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Thread: Questions which will lead to more questions which naturally with result in yet more q

  1. #1

    Questions which will lead to more questions which naturally with result in yet more q

    Im designing my first knife. For me it's an artistic outlet not necessarily a venture in making a living. I have yet to get tools I'm starting slow and have no background I may have to make a go with hand tools. Till I can afford some machines and such. I may splurge and get grinder l, band saw and vice as that seems to be essential and something needed. I'm pretty sure I'll need other things just not sure what is essential.

    My first will be a slippy.

    First question: what hand tools could be used to make a sellable slippy?

    Second: I have a design and I'm curious as to thicknesses I should consider for blade and scales?

    Third: what would a preferred Steel be for the blade for a newb in the knife world?

    I'm sure I'll have more ?'s as this thread goes.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Gladwin, MI
    Posts
    1,683
    First off....I'm curious about one thing. You state that this is an artistic venture and not necessarily one for making a living. You have no tools, no experience with making knives and no background that might give you a good foundation for skills already. But then you ask about making a 'saleable' slip joint.

    For someone in your position, it doesn't seem like a slip joint folder is the best place to start. Unless you are a prodigy with an over abundance of God-given talent, it is unlikely that any first knife will be one where folks are waving cash at you to own it, much less any type of folder.

    Folders, especially slipjoints, require a few specialized skill sets (and some specialized tools are a HUGE advantage too) and a fair amount of precision. Not typically a venture for the greenest of beginners, but I guess anything IS possible.

    I would start off with a basic, well designed simple drop point hunter/utility/edc type blade with nice lines and pleasing proportions and really focus on the basics, nice profiles, good lines, quality fit and finish and practical style and utilitarian function. These are the foundation of any saleable knife and are essential for moving on to anything more advanced.

    For tools, I'd definitely invest in a grinder personally. I'd trade a bandsaw for a drill press if budget restraints forced me that way. A vice is almost a necessity. Good ones can often be had very reasonably at yard sales or off craigslist. Pretty nice knives have been made with a vice, files, hacksaw and sandpaper.

    It's more an attitude of putting in whatever time is required to improve each step over the previous one versus what tools were used. Making knives look pretty and saleable is mostly about time and elbow grease. But knowledge and experience play a HUGE important role in selling a knife. You have to have the experience in making some to have the knowledge to know how to fix and improve mistakes that you're inevitably going to make.

    If you're dead set on making a slipjoint folder, I'd use blade material around the 3/32" thickness range with liners in the .030"- .040" range. And for steel type, that's going to depend a lot on what you deem most important for the qualities and intended purpose of the finished knife. It's also going to depend a lot on what you are going to do for heat treating, i.e.....will you be doing that yourself or sending it out.
    John Doyle
    Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/jdoyleknives/

    *MY ORDER BOOKS ARE CLOSED* Email jdoyleknives AT gmail DOT com
    for notification of available knives.

    Streem Rods, Reels and apparel. Use coupon code 'jdoyleknives' for 10% off here>>>: http://streemoutdoors.com?afmc=jdoyleknives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Great Falls, Montana, USA
    Posts
    2,785
    We're not at all trying to deter you, but I have to echo what John said. I totally understand the aspirations, and while that is all well and good, at this point I think they are pretty unrealistic. There are MANY skills required in knifemaking, that take time and repetition to acquire, more so then most other crafts. I would advise to do exactly what John mentioned to start.... a simple drop point design. Basically you can look at like this.... when building a "straight" knife, most makers deal in fractions of an inch when it comes to accuracy. When you step into the world of building folders of any type, you're going to be required to think in fractions of a THOUSANDTH of an inch, and be able to build to that type of accuracy. That can be pretty overwhelming for a beginner.

    Start with something more realistic, give yourself the best chances for success, and then build upon it. IF you want to do it "right", it takes time, dedication, and effort.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    93
    As a brand new maker I don't have the experience or knowledge of John and Ed but I can tell you how it worked for me.

    My very first knife was a folder and as I've found out this is quite unusual. But I worked in Tool & Die for a few years. Not that long but long enough to learn some basics of machining and surface grinding and how to hold tolerances. This was absolutely critical when I attempted to make a folder.

    I am also 50 years old, no kids and my wife and I have decent jobs. So I have a couple bucks stashed away. This allowed me to buy some very nice machinery. I bought a high end grinder, a mini mill and a surface grinder before I even started on my first knife. I also have lots of precision tools left over from my Tool & Die days. All of this was also critical for me to make a folding knife.

    In addition, I did tons of research including, books, articles and lots and lots of videos.

    Before I even tuned on one of my machines I taught myself some basic CAD and designed working folder.

    I think all of this combined gave me a leg up on making a folder as my first knife and absent any of these I don't think I could have made a functional knife. Still, it was A LOT of work, time and effort. I knew it would be difficult but it exceeded my expectations.

    So can you make a slip joint as your first knife? Sure, I suppose but you'll be much better off taking the advice of makers that have been down this road and are willing to shared their experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,170
    I agree with John and Ed. They really know their stuff.

    Here is a website link to Master Smith Steve Culver. He has made several extremely helpful tutorials for creating a slip joint folder. Great pictures and explanations. From design to creation. Take a look and determine whether you are capable of completing this task. It is hard to get one to work. Only you will know if you can do it.

    http://www.culverart.com/Tutorials.htm


    DeMo

  6. #6
    Well that's frustrating. Thanks for the input. I appreciate the it and the links.

    At some point all theses grand knife makers were knew and dare I say made some pretty ratty knives. That being said they all started somewhere. Just because I'm not worried about making a living in it doesn't invalidate my desire and ability learn.

    I learned to play the violin a half hour at a time. The guitar also. Some say oh what does that have to do with knives. Well lets have you all come over and play for me and see if you have what it takes to learn it. There is no end to the ability we as people have. And guess what I could teach all of you how to play the violin. I've learned many skills that I've had many tell me I could not do.

    So as I make my foray in creating knives I'll try to keep it real and post pics when I have them. As I'm not a huge social media person. So they will probably be far and few between





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Please don't take my comments as bad. I'm learning and I have an end goal and vision and I will get there. And I will do it with help from here on knife dogs or anywhere and any knife maker willing to take a newborn under his wing and teach me.
    If it doesn't work out I'll resort to making moonshine as a hobby.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by J. Doyle View Post
    First off....I'm curious about one thing. You state that this is an artistic venture and not necessarily one for making a living. You have no tools, no experience with making knives and no background that might give you a good foundation for skills already. But then you ask about making a 'saleable' slip joint.

    For someone in your position, it doesn't seem like a slip joint folder is the best place to start. Unless you are a prodigy with an over abundance of God-given talent, it is unlikely that any first knife will be one where folks are waving cash at you to own it, much less any type of folder.

    Folders, especially slipjoints, require a few specialized skill sets (and some specialized tools are a HUGE advantage too) and a fair amount of precision. Not typically a venture for the greenest of beginners, but I guess anything IS possible.

    I would start off with a basic, well designed simple drop point hunter/utility/edc type blade with nice lines and pleasing proportions and really focus on the basics, nice profiles, good lines, quality fit and finish and practical style and utilitarian function. These are the foundation of any saleable knife and are essential for moving on to anything more advanced.

    For tools, I'd definitely invest in a grinder personally. I'd trade a bandsaw for a drill press if budget restraints forced me that way. A vice is almost a necessity. Good ones can often be had very reasonably at yard sales or off craigslist. Pretty nice knives have been made with a vice, files, hacksaw and sandpaper.

    It's more an attitude of putting in whatever time is required to improve each step over the previous one versus what tools were used. Making knives look pretty and saleable is mostly about time and elbow grease. But knowledge and experience play a HUGE important role in selling a knife. You have to have the experience in making some to have the knowledge to know how to fix and improve mistakes that you're inevitably going to make.

    If you're dead set on making a slipjoint folder, I'd use blade material around the 3/32" thickness range with liners in the .030"- .040" range. And for steel type, that's going to depend a lot on what you deem most important for the qualities and intended purpose of the finished knife. It's also going to depend a lot on what you are going to do for heat treating, i.e.....will you be doing that yourself or sending it out.
    See more questions. Why would you choose a drill press over band saw if budget pressed?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Great Falls, Montana, USA
    Posts
    2,785
    With all due respect, you asked the question, and we gave you honest answers, backed up by a LOT of experience. Nobody said you can't do it, we're simply giving you the best advice we can. Please don't come off on us with an "entitled" attitude.

    www.caffreyknives.net
    Caffreyknives@Gmail.com

    "Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
    Visit me at Table 2Q at the Blade Show!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EdCaffreyMS View Post
    With all due respect, you asked the question, and we gave you honest answers, backed up by a LOT of experience. Nobody said you can't do it, we're simply giving you the best advice we can. Please don't come off on us with an "entitled" attitude.
    I think your taking it wrong eEd. Entitlement is demanding someone give you something for nothing. I'm not entitled never have been!I've had to bust my ass to get to where I'm at and I'm not afraid to bust my ass to get to where I want to be with regards to my hobbies. But thanks for the insult. There was no expectation of making a perfect knife the first time. Never has been.

    The truth is you all started somewhere and my somewhere happens to be where many of you have already been so the input is and always will be greatly appreciated. I have nothing but respect for all on here and all people willing to work hard and love what they do. And I have more respect for those willing to share there experiences knowledge tips and tricks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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