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Thread: Pictures of my mistakes/knives

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Clearwater Fl.
    Posts
    546
    I think DeMo wrapped it up pretty good. practice and practice is the ultimate answer I think. I know some of us started before the internet,I did, and I wish I had that source of info when I started, but just like the engineer that went to collage for five years and knows everything about what makes a smart TV work, he still doesn't know how to change the batteries in the remote. that's a strange way to look at it but some people also have two thumbs or loose interest in something they thought they loved doing. I once knew someone who was like that, he went and bought a new Bader III, lots of steel, belts....everything,
    made a few crappy knives and threw in the towel. {the Bader now resides in my shop next to my other grinder}. it's not a cheap hobby to get into but if you keep practicing I think most people turn out decent knives after a while and if they keep their heart and sweat into it they will eventually turn out beautiful, functional knives. it's really how much you want to put into something that's going to wear your name on it. truth be told...some people turn out crappy knives all their knife making careers, some make really nice knives, some make high dollar art knives. I think a lot of it is up to the maker, but I also think lots of people have hidden talents their not aware of unless they keep trying and not give up out of boredom or frustration. your on the right track, just keep grinding, like DeMo said,
    you'll start seeing what's going wrong, and get better, you just have to keep going......
    Steve Miller
    Voting member Knifemakers guild since 1997
    Founding member Florida Knifemakers Association 2003
    http://millerknives.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Alpine NY
    Posts
    409
    This is something I have always wanted to do but never knew how until I found this place.The bad thing is all my life I was never around many tools I am not a Mr fix it so I got a long way too go.But the thing with me is if I fail at something I won't stop until I get it right.I guess it's like a OCD thing.I will get this figured out just may take a little bit but in the end I will make real nice knifes beacuse crap won't leave my shop.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    North central montana
    Posts
    659
    Have trained a few machinists over the years I will say this....give me desire over talent any day. A desire to learn and excel ALWAYS wins the race. You persist and you'll get there.
    Thanks,
    Smallshop (AKA Ted Hauser)


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God puts the iron in the ground and the highlights in the wood....it's His stuff, we just get to work with it....make it nice.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,173
    Rick

    I got your pm and somehow - I could not reply. But, by way of figuring out what you are doing wrong with your grinding style I would make a few suggestions. There are so many variables it is hard to tell from a couple of pictures. This might help you to decipher your particular problem. Maybe not.

    1. Grinder - What type of grinder do you have? Speed may be a big variable to look at. Can you slow down the machine and your grinding technique? Take your time to remove only what needs to be removed. Then heat treat/temper and remove the remainder. For me, it is easier to square up/clean up a blade after heat treat when you cannot remove the material at a faster rate. But, everyone is different. It may not be any help for you.

    2. Platen - good solid, crisp edges are important. No dips or low spots is important also. You do not want the belt flopping around and want it to run smoothly. If your belts do not run smoothly. Fix the problem on the machine or you will never get good repeatable grinds.

    3. File guide - This helped me immensely. I got one from Bruce Bump and it quickly became a staple in my little shop. It helped correct the plunge lines and I developed a love affair with the way I hold it when grinding. I cannot recommend this highly enough. And, Bruce is a great guy to deal with. If you cannot afford to buy one, then make one that suits you.

    4. Belts - what brands and grits are you using. At times - newer makers try to be too aggressive in this area. Do not get in a hurry. Slow down. Get your grinding groove on. Get it going straight and take a little bit off at a time. Do not get in a hurry and use the most aggressive belt you can find at the fastest speed you can run the machine. Making one good usable knife blank is way better than grinding ten blanks and using one of them. Cheaper too!!

    5. Technique - Here is the spot that every single knife maker is different in some way. IE Grind edge up vs. edge down. Start on the left side vs. right side. My suggestion - use google. Try "Grinding knife blank" or "how to grind knife". You will get dozens of how-to and videos. Watch them and find a technique that will work for you. Then practice and perfect it. A suggestion is to start with your weaker side first. Make it look good and it will be easier to finish with your stronger side. Just a suggestion. May not be the answer.

    6. Knife type - start with a easy straight grind before trying a much more difficult type grind. Gain some knowledge before trying that curved blade with triple grind lines. In fact, try to make 5 simple knives with the same simple pattern. Make the first knife and finish it. Then examine and critique what needs to be made better. Start the second knife and do the same thing. Then the third knife, fourth knife and fifth knife. By the time you get to the fifth knife - the whole process will be easier and the end product will look better.

    7. Finish your knives. A lot of newer makers, experienced ones also - have a pile/drawer/hidden cubby hole full of mistakes. Grinding is one of the areas that gets screwed up all the time. Do not get frustrated at failure. Learn from it, and fix it. I make mistakes - I fix them - I learn - I get better - I try not to do that again. As Ed said, you will get better at fixing and hiding them if you keep at it and don't quit. You will gain skill by completing each knife and eventually your end product will improve.

    8. Have realistic expectations. I would love to make knives as well as Ed or any of the more experience makers on KD. It is just not a realistic expectation at my skill level. I just need to keep practicing and learning. Take a look at the "first knife" thread. Most of them look like prison shivs. Mine included. But, you have to start somewhere and then start to improve. There are some very talented newer makers. Amazing stuff is getting created everyday. It seems makers are getting younger and younger. And smarter and smarter. The internet has helped that progression. Knowledge/skill/hard work/focus/practice are all acquired tendencies.

    You can do this. Just take your time and enjoy the process.

    DeMo

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,478
    I'm still a new maker and my take on it is that when a grind starts getting away from me or I know I'm at that critical juncture of going a little too far, I stop and switch to hand sanding. Especially if your flat grinding, you can fix a ton of mistakes with hand sanding. It's brutally slow and you'll get sick of it, but it can save you. With every new knife, I find that my hand finishing time goes down a little as I get better at grinding. I recently met another new maker that lives close to me and he refuses to hand finish anything. He's very stubborn about wanting to completely finish the knife on the grinder with no hand work. I see flaws in his knives that could have easily been fixed with a little hand sanding, but he's just not willing to invest the time. He also can't understand why his knives aren't selling, hmmm.... My advice, watch Nick Wheeler's youtube videos on hand finishing. Those helped me a ton in the beginning. Hand sanding is sort of the punishment for your lack of grinding skills. It's also the biggest motivator to get better at grinding.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    North central montana
    Posts
    659
    "Hand sanding is sort of the punishment for your lack of grinding skills."

    Lol...good stuff Demo and Anthony. At least I enjoy the "punishment"....I like grinding and sanding. The one happens so fast that it causes the other...which happens so slowwwww...

    Rick...you are doing fine...remember to wear your respirator (my only practical tip)...I kept forgetting early on and would actually feel sick...duh.
    Thanks,
    Smallshop (AKA Ted Hauser)


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    God puts the iron in the ground and the highlights in the wood....it's His stuff, we just get to work with it....make it nice.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Alpine NY
    Posts
    409
    I just got done watching Wheelers video good stuff.

  8. #18
    I'm new too, so I am right there with you. The best things I have learned about grinding so far that made the quickest difference for me were:

    -grind your weak side first. meaning I hold the tang with my left hand and grind my bevel then try to match that with my strong side.
    -set my grinder up about waist high. I had mine much higher than that and this really helped.
    -keep my arms tucked and move with my body instead of using my arms.
    -change belts more frequent. I always try to get every pass I can out of a belt. I need to work on this one.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lenore,ID
    Posts
    43
    This turned out to be a geat thread. Lots of good info for a new knifemaker. Thanks guys.



    Jake
    PRO PATRIA
    Welcome to Idaho. Now go home.

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