Making John’s Knife

Here is a short video of the making of a presentation knife for a friend.

by Wilson

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Feeling Pretty Good

IMG_3697We made it!

by Wilson

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Gone to BLADE

Today, I am driving to Atlanta from Florida for BLADE Show 2017.  Here is my finished kwaiken knife and kydex sheath.  As a novice, I am happy with what I have made, but it has some flaws and I am eager to make the next knife a better one.  Since it is my first blade in twenty years, I guess I should be glad I made anything at all!

I have registered for Tom Krein’s BLADE U grinding class for Friday morning.  I am very excited to learn.  It has been a long year juggling family and a hobby of knife making.  It will be satisfying to walk into the show as something of a “maker” this year and not a writer/photographer.  I’m sure I will be looking for new cool things to stuff in my pack and be awestruck by the amazing work of true blade artisans.

Thanks for following along…

by Wilson

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Rushing Toward BLADE Show 2017

I have been very busy trying to keep my promise to myself to attend BLADE Show 2017 wearing a knife of my own making.  Well, I leave for the show tomorrow and I am still at work!  I am going to post some photos from the last few months showing my progress.

My goal was to make a few knives, but life is busy so I decide to concentrate on a single knife.  I chose the smaller of my blade blanks and made the decision to work up handles of the moonglow acrylic and Toxic Green Kirinite.  As you may have seen in previous articles about luminescent watches or tritium gunsights, I love things that glow in the dark.  This would not be classic, but I thought I would enjoy it.

I continued to work my flat grinds with my paltry 1 X 42 grinder, then finished the work by hand.  One reason was to take the time to clean up the lines, the second was because Continue reading

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Handmade Knife Patterns and Profiles

What do you want your knife to look like?  Your knife pattern should reflect not only the function you desire, but an aesthetic that is your own.  In past articles, I have shown an affinity for Asian-inspired blades.  Likely, that is from my half-Filipino heritage.  Or maybe I just gravitate to the lines.

For patterning, I began by tracing the outlines of the steel blanks I had purchased on plain paper.  I wanted to make blade shapes that conformed to the narrow Alabama Damascus I would use.  After exploring various patterns, to include wharncliffes, drop points, and bowies, I settled upon the basic kwaiken shape.  I reasoned that the straight topline would Continue reading

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Rebuilding My “Knife Shop”

Since last year’s BLADE Show, I have concentrated some of my spare time into making knives from the materials I purchased there (see last posting).  It has been slow going because I am rebuilding my small shop of tools, which were lost in an ex-wife’s hostile fire sale, from scratch.

I cleared out the front of my one-car garage and had to decide what I would need to buy from my modest discretionary budget.  Guess a work bench would be nice.  I bought a sturdy one from Husky.  Heavy sumbitch.

Thinking back, I had no desire to work from just files and sweat as I had when I made a few knives in the early 1990’s.  Back then, I had later purchased a Jet brand 1 X 42″ belt/disc grinder and I thought something like it would be just fine for what I wanted to do.  After shopping for power tools, I settled upon a Grizzly Continue reading

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BLADE Show 2016 and a Different Path

Blade Show 2016 suppliesThis year’s BLADE Show was transformational for me.  For the last four years, I have attended as a writer, with the job of interviewing people and taking photographs.  Maxpedition bag slung over one shoulder, I wandered into the Cobb Galleria Center Friday with the intention of talking to folks and examining goods in preparation for articles once again.

A familiar pang came over me when I walked in, though.  I was inspired by the master bladesmiths and craftsmen, and women, gathered to show their wares.  My purpose was to write, but I really wanted to be there as a knifemaker.  Leaving the pen, pad, and camera inside my slingbag, I began walking the show floor, thinking like a maker.

I have not made knives in many years.  In fact, I had only ever made a few stock removal fixed blades for my own use.  All my tools are long since gone–sold in a clandestine garage sale by a spiteful ex-wife.  I would have to buy more machinery.  And that could come later…

My plan was to find some small pieces of steel and a few Continue reading

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