I thought I’d update this thread with some progress pics and example my process. Progress will be slow, but you’ll get an idea of what do and how I do it. You could use this like a tutorial of sorts as well.
Anyway, I have steel coming for all knives requested and many, many more. To give you an idea I started by determining steel size and application. This helps to make a knife suited for individual application. This is what helps make it custom. NOTE: this will not follow one blade exclusively.
Step one: Steel is chosen and cut to each blades length. (No pic. You get the idea on that.)
Determine shape. I draw on graph paper for common knives and to keep some record, frequent fliers get an aluminum copy.
Glue paper outline to steel, trace outline with layout dye and scribe, just freehand with a sharpie or paint marker, or last I just grind a shape I feel is nice.
Pictures depict the above step(s) and some grind lines or possible fastener holes are sketched in just to keep me looking toward a finished knife. The outline below is an aluminum copy, as mentioned, and it is the basis for the knife drawn though not identical.
A couple more. One shows me drawing and shaping a one off blade (comp style chopper in CPM 3V) and the other (a D2 EDC blade) that has had the handle area milled for weight prior to grinding. You will notice several of the pictured blades show my favorite fastener layout. I have definite reasons for this, strength and the flexibility to add bolsters if so desired.
Well, I have it all. Mostly grinding. I only forge Damascus. I do use a mill sometimes to “rough” out a blank before grinding to final shape. No cnc so it’s all just freehand stock removal and is very rough. Here’s an example, but don’t judge... yet at least.
About to rough out a blank for a small edc (tactical/tacticool) type recurve blade. (hard to see the recurve yet) Here’s the gist of my complicated mill set up. (Yeah right) I mainly do this during downtime at my day job and the plus is that it stays cooler during shaping unlike the hard grinding. For final shape and primary bevel nothing beats a steady hand and a good knife making belt grinder. (I use KMG)
I used to have access to a laser and waterjet. Used them once for a guy who wanted 18 of the same knife. Helped keep my outlines the same. The Laser hardened the edges of the steel and I had to anneal and stress relieve them and then harden. I have less than zero interest in “production”. Some custom makers do cnc work and have standard patterns... don’t seem hand made or custom then. Yeah they are flawless but no character. More knife porn to come. If ya see a blank you like, ask. I have many that aren’t spoken for. Just remember I don’t hurry.
Sorry, for delay fellas. I know I said it would be a while and it seems it’ll be longer than expected. Life happens I suppose. Just wanted to post a small update, if you will. This is why I didn’t take deposits. I can always sell what I make, even if you’ve got one in the works and don’t want to or can’t wait, I’ll find a home for it. Please, Contact me for specific details on “your” project.
I'm still interested in a drop point skinner.
I do have some fossilized ivory that I have had for years if you work with that medium for scales, also plenty of really nice ebony as well as some other exotics.
The better the edge holding properties the more wear resistant the steel is. Since sharpening is just wearing the steel, the short answer is no.
However, there are steels that are better compromises. You should look at a well heatreated knife in a “non-stainless” steel (personal fav A2). Some compromises can be found in AEB-l and some of the powdered metallurgical stainless steels. Though due to higher toughness, the powdered steel is usually heatreated to a higher hardness and thus negating the ease of sharpening.