I may have gotten for $10 or $15 and a few modifications, and my pair of Delta 1x30's. However, I don't want to spend my shop time tweaking and modifying equipment that will serve no other purpose. I put some time and effort and even welding into my gouge sharpening station and use it every single time I turn bowls on the wood lathe. But if I had to screw around with it, I would have just spent the money on the Wolverine or something like that.

You will also find that just ordered last night for another 2K or a little less the Grizzly G0781 Mill. You absolutely do not need a mill to make knives. You don't even need a mill to make folding knives, even slip joints. As a matter of fact, in Don Robinson's book "My Way" (the first one) that he gets some bad comments for using so much machining equipment in, early on he makes the statement "A good accurately aligned drill press can substitute for a mill". Keep in mind, that means different techniques rather than simply using a DP as a mill which is a no-no. I took the time to get my DP working as well as it can. It is properly aligned, and if I am careful and plan my cuts right, I can maintain a very high degree of accuracy and precision. However, it is not the route I want to go. It is tweaky for my tastes, and although I can make it work, and have proven that to myself, it is not optimal. I may relegate it to solely woodwork, or it could have some part even after the mill is installed, that is yet to be decided.

I personally have no interest in being a blacksmith. I don't want to swing a big old hammer, invest in a hydraulic press, or power hammer, or even employ 2 young lads with sledge hammers... And I really don't want to buy an anvil. All that said, I don't need a forge, and the accoutrements that go with it. So I ordered a HT oven, which will probably be another $1K+ and is still on back order. :) You can work with metals like "mystery meat" old files, old saw blades, leaf springs, and whatever you find laying on the road. These things can be hardened with an Oxy-Acetylene torch or even a map-gas torch and a bucket of old french fry oil or whatever. But, I personally want to get the optimal (within my abilities) HT on my blades, and since the numbers have been determined, and the HT furnaces tend now to all come with programming, I decided to invest in that. I could have begged around for local makers to HT my stuff, or I could have packaged my stuff up and sent them out to the services and paid their fees and waited their times... That is not really compatible with my personality or my interests. I am more of a saute chef than a baker. :)

I can tell you my strategy, but much of it is determined by what I know about myself, the orientation of my shop, and other ventures that it must cater too at the same time. We build a shop that is 40x22 and has a 20x22 upstairs. The original intent was that I would have my "dream shop" and my wife would have an art studio upstairs. We put in a big mirror so we could practice shag dancing up there as well. Things happened, and we let my son move in to that space and all her stuff got shoved downstairs into my "dream" shop. On top of that, she decided to start refinishing old furniture and selling it in her booth at the antiques mall, in addition to working on stained glass. So my "dream shop" lost a serious 1/3 in area. And in sharing a shop I can't leave anything go. If I turn a bowl, those shavings have to be cleaned up before I leave the shop. Stuff like that, goes with sharing a shop space. I just build that into my shop time as part of it. Sometimes feels like back in school again. :) That said, my side of the shop houses the normal woodworking things, Table Saw, Band Saw, Drill Press, Lathe, Scroll Saw, Oscillating Spindle Sander, Router Table, Jointer, Planer, 60 Gallon Air compressor, 2 2'x4' workbench and assembly table, and a 2'x4' track saw table. However, it also holds my soap making stuff, a small amount of stuff for melting my beeswax and currently extracting honey. And, tucked in the way, are a bunch of antique tools I have not gotten around to refurbishing and hand saws that I have not sharpened or remade handles for. And, now, my band saw with stand and modified table, my modified 4x36, and my pair of 1x30's are all jockying for space.

1. Determine the space you have
2. Determine what tools you have that can do double duty
3. Determine what you plan on doing vs what you can have other people do
4. Determine what you are willing to give up
5. Determine what you are willing to live without

Most things are a compomise between money, space, and time. If you are creating a business, these all translate to money. If you are creating a hobby, then time spend doing any aspect of it should be enjoyable. So spending $1000 to do something faster only makes sense if it is $1000 faster for a business, or is $1000 worth of your time that you don't enjoy doing the hobby.

Everything can be done with hand tools. Doesn't mean it should be, or that you have the patience to do so. One doens't need a band saw, but after cutting out liners, bolsters, blade, and spring for one knife with a junior hacksaw, I personally decided I needed one. You would soon find out how much of my black belt training I remember if you tried to take it away. :) YMMV. Try things the hard way, you may enjoy it. And, remember that just because a tool has a plug, doesn't mean it requires no skill to use. The nice thing about power tools is that you can destroy a piece of work much faster. :)

Lastly, I started this with the intent on making mechanical blades. Folders, pocket knives, slip joints, lock backs, liner locks, balisongs, switchblades, and so on. I may do some kitchen cutlery at some point, but I am not interested in making any of the stuff from Forged in Fire. So, I started right off in folders. From comments I have seen, this is not the correct way to start knife making. Apparently one should start off with simple fixed blade knives and progress to such things as their precision and accuracy improve. So following my lead may not be the best strategy, unless you share the same goals. If someone new were starting out, even with my goals, i would suggest they follow this path:

1. Do a full kit knife fixed blade
2. Do a full kit knife folding blade
3. Try to reproduce 1 aspect of the kit knife (e.g. the scales or liners/bolsters or blade/springs) without using the kit part
4. Try to reproduce more of it without relying on the kit parts
5. Do your own design

Ask questions. Do research. Ask more questions.
Wow this is really great information! Thank you very much
 
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