A Brief Study On Swedges

brownshoe

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IMHO, swedges are one thing that set the Schatt and Morgan product line above others. S&M seems to be one company that uses them on many patterns. For me it gives their knives a lot of curb appeal :)
 

waynorth

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From the Master to the Grasshopper to the Dilletante (me)!
Thanks for the swedge lesson Kerry and Tony!!! I love the fine points of knife making and knife function!!
 

KnifeHead

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I've had some recent talks with folks about swedges and thought it was a good time to bring this thread back to life. ;)
 
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Great Information!!

I have also thought that swedges performed these functions:

- smooth out the sharp corners of the exposed blade backs so that when the blades are closed the corners don't dig into the hand or wear out the pocket. The stockman in use with one blade open and two blades closed will feel more rounded in the hand due to the swedges on the two blades that are closed when one blade is in use.

- provide a sharper point to the blade than is possible without a swedge.

Also, regarding the fitting of blades into a frame like the stockman example, the center liner helps, crinking helps, but is not another factor the asymmetrical grind of the sheepfoot and spey blades? It appears that GEC and Queen do this on stockman patterns.
 

KnifeHead

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Great Information!!

I have also thought that swedges performed these functions:

- smooth out the sharp corners of the exposed blade backs so that when the blades are closed the corners don't dig into the hand or wear out the pocket. The stockman in use with one blade open and two blades closed will feel more rounded in the hand due to the swedges on the two blades that are closed when one blade is in use.

- provide a sharper point to the blade than is possible without a swedge.

Also, regarding the fitting of blades into a frame like the stockman example, the center liner helps, crinking helps, but is not another factor the asymmetrical grind of the sheepfoot and spey blades? It appears that GEC and Queen do this on stockman patterns.

Cutting the angles on the spine would definitely create some smoothness there and decrease pocket wear...good point :thumbup:

Your other two points are valid and speak to the reduction of blade thickness that is important in making all that steel fit into the handle of a multi-bladed pocket knife. Whew!..that was a mouthfull :D
 
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IMHO, swedges are one thing that set the Schatt and Morgan product line above others. S&M seems to be one company that uses them on many patterns. For me it gives their knives a lot of curb appeal :)
I definately agree with that! One of my favorite patterns for a great swedge is the baby sunfish. If they were easier to come by, I would collect them.
 
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Queen also swedge their blades.

As an example:
I have a Half Congress where the pan blade is swedged at the point, which creates a very fine sharp point.
Very well done.
 
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Your other two points are valid and speak to the reduction of blade thickness that is important in making all that steel fit into the handle of a multi-bladed pocket knife. Whew!..that was a mouthfull :D

Thanks for reviving this most interesting thread Kerry. Here is a good example of the above function.

28-04028.jpg
 
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Much obliged for the swedge functionality tutorial Kerry via Tony, and knifeaholic brought up good case in points for them as well. I knew several of the obvious reasons for swedge designs on pocket knives already and was pleased to see this thread and receive the balance of that knowledge. Thanks!.

Also, I have a question about swedges--false-edges--top-edges?..

.. Kerry, Tony, or anyone else, a very long time ago I was to understand that the swedge design was originally born out of the top-edge and/or false-edge. In fact, they are all used interchangeably in many circles here still today with the historical minded and knife enthusiasts alike.

Now bear with me here a little.. The way I understand it is the original false edge or swedge design came from the early Bowie knives. Many of the early Bowie type knives in fact actually had sharpened edges or top edges or swedges, located at the tip of the Bowie blade and continued several inches up the top of the spine. The purpose of this was to enable its user to inflict the deadly back-cut and cleave his foe during battle via this top-edge in a sort of whipping motion when the blade was employed with the hand gripped in the forward position.. And also by striking ones opponent from the back swing of a forward striking motion when the hand was gripped in reverse.. Later Bowies evolved without the top edge or swedge sharpened but retained the design and seemed to also be known as the false edge or swedge.

Now my question, is it known if pocket knife cutlers in Sheffield and later in the US eventually borrowed these swedge designs for all the reasons Kerry pointed out at the beginning of the thread with Tony's assistance?. My assumption would be yes from the vintage 19th century catalogue reprints I have seen in many references, but I'd like to hear others take on this and see what they think.


Anthony
 
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I absolutely agree they add aesthetic appeal to the blades. The other reasons cited, however, seem after-the-fact rationalizations. Making the blade thinner at the spine is a good goal, but probably better served by using thinner stock. It seems a bit like a hack if they are intended to make room for opening and closing. And, really, I'd hate to rely on a swedge to allow access to a nail pull. The average Victorinox multi layer knife excels in points 2, 3, and 4 without a swedge in sight, and would unlikely be enhanced with the addition, except possibly in looks.
 

KnifeHead

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I absolutely agree they add aesthetic appeal to the blades. The other reasons cited, however, seem after-the-fact rationalizations. Making the blade thinner at the spine is a good goal, but probably better served by using thinner stock. It seems a bit like a hack if they are intended to make room for opening and closing. And, really, I'd hate to rely on a swedge to allow access to a nail pull. The average Victorinox multi layer knife excels in points 2, 3, and 4 without a swedge in sight, and would unlikely be enhanced with the addition, except possibly in looks.

So if I understand correctly, SAKs are ugly and are better than all other knives because they "excel" at points 2, 3, and 4 without swedges.

And if you think about it too, swedges waste steel! :D
 
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Kerry another educational thread :thumbup:

Swedges add to the utility of a knife. I especially appreciate them when making plunge cuts or cutting around tendons (when dressing game).

Rounds the spine off for easy pocket carry (as previously posted).

Besides, they're just plain purty :D
 
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Seems to me the swedge allows for a much thicker tang and blade base compared to the 'thinner stock' strategy thus making a sturdier knife. Not sure if you can read this ad.

the knives "incorporate a blade so designed that it can be used for such work as only special and larger knives have hitherto been able to perform." or so they say.


scan0084-1.jpg
 
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Much obliged for the swedge functionality tutorial Kerry via Tony, and knifeaholic brought up good case in points for them as well. I knew several of the obvious reasons for swedge designs on pocket knives already and was pleased to see this thread and receive the balance of that knowledge. Thanks!.

Also, I have a question about swedges--false-edges--top-edges?..

.. Kerry, Tony, or anyone else, a very long time ago I was to understand that the swedge design was originally born out of the top-edge and/or false-edge. In fact, they are all used interchangeably in many circles here still today with the historical minded and knife enthusiasts alike.

Now bear with me here a little.. The way I understand it is the original false edge or swedge design came from the early Bowie knives. Many of the early Bowie type knives in fact actually had sharpened edges or top edges or swedges, located at the tip of the Bowie blade and continued several inches up the top of the spine. The purpose of this was to enable its user to inflict the deadly back-cut and cleave his foe during battle via this top-edge in a sort of whipping motion when the blade was employed with the hand gripped in the forward position.. And also by striking ones opponent from the back swing of a forward striking motion when the hand was gripped in reverse.. Later Bowies evolved without the top edge or swedge sharpened but retained the design and seemed to also be known as the false edge or swedge.

Now my question, is it known if pocket knife cutlers in Sheffield and later in the US eventually borrowed these swedge designs for all the reasons Kerry pointed out at the beginning of the thread with Tony's assistance?. My assumption would be yes from the vintage 19th century catalogue reprints I have seen in many references, but I'd like to hear others take on this and see what they think.


Anthony
Swedges were used on Sheffield pocket knives long before Jim Bowies mother powdered his ass. Look at the knife SK posted , it's a visual on what they were for.
 
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So if I understand correctly, SAKs are ugly and are better than all other knives because they "excel" at points 2, 3, and 4 without swedges.

And if you think about it too, swedges waste steel! :D

Kerry don't fret none here with the likes of shecky. He stays just far enough on this side of the trolling fence on BF as to be tolerated here and has had PT status for many, many moons. :rolleyes: Pay him no mind at all. :p


Anthony
 
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FLymon

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Is weight reduction, or weight placement for balance, ever a consideration in swedges?
This may be more of a consideration in large fixed blades?
I just think they look cool when done right.
 

cj65

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I knew there was a reason that I waited til lunch to read this thread. I am a huge swedge fan. Now I know there is function as well as form. Thanks for the education!
 
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