I had no idea we were at such a messed up time in "knifemaking"!

KenH

Well-Known Member
#21
If you put ""We begin with tough A36 Steel, which we forge and grind." into google you'll turn up the reptiletool website in the the first link.
 
#22
I for one am no dummy but A36 Ha ha, I been making knives for 3 years and I am NOT no knife maker,I dont call myself one..or claim be one.. I do it as a hobby and enjoy doing as a "hobby" Yes I do sell my knives time to time and for most part doing a hit miss thing. Not going quit my "real job" and be a full time Knife maker....that be my dream. I see more and more people getting into the hobby of knife making.....on youtube is how got started making knives, I watch alot videos everyday... Aaron Gough is one first people i watched, Mike Stewrt(Ekim knives), John Grimsmo, list goes on
there some guys on youtube that just talented and skilled with file there are few ladies too :)

What makes you a knife maker?
I have made over 15 fixed blades, 5 liner locks, 8 friction folders....Am i a knife makes?
When do call yourself a knife maker?
I got friends that call me knife maker....I just no I am not knife maker i just grind metal
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#24
I think "crude" is the new trend. I had to quit following several blacksmithing sites for this reason. I thought I was being helpful in offering advice on how to better finish the knives guys kept posting. Little did I know they believed the whole point was that it was "finished" when they smacked it the last time on the anvil. Apparently the use of abrasives of any kind is a slap in the face to those who carry the torch for the art of blacksmithery. They didn't take kindly to my stance that beating the metal almost to shape on an anvil was only the starting point.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
#25
What makes you a knife maker?
Personally, I think the first time you create a knife, whether you give it away, or accept money for it, you are a knifemaker. We are all at various levels in the craft, but the key is NEVER saying "That's good enough"...... to do so is not only creating something that's less than it could be, but it's also selling yourself short.

Apparently the use of abrasives of any kind is a slap in the face to those who carry the torch for the art of blacksmithery
That is one of the most significant differences between "Blacksmithing" and "Bladesmithing"...... I started my career in the "Blacksmithing" realm, and it was commonly believed that abrasives were a "crutch", because it meant you couldn't do it good enough with just the hammer. What I found was the people who like/sought articles made via "Blacksmithing" thought that the more "beat up" it looked, the more authentic it was. I once made a scroll worked sign hanger for a lady.... 3/8" X 1 1/2" stock, scrolled and smoothed/finished it to the best of my abilities with the hammer..... when she came to look at it, she didn't like it. Her reason? It looked too smooth and finished. In here words "It doesn't look Blacksmithy enough." o_O I literally cut out the rivets, and beat the crap outta all the parts with a ball peen hammer...... intentionally left hammer marks, and then reassembled it with hot rivets........ I thought it was horrible, but the customer thought it was great. That was about the time I realized that it was time for me to stop offering "Blacksmith" items. I simply couldn't settle for doing less than my best.

What we're dealing with now is a generation who watches a couple of Youtube videos, and believes they know it all. Just this morning I followed a link on a FB page about building a propane forge...... I watched it and saw the individual using air hose for the propane supply, and galvanized exhaust pipe for the burner....... It's useless to try to explain the folly of their ways. If you don't get why, maybe you shouldn't be messing with explosive gases and toxic fumes. ;)

Sometimes I find myself amazed at just how "dumbed down" people have become.
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
#27
Some of my thoughts. First off I agree that lack of knowledge can lead to stupid and dangerous mistakes - air hose forge, galvanized pipe. People should do the proper research from credible sources
Second is the style or finish on a blade. Some like their steaks rare others like them charred. Knife making is an art and a skill. If the knife maker artist wants to use a rough finish and his client base likes it, who am I to criticize it. I have the option to buy or not to by.
Thirdly is knife making advice- people who want to improve their work will always ask and receive feed back. Where their style goes after that is what it is.
My two cents.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
#28
I can agree with that! ^^

Often times I do think that those who do that "rough finish" do it more out of laziness than anything.

What popped into my head was Daniel Winkler. His knives had/have what most would call a "rough look" finish, but it was always executed to the Nth degree, and always looked fantastic....and it was obvious that the finish was intended to be that way. It's pretty easy to spot the difference between a "chosen" rough finish, and one that is there because the maker just flat didn't want to put forth any effort.

I think the reason my mentality leans that way is because I've seen SO MANY "knifemakers' over the years that I call "bean counters"..... the ones who say "I can't afford to put anymore time into this knife" when in reality they were only an hour of so from turning a mediocre knife into a truly "top end" one.
 

Oze

Well-Known Member
#31
I have said this before about 'value'. It is a funny thing but true. People do not value something unless they pay (an appropriate price) for it. I have been an accountant for 30 years and I learnt many years back that 'if you don't have enough confidence in the value of what you provide, then a buy will not'. I have experienced it countless times over the past decades from great tradesman or operators, that do not value what they provide enough. Many people come from a working background and are used to believing their time is all that they are selling. It is much more than that.

There is no good complaining that 'I can only charge $120 for my knife'. That is your choice. You have to have the confidence to ask for a price of $500 and be willing to justify that price to a potential buyer. Never drop your price. If you do, that just meant that 'if the buyer hadn't asked for the reduction in price, they would have been ripped off'. You get no thanks or benefit for dropping your price. You confirm to them they are getting your 'best price'. That's it. The buyer just wants to feel like they are getting a reasonable deal and that the product is worth the price asked.

So know what is involved in producing a knife. It is not just wood and steel. It is you skills, knowledge and experience built up over years. This is priceless and is unique to you and your experiences. Your imagination and processes used to work the steel and other materials is unique. You are the only one that makes a knife exactly as you do. Each knife is a 'one of a kind'. There are similar, but they are all unique. You have land, building, machines and hand made tools and jigs that make your operation function and to be a unique business. All these factors are why you can justify any price if you believe in it.

Part of the reason that many business operators do not make money is that they do not really understand what the true costs to produce an item, say a knife, really involve. Let me give an example. Costs to make the knife - steel $20, wood and consumables $20, so it cost $40 and it is sold for $120 there is an $80 profit.

On the surface that looks fine but it is not correct. Unless you float is space, you work from a workshop. There are overheads -rates, insurance, rent or repairs on this. You have the cost to purchase machines, tools and jigs. These deteriorate and need to be both repaired and replaced over time. Consumables - such as gas, electricity, phone calls, internet, workshop materials. Direct materials - such as steel, wood, pins, glue, acid etc are required. Then, not least is your time. Your time - is not just determined at $20 (or whatever) per hour. Your time takes into account your skills and unique input as discussed. Then there is return on capital. Which just means getting a return back on money you have invested in the business. If you have $30,000 of machines, tools and building required to produce the knives, then you need to take the value of that investment into the cost consideration. The $30k could be sitting in the bank or in stocks earning say 10% per year. That is $3000 in cost (opportunity cost) that is to be taken into account.

All these costs need to be considered. So the knife price is justified by all these factors:
Price = portion of overheads + replacing & repairing machinery/tooling + consumables + direct materials used + labour and years of unique skills input + return on capital.

Don't sell your self short.

'They will remember the quality, long after they have forgotten the price'.

Not trying to lecture anyone. Just hoping to assist a change in mind set on the value you provide when selling your unique product.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
#33
I have said this before about 'value'. It is a funny thing but true. People do not value something unless they pay (an appropriate price) for it. I have been an accountant for 30 years and I learnt many years back that 'if you don't have enough confidence in the value of what you provide, then a buy will not'. I have experienced it countless times over the past decades from great tradesman or operators, that do not value what they provide enough. Many people come from a working background and are used to believing their time is all that they are selling. It is much more than that.

There is no good complaining that 'I can only charge $120 for my knife'. That is your choice. You have to have the confidence to ask for a price of $500 and be willing to justify that price to a potential buyer. Never drop your price. If you do, that just meant that 'if the buyer hadn't asked for the reduction in price, they would have been ripped off'. You get no thanks or benefit for dropping your price. You confirm to them they are getting your 'best price'. That's it. The buyer just wants to feel like they are getting a reasonable deal and that the product is worth the price asked.

So know what is involved in producing a knife. It is not just wood and steel. It is you skills, knowledge and experience built up over years. This is priceless and is unique to you and your experiences. Your imagination and processes used to work the steel and other materials is unique. You are the only one that makes a knife exactly as you do. Each knife is a 'one of a kind'. There are similar, but they are all unique. You have land, building, machines and hand made tools and jigs that make your operation function and to be a unique business. All these factors are why you can justify any price if you believe in it.

Part of the reason that many business operators do not make money is that they do not really understand what the true costs to produce an item, say a knife, really involve. Let me give an example. Costs to make the knife - steel $20, wood and consumables $20, so it cost $40 and it is sold for $120 there is an $80 profit.

On the surface that looks fine but it is not correct. Unless you float is space, you work from a workshop. There are overheads -rates, insurance, rent or repairs on this. You have the cost to purchase machines, tools and jigs. These deteriorate and need to be both repaired and replaced over time. Consumables - such as gas, electricity, phone calls, internet, workshop materials. Direct materials - such as steel, wood, pins, glue, acid etc are required. Then, not least is your time. Your time - is not just determined at $20 (or whatever) per hour. Your time takes into account your skills and unique input as discussed. Then there is return on capital. Which just means getting a return back on money you have invested in the business. If you have $30,000 of machines, tools and building required to produce the knives, then you need to take the value of that investment into the cost consideration. The $30k could be sitting in the bank or in stocks earning say 10% per year. That is $3000 in cost (opportunity cost) that is to be taken into account.

All these costs need to be considered. So the knife price is justified by all these factors:
Price = portion of overheads + replacing & repairing machinery/tooling + consumables + direct materials used + labour and years of unique skills input + return on capital.

Don't sell your self short.

'They will remember the quality, long after they have forgotten the price'.

Not trying to lecture anyone. Just hoping to assist a change in mind set on the value you provide when selling your unique product.
You are 100% correct! People ask me how long does it take me to make one of my knives they are interested in! I smile and say, 22 years and 4-8 hours! I can see in a few of them calculating out the cost of one of my $400.00 knives.. I saw, No, it doesn't mean I make that much an hour. Some days i fix machinery, Order Supplies and chat with customers, Existing & potential ones... There are many things that go into true costs!

The most important is, what I feel my time & knowledge is worth!
 
#34
People doing stuff like this need to e called out. If I knew who it was, I'd do it in a heartbeat. If I lose a customer or make somebody mad for exposing a fraud them I'm ok with that. I've done it before and I'd do it again.
 

me2

Well-Known Member
#36
I don't have a problem with the basic concept of the A-36 Carb knives in the original post. It actually seems like it should work fine. However, it is possible they leave a lot to be desired in the execution phase of making a knife this way. They are just pricey enough that my curiosity will have to remain. It's not that different from carbidizing the back of a chisel ground titanium knife.
 

Kev

Well-Known Member
#37
As a society we tend to go through what I call, "hobby phases". Generally they are driven by popular television. For example, look at the "chopper" industry. With the popularity of all the motorcycle shows, bike builders popped up everywhere. In my small town alone there were 4, and thats not even counting the internet warriors. Everybody was building bikes and trying to cash in. 10 years later, none of them are still in business and only a few remain country wide, and most of those have had to reinvent themselves to a degree. However those that where there before and rode the wave, so to speak, are still there doing things the way they have done them for decades.
I am a beginner in the purest form, that said, I have had an interest in blades and blade making, long before any of the popular television shows were produced. I took what little knowledge I had gained in 20 years of being employed in one form of metal craft or another, and gave 'er heck. I make a knife that is better than some, worst than most, but the doing of it brings me peace. Thats why I do it. I support my personal sanity crutch, with the sales of a few knives here and there.
All that rambling to say, we aren't all bad, we aren't all good. Continue to do what drives you passion for the craft. For you Ed, I have heard you say that one reason you do so is for the education of others. I have personally witnessed this to be true, and for one I hope your willingness to share knowledge is never quenched. Especially not by those who simply mean to cash in on the latest craze. Support those who care to know, and who know to care, and the cream will eventually rise to the top.
Thank you, for all that you continue to share through your passion and craft.
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
#38
I don't see anything in those tests that can't be passed by a 20usd machete or mora or whatever brand of thinnish working tools you care to summon... and they probably wont crack either
 
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