My first knife (ok, I cheated, it was a kit knife).


Well-Known Member
Hi all,
Just finished my first knife. It was a silvermoose kit from Jantz. I opted to replace standard 1/8" pins with mosaic pins.

I used Indigo Dymonwood for the handles. I wanted something simple, (but hopefully elegant) for my first knife. I just wanted to get the basics down. You would be amazed at the stupid little things you can screw up (especially without the tools).

Since I don't have a grinder, I ended up sanding the handle down with a palm sander, then finished it by hand with 1000 grit. Polished with Meguires car wax.

My next knife (just ordered the steel today) will be an O1 hunter (been planning it for a month or so, as soon as I got the kit in).



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I agree with the other fellas, I made a handful of kits too. Very nice work, especially for a first effort. Sounds like you've got the bug!

Do the pins line up that nice on the other side, too? :D I drilled the scales for my first one with a similar pin layout with a hand-held drill. Side A look pretty decent but side B... oh boy! 'Bout as straight as a country road in the East Tennessee hills LMAO. For that reason alone (and others) I recommend a basic table-top drill press before even a grinder.
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the pins are pretty close. I learned a number of things.
a)take your time, think ahead
b)always, always make sure you have some wood between your knife and the vise jaws.
c)don't use a claw hammer with teeth on it to pien the pins
d)don't assume that "oh, I'll just sand a little more to take that scratch out"
e)mix some sanding wood dust with the epoxy when you glue up the pins. This will help hide any wallows you put in with the drill.
f)Use some 220 to rough up the pins, so they slide through a little easier. Plus, the epoxy will be able to bite into the pins.
g)take your time, think ahead
I've never made a kit knife, but often wish I had. I hated the first few blades that I put dozens of hours into only to screw them up when attempting to handle them. As the others have said, using a kit is great practice and true craftsmanship in itself. Don't think of it as cheating, think of it as developing your skills for the day when you decide to make your own blades.

I have to agree with James on his advice for a small drill press. I was fortunate that when I started buying tools I was able to buy all of what I considered to be the key essentials at one time (grinder, drill press, and bandsaw).
Nice job,when useing mosic pins be sure and index them,it catches the eye when they are all different directions.
i've made 4 knives so far not using kits but using bought blades. i thought i was cheating too. SOMEDAY will be able to make the blade too. i do a fair amount of woodworking so have a drill press, sanders, bandsaw, planer, tablesaw etc etc most bought used. but i agree, the planning ahead is really the key i think.
Sure.when putting the pins in make sure the design on the inside of the pins all line up the same.With the 3 small rods inside should all have one at the bottom or top and make them all the same.
Looks great!
I love reading these threads because of all the knowledge that you can
find. (i.e.- indexing the pins) Great stuff.
Keep it up! You're doing great!