How good can it be

sambino

Well-Known Member
I have found a company that will cut the steel the way I want it ,so if I give them the design (or more than one) they will make the blank(s) for me ,and also after that they can do the HT too now I wonder if I am doing good ,for one side is not really handmade knife and for the other side of things as my space and time is limited will be of great help but can I still call myself a knifemaker??
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
What do you mean that it's not a hand made knife? You are going to grind in the bevels and polish the blade, aren't you? You are putting the handles and any hardware on it yourself. That makes it a hand made knife. Sure it's known as mid tech knife making, as opposed to the do everything yourself "high tech" knife making but you are still making that knife. Many in the States do just what you are thinking of doing, though usually they have to go to different contractors for the blank cutting and the heat treating. As a matter of fact, I believe that both types of service are provided by advertisers on another section of this board. If that's what you have to do to make knives, do it.

Doug
 

Justin King

Well-Known Member
Waterjet cutting and second-party heat treating are both common in the industry. The general consensus is that they are still handmade, although I think it is a matter of professional etchics to be up front with your customers about third party or contracted services. If it offers them better value and the same quality it will appeal to many buyers.
 

sambino

Well-Known Member
You see somehow here in Spain there are some knife makers that all they do is buy blanks from Pakistan/India/China ready sharp add a fancy handle and etched and sell it as if was a real creation , and this to me is not professional, it may be just my opinion and forgive me if I am wrong, but I believe that you cant call it yours ,and because of that I am very careful how I want to go about making knife, I want to be able to tell my customer that what they see is original, unique and hand made within reason and what Mr Lester and Mr King have pointed out as been of great help, Thank you
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
One may not be a knife maker if all they do is put a handle or other furnature on it but they are cutlers. That is actually more traditional than what we do. Back in the days of the guilds the cutlers were considered to be the senior guild. Bladesmiths would on forge and heat treat or forge harden the blade, polishers would grind it, then it would be handed over to the cutlers for finishing and no one invaided the other guilds' trade.

Doug
 

McClellan Made Blades

Well-Known Member
Sambino,
Doug and Justin are telling you like it is, thinking about it being original AND your own work, if you do all the shaping, be-it grinding, forging or otherwise, then it IS all your work. I totally agree with Justin, be upfront with your customers, let them know that it was cut out by XXXX company, and heat treating was done by XXXX company, and the KNIFE is made by SAMBINO!!!

Come to think of it the late GREAT Bob Loveless did just about the same thing, I'm not sure if he had his cut out by someone else but I know he had an outside heat treating company do all of his knives, now he was using steel that required special equipment that if he had bought himself would have cost thousands of dollars. In an article I read, his advice for knife makers was to use a good HT company that had the equipment to do a proper heat treat. The more advanced company's (back then) could do the HT in a room and then could cool the same room down to -300 to cryo quench the blades.

There are some great advantages to using an outside company to do this work, as well as a few disadvantages. The disadvantages to me, are just a few. If you have a competent company it's not an issue. But if there was a problem with the HT, and your aren't doing it yourself and don't understand how the whole process works, then you will definitely have a problem. Knowing how to HT the steel you use is very important, but if your using an outside company to do all of your HT, it will allow you to use practically any steel you want.

The other disadvantage is turn around time, having to depend on someone else to deliver when they say they will, and then something happens and you have to explain to your customer why it won't be delivered on time is bad business, of course you can always tell your customer it'll be done when you get done...but
that's bad business too!

There will be many folks that will say that this IS knife making, and probably just as many that will say it isn't. How you present yourself is where the details should be, always be upfront and honest with potential customers, your work will speak for itself!

One last thing, HTing knife steel isn't all that hard, provided you stick with simple high carbon 10XX steel, preferably 1084, it can HT'd with a forge, and quenched in all kinds of different oils. I've heard of people using used automatic transmission fluid to Canola oil. If your interested in learning how, the information is on this forum and the internet. Hope this helps, Rex
 

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
Good thread. I've made several knives out of blanks cut to my spec by a WJ service, and so far 90% of my knives have been HT'ed by Brad at Peters'. The design, grinding, polishing, assembly, finishing and sharpening is all me, all by hand. I call my work "handmade" with pride and full disclosure. :)
 
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