German Watch Factory in Action

I was fascinated by this video of watches being manufactured.  From the handwork to the laser engraving–all cool stuff.  NOMOS Glashütte makes 95% of its own innovative watch movements in-house.  Glashütte is a town in Germany where their watch industry is said to have been born.  Says NOMOS:

Plenty of tradition and handcraft—combined with high-tech, where it outperforms handcraft:  That is NOMOS Glashütte.  All our movements are built in-house and by ourselves in Glashütte.  This also applies to our watches—Tangente, Orion, Zürich and all the other models—many of which are already considered classics.  You can find out how we do this by visiting us in Glashütte and taking a tour.  In the meantime, this short film can give you a first impression of what we do.

I was recently in a watchmaker’s shop (a good friend of Daniel) and I was mesmerized by the specialized equipment and professional focus I observed while one of my TAG Heuers was serviced.  Mechanical artisanship.

by Wilson

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Guardian Tactical Knives

Guardian Tactical HelixGuardian Tactical, Inc. bills themselves as “Superior Knife Manufacturing.”  You have already seen their prowess in making Rat Worx’ knives.  At Blade Show, I actually visited Guardian Tactical before Rat Worx and the Guardian guys urged me to go right over to see the “steampunk” Nautilus, of which they were very proud.

Andy Buerk is a design engineer with Guardian Tactical.  He said their knives are 100% Made in the USA with nearly all the components constructed in their Emporium, PA, shop.  The HELIX is their flagship model.  It is robust, but tips the scale at just 4 ounces.  He was jazzed about their unique CNC blade grinds.  The HELIX blade has both flat and hollow grinds milled with precision on Guardian Tactical’s machines.

Guardian Tactical

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Spyderco Ronin 2 Prototype

Spyderco Ronin 2 GhostWay, way on the bottom of Spyderco’s Blade Show prototype showcase, I spotted a mockup of the Ronin 2, Michael Janich’s next evolution of the Ronin fixed blade knife.  My Canon DSLR begging to be used, I examined the Ronin 2 prototype.  It is a slim knife with thin G10 scales over a full tang spine.  The scales are held fast with three Torx bolts and there is a lanyard hole at the rear.  The Ronin 2 blade was marked CPM S30V and was deeply hollow ground.

Before someone cries foul and alleges I broke show rules, this is not a photograph from Spyderco’s Blade Show 2014 booth.  Clearly, it is forbidden to take pictures of the glass case of prototypes from Golden, Colorado.  I am, however, armed with Photoshop.  And I took some notes at the show…

My image is made from a photograph I took of my own Yojimbo 2, which I digitally altered to look like the Ronin 2 that I was able to handle at the Blade Show.  I think it is pretty true to the Spyderco prototype.

One detail I was not able to recreate from memory in my pirate image was Continue reading

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Spartan Knives Nymph Slipjoint Folder

imageSomehow in the constellation of knives at Blade Show, I missed seeing the Blade Show 2014 Most Innovative American Knife of the Year–The Spartan Nymph.

From Spartan Knives:  NYMPH – Intregral Frame Slipjoint

This small titanium folder is the result of a desire by Spartan Blade to produce a high quality slip joint folder using as few small moving parts as possible.  While attending the 2012 IWA Show in Germany, we spoke with several people who simply couldn’t own one of our larger folders due to the restrictions of knives with locks, one handed opening, and long blades.  During the show, Mark and Curtis were visiting the Nuremburg Toy Museum and were impressed by some of the very small high-tech mechanisms used to make toys.  It was then the idea hit them to make a slip joint that didn’t require several small fine blanked parts, allowing for a more modern look and function than the classic slipjoint.  Now they had a great idea but not the full mechanism to make it work.

Later, Spartan met with Les Halpern of Halpern Titanium and explained their idea for a small modern slip joint.  He became very excited as he had an idea for a similar knife using what he called “A good idea” for a mechanism.  Les did some drawings explaining his idea for eliminating the traditional back spring.  Normally, slip joint blades are held in position by a strong “back spring” which assists them with bias to the open or closed position.  Les’ idea was to make the frame the spring with the same bias in open or closed position. Continue reading

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Turning Point Knives at Blade Show

Turning Point Knives Skull PurpleTurning Point Knives had some real eye-catching knives at the Blade Show.  Custom knifemaker Tom Heard acid etches 1095 carbon steel in interesting patterns for these small friction folders he calls the Chili Pepper.

Since each design is done by hand, Mr. Heard makes you a knife that is truly one of a kind.  I was impressed with the time it must take to hand apply the acid etch and come up with the near 3D images.  Believe me, they looked better than my photos show.

Turning Point Knives Skull blade Continue reading

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Steel Will Knives

Steel Will Knives CourageSport Manufacturing Group, Inc. has launched a knife brand called Steel Will Knives.  The line will include knives in three catagories:  Tactical, Outdoor, and Urban.  The knife above is the Model 310 Courage from their tactical series.  The Courage is a full tang fixed blade with 9Cr15MoV steel and G10 handle slabs.

This knife has a 7 inches of angularly formed steel with section both hollow and flat ground.  My photos don’t do justice to how cool this blade looks in person.  It is almost faceted at the point to provide good penetration.  The handle slabs are machined in an homage to traditional tanto cord wrapping.

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Rat Worx Chain Drive Folding Knives

Rat Worx NautilusResearch and Testing Worx, Inc. is better known in gun circles as Rat Worx.  Several years ago, they decided to branch out into knifemaking with an innovative design called the chain drive.  As simple as it sounds, the knife is actuated by dual nested coil springs pulling on a short length of roller chain to bring the blade to lock up via a plunge lock.

At Blade Show 2014, Rat Worx designer Allen Millhouse showed me the chain drive system on a number of their automatic folders.  He was most proud of the limited edition Nautilus model shown here.  It is a send up to the look popularized in the 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, from the novel by Jules Verne.  I also heard the word Steampunk bandied about the show floor.

If you remember the Nautilus submarine in the movie, then you will spot many familiar design cues such as the bow serrations on the blade spine, the plate and rivet look of the hull, and an iris viewing port.  The aluminum bronze of the handles is stunning, as is the Alabama Random damascus used to imitate the shimmering sea on the blade.

Rat Worx Chain Drive Continue reading

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