Tools for a beginner

pocomoonskyeyes

Well-Known Member
OK, I am seriously thinking about starting to make some knives myself. My question to you, the experts is this: What tools and price for them, will it take for me to have a GOOD set-up? It isn't like I am going to go into this full time,but maybe as a Hobby(starting out) and maybe a side business( if my knives work out well). Also what are some of the "Better" steels for a beginner? I have heard that D-2 is a good one for beginners, But will gladly "Bow" to your opinions. I really don't want to get started and then 6 months later have to replace/upgrade.

Also to the MODS - I wasn't sure if this was the right Forum for this Topic or not, So if it is in the wrong one please move it to the correct one. Thank you.
 

Rusty McDonald

KNIFE MAKER
D2 really isn't the steel to start with IMHO. The HT is complicated, it eats belts and files but other than that its a good steel.
I would suggest you start with a simple carbon steel like 1084, just to get the feel of it.
 

Chris Martin

Well-Known Member
Poco,

I am a newb myself. I searched all the forums, mostly BladeForums for questions/answers...but sometimes fell short. I have been told a stupid question is one that has not been asked. So, if your not sure....ask....Even if you feel it to be a "stupid" question or just being unsure. After all, the pro's have been through the trail and error tohelp newbs like us out2thumbs

With that said.

I started off with an angle grinder and a 2x42" belt sander. Very frustrating, but it keeps you grinding. A drill press is a very important tool to have...but you can get buy with an electric drill and take your time.

If money allows, skip the 2x42" and go for a 2x72".....I learned the hard way. I am just waiting for my motor to get here and will be hogging steel hopefully by the weekend! I went with a Coote and got a bargain on it, but if you do a search lots of rave reviews on Tracy's/BossDogs NWG. Much better machine!!!

You can also just buy some chain saw files etc and do it all by hand. Thats what I love about this new hobby, its endless and there is always someone willing to help out!

Best of luck to you. If you need some wood for handle material let me know. I was fortunate to win a nice lot of wood here and would be more than happy to send a small care package out to you, maybe even a piece of steel or two2thumbs

Best of luck and most of all, have fun!!!!!

I will let the big dogs chime in now.

Chris
 

SBuzek

Well-Known Member
What's your budget? Is it 500 dollars or 10K,you can easily invest 3K and have a decent set up.
And I agree w/ Rusty start with 1084 for a carbon steel or If you want to outsource heattreating and do stainless use 440-cor ats 34.
Stan
 

Denny Eller

Well-Known Member
I am very new at this so I'll tell you what I have to work with: an antique bench top drill press that was a gift, a 4" x 36" antique bench sander with a 6" disk sander, a bunch of files, a lot of sandpaper and the most used piece in my shop - the Dremel tool. O-1 tool steel is pretty easy to work with and you can order it precision ground. A hacksaw and a cutoff wheel on a Dremel will work to cut out blades. I have a piece of rail for an anvil and a large box of band-aids. Oh, and strong drink doesn't hurt.
 

pocomoonskyeyes

Well-Known Member
Thank you all. I'm not real sure what my budget will be but I believe between $500-$1500 is what I will be able to "lay hands on". Thanks, I hadn't even thought about budget, I was more worried about tools. LOL My shop is BARE I just moved in here and that was one of the "selling" points. I do have a bench vise, but that is all. I know a drill press, and bench Grinder are necessities for what I plan on doing anyway. A good dremel wouldn't be a bad Idea for detailing. I think I will check on Tracy's grinder, it's a 2"x72" right?
I will be starting from scratch.As I said the shop is Bare!! Not even a piece of sand paper!! I really don't plan on starting big. I just have a few ideas I want to try,for personal knives to start out with. Kinda' use myself as the guinea pig so to speak.

No offense to other Forums but this seems to really be the best place to field these kind of questions.JMO I know some of you are on some other Knife Forums(the Pro's I mean) but this place just seems to have a friendlier "atmosphere", if that makes sense. Honestly this is the only knife Forum I even visit anymore.
 
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Chris Martin

Well-Known Member
That should be good to get you started! Good you have that amount...I have had to go in small steps, I am still "stepping" by the way....lol Once that money is gone you will think of other tools you will need/want and it almost becomes as addictive as making the knives.

Hope to see some progress pics from you soon.

Best of luck!

Chris



Thank you all. I'm not real sure what my budget will be but I believe between $500-$1500 is what I will be able to "lay hands on". Thanks, I hadn't even thought about budget, I was more worried about tools. LOL My shop is BARE I just moved in here and that was one of the "selling" points. I do have a bench vise, but that is all. I know a drill press, and bench Grinder are necessities for what I plan on doing anyway. A good dremel wouldn't be a bad Idea for detailing. I think I will check on Tracy's grinder, it's a 2"x72" right?
I will be starting from scratch.As I said the shop is Bare!! Not even a piece of sand paper!! I really don't plan on starting big. I just have a few ideas I want to try,for personal knives to start out with. Kinda' use myself as the guinea pig so to speak.

No offense to other Forums but this seems to really be the best place to field these kind of questions.JMO I know some of you are on some other Knife Forums(the Pro's I mean) but this place just seems to have a friendlier "atmosphere", if that makes sense. Honestly this is the only knife Forum I even visit anymore.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
Our goal was to be friendly. Nice that you noticed that.

I'd like to ask you couple questions so maybe we can help better. Do you want to make stainless steel knives which means stock removal or carbon steel which can be stock removal also but is usually mostly forging with some grinding?

Are you looking to make typical 4" long blades for hunter style or big 10" blade bowies?
 
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pocomoonskyeyes

Well-Known Member
Oh you can bet I noticed Boss Dog!! I really would like to work Carbon steel/stock removal. I know absolutely nothing about forging, But want good Carbon Steel knives that I have made. Not even going to attempt folders,they just seem more complicated. All I would be making is Full Tang fixed blades anywhere from 4"-12" blades,and I only want to try my hand at the bigger ones. The Range I would like to play around with(just a figure of speech folks, don't cringe) is probably going to be 4"-7" with nothing in that range going over 12" OAL Maybe not even that big, maybe just 4"-6" BL
Most likely I would be sending anything off to be heat treated. Mostly I just want to tweak some designs I have running around in this thick skull of mine. They would be Nessmuk,Drop, and spear point knives. Simple, efficient ,proven designs, in my own Variations.
I may even have blanks cut at GLWJ and treated at PHT. I really just want to tweak some ideas. If that is the route I go it would be mostly stock removal in the grind and putting them together, once finished. But honestly I have no clue as to what tools are really needed.
 

Mike Jones

Google Master
If you use a simple carbon steel (1075-1084) you can HT it with a torch and a gallon of warmed canola oil and make a useable knife. That's what I've done for 10 knives. All skated a file before tempering (basic hardness test)

For stock removal all on your own, you should probably get a 4x6 metal cutting band saw, a decent drill press, and a few files and sandpaper. If you plan on building a 2x72 grinder, you will really need a band saw to cut the steel.


Here's our tutorial section, with a few ones listed on how to make a fixed blade: http://knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.php?f=80
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
I'd suggest 01 steel. It's available *everywhere*. It normally comes precision ground in is available in a mind boggling assortment of sizes and thicknesses. It is very forgiving in heat treat. If you mess up the heat treat, just do it again. 01 doesn't mind. It's simply a very good steel. I'd suggest you do your best to copy the classic designs. That will build a lot of skills and those designs that are classic are that for a reason -- they work and are well thought and are (usually) visually appealing.

Keep us posted on progress. Ask lots of questions. Have fun.
t
 

jkf96a

Well-Known Member
For 500-1500 you could get a Coote and a drill press and be good to go. If you stick with carbon steel, you can heat treat 1080 several simple ways.
 

Frank Aguirre

Well-Known Member
I wish I had 1500 bucks when I started. The coot, drill press, bench grinder, a metal band saw, files and sand paper. Oh yea you got to be stubborn as a mule and have the want and not get discouraged. I know you will do good.
 

Craig

KNIFE MAKER
Some good advice posted. Ask lots of questions because some very good knife makers are here that don’t mind helping. I like the 0-1 to start also along with 1080-1084 or 1095. Pickup more tools as you progress and are able. That’s how I started.

Try to attend a hammer-in or visit other knife makers if you can. I visit the other forums also; it is nice to have a place where you feel welcome.

WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION.

Craig
 

pocomoonskyeyes

Well-Known Member
If you use a simple carbon steel (1075-1084) you can HT it with a torch and a gallon of warmed canola oil and make a useable knife. That's what I've done for 10 knives. All skated a file before tempering (basic hardness test)

For stock removal all on your own, you should probably get a 4x6 metal cutting band saw, a decent drill press, and a few files and sandpaper. If you plan on building a 2x72 grinder, you will really need a band saw to cut the steel.


Here's our tutorial section, with a few ones listed on how to make a fixed blade: http://knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.php?f=80
Thanks GM I had planned on using the tutorials here. There's just too much good info here to pass up.
I'd suggest 01 steel. It's available *everywhere*. It normally comes precision ground in is available in a mind boggling assortment of sizes and thicknesses. It is very forgiving in heat treat. If you mess up the heat treat, just do it again. 01 doesn't mind. It's simply a very good steel. I'd suggest you do your best to copy the classic designs. That will build a lot of skills and those designs that are classic are that for a reason -- they work and are well thought and are (usually) visually appealing.

Keep us posted on progress. Ask lots of questions. Have fun.
t
Yeah it was O1 I was thinking about, don't have the slightest idea why I said D2, probably because I'm getting a knife this coming weekend and that is what it is. Getting it from one of the members here, matter of fact, Mook is his handle here. We are almost neighbors...35 miles apart!!
Yeah I plan on sticking with the classics in design. There are just some minor alterations I want to try. That is why I said Nessmuk, Drop, and Spear designs. Maybe some clips not real sure about those though. Still I will probably try them.
I wish I had 1500 bucks when I started. The coot, drill press, bench grinder, a metal band saw, files and sand paper. Oh yea you got to be stubborn as a mule and have the want and not get discouraged. I know you will do good.

Frank, It will be come Tax refund time. That is why I am trying to get a jump on things, This isn't something I want to just jump into. For those kind of bucks I want to do some planning. I figure it will probably be spring before the first one is started even. Just want to have plenty of time to get my facts straight before even a dollar is spent. My first expense is going to be some graph paper and drawing tools, start playing with ideas. I have a lot to learn first.
I've been scanning the Pawn shops looking at prices of some basic tools there, Some of the chains are next on my browse plan. Lowes, Sears, Home Depot,etc. Sometimes it's a deal at a pawn shop,sometimes a crap shoot. Mostly looking at drill presses, and bench Grinders, some hand tools there.
 

baddog

Well-Known Member
I made my first few knives (at least 1/2 dozen) Using a hack saw, files, Craftsman drill press (one that you clamp your portable drill in), and sand paper. Got some precision 01 and hacked away. Did my own heat treat in a one brick forge, used 10w-40w motor oil for a quench. I temper in a toaster oven... garage sale special only $0.97

Get a copy of the $50 Knife Shop. It got me started without investing much $$.

Good luck (and let the addiction begin).

ric
 

pocomoonskyeyes

Well-Known Member
OK so far I have a belt grinder(with a variety of belts),a vise,and a brand new Drill press I just finished putting together today! But for Cutting It seems the only option I can find locally is either a Dremel, or an angle Grinder. What are y'alls suggestions? The Band saw they had would not work on metal (table top band saw). What else do I need?
 

Wayne Coe

Forum Owner - Moderator
You are about 98 miles from me (Sunbright, Tn). Denny is about 85. He has been talking about coming down for a visit, so maybe both of you can see about coming at the same time.

I do workshops for building Tracy's grinders. I am a blacksmith who makes some knives. I have a pretty fully equiped shop so you could look over a lot of stuff, which of course, you don't need it all to get started.

Check out the Member List for other members in your area, or maybe they will just contact you and give you an invite.
 

Ernie Swanson

SASSY PINK LUUNCHBOX KNIFE MAKER
All you really need is................

Files
sandpaper
drill
hacksaw

A deck
and a pink lunch box:eek:





ohh yeah and Wayne Goddard's $50 knife shop............one of the best investments I ever made besides a membership to this forum!!!
 
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