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Thread: Best advice Bladesmiths give to Novices

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Valparaiso, IN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken H> View Post
    Well said, you will NEVER regret variable speed. I started with 3 pulley setup and said "that's plenty"... when I finally built a VSD direct drive grinder, it was daylight 'n dark difference. If money is a concern, then cheap out with the Chinese VFD for $100..... BUT - do go VSD direct drive.

    Ken H>
    I did the same thing. I figured "it works", so I spent my money elsewhere on other little things here and there. When I built my last grinder, I went all out and got a VFD, and holy cow... do I wish I would have just pulled the trigger sooner. It really does make a night and day difference, and adds so much versatility.
    -Andrew (Drew) Riley

    For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.... (Hebrews 4:12)

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  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Southeast Ohio
    Don't spend a lot of time on a failed knife. It's easy to spend a lot of time on a knife that will never be much of anything. Just learn from that one and move on. I think this is where, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

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  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Tucson, Arizona [email protected]
    Use fresh abrasives for all of your work! From grinding after heat treat to sand paper for the blades, grip or spine, it just works better, easier & faster to get a better finish. The old saying about using sandpaper like it's free is really great advice. I still use an old coarse grit belt for knocking down edges on grips against the steel, but the finish is always better with nice, fresh belts & paper.

    Second the idea of finishing every blade you make. It forces you to analyze the mistakes, be more creative in finish & learn how to work with your "self" & the materials.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Oakland Twp, Michigan
    If things start going bad with a knife, put it down and walk away for awhile. Things don't get easier to fix the more aggravated you are.
    Nick Wheeler and Walter Sorrells have great Youtube videos to learn from.
    Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another"
    robertericksonknives at gmail dot com
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Salisbury NC
    Thanks guys, some very good advice in this thread, it is much appreciated, I am going with the esteem grinder package with variable speed, Brett was very easy to work with. Hearing this advice from the experience here will help shed some light on what I will be facing, once again Thanks

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Port Orchard, WA USA
    At one of Dave Lisch's classes I remember seeing this written on the wall.
    'Knifemaking is a process of recovery"
    I have lots of practice with that.
    "Procrastination is the thief of time and the graveyard of opportunity"
    Edward Young and anonynous

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Tehachapi Ca
    Ya have to see what ya did caused...then adjust if necessary.
    Dave Ferry
    Horsewright Clothing & Tack
    (661) 822-4941

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  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Watseka, Illinois
    Slower = better.
    Better = faster.
    It's true.
    Blade Show Table 5-P

    There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures - right next to the mashed potatoes.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Alexandria, VA
    Not mine, but the concept transcends many fields and metaphors: "Use sandpaper like it's free"

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Håbo, Sweden
    I found it best to keep practicing one pattern for a while. So I had to learn every step in making it - without having new puzzles pop up. When I got the hang of it I move on to a new type of pattern.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Washington, DC
    Study. Read the stickies, read a book or two, watch some videos

    Read this forum often. In my opinion its the best resource online with the most knowledgeable people, consistently over the years.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl B. Andersen View Post
    Slower = better.
    Better = faster.
    It's true.
    Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. I use this in the shooting world but it very much applys to knife making.

    DONT make knives for the money.
    Knife making is an addiction and a passion. If you don't have the drive to do it no mater what, even if you never sell a blade then you will end up Dropping it.

    We offer heat treating as well as 15n20.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Oak Park, Illinois
    1) Sometimes a SHARP file works better then a grinder (even a DANDY variable speed running REALLY slow).

    2) The time you spend setting up your tools i.e. squaring, plumbing, aligning/tramming and tightening them down will pay dividends. Don't trust the degree markings an ANYTHING - those are approximations.

    3) GOD ONLY GAVE YOU ONE SET OF EYES AND LUNGS. Good eye and dust protection are worth every penny.

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