What I'm working on

Good job, I like the style. I'm not crazy about the "made the old way" motto, though. I think of your blades as old-fashioned practical tools, made the new way with modern materials and methods.
Thanks guys! This is my first foray into web design and its a bit overwhelming but alot of fun to see it all come together

Also all the new Fell Beast blanks will be in early next week. Super stoked:thumbsup:
Moved into the new shop and have been getting it set up. Still have to drop in the 220V electric and put in a shop sink. No running water, no heat, but its cheap and will hold me over until I'm done with law school and can get a real shop.


Built a couple work benches and slapped together a poorly engineered storage shelf.



Moving everything was tough but I had help


Got another breacher finished up recently. The design is really growing on me

Congrats on getting set up Hunter. The breaching hawk looks good, but that big bowie on the wall also looks pretty damn nice!
Website looks great Hunter. I like the page that compares the qualities of different steels and puts numbers to them, I find that very informative. I was surprised that M390 comes up as almost as tough as 52100, makes me wonder how it would do for a chopping tool on hardwood.

Workshop is looking good too. Better put some heating in there before winter comes!!
Thanks! I still have alot of work to do on the site, mainly I need to get some proper photos up for the products.

In my testing M390 has proven to be very tough in the 61- 62 RC range. I remember testing an M390 nessmuk at 62RC v. a 52100 nessmuk at 60RC with a spring tempered spine. The edges failed in similar fashion in impact testing and the tips broke with a similar amount of force. However, the big difference comes when trying to break the knife in half. M390 violently snaps while the 52100 with the spring tempered spine bent when it got pushed past its elastic limit.

In something like a big competition chopper with a thick spine, I actually think M390 would do fine. A big thick slab of steel can absorb alot of force without bending. But in a machete or thinner chopper that will be experiencing lots of flexion and on top of that, impact under flexion, M390 will snap long before 52100. The spring tempered spine and the extra toughness it provides is the determining factor. Another thing to consider is toughness over the hardening curve. For example M390 at 62 is tougher than 52100 at 62.
That steel info is the #1 most useful knife steel info I have ever seen anywhere. Please put it in a table of rows and columns so it will be easier to compare each characteristic of each steel. I am very excited to see your rankings get improved and expanded with the addition of more steels and more testing. You're already my favorite blade-maker because of your savvy in steels, but you have gone a step further now. Fantastic easy-to-understand info!
[...] until I'm done with law school and can get a real shop.

I have seen a lot of shops, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with yours. You can get a lot of impressive things done in a far lesser shop than the one you have now.

With no water, how are you going to supply a sink? Are you recirculating the water? Solvent tanks do that, so you could probably do it with shop water too. The amount of water you would use might be small enough you can just pour it outside and let it evaporate.

Do you have a sand blasting box? A lot of cleaning can be done with a cheap sand blasting station, and the sand is conveniently recirculated. Plus, sand blasted steel looks nice. The tumbled finish you use is a very good surface preparation for sand blasting. All my "pretty" sandblasted stuff was tumbled first. It gives a very even, glowing look, like bright sun on a thick layer of flawless fresh snow. Without the tumbling process, things like scratches and tool marks show through the sand blasted finish, so it doesn't look nearly as good at it could.

I'm imagining a luxurious safe-queen blade with ice cold frosty surfaces and a brilliant mirror-polished edge. It wouldn't stay looking that good if it weren't a safe queen, but considering how cheap it is to make a blade look so uniquely beautiful, the investment might pay for itself pretty easily if you wanted to make something special for the blade connoisseurs, to improve your profit margins. It wouldn't need to be so much more expensive that people would be afraid to use it, but connoisseurs might be tempted to buy both a user blade to get dirty and scraped up, and the same blade with the gorgeous frosted finish on it. One is a working tool that gets used and abused, and the other gets admired for its beauty.

There are a lot of sandblasted and satin finish knives in the world, but to my knowledge, no one has ever utilized the impressive cameo contrast you can get when you combine a mirror finish with a frosty finish. Coin die makers have been doing it for centuries, and the effect is pretty impressive:


Coin die makers can use either actual sandblasting, or a chemical pickling process in acid to get the sandblasted effect. You could selectively use mirror and frosty finishes to create your logo and perhaps custom text across a blade. Now that I'm thinking of it, a tribal tattoo or barbed-wire design across a blade would be ridiculously beautiful. For sandblasting, you would use a rubber-like compound that can resist the sand impact without being worn away, for the mirror areas. For pickling, you would use some kind of adhering barrier to keep the acid from attacking the mirrored parts. Both methods require the whole blade to be polished. You could use orbital sanders, buffing wheels, and other power tools to speed up the polishing process.

For coin die makers, they only need to do the work on the dies, and then they can use the dies to mint thousands of coins before they need new dies. That keeps costs low. For the blades, you would probably need to manually apply the finishes to each blade. Frosting is cheap, mirroring is expensive. If you only wanted to mirror a logo, maybe you could mirror a small patch on the blade, layout the areas that distinguish the mirror parts from the frosted parts, then go ahead and frost the entire thing all at once. That could minimize the area that needs to be polish, to speed up the process for each blade.

Other techniques you could use are electropolishing, electroplating, and electroless nickel. The electroless nickel process is pretty slick, literally and figuratively. It's very durable, and would greatly enhance corrosion resistance. Both electroplating (chrome) and electroless nickel give you a smooth finish that would be much quicker to polish to a mirror finish. It might be good enough you can skip polishing, and just proceed to mask it for whatever frosting technique you want to use - mechanical sandblasting, or chemical pickling/etching.

Some of these techniques are compatible with high production automation, so if you stumble on a moneymaker, you can outsource much of it and ramp up production so you're not overwhelmed in your "prototyping shop". Basically you would design them and make the prototypes, and then when you're satisfied, order larger production runs from a facility that can meet your requirements. You might get lucky and find a way to at least temporarily make more money on blades than you can earn in your lawyering...until everyone else figures out what you're doing, and they start doing it too, haha.

For small and very thin blades (like utility blades), you can use very productive chemical etching processes to make the entire blade from start to finish, with all the mirroring, frosting, and even sharpening done automatically in a rapid chemical routine, outsourced to a facility that specializes in it. That can drive costs way down, and still give impressive results.
The sink will be supplied from a 7 gallon tank and will be pumped through the sink. The sink will drain into another 7 gallon grey water tank that I can just take home and dump down the drain. Running water would be really nice but I think the setup I'm building will do just fine for cleaning blades and washing my hands.

There are lots of cool metal finishing methods out there but I think theres a reason that we don't see them in knife making. Knives tend to have a limited number of finishes including satin, stonewashing, acid etching, bluing, bead blasting, and various forms of coating like cerakote.

I stay away from bead blasted finishes because they have an extreme propensity to rust. Things like electroplating or other chemical processes are likely not the answer because they wear off very quickly.

Stonewashing is great because it gives a very durable and consistent finish that is pretty much immune to most scratches. Acid washing prevents rust, reduces glare, and looks cool. Finally Bake on finishes like cerkote are excellent in limited applications but they also will eventually wear off with use.

If I do any new finishes in the future it will be cerakote. I'm not a fan of it myself but alot of guys really like it and it is the most durable and highest performing coating on the market.
I agree about the "stonewashing" tumbled finish. It's cheap, attractive, and technically versatile. It can clean, remove burrs, rub out tool marks, round-off sharp edges, etc, etc, etc. The only other finishing method I liked a lot was an orbitals sander with very gritty sand paper. The results of that look very smooth despite not using a fine grit. Still, I would choose tumbling first. It is by far the best overall, if it will work.

Electroless nickel forms a microscopic crystallized pattern over the surface, that reminds me of the texture of tumbled parts. It's very attractive, and unlike cerakote, it's very slick so it doesn't hinder the cut. Of course, if I wanted to I could probably get my blades nickel coated myself.
I've been working on getting the Fell Beast run completely finished. I have about 20 more blades to go. A couple people have requested that I make a video or tutorial about how I grind blades. Here's a quick walk through of some grinding info. Ill be updating this post later today with more pictures.

Yesterday I worked on grinding the last of the 12 and 10in fell beasts. When I grind knives, I like to grind anywhere from 3-7 of the same model at the same time. This helps with muscle memory and also increases the efficiency of the processes. As an added bonus, it helps you get a really good idea of how many blades you can get per belt and when a belt begins to get dull.

However, grinding 7 knives in one sitting can be tiring and its very easy to get lazy or tired and make mistakes. I like to take a small 2 minute break between each belt change. This helps keep up focus.

The first step in the grinding process is always scribing a center line. This is a critical part of the process. Getting a centered edge that is the correct thickness is the cornerstone of a good bevel. These machetes are .110 thick and I want the edge thickness before sharpening to be about .018 or so.
The scribe lines keep you centered and let you know when to stop.

For machetes, I space the scribe lines about .030 apart. Here's a quick rundown of how I get to that final edge thickness with belts, with the 50 grit belt, I grind to these lines and leave approximately .030 worth of steel before moving on to the rotary platen. From here, the lines are gone and you have to keep an eye on the steel being removed with each pass. Each belt will take off a tiny bit of steel until the final thickness is reached. For example, on the rotary platen I will convex the bevel with a 50 grit belt. Next the 120 grit belt will naturally take down the edge to close to the goal thickness of .018. The finishing belts, 180, and 360 grit will take a little bit more off the edge until its read for sharpening.

So here's what the grinding looks like,

This is a after the blades have been ground on the flat platen with a 50 grit belt.


After flat grinding in the initial bevel, I take the blades over to this godsend, the Rotary platen.
The rotary platen allows you to put a convex bevel on a blade and has the added benefit of increasing the life of belts. On a rotary platen, I can grind 6 machetes using only one of each belt grit. My belt progression goes like this 50 grit, 120 grit, 180grit, 360 grit.


Once the blades are finished out to 360 grit, its time to the bevel.

To apply the bevel, I use the rotary platen. My rotary platen is set at about 20 degrees so I am basically holding the blade vertically and letting the platen be my angle guide. I set the initial bevel with a 120 grit belt. Its always important to use a brand new belt for bevels. A dull belt will heat up the edge and damage the HT. Wetting the belt to help dissipate heat is helpful. It takes me about two passes per side to set the bevel.

Next, I finish with a 400 grit belt. This can take 1-2 passes per side. The finishing belt is where the biggest danger of heat build up exists because the finer grit creates much more friction. Its very important to use a brand spanking new belt. I can get about 3 machetes edges done before I feel the belt begin to get dull.

Will update with pictures later today.
My ugly mug thinking about all the big choppers I get to make.


Did some 2 A.M. work on a new logo last night.



Hell ya, thanks for taking time to do this. I was wondering what your rotary platen looked like. And that top knife in your logo looks kinda familiar!!!! Is that the one your building for me?
Hell ya, thanks for taking time to do this. I was wondering what your rotary platen looked like. And that top knife in your logo looks kinda familiar!!!! Is that the one your building for me?

No problem. Ill be getting more pictures of the process up at the end of the day.

And that is the new Scagel I'm making for you. The design is really growing on me!