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I Forge Iron

I Hate This Knife


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Yup, I do. I can't stand what I was asked to do to the blade and sheath. The package is ruined in my eyes, but this is what the customer wanted and he loves it. So, I guess all's right that ends rights, eh?

What turns me off is the finish the customer requested. He wanted the etching oxides left on the entire blade, and the camo skate lace wrapping is not my first choice of color or material.

There are a lot of "firsts" for me in this knife.... first Japanese-style blade and sheath, first habaki, first time forging copper, first try at forging damascus(5160 and mild steels), first "chisel point", first try at making ferrules, and first ito-style wrapping.

Anyway....the goal was to create "a Japanese style knife with one of those fancy tips"(customer's words). For me, this was an opportunity to explore new ground and be a bit creative. Mind you - this was never intended to be even close to traditional in design or material, just "in the style of". While the finish is not to my liking, the fit came out very nice. The saya holds the blade snugly and securely, and all the ferrules fit nice and tight, and the blade is scary sharp.

Blade: 7 3/4" forged Aldo's 1084fg left semi-forge finished, w/ prominent shinogi and kissaki. The temper line is quite visible. Forged copper habaki and fushi, w/ damascus tsuba.

Handle: 5 1/4" of spalted, quilted Red Maple w/ domed s.s. pin, forged damascus and copper ferrule/kishira, and copper seppa.

Sheath/Saya: Spalted , quilted Red Maple w/ forged copper and damascus koiguchi, camoflage skate lace wrapping/ito. Suede lined habaki seat.

PLEASE.... offer up comments and critiques. It'll help me make the next one much better.

Here's the rather fuzzy pics:










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I think it's a fine looking knife. The fit and finish are well done. You made a blade to the customer's liking. And after all, it's his money. You learned a few things and explored a new design, even if it wasn't to your personal liking. Enjoy the experience of all the firsts.

All in all, well done! :D


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You did well. No matter what we like, its not our blade, its the clients. If we dont make them happy, some one else will. NO shame in that.

Personally I would have knocked off the scale anyway, but the color of the blade is great. As for the camo cord: it was not needed with that lovely wood grain, so would have tried to "re direct" the client. I do have some standards lol

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Beauty is in the eye of the guy that pays for it. There are things I've made that I really don't like but the wife loves. Love really is blind.

I agree with the camo cord and think that it needs no cord covering that beautiful wood. The dark color of the blade is nice and could do without the blemish, but the customer is always right up until they pay. They may be a repeat customer so you have to ride the fine line of pleasing them and letting them know your thoughts.

I think you did a great job on the knife and you pleased your customer. Well done.

Mark <><

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Thanks folks. I appreciate your comments.

I had initially done the ito wrapping with some dark brown garment leather and thought it look nice, but the customer wanted the camo color scheme to match his hunting clothing and rifle case. The dark blade finish, while not my first choice, is growing on me. As for the the forge scale "leftovers", that's my doing and I've taken all your comments to heart for the next one.

Thanks again all.


P.S. Steve Sells - I was the exec. chef of the Summit Club for a number of years. Fort Wayne is a great little city and I still have friends there.

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Peter, I hope to one day make an equally awful knife. ;) But seriously, your design choices were excellent. I agree with much of what you said, but as others have pointed out, you made that knife for a client. It kinda reminds me of the offspring of a tanto and bowie, if they had kids. :lol: I'm sure that you'll have another opportunity to make that style of knife. Then your experience will have the voice of authority.-Robert

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your title made me laugh - i think you shouldn't hate the work of your own hand! its just different to your personal taste - you may even grow to love it! for what its worth ( never made a blade in my life and prob won't) i think it looks blimmin lovely - i would take off the shoe lace too, but LOVE the rest and would be very proud to have had anything to do with it!.

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Nice work, even the much hated shoe lace(I don't much care for it either), the copper looks great, the finish looks nice, you done your best and had a happy customer and hey, you got paid for it. I know how you, I hated doing stuff for customers that I didn't care to do but sometimes you just need to enhance you reputation a bit until you can tell them to take it or leave it, this is what your making and not something else. It won't be long until that happens with the high level of skill you show in this work. B)

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Thanks all!!

I thought I'd add a few in-progress shots of this piece. I'm pretty sure someone here knows better ways to this and I'd love the input.

Here's a few in-progress shots of this build.




This is one of the forged copper "spacers" being flattened:

A bit of hand sanding:

Getting there:

Dry fitting:

Front ferrule rough-fitted:

Here's all the front-end pieces ready to assemble:

More to come......

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Here's a final installment of build shots.

Soldering the front ferrule:

Cleaned up and ready for handle fitting

Starting the rear ferrule:

Carving the wood:

Rear ferrule/butt cap finished:

This shows the copper sheath collar along with the last of the damascus bar I made(bottom of the two). This will be forged into the face cap for this ferrule to complete the sheath collar:

Mouth of the sheath/saya just prior to mounting the cap:

I went nut-o on the fit for this assembly! So many parts and contact surfaces that had to be flat a level...... I spent a lot of time on this aspect of the build. A final check for a good clean fit.

Looooooong way from this:


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