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Greetings From The Eastern Burbs Of Toronto

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Putterer, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Putterer

    Putterer New Member

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    Greetings Earthlings.

    I just wanted say hello and to thank all of the members that have posted some great info that has educated and inspired me.

    I've been wanting to make a bushcraft knife for the longest time for myself and a few close camping friends. I'm finally going to take the plunge and have been reading books and watching YouTube videos for the better part of a year (I don't move too fast due to lack of time for puttering at my hobbies of which I have many :) ). I've also been reading through hundreds of posts on this forum. It's great to get suggestions from a Canadian group as some of the supplies used by other knife makers around the world are not available here.

    I have a lifetime of experience using hand and power tools and have accumulated a decent collection over the years. I'm in the process of picking up some more specific tools and supplies that will make my first effort a good one. I know that you can create a good knife with a few basic tools, but for me, half the fun is collecting the right tools for the job.

    As with most of my hobbies over the years, I like to try to do as much of the work myself. That's part of the fun for me. I love to learn new skills. With that in mind, I'm starting with O1 which seems to be a good beginners steel and is also a good traditional steel for a bushcraft knife. I have already rigged up a vacuum chamber and I have a couple of chunks of black walnut that I will process down into scales and then stabilize. I have some left over oak from some woodworking projects that I'll use for prototyping. I'll be picking up leather making tools as I want to make sheaths too.

    I do not have an artistic bone in my body. I have to use a ruler and circle template to draw stick figures!! I just can't dream up a design for something from my brain and then sketch it out. What I can do (within reason) is look at what someone else has dreamed up and make a reasonable effort to duplicate it. I'm sure that most people start out that way. With that in mind, by first knives will be inspired by the Jacklore Classic which itself is a clone of the Ray Mears Woodlore knife. I spent a good amount of money on a Helle Temogami a few years ago and although it's a nice knife, it's not a full tang and I was a little disappointed with the fit and finish. I'm hoping to build up enough skill to one day produce a top quality bushcraft knife.

    There are 2 areas that I'm just not sure how things will turn out. One is just an economical decision. I want to do the knife from start to finish including heat treatment. I also like to be precise and do it right the first time when possible. I think I'll build a small forge to HT the blade, but I'd really rather have the control over the process like I'd have with a kiln. As much as I'm a bit of a tool collector (you really can't have too many tools can you?), I can't justify a kiln unless I decide to do a lot of blades in the future. I also can't justify a high end grinder either, but maybe a Grizzly would come in hands for many different shop projects. :)

    The area that concerns me the most is shaping the scales. Did I mention my lack of artistic ability?? :) I'm hoping that I can get close to the finished handle with proper layout and a band saw. Once I start free handing with files, sandpaper or machines, everything could go to hell in a hand basket in a hurry. It would be heartbreaking if I had to continually chisel off scales.

    Anyway, I'll jump in with both feet as usual and have a ton of fun learning some new skills.

    Again, thanks to everyone for contributing technical help on the forum, especially in the noob section. :)

    Cheers.
    Gary
     
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Welcome to the madhouse, Gary.
    A bushcraft knife is a good choice for a first knife, and O1 is very forgiving (that's why it's one of my favourites). When it comes to shaping (both the blade and the handle), the only advise I can give is take your time and don't try to duplicate the design you start from, but rather be "inspired" by it. You'll finish the project with more hair that way. And we would love to see pictures of your progress, of course.
     
  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Welcome Gary.

    The Woodlore is one of my favourites and what I consider to be the standard for bushcraft knives. For sure from the UK perspective. I have some patterns that you can start with. Take it from there and shape them to how you want it too look.

    The best advice is to go slow and enjoy. It's so very satisfying to complete a knife that you will personally make use of.

    As Tim suggested O1 is a good choice, as is 1084. O1 can be bought at Canadian Knifemaker Supply and Metal Supermarkets, 1084 at Canadian Knifemaker Supply.

    The secret to the scales is get the fronts perfectly matched and polished before attaching them to the tang. The rest is accessible to sanding and polishing after everything is assembled.

    It would be awesome to see how it goes.

    Dan
     
  4. Putterer

    Putterer New Member

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    Thanks Myth & Dan for the encouragement and feedback.

    I have already purchased a nice supply of precision ground O1 from Metal Supermarkets that should keep me in steel for a couple of years at least!! I am spoiled as I live close to the centre of the universe, which is Toronto of course. :) There's a Metals Supermarkets 5 minutes south of my office and a Tandy Leather 5 minutes north of my office. Within 15 minutes of my office there is also a Lee Valley Tools and Busy Bee Tools. I don't know how I get any work done at all with so many distractions close by! :) I've got my account set up at Canadian Knifemaker Supply and I'll be ordering up some tubes, pins, and liners shortly.

    I have also purchased some hot rolled mild steel to create a couple of prototypes. This will allow me to debug the process without ruining good steel.

    I will absolutely post some pics, but it will be a number of months yet. I am busy at work and at home at this time of year. Hobby time for me starts at Christmas and runs through until mid-March. I still have to build a filing jig. I've seen pics of a few nice ones here on the forum and Aaron Gough has a detailed YouTube vid of how to make one. I'll probably follow that design to start with and modify as I go. I will also construct a 2 brick small forge between now and Christmas and give heat treat a go. If I can't get good results, then I'll have to send them out for HT until I can build or purchase an oven.

    Thanks for the tip on finishing the scales. I've read a few books and watched a number of videos and everyone suggested finishing the front of the scales, right down to a polish, prior to gluing. It makes sense as you would just mess up the ricasso trying to finish that section of the scales if they were attached to the tang.

    Cheers.
    Gary
     

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