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The Road To Fiddleback Friday: How The Knives Are Made (VERY Photo Heavy)

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by B Griffin, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thank you. Watching it happen, I felt it was something that should be shown.

    Yeah, an apt analogy for me there. There were a few that made me want to cry. Since there wasn't the hustle of Blade or the worry of being in front of the table blocking it for too long, just being able to really look over so many models was a sight to behold and experience I won't soon forget.

    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    Why thank you Preston. Yeah, I could have shown more...but it would have meant half again as many photos. I was afraid that would have been an over-saturation for no more than it would have really added to the post. This was only a tenth of the photos I took, and I whittled it down from the original 150 some odd photos down to 120 something :)

    Most of those go here...






  2. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Since people have asked in this thread and behind the scenes, I edited in the above list to the end of the original post. That list is also here in a sticky thread somewhere, and on the FF website.
  3. trestle


    Feb 2, 2008
    Looking back through this thread for the umpteenth time, I'm struck by quite a few things. First off, as noted by the OP, is the lack of any automated equipment. In it's place are a variety of tools that appear to be designed and made in house or bought and modified to better serve their purpose. The grinders are elegantly simple yet robust, the presses are set up for versatility, and the clamps/vises for sanding ingeniously place the knives at the right position for prolonged work. None of this happened by accident, the shop has clearly been well thought through for efficient, hand-made production. The second thing of note is how many off-the-shelf supplies are used. Tape, bins, clamps, peg boards, pastes, waxes, hand tools; it's like being in the garage, surrounded by many comforting and familiar items. Comforting, like an old memory or friend, something you know and can work with. Quenching in an ammo can? Could it get any cooler?

    Obviously the attention to safety also jumps out. Eye and hearing protection are easy to see as are the double respirators with the different filters. Fire extinguishers are within reach seemingly throughout the shop. Tight sleeves, no baggy shirtfronts, closed-toe footwear. What I don't see is dust or mess anywhere. A little clutter perhaps that is evidence of creative work but no dust or grime. There must be universal effort to clean up regularly. Considering how much volume is produced on a weekly basis, this is even more impressive.

    What I wonder about is the steel table in the middle, where all the magic comes together. Perhaps I missed it in an earlier thread but does it have a name? Considering how we all are enthralled by Fiddleback lore and how much of the work is done there, it deserves a proper and fitting name. If it doesn't have one from those who gather around to create, those of us who gather to shark its wares should nominate one for it. Clearly not the Round Table, yet so many grails have come off of it; exaltation has been earned.
  4. Kirkwood

    Kirkwood Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wow Brian! This is a terrific photo essay. And those glamour shots... Nice! :D

    Now that you've revealed the entire process I can stop bugging Ken with PMs and start making my own knives. ;) I'm sure someone like me with absolutely no experience can just pick it right up. :eek:

    Just funnin. Those really are awesome pics man!
  5. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I've been in a lot of knife maker's shops. This one really impressed me on a lot of levels. Pretty sure they all just referred to it as "the table", so the name may be open :)

    LMAO, thanks Kris, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!!
  6. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    My FIL and I had made a workbench for furniture. But when several knifemakers were working on it at once, it moved a lot. I needed something HEAVY. My friend and knife mentor Paul Brach knows a machinist in the area who had this table sitting on its side in the yard outside his shop. THe legs are a nightmare, and the top isn't close to flat. I gave $250 for it delivered and it was a great addition to the shop. We're going to add one more woodworking style vise to the 4th corner. It's 4'x8' and the top is 1/2" thick. It weighs a ton and you could disect an elephant on it. It was tough fitting that woodworking vise to it. I had to drill and then tap a half inch hole. In general the table has been an excellent addition. At that price I can't beat it. Its not breakable I'll say. How about calling it the Juggernaut?
  7. trestle


    Feb 2, 2008
    I'd say that's a fine name for it, especially considering it's yours. ;)

    Long live the Juggernaut!
  8. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    Oh no
    Another sanding station :eek:
  9. Daniel Rohde

    Daniel Rohde

    Jul 22, 2014
  10. Valkyrie Knives

    Valkyrie Knives

    Sep 9, 2013
    Nice Photography work!
  11. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
  12. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    From your description Juggernaut sounds an apt name for it. It is a heck of a table for sure.

    Hey, at least knife handles are a lot smaller than raised-panel cabinet doors, and back in the days before switching to installing, I would build a full set of doors one day and sand them the next, by myself...

    Thank you Adam!

    That's what I was thinking.
  13. BonhamBlades


    Nov 13, 2010
    Thank you, I really enjoyed a glance of your week
  14. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator

    Oct 19, 2005
    Vance's comment reminds me of my favorite line in the movie Sweet Home Alabama: "You can't ride two horses with one ass Sugarplum."
  15. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
  16. Kirkwood

    Kirkwood Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Oh noes! Andy's quoting lines from one of my wife's favorite rom coms! I can't get away from it. :eek:
  17. Tha Baron

    Tha Baron

    Feb 14, 2014
    Thank you Mist... this post and photos are pure gold!
  18. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007

    Thank you sir, I am glad you enjoyed the post!
  19. charlie2times

    charlie2times Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Hat's off to you sir, truly awesome post!!!
  20. inlikeflynt56

    inlikeflynt56 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Wonderful job Mist of capturing the essence of Andy's work.
    My Fiddlebacks just have a special mojo when I pick them up, now I know why.

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