What's happening in the David Mary Custom shop?

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jul 23, 2015
I think I'll use this as a general WIP thread. You can expect to see everything from ugly pics of works in progress, to pics of finished knives. A lot of what I make and show here is be destined for the Maker's Market in the exchange section, but anyone can contact me about a piece at any time and call dibs before it even gets there.

So aside from the High Performance Wharncliffe I finished today, my two other works in progress closest to completion today are these:


The EDChef in AEB-L is a commission, and almost done. The dagger in 15N20 is most likely destined for the exchange. The dagger handle is still in need of much thinning and shaping. I'm excited for how this one will turn out. My first dagger! ... I think? lol
I’m really starting to appreciate the EDchef design David!:D Makes a perfect chopper in the kitchen for the small stuff but also works well for envelopes, twine, plastic packaging you know the everyday things. So far your heat treat supports your grinds.
Keep it up Sir, I have enjoyed watching your progress.;):p
Thanks for the kind words, and I'll be sure to pass along your compliments to the two guys I have been using for heat treatment, Jarod Todd for AEB-L and one-off steels, and Andy Pomorski for 1084 and 15N20.
I might be making another wharncliffe like this one I just sold.


It appears it will be green canvas Micarta scales, black linen Micarta bolsters, and red liners and spacers. Waiting for the go ahead from man who made the inquiry. Because I have the materials in stock, I'll be able to turn it around quickly, maybe as soon as Friday, possibly next week depending on how long it takes for me to get the green light. Of course, once my other batch of AEB-L comes back from heat treatment, all new orders will be placed at the back of the line while the orders placed earlier will take precedence.
In the meantime, I think I'll work on something new for the exchange. I have a few things I have been puttering away at, and not sure which to finish first.

Decisions, decisions...

Well it's been a while since I posted anything in the kitchen knife forum, so I think I'll start on these two. A small boning knife and utility slicer, both in thin, slicey and tough 15N20, with black canvas Micarta and G10 liners. These ones are entirely hand made, with no waterjet or plasma cutting involved. 4 1/2" blade on the boning knife, and 3 7/8" on the utility.

I forgot to mention I worked today on a knife to send out to be reviewed by a couple of YouTubers. Here it is at the moment. There is a bit of final finishing left to do on it, and it needs a sheath.


As for the two kitchen knives, I got the scales and liners prepped, and started assembling them, but while the adhesive was curing, I hit the grinder and did prep work on some AEB-L blades.


Here they are closer up.


All are 3/32" stock thickness, and 62-63 RC. From the top they are a large EDC wharncliffe, utility knife, upswept necker, and a mini kiridash/wharncliffe style pocket fixed blade or necker. I'm thinking brown linen micarta for the large wharncliffe, blue and black layered G10 for the utility, and cord wrap for the upswept necker. That one is going to pack an awful lot of cutting power in a super light package. And I haven't decided for the kiridashi yet.

But I just got the green light for another wharncliffe like the linen micarta one I sold, so all these go on the back burner until I knock that one out.
Made some progress on the wharncliffe, but I had a mishap. While the glue was curing on the composite handle scale, the bolster shifted:


But I didn't notice it until I had already cut the scales and ground them.


Evidently I didn't clamp well enough. I secured the bolster in the vise and tried to twist and pull the rest of the scale apart, but it wouldn't budge. I have snapped various materials and steels by hand before [with gloves on!] at various thicknesses in order to get a feel for the tolerance of what they can take. If I pulled any harder, the G10 liner would have snapped. Gorilla Glue for the win.

So in the end I had to make a new scale.


The defective scale will get used for something at some point, I'm sure. I'll probably cut the bolster off and use the green micarta and red liner as the handle for some super small keychain knife or something. The bolster might be big enough to make a guitar pic out of.

Since taking that pic, I have ground the pins flush and profiled the handle. It still needs shaping.


And while the glue was curing, I had time to start shaping the handles for the kitchen knives, and making scales for a couple of those blanks I ground yesterday. I changed my mind on brown linen micarta for the big wharnie. I have enough, but that would use it all up, and I'd rather save it for commissions. So I used camo G10, which I'll texture for added grip.


You can also see the slight channel I carved into the thick blue and black G10 scales for the AEB-L utility knife. It's one of the tricks I have been using to make my G10 feel as light as micarta. Not on every knife, but definitely on the ones with thicker G10, unless the blade is already heavy. Balance is key. But I can't carve out too deep, because that would run the risk of opening a hole in the side of the scale during shaping. So I take a few layers, and it shaves a few grams. Enough to make it worth while, though, because it takes me maybe a minute per scale, whereas you're going to use that knife over and over again over your life time.

I've got an AEB-L ringer rough ground, too, as you can see.

Back to the hollow handled AEB-L utility knife:


After I shape the handle and put texturing on it, you'll feel it in hand, and be surprised at how light it is for G10.

And silly me, I thought of covering my blade edge before wrapping the handle of the necker, but then figured "Naw, I'll be fine."


It didn't even have a proper edge yet! On the plus side, I'm still young, so it'll grow back.



Anyway, here's hoping I can have that wharncliffe ready to go before the mail truck leaves tomorrow.

I think there is a little bit of cleanup left to do on these two, but the AEB-L is good to go. I'm really liking how the G10 comes out when hand textured, that camo stuff looks especially good in the photos, about the same as in person, but the blue G10 looks better in person. The photos seem to give it a touch of some kind of dusty white looking texture for some reason. Anyway, I'm really happy with the feel of all these, and that blue and black handled utility knife is singing to me "don't sell me, don't sell me". Sorry knife, I have to eat.
Last day of the work week until Monday. Ground a tanto, and started the handle process. Then partway through the day I had a very pleasant phone conversation with a good customer. Then I ground and prepped two EDC sized blanks, a Bowie, and the spear point ringer I already started, both in AEB-L, while waiting for the glue to cure on the tanto. Those two blades are now ready for handles. The tanto is done and sharpened, and ready for a sheath.

But enough yammering on, here's the story in pics:


I'm really pumped about the tanto. It's a completely ridiculous knife, but it was a lot of fun to build and I think it will be fun for someone to own and play around with.
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