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The "Ask Nathan a question" thread

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by JustinFournier, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. JustinFournier

    JustinFournier Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2012
    Hi Nathan!

    Here is a thread created for the sole purpose of asking you questions directly, in one centralized place so it's easy for people in the future to find little tidbits of info or perhaps even find the answer to a question they have you might have already addressed.

    Hopefully this one can stay on topic so it doesn't become needlessly long. I promise I will do my best not to derail it. Maybe it will even save you a PM or two!

    So my question is:

    Which models will you accept for a service back at the shop, and what is the cost of that service?

    Perhaps I have a medium grit ground finish 6'" Utility Fighter that is showing some wear, and I would like that to get returned to shop fresh appearance, and get the bad boy shaving sharp again.

    Maybe I just need a LC returned to that shaving sharp condition it arrived in and I don't have the bench stones to do it myself.

    Thanks for your time!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2016
    Mike Pierson likes this.
  2. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    Nathan, I saw your earlier response regarding the question about G10 handles on the CPK-LC models. Care to elaborate as to why you do not find G10 as a suitable material for the LC's application? Any other factors than the slight upward weight differential and the slicker handle grips for wet environments? Thank you.
  3. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    I don't want to encourage a lot of folks to send stuff back in for a "spa treatment" because I'm not really in the business of refurbishing old knives. If someone has a knife that needs some work they can return it. But don't expect it to return "factory new". So, if someone hits a big rock or some barbed wire buried in a tree with a chopper please return it (don't try to grind anything really big out dry with powered tools, you might ruin the temper). If you pry a big staple with your EDC and snap the tip, please return it to be re-pointed. If you bust a scale, please return it or request a replacement. I try to take a common sense approach and there are generally no charges other than return shipping. But if it has scratches in the finish that's part of being a user grade knife and I prefer not to rework old work if I can avoid it.

    As far as sharpening is concerned, I understand that many people are not well equipped to handle a large sharpening job and need help. While I don't want to get into the sharpening business, if a person needs something I made sharpened I'll usually do it for the cost of return shipping. Obviously, if too many people start taking me up on that and it becomes a common thing I'd need to ask for something $$ , but so far there hasn't been much need.
  4. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    You won't see G10 on many competition cutters.

    It's pretty and durable. I get that. but there are better materials for a large high performance knife. Particularly if weight is a concern. It's heavy, doesn't absorb impact shock very well, and has less grip than the other alternatives. It's great on a small knife, and I'll probably offer it on choppers because people want it, but from a design engineering point of view it isn't optimal for that application.
  5. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    Ah shock absorption and reverberations I had completely forgotten about. That said, for newbie G10 lovers: Nathan's buffed micarta scales are very close aesthetically and an excellent alternative to G10. If the Man recommends micarta, don't go against his recommendations ;)
    gusbuster, Mike Pierson and Ken H> like this.
  6. ExtraBaconPlease


    Mar 8, 2016
    Here's my response about the G10

    I understand Micarta is more suitable but i have decided to no longer purchase knives with Micarta handles as they absorb fluids/bacteria. It's a hygene thing. I've used a knife for skinning and got the handled all bloodied up then used it for food prep. Of course i washed my hands and the knife but later realised how gross that is. I could of got sick from contaminating the food or even got some nasty germs/bacteria on a cut on my hand. I'm probably over exaggerating as i've previously used Micarta for years on blades with no issue but i've made the switch.


    >What do you think about the whole hygene thing i mentioned?
  7. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    I found it odd, personally.
    Mike Pierson likes this.
  8. ExtraBaconPlease


    Mar 8, 2016
    Odd? Do you think it is no big deal orrr? :confused:
  9. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    I wouldn't want Terotuf on a skinner for that reason, but micarta should be fine. I have micarta on my own steak knife I've had for years, it's pretty impermeable. Much less than wood.

    I suppose not all micarta is created equal. But the stuff I use is pretty solid and cleans up without any problem.
  10. Casinostocks

    Casinostocks Factotum Platinum Member

    Mar 20, 2016
    Nathan, do your buffed micarta handle scales improve those hygiene concerns which EBP has with his food prep?
  11. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    If you mean being buffed vs being not buffed - probably no difference. The phenolic resin very thoroughly impregnates the fibers. Micarta is an almost fully dense resin. Way less absorbent than wood. That little bit of fuzz that forms on the surface is nothing compared to the scratches in a plastic cutting board or wood of an old-school knife.

    Blood and funk are not going to soak into quality micarta.

    edit to add: The things to be concerned about are cracks and crevices in a design that can't be cleaned and soil can ooze from. This is why a gouged up or broken scale is not hygienic, or sloppy pins and scales gaps could leak yuck from joints, regardless of the material.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  12. ExtraBaconPlease


    Mar 8, 2016
    Fluids/bacteria didn't penetrate very far into the Micarta I have previously used and it was cleanable but i prefer a "hassle free" option like G10 over Micarta even if i have to trade of some comfort and grip in wet conditions. YMMV :)

    Thanks for your response :thumbup:
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  13. ElCaptain

    ElCaptain Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2011
    I have the same hygiene concerns. Thanks for asking!
  14. coiledwire

    coiledwire Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Hello Nathan.

    Would it be possible for future revisions to include handle hardware that is easier to remove?

    I like to remove the handles for maintenance or switching stuff around. Currently I need to have 2 allen wrenches, wooden dowel, and rubber mallet to get this job done. I would love to see a single-tool operation.

    Thanks for your time!
  15. ExtraBaconPlease


    Mar 8, 2016
    I thought i only needed a torque screwdriver...am i missing something?
  16. grogimus

    grogimus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hey Mr. Nathan. I'm a new leatherworker type person, people I've sent my sheaths to don't seem to hate them. No death threats yet at least.[emoji106] I love the Field Knife, and I have a basic sheath design I don't hate and I have this silly ass notion of selling them. I'll never recoup my time into the sheaths, but it'd be nice to at least buy some more leather or leather tools so I could mess around with them some more. Would it be okay to post them to sell here? I would love to send you one first to see if it passes muster. I've been sitting on paying for the craftsman membership but I have no idea how to market or if there's a market for it.

    This cracks me up...

    I might need to upgrade to even ask the question, my apologies if that's the case.
  17. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    I have no plans to change the construction to make it easier to take apart. In my opinion the tight pinned scales with fasteners for hold down is very effective, accurate and durable. Ease of disassembly was not a primary design driver, but when I do need to take one apart I feel the amount of effort required to do so is pretty reasonable.
    Jo the Machinist likes this.
  18. Nathan the Machinist

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

    Feb 13, 2007
    I'm not sure what all the forum rules are on selling, so I have avoided making any judgments on folks selling here. I'm open to discussion on having a thread here for accessories (sheaths, liners, scales, screws etc.) and services (finishing, coatings, sharpening, pimping etc)
  19. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    I found the concern odd because it's not something I've ever heard mentioned before

    to my way of thinking, what makes a knife less hygienic is poor fit and finish or impossible to reach places, ie; if there are gaps between the scales, a really rough ground finish, or space around the fasteners which is impossible to reach for cleaning. The material itself can be easily cleaned with isopropyl or whatever, so it never occurred to me that the handle material itself would harbour nasties. Unless of course it was something porous, and none of the phenolic composites that I know of are.
  20. other memory

    other memory Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    What's the probability of an EDC pre-order?

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