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beginner's guide to blade blanks? #13826131 05/16/19
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JeffG Offline OP
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So, I have some pretty pieces of wood left over from whittling gunstocks, gnarly antlers and whatnot, and thought they would make nice knife scales... I'm a carpenter not a metal worker, so it's a steep learning curve to jump to knife building, but I thought I'd try, and would like to purchase some pre-made full-tang blade blanks, then apply my own scales.

For instance, I looked at Jantz and Smokey Mountain websites with small damascus skinners for $30-$40, (pretty, but are they real damascus, or that acid etched s(h)tuff?). Lots of info on Jantz site, but I was out of my depth just reading about steel types..., so,

Any guidance for a first-timer's blade blank and pin purchases?


"...One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All"

JeffG
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Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13826949 05/17/19
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michiganroadkill Offline
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Jeff
I have bought supplies from Jantz for quite a while, receiving good quality and service.
I have not bought blade blanks from them, but no doubt in my mind all their blades are of good quality.
Don't dwell toooooo long on steel types. There are many and work just fine.

Jantz damascus will be the real stuff but it does take etching to make the pattern jump out.
You may want to start with D2 or 440C and see if you really want to do more assembling.

As a carpenter, assembling will not be a steep learning curve for you.

Then you are on a long slippery slope that has a high probability of you ending up with multiple grinders, etc.
I know from experience. Only bought a couple blades and then fell into the blade making sink hole.

But it has been good.
Good Luck
Tim

Last edited by michiganroadkill; 05/17/19.

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Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13827282 05/17/19
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JeffG Offline OP
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Thanks Tim, I appreciate the feedback. And Yes, that was round two of my questions; what is the most effective metal shaping tool? Belts, discs, wheels? ..I can see myself sliding down the tool acquisition rabbit hole, after I struggle with what i already have.


"...One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All"

JeffG
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13827592 05/17/19
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michiganroadkill Offline
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Well, I have ground blades on a 9" disc sander, 4x36, 6x48, 1x42, 2x60, 2x72 belt sanders.
The work horse is the 2x72 now for blades.
The 1x42 is good for most handle work.
A small table top drill press gets the holes done.
An older used surface grinder is used to uniform blank surface and thickness.
A converted used small industrial chop saw does the metal cutting.
A Sears band saw cuts most of the handle materials.

But I started by buying a couple finished blades to handle with some elk drops from out west.

The fact that you are already considering the future is witness to you having the dreaded gene.

Good luck.
We can talk if I can be of any assistance.
There are others here with more skills and experience with me that will also help out.

Tim


"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
Albert Einstein

At Khe Sanh a sign read "For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never knew".
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13828135 05/17/19
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MILES58 Offline
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A real good place to start is woodcrafters. They carry very good blanks and some with bolsters. I would advise a Zhen paring knife blank as a starter. It's VG-10 steel (outstanding stuff) They have a very nice selection of exotic woods to choose from for scales if you want and the knife will make an outstanding kitchen knife or equally outstanding hunting knife. Jantz has a lot of dedicated knife making stuff from pres shaped/ground blanks to steel stock in a wide variety of steels. I have a few D2 blades, a couple-three CPM 154 blades and think either makes an outstanding knife an a good place to start.

Tim is right though, it's a bad way to go to get started building knives. I agree with Tim about your probable fate. You understand that having the right tools is important and you are contemplating building one of the most universal of tools, knives. I have gone down the road far enough to have to learn lapidary skills to build a couple with stone handles. A person has to have knives to butcher the deer you gut with the hunting knife and that means a whole 'nother set of knives to build. If you are going to do it go full tilt and good luck.

Alpha

Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13828478 05/17/19
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mike_e_miller Offline
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If you are wanting some damascus blades, go to Alabama Damascus site. They make the damscus, cut it out, grind and heat treat them. They are ready for scales to finish.

Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: mike_e_miller] #13828756 05/17/19
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A Kill Artist. When I draw, I draw blood.
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13832100 05/19/19
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poboy Offline
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I like Russel Green River knives. Carpentry tools (belt sander, cheap drill press etc.)
will get you started. Try it, you'll like it. Had some Zebra-wood scraps left over from a job.
Beautiful knife scales and pistol grips.


--- CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE --- MOLON LABE !! - FREEDOM AIN'T FREE
Gonna take a mountain of democrat voter fraud to Get Trump this time.
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13832580 05/19/19
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Boise Offline
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I found it fun putting together blades and learned they made wonderful gifts. I put together about 100 knives and sold 2 but have LOTS of happy family and friends.

Corby pins will improve your odds of early success. Over heating the wood scales and causing warpage will be something you learn to avoid but the Corby pins will minimize the effect. Go with 60 minute epoxy, lots of things can go wrong in 5 minutes - I learned this lesson the hard way.

I've purchased blanks from Jantz and found good quality. I've also purchased cheap ass blanks off eBay that made for excellent gifts to be used as letter openers. A good starting place is eBay blanks where you have very little money invested in your learning pieces. A couple of full tang blades will bring you up to speed on the processes and then move onto good quality steel.

I took apart a Chicago Cutlery set, which I already owned, and rehandled the blades. This is another cheap way to gain experience...and scars.


The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits. Albert Einstein
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13832594 05/19/19
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Tag for future reference, thank you,

Bravo

Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13833108 05/19/19
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JeffG Offline OP
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Great input guys, Thanks! I ordered a couple Jantz blanks and a length of their designer pin stock, but I hear loud and clear that's a tough way to start. I probably try the re-handle exercise to get my first scars on...


"...One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All"

JeffG
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13834709 05/20/19
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BillyGoatGruff Offline
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Originally Posted by JeffG
Great input guys, Thanks! I ordered a couple Jantz blanks and a length of their designer pin stock, but I hear loud and clear that's a tough way to start. I probably try the re-handle exercise to get my first scars on...



The danger is real. I've not enough experience to way in on advice, except to say that I've gone from a bench and angle grinder and torch, to a coal forge, gas forge, 1x42 belt grinder, 2x72 belt grinder and am selling blades locally, and making hinges and stuff for around my place.

Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13850142 05/26/19
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JeffG Offline OP
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Well, I think I got a handle on it...

I got this blade blank from Jantz, (came with an edge on it!) and some of their mosaic pins, sliced up some walnut and maple, slath'red 'em all up with west system 105/205, clamped it and walked away. It took about an hour to shape it in this morning, still needs some more love around the bolster, and without being too picky about metal polishing, I'm claiming it as a success.

I'm off to the slippery slope!

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]


"...One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All"

JeffG
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13850227 05/26/19
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poboy Offline
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Looks great. Now you gotta be a sheath maker. Once you get the front of scale at
the blade like you want it, do your sanding and polishing before assembling. IMO


--- CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE --- MOLON LABE !! - FREEDOM AIN'T FREE
Gonna take a mountain of democrat voter fraud to Get Trump this time.
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #13850588 05/26/19
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mike_e_miller Offline
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When you work on those sharpened ones put a piece of masking tape on the edge to protect yourself.

Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: poboy] #13853416 05/27/19
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JeffG Offline OP
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Originally Posted by poboy
Looks great. Now you gotta be a sheath maker. Once you get the front of scale at
the blade like you want it, do your sanding and polishing before assembling. IMO


yes I can already see the limits of my rough"plenty of material to work with method...

Thanks for the input,

[Linked Image]


"...One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All"

JeffG
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #14163722 09/29/19
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IZH27 Offline
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Easy to finish Scandinavian grind knife blanks can be found at Ragnar’s Ragweed Forge. There are many options for blade makers, types, sizes, metal quality and metal finish bits. Those parts would work well with your handle bits and they make nice practical working knives.

Wow! I just went to the page and it appears that Ragnar has passed on! He was good to deal with. It seems that his business continues.

Ragnar’s.

Last edited by IZH27; 09/29/19.
Re: beginner's guide to blade blanks? [Re: JeffG] #14163834 09/29/19
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MILES58 Offline
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Time for an update from Jeff.


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