Sunday, March 23, 2014

Finished Frame Horns

Double anodized and radiused frame-lock. 154CM clip point blade with swedge and a machine satin finish.

Double anodized and radiused frame-lock.  D2 drop point blade blued and tumbled finish 

Faceted integral bolster lock with carbon fiber scales. 154CM modified Wharncliffe  blade with a 2 tone finish (blasted and tumbled bevel with satin flats). 

Double anodized (gray/blue) and faceted frame with a satin finished drop point 154CM blade. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Small Integral Loveless patterns

A number of knife makers have made "Integral" Loveless pattern knives. They are nice but in my mind there was something missing.  You can make a knife to a specific silhouette/profile but still completely miss the mark if short cuts are taken.

The most noticeable thing missing is a ricasso.  The second thing I felt was off is that a a specific thickness of steel was used and there was not any real difference between the handle and the blade.

I have been playing around with them in my spare time and here are a few finished.

New York Special

With snap

Older pattern large City Knife with rounded/contoured handle and hand rubbed finish. 

Newer pattern small City Knife with facetted handle and tumbled finish. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Having fun with Loveless patterns

Loveless knives...polished blade, red liner, green Micarta handle.  That is what most people think.  When you make them full time you begin to think, "What if?"

What if the proportions were changed?
What if the blade finish was changed?
What if it folded?
What if Bob did a collaboration with...?

So I have been goofing around with some different things:

The Loveless Stiff Horn made into a modern frame lock; The Frame Horn. The 3 above have the drop point patterned blade. 
 Frame Horn with the clip point blade; This was only seen a few times on the fixed blade Stiff Horn; There where 5 blade patterns associated with the Stiff Horn; modified Wharncliffe, clip, drop, semi-skinner, caper. (photo form AZCK) 
A model I call the Saul Hunter; this knife was derived from the handle of a 3" Drop Hunter and the front section of the 4.5" Utility Hunter.
This knife was featured in the March '14 issue of Blade. It is a Dixon fighter profile with a grind similar to a Chute knife.  IMHO a much more balanced knife visually and in the hand. The extended Chute typically only had 1" added to the blade so the clip appeared out of proportion. 
The "Solution", this knife was intended to be a Big Bear but I wasn't paying attention and didn't set up the guard location and intended grind lines correctly.  Instead of throwing away a 14" piece of CPM154 I made it into a mortise tang fighter,  This knife was a combination of a 8.5" Big Bear Blade and the Wilderness handle. 
And this is what I call the L&L Fighter. This what I imagined would come of  Lum/Loveless (or vice versa) collaboration. The handle and blade length are derived from the Loveless 5" Fighter with a blade I designed after studying pictures of Mr. Lum's fixed blades.
I have a number of other things in the works...I'll try to do a better job on my entries.


Saturday, October 5, 2013


It's been a while...this year and life in general have been interesting!

Since my last post I have blown all my goals out of the water. Once I figured out that people would be interested in my knives I made certain goals for myself. One of these was to try and get a picture in a magazine some time during 2014.

Well that happened at least 4 times this year. The biggest surprise of all was being named one of Blade Magazines Makers to Watch in the March issue.

I finished up my knives for the Blade Show and had a fantastic time with friends and fellow makers.

A pile of materials from Blade and a Taurus12 acquired in a swap with Erik Markman.

 I did not make any knives purposely intending to enter judging but at the last minute I decided to enter 3 (the allowable number).

I entered a Loveless Pattern Drop Hunter in the Hunter category, a Loveless Pattern Battle Knife in the Fighter category, and a Loveless 5" Fighter in the New Maker category.

I ended up winning Best New Maker for the following knife:

I love knife making! The friendships I have developed along with the skill set acquired make me a happy person.

Thanks to all who support me and find my stuff worth purchasing!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Getting ready for Blade'13

In '11 my grown up self got in the way of going to the Blade Show. Last year my wife insisted I go, so I did as a spectator. I went with a friend and milled around for three days. Before I left I thought I had a plan of attack; people I wanted to meet, things I wanted to look at, and stuff I wanted to buy. When I walked in the doors my plan ran out the window.  I was the proverbial kid in a candy store. When Sunday afternoon rolled around I still had stuff to do. I was very happy that for my first Blade Show I did not have a table (would have been premature also) it would have been torture.

So this year, headed towards my third year as a knife maker I have a table (13AA).  Here are some of the knives I am taking for the table or delivering.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Grinding Gear (Part 2)

Currently I use the KMG  primarily with the pictured attachment; in the picture configured for slack belt grinding.  The belt runs across the two rollers without any backing.  This set-up allows for blending the contours of the handle after rough shaping.

With the hardened O1 platen attached I use it for tapering tangs.  The platen that comes with this two wheel attachment is mild steel. After profiling or doing any grinding with it it quickly develops a depression which means flat grinds or tapered tans that are not flat.  So I purchased some O1 and made two fully hardened platens.  They still wear but I am fortunate enough to have a surface grinder with which I can quickly bring them back to flat.

Or with a 36" radius platen attached for full height hollow grinds on some of my beefier knife designs.  This Radius platen is made by knife maker Nathan Carothers in small batches and offered for sale every so often.  The initial thought behind these was duplicating the large stone grinding wheels of days gone by.

Next up is my GIB (Grinder In a Box). Because of its taller profile I use it primarily with the wheels for hollow grinding (it's easier on the neck and back).  It is here pictured with a 10" wheel.
A 6" and 3" wheel; I could not do what I do without these three sizes.
Of course I can't leave well enough alone so I also added a gas compression spring to this grinder also.  This is easily done by abandoning the standard tracking arm pivot hole.  I enlarged the hole provided for the tension spring and used this as my pivot.  The tracking arm is effectively longer and provides room for mounting the cylinder .
I also milled a slot in one of the two holes designated for the tracking arm bracket.  This allows the assembly to be pivoted about 1/8-1/4" for aligning the tracking wheel with the drive wheel.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Grinding Gear (Part I)

So I was told by my grandson (Titus) that I need to update my blog.  I appreciate all the people that read about my stuff but his comment kicked me into gear.

All the knife forums I frequent have often and repeated questions about what grinders are used and which is better.  I thought I would show what I use and why.

My KMG (Beaumont Metal Works) as delivered (4/10) and first installed; for those familiar with this grinder  it is belt driven.  The motor normally sits on the bench to the left of the grinder in front of the pulleys.  I did not want to lose this space so I mounted the motor under the bench on a swing plate with the belt running through the bench top.
Almost 3 yrs later and the bench is much dirtier and more crowded
If you want to make knives good lighting is a must. I have tried many set-ups including direct task lighting (too many shadows because your head is directly above your work so task lighting is to one side or the other).  The above unit seems to work best for me.  A 4 bulb fluorescent (daylight bulbs) light fixture hanging at about 6.5' (I'm 6'1")
My heavily used KMG no longer in the factory delivered condition.  It is now used primarily for  the  platen attachment and the small wheel attachement.
The KMG was modified for a number of reasons (shortcomings in my estimation).  As you can see in the above picture it has an added tool slot that came with the MAP arm attachment.  This is not in the recommended location but has been lowered to allow more fexibilty of tooling. 

A closer look shows that the factory handle has been extended and the tensioning spring has been replaced with a gas spring.  The gas spring was the brain child of Brian Fellhoelter.  To be blunt an owner of a KMG is not the sharpest tool in the shed if they don't make this modification.  The tracking is greatly improved and the harmonic/vibration experienced because of imperfect belts, rotation, and the factory compression spring is minimized if not eliminated. 
If you compare this picture to the first you will notice the motor is now mounted on the bench behind the grinder.
I removed the original KMG pulleys, bearing blocks, and shaft and  TIG welded in a plate configured for  56C motor.   I know have the only direct drive KMG I have ever seen.  This modification fixes the absurd drive arrangement of the factory KMG.  The factory drive arrangement takes up space, seems to rob significant power, and adds to the vibration I mentioned above. 
To be continued...