Large Integral Dagger

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by Nathan the Machinist, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    This was a special project I've been working on here and there for a while now that I finished in time to show at Blade this year. I've posted a few pictures on IG but, being a regular here, I thought you folks might want to see it too.


    It's a 14" integral made of CPM 3V at HRC 60.5 with the Delta heat treat protocol, so it is a "real" completely functional large dagger, not an "art knife". It's 14 5/8" from tip to guard, 20 3/4" total length, 3 1/2" across the guard and about 15/16" at its thickest in the pommel. It is .350" (a hair under 3/8") at the ricasso.

    It started out a little over 24 pounds and ended up a little over 24 ounces


    I used deep hollow grinds in the blade and varied the cross section of the fuller from 3/8" diameter to 1/8" diameter as it went along the length of the blade to maintain the depth of the fuller in order to remove unnecessary weight from the blade...


    ...and being an integral one can't really put material back on so I used engineering software before I started cutting it to size the weighted pommel to put the center of gravity just ahead of the guard.


    So despite being pretty stout (almost 3/8" at the ricasso)...

    [​IMG]'s 24 ounces, not at all heavy for its size.

    I did a variation of the "two tangs" thing again that I've done on previous work.


    I like this kind of tang both aesthetically and functionally. It's a cool look that you don't see much, and despite tapering down pretty thin it's robust because it has a pretty good cross section of steel in both planes.

    I twist the grinds in a shallow helix out into the blade and then twist back steep again as it approaches the tip.


    This twisting of the grinds allows me to control the thickness of the blade along its length rather than simply letting it become the natural result of the intersection of the grinds and fuller as the width of the blade narrows. The goal being a strong robust point that can penetrate hard objects with a lot of force with minimal risk of breaking.


    ^ left to their own, the intersection of hollow grinds creates a weak hollow center ridge at the point. This was forced into a stout convex center section. Historically, weapons were commonly done this way, but I don't see it done this way very often today.

    My goal with this dagger was not a historical reproduction of a particular blade of a particular era. Instead I was thinking about a bladed weapon as a killing tool in a modern context. And, not a modern "tactical" dagger, but a classic weapon made in a modern manner. It's difficult to really convey the feel of a knife but the metal and scales are not polished into something shiny and slippery but left textured. The handle is sized for a large hand and shaped to sit across the hand at an angle to project reach. It isn't heavy or clunky (unnecessary weight was removed from the center of the handle and the center of the blade), though it is weighted on the ends as these were historically done to resist deflection from an impact, and as a result it doesn't flick around lightly but wants to stab in a straight line.

    I'll post some work in process pictures next...
    Tin.Man, Mikke, lmcq784 and 54 others like this.
  2. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    I took a few pictures of the process during the build















    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    Mikke, blackhat, lmcq784 and 54 others like this.
  3. WValtakis

    WValtakis Hand Engraving, Anodizing and Embellishment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2004
    I've said it before and I'll say it again...absolutely amazing Nathan:D:thumbsup:
  4. mb>

    mb> Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    Fantastic piece. :thumbsup: I appreciate the WIP shots and details on the design and engineering process. Congrats to the owner as well. Holy smokes.
  5. Odog27

    Odog27 Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 20, 2011
    I hope to find that stuck in a rock someday.
    Incredible piece!
  6. betzner

    betzner CenCal Coast Platinum Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Many on the custom forum may be unaware of Nathan's custom work. Though exceptionally rare, it is equal to the best in terms of fit and finish. I must say I have been awed over the years with stuff he has come up with.

    This very large integral dagger is just one example and it is, indeed, spectacular. From a truly Evil Genius, who was also smart enough to take on for his design partner Custom & Handmade Knives Forum moderator, Lorien Arnold...............(but don't let Lorien get away with tryin' to take any credit for this one :D:D)
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    vkp78, Phill50, Dawkind and 8 others like this.
  7. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Really cool piece. Thst is a huge brick of steel to start with!!
    woodysone, Mike157 and Odog27 like this.
  8. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    Absolutely awesome execution!
    Thanks for the detailed description of some of the design aspects. Some things to consider in daggers I'm planning.
  9. Mike Pierson

    Mike Pierson Freedom is not Free Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Truly amazing craftsmanship Nathan, & very very impressive!
  10. TommyGun56

    TommyGun56 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Stunning, Spectacular, Beautiful, and absolutely Gorgeous:thumbsup: One beautiful CLASSIC WEAPON:D
  11. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Gold Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    Excellent and exquisite. I hope that one day, some day, you will start offering some more custom work :)
  12. bwlacey

    bwlacey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Spectacular! Thank you!
  13. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    Nathan, is this the one I have coming for leather? If so, Wow!

    duramax, Dawkind, TommyGun56 and 8 others like this.
  14. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    Yeah it is Paul. You be careful, this one is pokie...
    vkp78, duramax, Dawkind and 8 others like this.
  15. Robert Erickson

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

    Feb 2, 2014
    Holy moly, that's just amazing!
    woodysone, Odog27 and Mike157 like this.
  16. Padad24al

    Padad24al Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Truly incredible....
    Mike157 and Odog27 like this.
  17. JParanee

    JParanee Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    That is something
  18. Lorien

    Lorien KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 5, 2005
    I don't recall ever having used the term 'masterwork' to describe anything I've seen, so I'm gonna break that out for this one because I think it's apt

    The subdued finish is a little too humble, in my opinion, although I do understand the practical rationale behind that decision
    vkp78, Hard Knocks, fonedork and 5 others like this.
  19. Mongo


    Nov 5, 2001
    If I had Bill Gate's money.... I'd be buying this one, or one like it, it a heart beat! Beautiful work Nathan! Absolutely stunning.
    Mike157 and Odog27 like this.
  20. coinbuysell

    coinbuysell Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 29, 2014
    WOW, that is unbelievable! Probably the most bad ass knife that I have ever seen :cool:

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