Makers Knife

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
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Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Makers Knife

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I'd like to have a few good knives but I really don't trust many of the suppliers and certainly not ebay. You get what you pay for but only sometimes and there are suppliers who simply attach a high cost to make something seem valuable. I know that a cheap knife isn't going to work.

Any recommendations for a name brand that hasn't sold out to an overseas factory?

I'm also considering converting old european cutlery and tools into handmade knives that I may come across in yard sales or flea markets. I don't understand the rules when it comes to shaping a blade. If I have good steel, can I cut the blade with a cutoff wheel grind the edge and have a way to return the temper? I have a couple 70 year-old+ dinner knives with ivory handles. They keep a great edge despite looking like a butter knife. They slice through tomatoes and meat like a brand new razor and always have done so. Can these blades be repurposed without ruining the steel?

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1488
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

If you keep the steel cool while cutting and grinding it it shouldn't change it's temper. There are ways to retemper steel by heating and then quenching in different solutions (water, oil) depending on the level of tempering you want to achieve.
Some grindstones are set up to run in a water bath (half in, half out) and they will keep the metal cool while grinding it.
Assuming your knives have real ivory handles, I wouldn't grind them down for lutherie, but there are plenty of semi worn out high carbon steel kitchen knives to be found at yard sales and flea markets.

Christ Kacoyannakis
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Christ Kacoyannakis »

Ron Hock, Hock blades, make a great product. They sell some instrument making and marking blades, which you can use as they are, or attach a handle to. Great steel, great company, and made in the USA.

Bob Hammond
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Bob Hammond »

If you want to make your own knives or reconfigure old knives, that's fine. It's quite easy to make good knives from O-1 tool steel. The key is to achieve the correct heat for hardening and then tempering them. I recently purchased some precision ground O-1 stock from WTTool.com and the hardening and tempering instructions were printed on the label. I'm fortunate that I have access to a kiln with a programmable PID controller for temperature processing.

But recently, I purchased a simple unadorned but very effective knife that Paul Sellers uses for marking all of his work. I'm quite please with it at $5+, and the blade can be sharpened or changed out. It won't impress Mountain Men or boys or 'fine craftsman', but you'll find it in your pocket when you need it.

Stanley 10-049 Folding pocket knife.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/STANLEY-10-0 ... e/19901752

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1488
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Sometimes you can find decent knives at the flea market. I found a couple of small pearl handled knives that have worn out blades that are only good for carving F holes or similar fine work. There wasn't enough left of the blade to interest a collector, but they are fine for what I'm doing. worn out planer blades are another source of steel.

Alan Carruth
Posts: 996
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Alan Carruth »

I've made violin bridge knives out of old straight razors. It's pretty much plain high carbon steel, and takes an extremely keen edge, but it's brittle, and easy to burn on a grinder. I can't let my students use them unless I want to spend a lot of time re-sharpening. Still, with care, they're the best for cutting purfling grooves, and trimming over hangs and bridges out there, IMO.

Old files are another source for good hard steel. You can get cans full of rusty files at any yard sale. I've had good luck with old Nicholson files, which offer a nice blend of hardness and toughness.

David King
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Makers Knife

Post by David King »

If you want stainless steel you probably can't do better than an old or new Nogent 3 etoiles paring knife. These are extremely thin blades and hold an edge like nothing else. They cost a few euros in France but I've picked them up in the states for $7 on amazon. When in France I grab them at the ubiquitous Monoprix shops which will also do mail order to the states. In a pinch you can order them directly from the company website. nogent3etoiles.fr

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I checked out Hock Blades and they look like exactly what I'm looking for. Not a huge expense for what ought to last quite a while. I inherited a set of wood carving knives and they are hopeless at keeping an edge.

Matthew Lau
Posts: 511
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Matthew Lau »

If you want a superlative blade, I'd recommend a Kiridashi from Stan Covington.

Fwiw, I have a Nogent paring knife (vintage). The blade on the older ones suck.
The razor idea is a good one though.

Matt Atkinson
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:35 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Matt Atkinson »

I recently discovered Wayne Henderson's work (and pickin') on YouTube. Holy cow. I think he originally used a pocket knife for EVERYTHING. Wow.

Halgeir Wold
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:59 pm

Re: Makers Knife

Post by Halgeir Wold »

Mora of Sweden makes a series of woodworkers knives...
This is their official US agent.... https://www.industrialrev.com/morakniv

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