A ROUND KNIFE WIP - UPDATED INFO

Willie71

Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker
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To all:

I just ordered a hydroma cutting board from Induscousa.com - you'll have to phone it in 800-347-4472. They sell the red-brown hydroma cutting board that Dave recommended in 1/2" and 1" thicknesses. The 1/2" thickness is 11 cents/sf while the 1" thickness is 21 cents/sf. I ordered a 1/2" thick board, 15" x 20" and it cost me $32 plus shipping. The Tandy Leather version is 12" x 12" x 1" and retails for $59.99 - the same size/thickness board from Induscousa.com is $30.24!!

It’s like $80.00 in Canada. I’ll have to look into your source.
 

sheathmaker

Custom Leather Sheaths
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The mail man dropped off a box from Bucksport, ME today and inside was this neat little round knife. Very nice, very thin, and it cuts like a laser!

This one is even more thin than my others and I think I'm really going to be elevating it to "favorite" status.

Thanks again, Tim!

Paul Tim Steingass.jpg
 

brewbear

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Bringing this thread back to the top. You folks sure dropped a bunch of pearls here. I loved the discussion and everyone's thoughts and input and if I knew my way around a forge I sure would make my own round knife. I just ordered one on Amazon, my first one but as I mentioned in another thread, I tend to buy once, cry once and be happy for years after that. I keep looking in the sales threads occasionally but haven't seen any in the last few weeks.
 

TK Steingass

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Since this thread has been resurrected by brewbear, I thought it may be a good time to add a few things. I made four head knives: I gave one to Paul Long, sold two, and kept one for myself. My head knife did a grand job cutting 6-7 oz leather, but I usually make my sheaths out of 8-10 oz leather. This thicker leather lead to a lot of stropping and multiple passes on the same cut line......no good.

I started using an orange handled carpet knife cutter to rough cut my sheath out of the leather side and then use the head knife for the precision cuts. I noticed how well the carpet knife cut the leather on the pull stroke but it was not oriented correctly for a precise line cut like a head knife. The beauty of the head knife is that the cut line is always visible as you push the knife. I'm going to show you what I came up with - it works like a champ and is cheap to make in your own shop.
 
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TK Steingass

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Cutters.jpg

I rough cut the leather off the leather side with a pull stroke using the orange handled carpet cutter. The middle, ugly ass cutter is a replaceable carpet cutter reversed and pinned in the handle made from scratch. The drop in the head keeps your hand up and away from the leather you're cutting.
 
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TK Steingass

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Cutter.jpg

I cut a kerf in the handle with my bandsaw, slid in the cutter in a reverse fashion, held it in place with a dab of superglue, drilled/pinned it, and then ground the radius on top. Having the radius on top allows you to look over the top of the cutter and use the visible part of the cutter as a guide to follow your cut line while you push the cutter along the leather.

It cuts 8-10 leather much easier than a head knife - I've used it six months now and haven't had to strop it or replace the blade. To sharpen it, a buffing wheel with black hard cut compound will certainly keep it deadly sharp. I doubt I will ever wear this tool out. When you buy the carpet cutter blade pack, make sure you buy the kind that have a rounded back - some have a straight back and they tend to dig into your cutting board. I also find that since the blade is so thin that the back side that slides along the cutting board can dig in - I back off on the downward pressure or pull it back to release it from the groove it's cutting into the board.

You'll have to experiment on what angle you hold the cutter at for optimum performance - it'll depend on the angle you set the blade in your handle - no two will be the same I'm sure. Practice cuts on scrap will reveal what angle to hold the knife for the easiest cut.

Instead of spending $100 - $250 for a head knife, buy yourself a carpet cutter and with the extra blades, make yourself a push cutter for about $10.00. I still use my head knife, specifically for skyving the back of sheath loops where it's sewn to the backside of the sheath.
 
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brewbear

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What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing. I just received my first and only head knife, an inexpensive Tandy thing. It has a secondary bevel at about 16 degrees per side, something I think I will change when time allows.
I am also ordering a hydroma cutting board (18 x 24) and wonder if that is good or should I get a smaller/ larger one.
 

TK Steingass

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What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing. I just received my first and only head knife, an inexpensive Tandy thing. It has a secondary bevel at about 16 degrees per side, something I think I will change when time allows.
I am also ordering a hydroma cutting board (18 x 24) and wonder if that is good or should I get a smaller/ larger one.

Mine is 15" x 20" and is plenty big - your 18 x 24 will be just fine IMHO :)
 

sheathmaker

Custom Leather Sheaths
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Well, the carpet cutter reverse looks like a swell idea,....,..,.but I've bee using a round knife now for 50+ years, and have been using my TKS round knife (shown in post 63 of this thread) since Jan 2018, and as it was on day one, it still is my go to knife. I think mine was the thinnest blade of the four and it cuts straights, curves, corners like a laser. The handle is on the smallish side which is perfect for my hand in particular. The AEBL steel is, as of now, the best I've ever used. Stays sharp with only minor touch ups from time to time and habitual stropping which I do automatically without even thinking about it.

Yep! 6 stars out of 5 for Tim's knife and I also need to mention Dave's AEBL skiving knife, now in it's third year of use. Same story, it's the best one I have ever picked up. Design, sharpness, accuracy, all the best. 6 out of 5 stars there too! My continuing thanks to both makers. If they ever do wear out (not likely) I'll sure be in line for more. Do yourself a favor and see if you can talk these two into making one for you.
 
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brewbear

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Yep! 6 stars out of 5 for Tim's knife and I also need to mention Dave's AEBL skiving knife, now in it's third year of use. Same story, it's the best one I have ever picked up. Design, sharpness, accuracy, all the best. 6 out of 5 stars there too! My continuing thanks to both makers. If they ever do wear out (not likely) I'll sure be in line for more. Do yourself a favor and see if you can talk these two into making one for you.
With such high praises, how could I resist? So, how about it gents?
 

brewbear

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Getting back to the head knives, my newly arrived Tandy Leather (Al Stohlman) has a 32 degree inclusive (16 per side) edge. The blade is tapered from the handle (spine) towards the edge but from the pictures posted here, the knives you gents are using look (to this novice eye) to be more akin a flat grind. Since the knife is not very expensive, should I attempt to re-profile it? What would you, more knowledgeable gents suggest?
 

brewbear

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Well, I figured I ought try it first before re-profiling and such. I can honestly say this thing wouldn't cut melted butter. I need to sharpen it and we'll see after that.
 

Scott Hanson

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This thread gave me some ideas to try a while back, I bought a piece of 0.040" AEB-L cut it into strips and had it heat treated to HRc-62 with sub-zero quench and made replaceable blades for my Tandy utility knife. This is my go to knife for all of my leather work, and it cuts like a laser. Tandy blades and Stanley blades and sure others will fit the handle, but the ones out of AEB-L are way better than anything else I've used.
IMG_3248.jpeg
 
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