Ask JT! the THK FAQ thread

Discussion in 'Terrio HandMade Knives' started by james terrio, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. mountainmist


    Jun 12, 2013
    Thanks for the insight! When you say "full convex", you mean that the edge has no micro-bevel, right? Like Bark Rivers (for example)?
  2. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    When I say "full" flat or convex, I just mean the grind goes all the up to the spine. Typically I do put a micro-bevel on all my blades, simply because they're easier for most folks to touch up. zero edges (where the grind comes all the way down to a point at the edge) cut very well, but they sacrifice a bit of durability. If the edge is thin enough to start with, I don't usually find a zero edge necessary.
  3. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    What about Different Handle Materials and How they Affect Weight/Balance?

    The first thing to keep in mind is that balance is much more important than total weight. A large long-bladed Bowie that's properly balanced may weigh well over a pound, but still feel downright lively in hand. A much shorter blade made of thick stock can feel like a brick in your hand when built incorrectly.

    Paracord wraps are very lightweight.

    Handles are pretty small. Unless there are extreme cases with which I'm not familiar, the weight difference between two identical handles made of various micartas, G10, bone, carbon fiber etc will be measured in a couple/few grams... usually not enough to have a major impact on balance or overall weight. Different woods can vary even more, but again we're not talking several ounces. I suspect that in most cases you would feel a greater difference between two similar knives if one has three 5/16" bolts, and two 1/4" bolts, than between types of micarta or even G10 vs. carbon fiber.

    I don't have actual weight measurements in front of me, but neoprene is pretty light, if you also happen to like a somewhat soft and very "grippy" handle. It's not pretty, but it makes for a very comfortable handle.

    Honestly, I just don't worry about handle material weight very much. I find it a lot more effective to work on the steel to deal with weight/balance (by selecting thicker or thinner stock, tapering the blade and/or tang, skeletonizing the tang, etc) and choose handle material based on durability and appearance.
  4. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    So JT, after seeing those pictures of you in the world on the BH snark thread, I asked myself: what knife does JT EDC?
    So?? What's your carry blade, JT?

  5. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    The original SideKick prototype... I keep beating on it and it just won't die. This is an old pic... it's been marked since then and has a new sheath with several improvements...

  6. mountainmist


    Jun 12, 2013
    Hey Mr. T, what is your average wait time? 2 years, 2 months, or 2 weeks? Could you give me in idea? Sorry if this is an "unanswerable " question.:eek:
  7. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    Finished blades I put up for sale ship within 2-3 days from receipt of payment, and I use insured Priority mail so you'll get it within a week, unless something really strange happens. On request I will add "Signature Required" at no cost... in fact I prefer it that way.

    On custom orders, it varies. It may be anywhere from six weeks to six months or more from the day the order is placed. There are a lot of factors involved, including the complexity of the design.

    The biggest variable is backlog. I operate on a first-come, first served basis whenever possible, so at any given time I might be caught up or have twelve orders ahead of yours.

    Sometimes I have to sit on my hands just waiting for the appropriate piece/size of steel to become available. I send my blades out for HT in batches and that takes roughly a month from the day I send 'em out till the day I get 'em back. (in rare instances I will send out single blades for "rush" HT, but that's going to add a bit of co$t.)

    All of this is why I'm slowly moving away from mostly custom work and more towards a few standard models with lots of options... once blades are profiled, ground and heat-treated, adding options like sharpened clips, Vee vs. convex edge, sharpening notches, different handle materials, different sheaths etc. goes a lot faster... meaning you'll get your knife much quicker.
  8. Chameleonbear


    Aug 14, 2008
    Ok, here's one... What are the standard sizes steels come in? Is there a standard height to get steels in? Does it vary by types of steel or does it not? Also widths...
  9. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    That's a good one! The answer is... it depends, and availability is driven mainly by demand. It's expensive for mills to roll out special sizes, so they're not going to provide steel in a certain thickness unless they know they can sell enough of it to make a profit or at least break even. Custom knifemakers are a drop in the bucket of the overall steel market, so sometimes it's just not worthwhile for mills to provide the thicknesses we want.

    For instance, AEB-L is a great clean and superbly fine-grained stainless steel, but almost all of it is used for kitchen cutlery and disposable razor blades... so it's pretty much impossible to get in pieces any thicker than about .130". Likewise, W2 and 52100 used to be very hard to get in anything other than thick sections and rounds (which is fine for forgers but basically useless for stock-removal guys like me), but thankfully Aldo has had a bunch of it run in flat sections that are appropriate for either style of knifemaking.

    Typically, the most common knife blade steels are available in thicknesses ranging from around 1/8" to 1/4", and are cut into bars ranging from 1" to 2" wide. If one is willing to buy enough of it at one time, larger sheets can sometimes be had; this is great when one gets into having large batches of blanks water-jet cut.

    If you're curious about a certain steel's availability in certain sizes, check with New Jersey Steel Baron, Alpha Knife Supply and USA Knifemaker. All three companies are run by knowledgeable guys who understand custom knives, and cater specifically to knifemakers. :thumbup:

    If those cats can't get it, it probably doesn't exist domestically.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  10. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    :thumbup: Great post again James.

    I love this thread. so much information.

    Only one of those 3 i have dealt with is Aldo. It was a great experience. I wanted a specific size not on the site so i just called him up and asked if he had a piece of 52100 that was 1/4" thick or more, 3" wide and 24" long, 2 days later it was at my house.

    Wish i could find some Vanadis 4 Extra though.
  11. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    Thank you, I'm glad to be of help!

    Websites are not always precisely up-to-date (mine certainly isn't :eek:). When in doubt, call and ask to speak to the person in charge for the most recent info :)
  12. mountainmist


    Jun 12, 2013
    I have a question! Let's say "Jo blow" orders a knife, and one week before it's finished he breaks his arm and spends the knife money on the hospital bills, and can't pay for the knife for a couple of months. How long would you hold the knife for?
  13. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    I don't have a carved-in-stone policy for that... from my website: "When your knife is complete, I'll let you know and will ship within 2-3 days of receiving payment. If you have changed your mind or are unable to pay within a reasonable time, the knife will become available to the public."

    If I finish a custom and the client simply disappears, it's going up for sale. Naturally, if someone suffers a hardship like injury/illness/losing their job or what-have-you and lets me know, I'll do whatever I can to work it out with them. Stuff happens...
  14. mountainmist


    Jun 12, 2013
    Hey James,

    Why do most kitchen knives have a relatively low RC hardness? The Becker kitchen knives have a 57 IIRC, and your proto has a 58. What is the reason for that? The Becker Kitchen knives take a absolutely wicked edge, but loose it quick. In a kitchen there is stone countertops, silverware, SS or stone sinks, and many other thinks that are hard on a knife edge.

    Why not make it harder?
  15. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    For one thing, if a person is banging a thin fine edge against things like stone glass or metal, or tossing it in a drawer or the dishwasher to rattle around with other cutlery/silverware, they really have no business using a good knife. That sort of thing is definitely not covered in my warrantee. They'd be better served by something from the Dollar Store... beat the heck out of it, throw it away, and buy another in a couple months.

    Moderate-to-high hardness like 58Rc generally gives us the best balance of good toughness and good edge strength. That helps prevent chipping if someone accidentally strikes bone or something. European knives are often run very soft, some as low as the high-40s... they take a good edge very easily, but require nearly constant honing. High-end Japanese knives are often run much harder, 62 or even 64Rc, and are handled pretty carefully... but they stay very sharp for a long time.

    Many home cooks seem to often be intimidated by blades that are perceived as difficult to sharpen. Even some pro chefs prefer to steel or hone their knives more often rather than use a much harder blade. One of the reasons for doing the current passaround is to see if folks are happy with the edge-retention and sharpenability of CPM-154 @ 58Rc (I suspect people who aren't familiar with it will be pleasantly surprised), or if I should have future models run at higher hardnesses.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  16. cbwoods67

    cbwoods67 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    Hey JT,

    Do you have any paring knives on the horizon?
  17. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    Yup :)
  18. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    I bet the Strix would make an awesome paring knife.
  19. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    That's pretty much the idea :) I'm toying with the idea of making the handle a bit longer and having no guard bump at all, but essentially that's the only difference.
  20. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    3/32" thick?

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