Bow in custom blade, "acceptable"?

Fross

Well-Known Member
First off, hello to everyone! I have been away for quite a while. I have a question for you guys and wanted to get some opinions. Back in Christmas 2009 I ordered a custom knife from a maker whom I will leave unmentioned at this point. The idea was to create a bush sword of sorts from my design. Well I received the knife and was ecstatic about the whole thing as I had just gotten my first truly custom knife designed by me. The piece is a 19-3/4" OAL design made from 3/16" 01 steel with a 14" blade. It is rather high at about 2" at its highest point and it cost me a pretty penny. I have used the blade very little(one trip to the swamp back when I first got it then to the safe it went) until recently when I finally found the time to "play" again and so far the performance seems fine. (here comes the BUT)But, since all of this I have started to get into making custom knives myself(nothing to this scale mind you). The problem I am having is as I get more and more "capable"(for lack of a better word) I am starting to notice things that probably just wouldn't have bothered me before and one of the things that really sticks out in the blade I had made is the bow. Now the maker mentioned this to me and said it was completely "normal" and that it was to be expected in such a large blade and not to allow it to take away from the knife's beauty in some of the emails we passed back and forth during the creation of the knife. I took it as the guy being honest with me and accepted it for what it was (mainly because I didn't know any better and had already paid 50% of the total cost of the build). Let me say this, I am not looking to get anything out of this as it has been a while since I had the knife made and well hind sight is always 20/20. My question for you is do you think it is acceptable for a blade to be bowed in this way? If not would you find it acceptable for someone to contact you after such a length of time about an issue like this? I am fighting myself on whether I should contact the maker(he is still in business) for principles sake as I feel I may have been taken advantage of. Just thought I would share as it is something that has been bugging me lately, and thanks in advance for your comments!


Excuse the poor quality picture(cell phone), the wife confiscated the camera and its whereabouts are unknown!
 
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James Terrio

Well-Known Member
That's not one of mine, is it?!? :52: :biggrin:

That's not "normal". However, you did know about it before completing the deal so whether or not the maker owes you to correct it could be iffy. It doesn't hurt to ask, though. If it were me I'd want the knife back and get it right, just for my own peace of mind, not to mention hopes of getting future orders from you.
 

BRad704

Well-Known Member
I agree with James that it is not "normal" and certainly not "to be expected in such a large blade".
 

murphda2

Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
I think you will find us all to be in agreement on this. A bowed blade is a bowed blade which is unacceptable in any regard. The maker did inform you of the flaw and unfortunately you accepted it. I believe that if you had known then what you know now, you most likely would not have. Though I am still a newbie, there is no way I would let a blade leave my shop in that condition rather you accepted the flaw or not. I would feel as though it may come back and damage my reputation in the future. I may have given the blade away, but I would not have marked it with my name.
 

johnny warner

Well-Known Member
I agree with the others, "unacceptable"! To remedy the bow is a a relative quick and easy fix. I am surprised the maker let this one get out of his shop! To say the bow is completely normal is bull! I do not know of anyone that would allow a knife escape his hands in that condition. I personally would demand that this person correct his misgivings. Good luck, if you have any trouble with him making it right, then posting his name would help alleviate possible future KD members experiencing similar problems.
 
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EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I am surprised the maker let this one get out of his shop! To say the bow is completely normal is bull!
Ditto!

As a professional Bladesmith, it angers me to see/hear things like this. Anybody who calls themselves a knifemaker, and then lets something out the shop door with an issue like this, often times creates problems for all makers. This is not really any different than someone who assembles kits, then marks them with their own name/mark, and sells them as a custom/handmade knife....it tends to make all of us suspect in the public's eye.
I will have to temper my comments with the fact that you as the buyer, you were advised of the issue, and did accept it, but in my eyes that still does not excuse it.
I will be the first to admit that none of ever creates a knife that is "perfect", but any professional maker would consider that unacceptable.
 

franklin

Well-Known Member
well every one has said what i was going to, but think my words would be harsher so leave it at NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Justin King

Well-Known Member
I would rather make another one or buy it back from you than leave it in circulation like that with my name on it. I'm not for bad-mouthing another maker so I won't offer more than that. Whether he would be willing to fix it is hard to guess if he feels it is normal.
 

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
I'm not surprised that other 'Dogs feel like I do... I wouldn't let that out the door in the first place, but if I did, I'd rather re-make the whole order rather than be embarrassed by a warped knife, and an unhappy client. My name is all I really have in this world, and I've made business mistakes before that continue to haunt me. It will take years of me doing everything right to make up for that.

I sincerely hope the maker of that knife reads this thread. We all make mistakes, we can recover from them if we own up and make it right.
 
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jkf96a

Well-Known Member
Not much to add. Warped ones don't leave the shop. He told you up front that it was bowed, so you're kind of stuck with it. Even with a long blade, it's not a hard fix if the guy was diligent.
 

Fross

Well-Known Member
Thanks!

Guys,

Thanks for all of the replies, as I said before hind sight is always 20/20 and as much as I hate that I was mislead as many have said I did "accept it" and that may the pitfall of the issue at hand. I do agree will a lot of you that I would not if it were my product allow it to leave the shop but I really wanted to hear from you all to make sure I wasn't over reacting. It has been a while so the time lapse is also against me, I will however in the coming days bring this to the makers attention and see what he has to say. One of the reasons I brought it up was that a few people that have actually held the knife have done what comes natural to anyone that holds something this big, they held it up to look down the spine and all of them said the same thing, hey man... this thing is crooked! That is what really ticks me off. I will let you guys know how it goes.


Edited to add: This bow is also causing some friction issues with drawing the blade from the sheath(especially when it is attached to a pack), this is something I could not foresee as being an issue even when accepting it as "normal".
 
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Keith Willis

Well-Known Member
As others have said,if it were mine I would not have let it leave my shop,however as you said
a lot of time has passed,and you were told of the issue.If I were in your shoes,I would bring it to the makers
attention,and ask if he would be willing to fix it.If he would not make it good,I (and as I said this,is me)
would say thank you,I would not be angry with the maker,but I would stay away from his work.

As my Father-in-law says."A bought lesson,is better than a taught lesson"

I do hope the maker will do the right thing,and my guess is he will.

God bless,Keith
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
It might be somewhat normal for a knife that long to start out with a little bow, but there's absolutely no reason it couldn't have been fixed with a little effort during the tempering cycle. To let something like that leave a shop is mediocre at best, and complete lack of caring at worst.
 

Fross

Well-Known Member
Got a response.

Well, I contacted the maker, I did inform him that I had brought it up in a forum(without divulging his information). It is looking like he is willing to work with me to get it fixed. I felt it was only fair that he knows that I got an outside opinion. We will wait and see what happens from here, and I will keep you guys informed for curiosity sake. Thanks again guys for all of your opinions.


EDIT: REMOVED ORIGINAL EMAILS FOR PRIVACY REASONS ONCE OPINIONS WERE GIVEN, thanks again guys!
 
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James Terrio

Well-Known Member
If you want me to try something i will, and that would be kept proprietary.
What's "prorietary" about it? Straightening warped steel involves heat and clamping pressure or a little whomping. It's not rocket science.

It is fairly common for blades to warp or even twist somewhat during HT, but most guys who HT their own blades straighten them out while they're still warm enough to be put back in line without cracking. They don't say "screw it" and finish the knife without addressing it.

The problem here is, the heat required to correct the bow now may ruin the epoxy or whatever's holding the handle on, burn the handle material itself or adversely affect the temper of the blade. It may be that the maker will have to tear the handle off, re-HT the blade and build a new handle. BUT he did say he would give it a shot, "no money asked" so I'd probably take him up on it.

I wish I had a more reassuring answer for you, and I hope it works out to your satisfaction.
 

Justin King

Well-Known Member
It sounds like he is willing to do something about it without asking for money, if so then I would give him the chance to make good on it.
Just as an aside and purely a suggestion, I would not continue posting his, or your, emails on the forum. The beginning of his reply actually seems to suggest that you share it with us, but I have never been comfortable with private conversations made public. The context of the conversation is often lost on an outside party, and otherwise mundane statements or ones that are understood between the original parties can be taken wildly out of context by anyone with a bad idea. I have seen such situations get pretty ugly. I don't mean to tell you what to do, and will leave that to float or sink as you see fit.
 

Fross

Well-Known Member
It sounds like he is willing to do something about it without asking for money, if so then I would give him the chance to make good on it.
Just as an aside and purely a suggestion, I would not continue posting his, or your, emails on the forum. The beginning of his reply actually seems to suggest that you share it with us, but I have never been comfortable with private conversations made public. The context of the conversation is often lost on an outside party, and otherwise mundane statements or ones that are understood between the original parties can be taken wildly out of context by anyone with a bad idea. I have seen such situations get pretty ugly. I don't mean to tell you what to do, and will leave that to float or sink as you see fit.
Him mentioning it was the ONLY reason I posted it, hence the reason I left the rest of the old email off. It isnt my intentions to post any more of the conversation but as you stated he did ask me to share this information with you guys, so I did. Thank you for the insight and I agree that the rest of the dealings should be left private as they will.

I will however keep you guys informed of the progress. Thanks again guys!
 

Justin King

Well-Known Member
Sorry if I spoke out of turn, I have just seen that go the wrong way too many times to not say something. I hope you and he can work someting out with the knife.
 
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