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My first finished knife!!!

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by SkagSig40, May 19, 2017 at 4:29 PM.

  1. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    I finally completed my first knife! Took me forever to complete it but I don't do anything fast in life! I have always wanted to make knives and after a friend and fellow knife maker helped give me a push I bought a Northridge Grinder, a drill press and some other tools and finally got started. This one is 1084 and ground, heat treated, tempered and did the G10 handle my self. Working with the G10 scared the s*** out of me ha ha ha! Turned out better then I thought it would. She is a fat over weight pig at only a 3" blade and 1/4" thick hahaha!!!
    After heat treating it, it seemed extremely hard. Got it to nonmagnetic and about 5-7 seconds longer and quenched in Canola oil. I tempered it for 2 hours at 420 degreese trying for around 59 Rockwell. A good sharp Nicholson file wont touch it and skates right off the steel. I tested by chopping and buttoning through some old, dried seasoned red oak logs/branches. Also hammered into a board and snapped out sideways to test tip strength. All seems well and the steel/edge did not chip, roll or crack. It was still shaving sharp after the tests.
    It is far from prefect and I'd appreciate any advice of stuff you see that I could change and improve on. The other knives are the next few I have ground and are waiting for a G10 handle. Thanks!
    Shawn Hatcher and R.C.Reichert like this.
  2. R.C.Reichert


    Jul 26, 2008
    Looks pretty nice, but I would suggest finding some thinner stock to work with.
  3. pleasanthill

    pleasanthill KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 12, 2015
  4. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 10, 2000
  5. Robert Erickson

    Robert Erickson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 2, 2014
    Nice work for a first knife!
    Aesthetically, I like placing the front pin a little closer to the ricasso and the the back pin more in the middle.
    Your grind looks even but next time try to stop before getting to the spine so the grind curls forward towards the tip.
    If you start with thinner stock as has been suggested it'll be easier to get the edge down thinner before sharpening. Your secondary bevel looks long which usually means you aren't thin enough at the edge.
  6. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    Thanks! So I'm not clear on what you mean by "...stop before getting to the spine so the grind curls towards the tip". Can you explain that a bit more? Many thanks!
  7. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    I'll definetly get some thinner and wider stock soon. This first knife of mine is a stout SOB and waaaaaay over weight hahahaha!
  8. Robert Erickson

    Robert Erickson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 2, 2014
    Sure. On your first knife the plunge goes all the way up to the spine and creates a little ledge at the top of the spine. The second knife you have pictured is a better bevel. The plunge line doesn't go all the way up to the spine, it curves forward.
    Hope that clarifies.:thumbsup:
  9. knife to a gunfight

    knife to a gunfight KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2007
    Everybody starts with the first! Looks like you're well on the way to finishing a second.
  10. i4Marc

    i4Marc KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2011
    Sounds like someone got bitten by the bug. Great job. Sure, finding thinner stock is one way to go. Another option is making BIGGER knives with that 1/4" stock! That's what I'm talkin' about. :)
  11. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    It does! Thanks a lot! What exactly is that "shelf" or "shoulder" called above the grind line?
  12. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    LOL! Sig40! Welcome to the knife making Zoo!:p Personally I find noting wrong with the height of the grind in your first blade!

    It is a Fat Ffffi g Pig! Though!:D Find your own Style! I did and its worked just fine for the last 21 years! Go for it!!! With some thinner stock though, Please!!!!:rolleyes: LOL
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 8:12 AM
    Josh Rider likes this.
  13. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Great first knife.

    Some critique for the next ones:
    1) the stock looks way too thick, try some .125" thick stock, you'll like it :)
    2) The lanyard hole was too close to the end where you placed it. As you ground the handle, it seemed to move closer. That is a common error. Sketches are in 2-D, but you are grinding in 3-D. Start farther away from the end and it will end up where you wanted it. In the laminated wood of this knife handle, it wasn't as much of a problem, but on a solid wood, the thin wood at the butt would have chipped off. While some folks like a lanyard hole, unless you plan on putting on a lanyard it is just an unnecessary hole in your knife.
    3) The finger groove is pretty deep. That is OK, but if you make it deep, try to fair it back into the rest of the underside more gently. As it is it may be a tad uncomfortable in use.
    4) Lay out the rivets so they look evenly spaced. The rear rivet on this handle needs to come forward a bit.
    5) The handle-blade ratio looks a bit off. It appears that either the knife needs a slightly longer blade or a shorter handle.
    6) The knife is a bit "stiff". It could use a tiny bit of curvature. The drop to the tip would look better ( to me) as a slight curve instead of a sudden angle. I like the whole spine to have a slight curve toward the butt. It doesn't need much. Even a 1/16" will be perceptible. Most of my hunters have between 1/8 ad 1/4 inch bow. Look at the sketch in the next post and you will see what I am talking about.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 9:06 AM
  14. Robert Erickson

    Robert Erickson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 2, 2014
    By shoulder do you mean the area that is circled? The area above is called the "flats". If you grind all the way to the top of the spine you wouldn't create any "flats" and you can get a little ledge on the spine. When looking down on the spine it creates an area of unevenness which I don't prefer.
    Knife aesthetics are subjective and there's a lot of ways to do things but for me, the way the lower knife in the drawing is pictured flows a little more IMHO.
    I hope I understood you correctly. Keep up the great work!

    [​IMG]IMG_5685 by Robert Erickson, on Flickr
    kuraki likes this.
  15. sam eib

    sam eib

    Apr 16, 2017
    Very impressive, especially for your first build.
  16. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013

    Also Buddy, WEAR A RESPIRATOR! G-10 Turns into little Fish Hooks when ground and the only way they can get those out of your Lungs if after you have assumed room temperature! The rest of the stuff we grind , isn't much better!

    Protect your Eyes, Lungs , Ears & Fingers
  17. Tyshoots

    Tyshoots Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 4, 2016
    That is a good looking first knife. Please keep posting pictures of your work.
    Ty Adams
  18. Shawn Hatcher

    Shawn Hatcher

    Nov 25, 2003
    Congrats on your first, Chris. Well done!
  19. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    Appreciate all the great info everyone and I'll use the advice given here! Thanks for the clear picture as well!

    I did wear a half face respirator with P100 filters. I had goggles on too but they fogged so bad I took them off. When you say protect your ears, do you mean from dust or noise? How does dust get in your ears if that is what you mean? Noise while working was not loud at all. What else should I do to protect myself from the G10? Many thanks gentleman!
  20. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    G-10 is nasty Stuff! Did you feel itchy after working it? Have a long sleeve Shirt/Jacket that you leave in the shop.

    I don't/won't use G-10 anymore!

    Even if the machine seems nice and quiet, Long term exposer to noise, Dust, contaminants all adds up as the years roll by!

    Drill Presses, Bandsaws can get noisy as your work materials. I just use the Foam eye plugs like you use when Target shooting. Get some Shooter's /Safety Glasses to wear that are comfortable and don't fog! You don't want to have an eye injured or worse!

    I sharpen and build knives 5,6 sometimes 7 days a week during peak seasons, Even with safety glasses, in the mornings where I awake, I have hard crusty eye buggers in the outside corners of my eyes from them tearing out steel,wood & Plastic dust.

    Even with the Respirator, when in the shower, I snort water and blow out the Crusty snots that can sound like BB's when the hit the tile!:D ... If you want to make a Career outta this, Take care of and protect your Eyes, Nose, Lungs!

    I know a Knife maker that was to macho to wear Lung protection etc when he was younger, A couple of years back, he had to have Cancerous tumors cut outta him lungs and they could identity the steel, Bone & Ivory in the Tumors. :eek:

    Ed was laid out in horrible pain for over a year because of it!
    https://themontanabladesmith.blogspot.com/ Feel free to give him a call if you like?
    Great friendly man! He will tell you the importance of PPE. I know other sadder cases, but I'm sure you get the drift!;)

    if you start with 1/8 thick steel, It won't take you so damn long to finish your knife!:p
    kuraki likes this.

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