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Thread: KA-BAR Tech Talk

  1. #101

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    Tooj,

    Couple of questions (sorry)

    1) what kind of engineering is best for knife making?

    2) are the other becker designs like the BK1 and BK10 coming out anytime soon?

    3) and why is it that Kukri's made in the USA are so much thinner than HI kukris?

    Thank you for taking your time to answer all our questions!!!

  2. #102
    Addictedd,

    Here are my opinions but they are just that: my opinions. Others may vary.

    1) I think a Mechchanical Eng or Mech/Industrial Technology degree with a strong background in metallurgy and CNC programming will prepare one nicely. The important ingredient is to really love knives and a have a willingness to learn and investigate.

    2) BK-1 and BK-10 are tentitvely scheduled for 2013. We are looking at making them in the US Factory.

    3) US Khuks are laser cut or blanked from sheets of steel. There are limits to the thickness what can be processed in the factory. The HI Khuks are hand forged from bars which are much thicker. Forging allows the blade to have much greater variations in cross sectional thickness. There are pluses amd minuses to both processes. You might ask KARDA (He moderates the HI sub forum). He will have a better understanding of the forging process. He is a pretty knowledgable and approachable guy.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Cayuga Lake
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADDICTEDD
    3) and why is it that Kukri's made in the USA are so much thinner than HI kukris?


    Quote Originally Posted by Toooj View Post
    3) US Khuks are laser cut or blanked from sheets of steel. There are limits to the thickness what can be processed in the factory. The HI Khuks are hand forged from bars which are much thicker. Forging allows the blade to have much greater variations in cross sectional thickness. There are pluses amd minuses to both processes. You might ask KARDA (He moderates the HI sub forum). He will have a better understanding of the forging process. He is a pretty knowledgable and approachable guy.
    Hope this helps.
    Hello ADDICTEDD,

    Basically Toooj has got your answer.
    There are limitations to which blanks can be cut at most US factories. Their tooling must be able to cover a variety of the products they make. To cut larger blanks would require tooling similar to those used in industrial heavy equipment manufacturing which not only would require space to house them, but would limit their usage to only a couple lines of product. It would not be cost effective for most companies to have such expensive equipment on hand for only a few lines of product. Tooling is overhead and can easily make an affordable product quite expensive. Kabar works within it's limitations ( as we all do) to produce the best product they are able at affordable pricing.

    Processes aside......
    The Robustness of the H.I. khukuri has been a case of trial and error. In the beginning H.I. khukuri were as thick as anyone elses, just more finely finished (well....maybe slightly thicker). During the days of Uncle Bills no nonsense warranty, even though we had very few failures relative to production, we did have unscrupulous individuals abuse the product and want warranty replacement and some buying secondary market product and intentionally breaking them to claim warranty. This led to our modification of the warranty to put the Onus on the end user to use our product wisely and respectfully, but also led to our producing thicker spined blades which will not fail during normal and appropriate usage.

    Thank you for the accolade Toooj, but you are far more knowledgable about engineering than i could hope to be, and have the degree to prove it.
    It was very nice meeting you at the Gathering in Perry. I hope next year you can stay overnight and camp with us, so we can get sloshed and talk about shop and life. I have been informed that there is a chance this coming year that Ms. Martino may accompany me. It would be nice.
    Last edited by Karda; 10-01-2011 at 02:47 PM.
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Earth
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    3,011
    Toooj;

    It sounds like you're on the front line for jacked up knives that get sent back to KA-BAR. Presumably some are due to defects but many are due to use/misuse. Just wondering... if there was one thing you could change about how people use their KA-BARs, what would it be?

  5. #105
    Hey Karda,

    It was good meeting you at the WNY Put up or shut up. One of these days I'll bring my son and we'll stay overnight.
    As far as Khuks, I'll always defer to your expertise in that area.

    BRL,

    I spent most of my misgotten youth doing hard man schtuff (backpacking/ rock & ice climbing/ alpine & telemark skiing/ road & mountain biking/ canoing & kayaking/ hunting.) Back in the 60s thru the 90s, we took VERY good care of our equipment. We did not brutalize/ abuse or push things past their limit. We learned how to do things correctly. My cutting equipment for 30 years was a Victorinox Climber and a Swen saw.
    I did not have to baton or smash the blade through logs. That would have been appalling. As a result, I still have that knife and saw. They are well used but still in very good condition. Growing up in the 60s, there was this thing called the Yosemite Ethic; it started the clean climbing era and moved over to all aspects of outdoors; respect for the outdoors and environment, low impact use of the outdoor resources. If one watches Cody Lundin in Dual Survival, he comes close to how I rolled through the outdoors. (Although I used shoes and lightweight gear.) Being in the outdoors was a Zen/Spiritual experience not a divide and conquer campaign.
    I think we have gotten away from that mind set and it sort of saddens me. I'm not a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination and a lot of my guidance came from those old time outdoorsmen from before and after WWII (Brokow's Greatest Generation). They were hardly liberal people.
    If I learned anything it was respect and discipline for your tools, techniques and the environment.
    Okay. The end of my rant.
    Having said all of that, KA-BAR will try it's hardest to continue providing the best customer service we can.


    Best Regards,


    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Missouri, Beckerhead #165
    Posts
    281
    Toooj, your previous comment was spot on. My grandfather who was born in 1912, he had a lot to do with how I learned to treat everything from handtools to farm machinery (he grew up through the depression, and things were tough to come by). There are alot of people who think everything should be as tough as an anvil. They want their blade to do it all. My knives do a good job cutting, but they peroform poorly as a ground pad or to use to brush my teeth. I do own a BK2 which I beat the snot out of, and my Mora #1 that I don't. Just two different tools. I feel for you guys and dealing with some of the abuse you see where people would like a warranty claim. The biggest thing I hate seeing is twisting a blade or prying with one, makes my skin crawl. I'll shut up now.....still like your guys products, keep it up.

  7. #107
    Join Date
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    Location
    Cayuga Lake
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    Very well said, Toooj !
    I was taught the same way. Respect your tools, maintenance them properly and they will last you a lifetime.
    At H.I. we try to foster that Ideal as much as possible.
    In this day and age of disposable everything, i feel that old mantra has been lost or all too often ignored.
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  8. #108
    I was wondering in what manner the leather handles on ka-bar knives are (currently and in the past) treated. The 7" USMC model I bought about 8 years ago or so has more of a soft and grippy feel when compared to the newer made ones; I believe someone mentioned which were impregnated with an epoxy resin?

    Much appreciated,

    sf
    "To Care for Those Who Shall Have Borne the Battle..." Abraham Lincoln

    Cheers

  9. #109
    spydie fanatic,

    Believe it or not, the leather washers are not impregnated. The leather washers are blanked from sole leather. We stack the washers on the tang and use an airhammer to pound the washers tight.
    The pommel is attached and the stacked leather handle is turned in a mill using shaped cutters; the side flats are milled in another milling operation. The turned handle is polished on a lathe and the black stripes painted in the grooves. That is it. Pretty simple.
    If your old model has softer leather, it is probably the leather breaking in. Normal wear, oiling, conditioners will soften the washers. The airhammer pounding really compresses the leather to a hard, tight structure but as with many natural materials, they will relax over time.
    Hope this helps,


    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives
    Last edited by Toooj; 10-04-2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #110
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    Thanks Toooj. A lot to think about there.

  11. #111
    BRL,

    Ironic isn't it? I spend most of my time designing and working on big choppers and whackers but what I carry in the wilderness is usually a Swiss Army Knife or a small drop point hunter.

    Best Regards,


    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Earth
    Posts
    3,011
    the irony had not escaped the guy who just bought a Cutlass

  13. #113
    I see, thanks for the info. So I take it a knife, such as the current production USN Mark I w/ leather handle, is the same just without the grooves in the handle.

    sf

    Quote Originally Posted by Toooj View Post
    spydie fanatic,

    Believe it or not, the leather washers are not impregnated. The leather washers are blanked from sole leather. We stack the washers on the tang and use an airhammer to pound the washers tight.
    The pommel is attached and the stacked leather handle is turned in a mill using shaped cutters; the side flats are milled in another milling operation. The turned handle is polished on a lathe and the black stripes painted in the grooves. That is it. Pretty simple.
    If your old model has softer leather, it is probably the leather breaking in. Normal wear, oiling, conditioners will soften the washers. The airhammer pounding really compresses the leather to a hard, tight structure but as with many natural materials, they will relax over time.
    Hope this helps,


    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives
    "To Care for Those Who Shall Have Borne the Battle..." Abraham Lincoln

    Cheers

  14. #114
    Spydie Fan,

    All of the USA made stacked leather handled knives are assembled and finished in the same way. Just different tooling to account for size, shape and configuration. Our Leather handled knives made in Taiwan use a slightly different process but basically it's the same.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beckerhead #42 ~ Ohio
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    I've wondered this for a while and since we have the redoubtable Tooooooj around to answer stuff...

    Can you tell me what's up with the bent backwards guard on the Kabar 1217? Maybe it's just me and the way I hold them but that thing seems uncomfortable and always wants to get in the way. I've got a really old Camillus one one with a straight guard so maybe that's just what I'm used to.

    Anyway - what's the scoop? Was there a special reason for it?

    ---

    Beckerhead #42

  16. #116
    Hi Gingivitis,

    Here's a short history lesson on the USMC F/U knife. The guard was originally designed straight but during early use in WWII, it was found that when slogging through dense undergrowth such as found in the jungle, the vines and vegatation grabbed the knife around the guard and pulled it out of the sheath. The holding strap on the sheath secures the knife near the pommel. This allows some room for the knife to move up and down in the sheath. The solution was to place a slight backward bend to the guard which allowed the vegetation to slide off and not pull the knife out of the sheath. Note that the Navy Mark II has a straight guard. That bend was subsequently removed from the spec in later years. KA-BAR has chosen to keep that bend on the knife. If it is troublesome to you, it is relatively easy to straighten as the guard is not hardened.
    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beckerhead #42 ~ Ohio
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    Outstanding answer - thanks sir! I figured there'd be a good reason and whatnot. You are a wealth of good and useful info!

    ---

    Beckerhead #42

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingivitisKahn View Post
    Outstanding answer - thanks sir! I figured there'd be a good reason and whatnot. You are a wealth of good and useful info!

    ---

    Beckerhead #42
    I hate it, and I hammered em back the right way on the ka-bar I gave my son. 4 gentle love taps for each side of the reversed guard with a framing hammer.

    I meant gentle dammit.!!

    EDIT: By the way it looked great hammered back the right way.
    Last edited by ron_m80; 10-10-2011 at 08:04 PM.
    At the feast of EGO everyone sits at the same table, hungry.

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    927
    I hope this is the appropriate place to ask. I have the 1211, and my sheath is dulling the crap out of my blade. I have heard the sheath was changed, and warranty would replace it. Any truth to that? I would love to be able to use mine more, but with it being impossible to keep an edge on, my other fixed blades get more use (one of which is my Fin, which is a killer knife, and a steal for $40).
    Any info would be very helpful, and if this was in the wrong spot, I would appreciate somebody telling me where.

    Thanks for you time

  20. #120
    Cold Kill,

    We have not experienced any issues with the 1216S Sheath dulling edges. If this is the case, the sheath on the Fin Fixed blade should also be dulling the blade.
    Send in the sheath to my attention and I'll exchange it, but I can't guarantee it will fix the issue.

    KA-BAR Knives
    200 Homer Street
    Olean, NY
    14760
    Attn:Paul Tsujimoto

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Paul Tsujimoto
    Sr Eng
    Prod Dev and Qual
    KA-BAR Knives

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