Newb with a couple of knives under my belt

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by foreveryoung001, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. foreveryoung001

    foreveryoung001

    3
    Dec 24, 2015
    I wasn't sure where I should introduce myself, so figured I'd do it while I posted some pictures of my first knives. I'm in Traverse City, MI and just took up this hobby a couple of months ago. Growing up, I was never a "knife" guy, but I was always fascinated with the damascus/pattern welded knives, and when I was just a kid, my father took me to a demonstration where we watched a Japanese swordsmith folding steel. When we were looking at his finished swords that were on display, those layer were the most amazing thing I'd ever seen.

    Fast forward 30+ years, and I was researching what to do with a pile of old Jeep parts I have lying around from working on my two Jeeps, and I came across plans for a brake drum forge. One thing led to another, and soon I had my forge up and running, an old anvil off of craigslist, and I was making tongs and other tools. Then my wife says I should make her a bunch of wrought iron stuff for the house, so on to youtube to see how to make some basic candle holders, and I come across a couple of videos of people banging out pattern welded blades by hand. My love of that folded steel is reborn and I have to try it... well, after I got my wife's projects done.

    So spent some time just teaching myself how to forge weld, then produced a knife like object out of some old Jeep leaf springs and some other scrap I had lying around, and decided my early efforts were good enough to try an actual knife. The first one was okay, and now sits on a shelf in my mother's house... figured she put up with a son who likes to try crazy things for 45 years, so she deserved the merits of my first effort. As far as looks, I was not real happy with it... the pattern came out nice, but the over all fit and finish of the knife made it look like a cheap old letter opener.

    Played around some more, then did my second and third knives as xmas gifts. These came out a little nicer, but I was rushing at the end to get them done, so still not real happy with the over all completed knives. At this point, I have decided I am hooked, and have ordered some known steel 1080 and 15n20 so I can quit using the scrap pile and start testing my HT process and maybe start turning out some finished knives that I am actually really proud of. I've got the wheels and some other parts being shipped for a proper 2x72 grinder, and the steel should arrive today or tomorrow.

    I know I started this kind of backwards, with getting in to the damascus blades first, but that is really where my interest lies, so I guess it is what it is at this point. I've got about a dozen more to make as promised gifts to friends and family, and hopefully by then, I'll feel good enough about what I'm turning out to sell a knife or two to help pay for this new addiction.

    For the pics, the smaller one is my second knife. 72 layers of just a random pattern and the larger one is only 12 layers with a simple twist... I was hoping for just a lazy spiral running down the blade, but since I'm doing it all by hand, I think the spiral got a little mangled. Still, it came out pretty cool and was very appreciated by my step son who received it for xmas.
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  2. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think you've done very well for being self taught. It is addicting when you make a serious effort to learn how to do something and come out with a respectable result. If you really intend to keep doing this, I recommend seeking out a knifemaker in your area and see if you can get an invitation to his shop or take classes if they are available. It will take years off your learning curve.
     
  3. just-a-hunter

    just-a-hunter

    423
    Nov 5, 2015
    Look good. Keep after em...

    Todd
     
  4. jball

    jball

    48
    Mar 15, 2015
    YouTube nay not be a considered a respectable schooling establishment but does offer for the visual learner a lot of great information that would be covered in class
     

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