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knife making steps

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Rbushmaster, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Rbushmaster


    Oct 10, 2005
    what are the steps on making a knife from the 1 man shop to a mass produced factory knife? like "
    waterjet,wirecut or saw cut blade shape
    grind edge bevel on slack belt,surface grinder etc
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    Basically, you start with a $1 file you bought at a yard sale and keep buying more tools until your last purchase was a $1,000,000 computer guided laser cutter.The steps between the two are just increments of $1. The increments generally seems to go by the rule of squares, although with careful attention you can keep it down to the rule of doubling.

    The really smart maker learns to use the tools he has,before he purchases bigger and better(?) tools. Often it is a great temptation to say," If I had a ______ (KMG,power hammer,laser cutter, big shop,etc.), I could make knives like the ones in the books." It is not the tools ,but the hands that guide them.

    Moving up the scale to factory maker is a process of outgrowing your capacity,not your capability. If you can't keep up with your orders in a garage - then it is time to build a shop out back.
    When you can't make enough of your Model 1A fighter to have any on the table at the shows (and are making a good profit at those shows) - then it is time to either farm out the blade cutting and profiling,or hire some help.
    When you have to have UPS come every day to pick up the boxes of knives you are delivering (all paid for ) and the bookkeeper says there is room for growth,- then it is time to open a small factory.
    Next step is an International Joint Venture with a small nation.....well you can take it from there.

    The most useful info in this message is paragraph 2.
    Print it out on a piece of card stock and put it on the wall in your shop.

  3. Russ Andrews

    Russ Andrews Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 27, 2002
    What Stacy said........especially paragraph two !
  4. leon.pugh


    Sep 21, 2006
    Amen !

    Leon Pugh
  5. Bruce Bump

    Bruce Bump KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 1999
    Good answer Stacy! I wouldnt even attempt this one. I thought it was spam.
  6. polish avenger

    polish avenger Basic Member Basic Member

    May 28, 2002
    Guys, I think he was asking 'What are the steps in making a knife, whether you are a single person or a manufacturer?' He just didn't pose the question succinctly.
    It's time to use the search function and buy some books my friend. Everbody has his own method and, of course, there are big differences between stock removers and forgers. I suggest Goddard's books as a great place to start. You'll find that your question has been answered here many times over.
    Welcome to the forum!

  7. Rbushmaster


    Oct 10, 2005
    YOU KNOW IF you guys want to be that way fine! i was not looking for info to go out to my garage tonight and make a knife and sell it on ebay tommorow for $400 .i was just curious in the diffrences between the small guys way and a factory.if you wanto sit around and come up with wise ass remarks ill go else where it seems this forum only caters to a hand full of well known names and if you dont have a thousand posts you get some remarks or coments from some one that thinks they are funny:thumbdn:
  8. joe9knives


    Sep 12, 2006
    i think his question was misunderstood, but also too broad.
  9. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    Sorry,didn't mean to ruffle your feathers.The question perhaps was unclear? I took your question to mean "How do you step from a small one man shop to a big factory setup".
    If what you wanted was the steps in making a knife,they are the same whether a small maker of a big factory.
    First the steel is shaped and ground to the style being made. Either by forging or by grinding.
    Then the blade is hardened and tempered.
    Next the blade is finished and polished.
    The guard,handle and other hardware are added.
    The knife is given a final inspection,and if all is well,the edge is sharpened.

    The equipment to do these tasks will vary depending on the methods used,and the scope of the production facilities. I was being serious about starting simple, with tools as plain as a file,hacksaw,and sandpaper;and gradually advancing to big power equipment.

    Most of the fellows on this forum are a decent bunch of guys. We cut up with each other and have some fun learning from each other.The nugget of wisdom is often disguised in the humor.

    Feel free to post questions and rest assured that all inquiries are taken with the same respect (except posts by IG and Higgy,who don't get no respect).
    Clear and not too broad queries are the best way to go.
  10. cmott69


    Sep 11, 2004
    Exactly what he said!
    I make a better knife with files and sandpaper than with my recently aquired belt grinder.
  11. B Finnigan

    B Finnigan

    Jan 16, 2006
    Has anyone seen the special on the History Channel about Buck Knives? It was interesting to see the automated HT'ing process and the specialty riveting/pinning machines. When it came to putting the final edge on the folders it is still done by hand with square wheel.
  12. Bruce Bump

    Bruce Bump KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 1999
    Rbushmaster...Please except my appology.

    Your question is huge and Stacy did answer it well. Forgive me for the spam remark.
  13. Houston Tactical

    Houston Tactical

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thank you for taking the time to share such informative information. Being new to the art of knife making, I found this info very intersting. I'm still in the aquiring basic tools stage myself. :)
  14. Karl B. Andersen

    Karl B. Andersen

    Jul 27, 2003
    Try this for a visual - -http://www.randallknives.com/construction.php
  15. Dan Gray

    Dan Gray

    Jun 25, 2001
    if you look in the archives you'll see you are being a bit hot headed and a lot wrong,, about giving info only to a few..(Names ?)
    if you can't take a bit of joking and get to know the guys here then you may just want to move on taking your own advice,,

    no one here has to give up any info,
    we all do this here at BFC because we want to not because someone expects it of us..
    you at this point needs to earn it.

    you're on the wrong road here asking makers to give up their free time for free info here with that tone..
    either you fit in if you want to or you don't if you don't want to.JMHO

    If you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and think this a little harsh and lash back,,, you don't get it...
  16. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004

    I think; a little to kind, on your part.

    Take your muddy boots of, son, before you come tromping thru someone's living room.
    Asking better questions, gets you better answers.

    Damn, Fred :jerkit:
  17. BenchmadeBoy


    Sep 4, 2005
    Dude, take a chill pill. As a newbie myself, please listen to what these folks are saying. Ask realistic questions, get realistic answers. 'Nuff said :thumbup:
  18. waredbear


    Nov 14, 2005
    Newbie #???? here. I too came to this forum about three months ago knowing only that a knife came from steel and the handle came from wood. I read and read and read all I could. I listened to what the knife makers said to each other in answering questions for pros and newbies. I finally jumped in and have asked a lot of questions of these guys (and gals if any). I have never been made to feel unwelcome or felt like I was being looked down on for being a newbie or for asking a question. As stated above (several times) you need to ask a detailed question...not open ended or vague. I've even been invited to visit some of the knife makers shops and have visited one in OKC (thanks Mike).

    I would also suggest going to your local library and get all the books they have on making knives. I did that first before coming to the knife forums and they helped me out a lot.

    In His Service,
    Reid Allen

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