Stacking Blanks on stock by hand

wall e

Well-Known Member
So Im asking for a bit of advice,constructive criticism on making the most of your stock. So heres my first attempt.



There are some lines stat intersect perfectly an a couple that are splitting scribe lines close.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Whatever YOU consider making the best use of the stock is what you should do. BUT..... remember that drawing something a certain way, and being able to follow/stay on those lines when cutting MIGHT be two different things. If you're using a bandsaw to cut things out, there's only so much radius that a given size blade will do..... personally, I think the two outlines on the left end of the bar (in the picture) will cause you issues....... also the next one with that very tight radius butted up to the edge on the adjoining outline would be really difficult to cut out cleanly, without getting into the other outline.

My motto is...... leave everything oversized.... I can always remove/grind it off later, but once it's gone, I can never put it back. :) Many times trying to be overly frugal with steel causes you to loose more then you gain.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
There's no way I could cut that with a bandsaw. You need room to run a pretty straight line to separate your blades. A bandsaw is not going to do what a scrollsaw does. That wide blade just isn't going to follow lines around corners like that. Also, there is the issue of the cut window. I have to plan which direction I'm going to run my steel through the saw because I only have 4 inches between the blade and the frame of the saw. If the steel has to angle out more than 4 inches to the left of the cut, it's going to hit the frame.

This is my conundrum, too. It seems like buying wider stock would let you nest more blades in per foot. But sometimes you just end up with a whole lot of waste surrounding the blank outline. This is one reason I want a plasma cutter. Even with a plasma cutter, I don't think you can cut the lines that accurately by hand. Your layout above is waterjet/laser/ x-y table territory.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I agree with the others some of those angles are going ro be really hard to cut out. One thing that might help is drilling some holes that overlap where the index finger radius is on the knives might help seperate the blanks.

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed an John, it seems to be the over eager me may or may not have a perfect blank on many of these because I nested them TOO CLOSELY ON THE LINES. I know that it is possible but very slow going to cut the curves clean and not scarf a blank.
I do greatly appreciate the warning and also the advice that there is a line between being frugal and a risk of failure, its very thin in this case.
 

Dennis Morland

KNIFE MAKER
One thing that might help is drilling some holes that overlap where the index finger radius is on the knives might help seperate the blanks.

This is about as good advice as one can hope in this instance. A series of drilled holes and a little bit of luck with the bandsaw. Best outcome available without a plasma cutter or water jet.

DeMo
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
This is one reason I want a plasma cutter.

You probably already know this, but cutting blanks with a plasma has it's own unique problems. I tried it years ago, and found that because of the heat affected zones cause by the plasma, between the plasma kerf/slag, and the grinding to clear off that heat affected zone, I wasted more steel then I saved when compare to cutting with a bandsaw. IF you're REALLY good with a plasma (I'm not), you can keep the heat affected zone small, but in my experience it's still 3/32-1/8"....that doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that's all the way around the blank, you reduce the overall outline by 1/4" or more. By the time to compensate by enlarging the pattern, you're back to the point of wasting more steel then if cutting with a saw.

Personally, I believe that if it's economy of stock you want, there's not much better then waterjet cutting...... but then you get into the expense.

In the end, I think it's best for us "one man shop" knifemakers to just suck it up, ensure you give yourself plenty of room when laying out patterns, and call it good. That's just me, talking from a lot of years of learning how NOT to do things. :)
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Great point about HAZ, Ed.

I want a plasma out of sheer laziness. I work in batches, and spending hours sitting at my bandsaw pushing steel into the saw is for the birds. I still have a huge waste percentage with the bandsaw, so the savings with a plasma cutter is time as well as not being constrained to the angles I can run the steel through the saw without hitting the frame. To be honest, losing a 1/4 on all sides of a blank wouldn't be that much waste to me. I grind off more than that now on average if you count all the triangles and odd shapes left on the blanks after I cut them out.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Justin, I didn't think of drilling holes to make it a bit easier.
The plas idea is great but like Ed said the heat and the slag create another set of problems.
If you accidentally twitch/roll your wrist a little while the torch is working it will create an angle on the edge your cutting.
I think your advice Ed has alot of merit since you have cut a few more blanks I have in the last couple years.
A little help from my dremel and a cut off wheel will help me too.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
John/Walt: I think it boils down to doing what works best for each individual.... working smarter, and not harder, within the realm of particular tools you have/work with, and the overall methodology that achieves the individual's desired results. For me, cutting out a knife blank is a very rare thing.....as most everything I do is forged. On those occasions when I do need/want multiples of the same thing, I generally turn to waterjetting.

That brings up another wonderful thing about this knifemaking game..... it's always about learning something, one way or the other. It's just a great ride! :)
 
Last edited:

jaxxas

Well-Known Member
So Im asking for a bit of advice,constructive criticism on making the most of your stock. So heres my first attempt.


There are some lines stat intersect perfectly an a couple that are splitting scribe lines close.


To avoid waste I'd probably come up with another design of a smaller variety and then try nesting them in the layout....


YMMV
 

CAJones

Well-Known Member
Walt, it seems to me the most efficient way to layout and cut those particular patterns would be to use stock that is roughly 2/3s as wide as what you have. I know materials cost money and we all try to get the most out of it, but sometimes it just costs you more in the long run. As Ed already said, we all have to figure out what works best for us.

Chris
 

NEILYEAG

Well-Known Member
I am in the "leave plenty of room" camp. I am sure that I waist more than desireable. But if I leave enough, then I can also kind of adjust the final shaping as i go through outline grinding and shaping. It just seems to help and I think those small final adjustments make the product better.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Walt, it seems to me the most efficient way to layout and cut those particular patterns would be to use stock that is roughly 2/3s as wide as what you have. I know materials cost money and we all try to get the most out of it, but sometimes it just costs you more in the long run. As Ed already said, we all have to figure out what works best for us.

Chris
Am a bit puzzled by the 2/3s as wide stock? Do you mean narrow up the blanks.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Copy, I decided to make a batch of edc and skinners since around here those are more desireable then the larger variety blades.
I do have to order more stock to make some thinner boning and fillet knives.
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Almost chuckle when I read this thread, with the two camps. I'm a card carrying member of the "waste no blade steel" camp. When I'm done cutting them out, I just want sawdust left over. Walt, don't know how computer saavy you are, but this is one place where a cad program comes in handy. You can copy, paste, flip, and rearrange til you get the best fit. Draftsight is free and it's great for designing knife patterns.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I'm all for no waste, too. I hate the thought of paying for steel that goes into the trash. I just don't have any way to cut them out in such a way to leave no waste. Until I can justify the waterjet / laser approach it's just me and my bandsaw. So, right now my time is the only waste I can control.
 
Last edited:

wall e

Well-Known Member
Anthony, I am savvy but at the moment no pc. Mabbe on black friday will pick up a lil laptop to use for a low price.
The fun thing I have to do is get my saw set up so I can finish cutting things out.
 
Top