unusal request (designs related)


Well-Known Member
hey guys

i am getting more into knifemaking now and i suddenly had a block! like every design i come up with is flawed one way or the other so here goes,

anybody here from the experienced makers willing to give me a really simple design (be it drawing, cad file, anything that is clear really) that i can work from. i guess 15-25cm would be good size, something i know is right and would be good for training

i will mention the original maker/designer of course when i show the knife.

if interested please contact me (or post here?)



i just realized i typed the title wrong...
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Well-Known Member
If you can't design a simple knife, you are over thinking it, or maybe need a different hobby. No design will be without flaws of some sort for certain chores. No one knife will cover every possible use of it as well as one designed for the particular chore it may be needed for. Think simple. Make it simple. A knifes primary purpose is a cutting tool. Beyond that, it is designed for specific purposes in cutting. A simple design in my area of knife making would be a blade with a point, of 4 or 5 inches length, a narrow tapered tang, and jammed into a hole drilled into a piece of deer antler.


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Just try taking a blank piece of stock and grind away on it. The shape will come to you ! The reason I got into making knives, was I knew when I was finished it was the only one like it, on this planet ! If you screw up your not the only one who has:biggrin::biggrin:

P.S. Your knives aren't going to look as if you been doing this for years. That all comes with time:biggrin:
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Well-Known Member
thanks guys, actually that makes sense, now that you say it i have been over thinking it, my main problem now is handle not the blade, unless i start over thinking that too... i keep thinking too long, too short, to wide, not enough grip at the back, finger groove so and so...

well practice and simplicity are the key i guess

thanks again


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I concur with the above,
Since you steel is at a premium there.
I suggest you do what the previous posters said, only use wood or a Mild scrap steel.

Keep your nose to that grindstone!



Kevin Cross

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Get yourself a wooden ruler, yardstick or meter stick. Grind out your blade shape. Then get yourself some modeling clay and experiment packing it around the handle and get a shape that is comfortable. Now you have a 3-D rough mock-up of what you want your knife to look like.



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Thanks Laurence and Kevin

Kevin actually i have been thinking about that clay for a while, but was afraid it might make things more complicated for me, but i guess i better give it a shot :)


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Definitely don't over complicate things. :D

I drew this quickly for you - it is a simple handle idea and may be useful as a starting point.


Make a knife with a handle like that then hold it and ask yourself where you would like it wider or slimmer. Keep the bits that are just right.

The handle is more importnat than the blade to me. :D If it is uncomfortable to hold, it won't get used.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
like every design i come up with is flawed one way or the other

That alone tells me you ARE a Knifemaker. None of us are ever 100% happy with every knife we make. Even after being at this for 25+ years, I still learn something new every day I walk into the shop. Knifemaking is about the journey.....NOT the destination.


Well-Known Member
I agree with Ed for sure! There is ALWAYS going to be SOMETHING you would change on the knife after it's complete. :lol:

I'm not sure what all is available to you over there, but here I've found that rigid foam material that is cheap is a GREAT way to model up a handle or scales for a knife.

The stuff I use is PVC foam that I get from work, but even Styrofoam packing material will work for a rough draft. It's easily worked with knives, files and sandpaper, and relitively cheap since most folks throw it away...

As others have said, wood works in a pinch as well, and scrap pallets are great for it!

Now, after you've made a few handle models, keep them ALL! The handle or scales that don't work for this knife, may work for another in the future...



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thanks a lot Ed, that actually gives me hope :) i guess i just obsess about details bit too much


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thanks Charlie,i just might give that a try, i already cut profiles in wood so i get general idea, might try the handles now :)

anyway got my first knives sent to HT today, the handle work should be interesting lol

Josh Dabney

Alot of good suggestions given already. Some I agree with and others not so much. IMHO I'd skip paint sticks, mild steel, or wasting time effort and abrasives on anything thats not a knife. I've seen your grinds and profiled blades and your beyond all that for the most part. This type of advise is needed for different folks in different circumstances but I estimate that you'll already get a workable blade on each attempt. Of course we all have a bunch of blades in the drawer of shame for different reasons but thats part of the journey as Ed mentioned.

As for design itself- Paper and pencil are your friend and your medium for working out a design. Changes are easily and quickly made and the cost of experimenting is free. When you hit a block on paper start fresh with a new drawing and let the other sit for a few days then go back to it and look at it with fresh eyes. In my two sketch books I've probably got 300+ designs and out of them probably 20 are what I consider GOOD solid designs. The other 280+ just suck or need more effort ;)

Part of being a maker is the process of making knives and using them for their intended purpose. This will teach you more about design than anything. Is the handle too- short, long, bulky, skinny, whatever ? Is it comfortable ? any hotspots ? Can the same function be accomplished with less ? Can more style be added without a compromise in function ? Finishing the knife and putting it into service will answer most of these questions for you.

A good knife design will EVOLVE ! Get it on paper, plan your work and work your plan. Put long hours of blood and sweat into it. Follow it through to completion and in the end you'll still want to change something. Thats just how it goes.

Good luck with your efforts ! Your doing fine and on the right track..... Now lets see a finished knife !



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thanks a lot Josh!

you actually got me excited to get up and start working NOW lol

anyway your wish might come true real soon,i got these from HT today, my first batch to send, but wont be able to work on them until i get my new flat platen (few days from now)


don't they usually come darker from HT?

the upper 2 are 4.7mm O1 steel, the lower two are from leaf springs 6mm

they all seem good except the upper two have slight curvature and one's tip warped, its like 2-3 mm so i can grind it off entirely. the curve in the entire knife, grind it also?

thanks a lot guys


Well-Known Member
Grind them until they are flat & even again. Don;t let them get hot, The tip will be the one you want to fix the slowest.

Finishing these will give you alot of insight on handle shapes once you finish them.

Have fun.




Well-Known Member
Hey guys

Ive finished few knives, some more successful that others, but still keep facing a problem at the index finger groove/notch

I dont know to describe it except 'bulky', my index finger joint hurts when i squeeze the handle, any suggestions or ideas to why this happens or how to solve it?
Btw i use the 1" wheel for the index finger groove, what do you guys generally use? I have my doubts that i need to use bigger wheel, but feel it would be too big

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