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Laser Wharncliffe - production prototype


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Hi everyone,

So here is my prototype of a "production" run I've been mulling over. 

Several months ago I began working at a lasercutting shop in Manhattan, and have been going crazy designing furniture, displays, and knives in my own time. This is the result of attempting to figure out the ideal materials and methods. My first attempts were lasercut G10, but I was finding the material incredibly difficult to cut without charring or burning. Ultimately I swapped out for 1/16" walnut and mahogany we have around the office - I was thinking future customers would get to choose two hardwoods that I could laminate like I did these. For the first series I would purchase 4 varieties of hardwood and mix n match (only what combines well, of course).

Now the area I am struggling in; pricing.... I was thinking $350. Due to the limited forging involved, and the swiftness that the machine can cut the handle and saya components for me, I felt doing a run of 10 would put me in a good place.

Please be honest and brutal,



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When you say, "only what combines well" you're getting into personal taste and there is NO accounting for taste. I could upload a pic of a local house that's painted pepto bismol pink for example.


Of course "combines well" might mean something else unspecified in which case . . . Nevermind.


Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm kind of on the fence when it comes to laser cutting blades. I fully understand the economic benefits for production runs. I use laser cutting in the shop for architectural, furniture, lighting etc whenever possible. I tend to think of knives though  as a little more personal, and favor forging individual blades.

I do wish you the best in your endeavor and will be anxious to see/hear the outcome.





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Very nice designs, intricate and attractive. Have you found a market in NYC for your work. I'm always on the lookout for a blacksmith's shop in the city.

Is your shop in the city or the outer boroughs? I grew up in NYC and NJ. I suspect my addiction to ironwork was sparked by the many gates and grills found around the city. To this day I am drawn to the intricacy of the ironwork i see in cities around the world. The grill work on some of the old apartment buildings in the city is inspiring.

Best of luck to you,

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GearHart - the only elements that were lasercut were the handle and saya, the blade was stock removal with minimal forging... that was poor wording on my part. I am still forging one-off designs like this puppy  just for shiggles :?do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>)'> just for shiggles :)


Petere - The market is limited in the city, although several consignments with Bill at Mastersmiths (Beautiful Blades) have worked out well. I rent space from Marsha Trattner at her forge in Red Hook, Brooklyn. If you're around give me a shout, we'll have a meet up, just message me.

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Maybe it's just me but when a wharncliffe get's beyond a pocket knife size, it starts to become a cooking knife like a Santoku.  No curve in the edge means it won't rock on a cutting board which makes it less useful for cooking.


Of course if your customers aren't seeing this as a kitchen knife, all of that goes out the window.


The laser cutting is interesting.  I'm curious how it'd work with rubber or leather.  Something like car tire getting re-purposed could have a neat angle to it.


Stacked leather washer handles are often cut with grooves like a Ka-Bar.  I wonder if you could plane a flat on either side and laser engrave your design?

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