Adventures in Knife Making

Discussion in 'New to Knifemaking' started by Ty Adams, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Hi all,
    After giving it a lot of thought I decided to keep track of my adventure into knife making. All comments are welcome good and bad. Let me start off by saying that about 15 years ago when money was tight I made a few kit knifes as gifts for family and friends. With very few tools and not caring about fit and finish they turned out bad.
    The first knife I made in January was not so good. It is 1095 and green micarta scales. The edge is to thick and gets dull fast. IMG_20160707_181747759.jpg So I did a bunch of research, bought a few books, and watch a lot of you tube. The members of this forum have been a great help.
    Knife 2 1084 and curly maple scales. IMG_20160428_184659522.jpg There are still a bunch of flaws in this one. Knife 3 was going to be the best knife ever made. BOOM FAIL! IMG_20160701_141816755.jpg IMG_20160701_141835565.jpg While trying to clean up the plunge lines and make them even I sanded a grove in the blade. Not wanting it to go to waste green micarta again. This knife has been through some abuse. It's has been dropped tip down on the concrete floor uncountable times. Thrown at trees ( I am not a Ninja, it never stuck). Tried different edge bevel angles, and convex edge vs flat. Learned to sharpen on the powered equipment. This was the best mistake that could have happened. The things that I have learned from abusing this knife have been invaluable.
    I am going start on a new post at this point. I lost almost everything earlier when this one got to long.
    Ty Adams
  2. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    After along debate my wife and I decided to invest in some equipment. She has always been supportive of anything that I wanted to do. Before knife 4 a KMG 3 speed was ordered. IMG_20160616_200125323.jpg This thing removes material fast. I wrecked the plunge line on knife 4. Again 1084 and Walnut from USA Knife Makers. IMG_20160707_170120452.jpg My brother wants an EDC so this one is going to him.
    My heat treating process is getting better. Knife 5 has the best edge retention of the 5 knives. 1084 and maroon micarta, black paper bolsters and blue liner. IMG_20160704_111657714.jpg Almost happy with this one. I still have long way to go. Thanks, Ty Adams

    Attached Files:

  3. Justin Presson

    Justin Presson Well-Known Member

    Nice work Ty, i can defiantly see a progression in fit in finish and style from those knives. Also nice job talking the boss into a 2x72 :)

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
  4. BrandantR

    BrandantR Well-Known Member

    It's fun to see how each maker progresses in his skills. I like to go back at times and look at my first knives to see how far I've progressed. The best thing a maker can do to improve is to evaluate each knife he makes, find the flaws, and do his best next time to not repeat the same mistakes. Knife making is quite the adventure.
  5. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

    You can see the subtle changes made with each knife. From the design, to fit/finish, material choices, etc.

    I took my kids to the new Dory movie last weekend. All I got to say is, "Just keep on swimming!"

    Your progression is showing. Keep moving forward.

  6. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Dealer - Purveyor

    Hi Ty. This was a nice post. Your knives are coming along and you're improving each time. The most valuable thing for your knifemaking've already done. Testing, which leads to questions, which starts you on a search for answers, that leads to more testing and that leads to better knives.

    Good for you! You're well on your way.
  7. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Thanks Justin. My wife is awesome, I left out the fact that she let me buy an anvil, and a better then free drill press that I was using. (Yes free and there was a reason that they were going to throw it in the garbage.) Oh yea there is also the new found wood scale fetish. I can't stop wood is awesome, so many choices!
  8. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    John thanks for the kind words. Your quality of fit and finish has really driven me to do the best I can. So far my second favorite part of making the knives is what I get to do to them after they are finished. The first part is hand finishing. It's when everything really comes together. I know that things can only improve. Thanks, Ty
  9. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Thanks DeMo. That's the plan keep swimming.
  10. Rick Otts

    Rick Otts Well-Known Member

    That is some improvement there Ty keep up the good work!And I am going too use your idea.
  11. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    IMG_20160720_190726901.jpg IMG_20160720_192138070.jpg
    Working on knife 6 has been fun. It has Dessert Iron
    Wood scales brass bolsters, and 1084. I really enjoyed the process of putting bolsters on this knife. But it will never get finished. My first try at bolsters did not go well. While hand finishing the bolster pins started to show. The more I sanded the more it showed that penning the pins did not make it all the way down the material. Not wanting the bolster to fall off I decided to chalk it up to a learning experience. So I did a rough sand to 800 grit, and did a quick buff. Thanks Ty
  12. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER


    It is not a complete waste of time. Your blade finish is improved. The outline of your knife is much better. In fact, I like the profile. The ironwood looks good. Pin placement is eye appealing. I would consider it a step forward. Overall, it is a nice knife.

    You will improve with bolsters/pins disappearing as you make a few more. Just keep swimming!

  13. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Thanks DeMo. I to like the profile of this knife. It was not a waste of time... but it was the first time out of the knives I have made that I was disappointed about it not turning out. Bolsters were fun I am looking forward to the next set. If any of the more experienced guys on here have advice on how to improve the shape of the knives that would be great. With so many makers out there it is hard not to draw up a knife only to see one online that looks fairly similar.
    There is a maker here in Montana that I have bought a couple of knives from. I spoke with him on the phone, and he is going to let me come to his shop this weekend. Hopefully he will be able to help me with my grinds. Ty
  14. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    IMG_20160816_051848959.jpg IMG_20160816_051908022.jpg
    Knife 7 is in the books. 1084 with walnut scales, and some mosaic pins. The picture was taken after the third coat of oil. After testing on scrap wood I have started to like the look and feel of 50/50 mix of Truoil and boiled linseed. The combo takes longer to dry between coats but has less of a plastic feel to it. So it is worth the extra work.
    My Dad is making a sheath for it right now. When I get it back I'll attempt to take some better photos. Looking over all of the photos of the knives that I have taken I realize that what ever shop rag or piece of paper that is laying around, and a cell phone are not getting the job done.
    So for knife 8 I made a make shift light box out of trash bags and 2x4s. Watching the video from Self Made Knives I will follow his design. The pictures come out a lot better with some light filter. I still used stuff from around the shop but it gave a idea of how much better the photos can be.
    IMG_20160821_113425286.jpg IMG_20160821_113551273.jpg
    Knife 8 in 1084, Buckeye Burl, and 5/32 mosaic pins. This one is a gift for a co-worker that is retiring after 37 years. I like this knife and don't want to give it up. But knowing he will put it to good use in the mountains while hunting and fishing is worth it.
  15. Doug Lester

    Doug Lester Well-Known Member

    Very nice job on both blades. The pin placement on the one with the walnut handle really catches the eye.

  16. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Doug thank you for the kind words. Ty
  17. Calvin Robinson

    Calvin Robinson Moderator Christian Forum

    I like your pattern and your knives look very nice.
    You can put new pins in the bolsters on that first knife. Drill a hole in the existing pins on the side that is showing. Tap them out and re champher your holes and insert new pins , pien and grind off the heads, just don't grind too far this time.
    I have done it before.
  18. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Thanks Calvin for the compliment. I had thought about drilling out the pins. I do not have a vise for my drill press so I did not have the confidence in drilling them out straight. I did take a punch and peened around the pins. I do not think that they are going to come off now. That knife will probably be the knife used for hunting this year. Ty
  19. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Dealer - Purveyor

    Those last two are looking really good. Your work is improving each time. That's the goal!
  20. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Thanks for the compliment John. Ty

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