For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Inertia says that an object at rest will stay as such, and a moving object will stay moving. That is, until they are acted on by an outside force. I'm getting better at staying moving once I'm there. I'm using inertia to keep my lazy butt focused on getting things made. As long as I don't park on the couch, I can keep going until the neighbors complain about the noise.

A quick demonstration of what my grinding gauges do. Same shape blade, same wheel, same thickness. The top blade had a .125" gauge, the lower one a .063". You can see how the grind goes further up the lower blade, and is steeper on the top one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Good Evening

Well, it's good if you look at the end result. Fact of the matter is that it was an evening dominated by sawing. As good as it is to have a band saw, it's the worst part of ANY project. Tool steel tends to wear blades pretty quick. I need to search out a source of decent blades that won't empty my bank account. This is compounded by the fact that I use a 64 1/2" band saw. Not the best. I can only afford what I can afford, though.

Alright! That's what I'm talking about. Two of each pattern. I'm making a third Small Outdoor knife with this batch so that I can have a permanent metal pattern. It has grown to be a favorite of mine. From left to right: Small Outdoor knife, Large Outdoor knife, Modern Paring knife, and Hunter. All sawed, shaped, and flattened. They're ready for their bevels. So that's eight total knives and one pattern. A lot of grinding! A lot of tool steel! I need to find my market and start selling these suckers or something...this is an expensive hobby and a house full of knives will just make people think I'm a serial killer. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hodge Podge

So, as I wind down my's the details from what got accomplished last night and today. I think I can squeeze in a few more things tonight, but I'm pretty much ready to give myself over to the fact that I have to go back to my day job.

Grinding gauges. I use these to set up my belt grinder. I may have mentioned them a while back...can't remember, but I felt like talking about them because of how handy they are. Each one of these has a different step cut into it. The idea is that the step represents a dimension equal to or greater than half the thickness of the knife being ground. This allows me to reset my grinding rest to the same position every time. For example, a 1/8" blade needs a step of 1/16" or more. The closer to half, the less steep the grind...making a finer edge. The larger the step, the grind gets steeper.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Knife and New Grinding Rest

Two new things to emerge from my shop. First is a new chef's knife. Second is a work rest for the flat platen attachment.

At 10 3/8" OA with a 5 3/4" blade this is the perfect size for my kitchen. The blade was flat ground at 2 degrees on each side to make it super skinny towards the cutting edge. The thickest portion of the spine is 1/8". The handle is matched padauk with brass and stainless fasteners. It has its flaws, but is good for me. There's that old saying, "perfection is the enemy of good enough." When you're learning something, you have to remember that you won't get perfection the first time around. Or even the second or third. As long as I learn and do better every time, then I'm happy.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Flat Platen Done...

...and all I need now is the work rest. This has been quite the project. I put a lot of time into it. I'm one of those people who has more time than time is how I get what I want.

This is my morning's work. Before heading out to the family dinner, I spent some time in the shop to keep this going. The platen plate is in the mill. At this point, it was square and one face flat. It still needs holes for mounting screws. I also mostly completed the angle plate.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Knife Design

It's not my intent to keep coming up with new knife designs. This one, however, I wanted to make as soon as I thought of it. I believe I mentioned the beginnings of this new design in a recent post. Between you, me, and the rest of the internet, I'd like to find just a few designs that I enjoy making again and again...with the occasional custom shape thrown in for good measure. As opposed to having a gazillion "standard" shapes.

These are the large version of my outdoor knife. The top one has bubinga handles and brass/stainless hardware. The lower one has blue G-10 with a black liner, and stainless hardware. The blades are ground with a 12" hollow grind. The top has a full plunge grind, and the bottom is ground all the way back (I'm calling it a half plunge). 6 1/4" OA with 3 1/4" blades.

Flat Platen For My Grinder

As long as I'm knocking out shop projects, it's time for a flat platen for my grinder. Up til now, I've been using my Kalamazoo for flat work. The motor is old and tired, and the whole grinder was ready for out-moding when I moved up to my 2x72 grinder. It served its purpose and got me moving. Once the flat platen is done, all the work I do can be completed on my large grinder, and I can move the Kalamazoo to the shelf.

The basic frame, with wheels installed. I rough cut this on the band saw and milled the edges. The corners were all done on the grinder, and I laid out the holes the old fashioned way and punched them on the drill press. There's an oopsie or two one the radii, but that's all superficial. Since it's for me, I can live with it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Knifey Things...

Been working on sharp things...

The key to a chef's knife? Thin is in! This blade started at 1/8" thick. I used a 2 degree taper on each side to bring it down.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grinding Rest Complete, and more

Gawd! It's nice to take a break from the day job!!!! I enjoy my job, don't get me wrong. I get to work on all sorts of cool machines. I troubleshoot, I assemble, I make's a good gig. It's also, however, a very tiring job. Physically and mentally. I haven't really taken a break at all this year so far. Hence the spotty entries here. When I get a chance to hit my shop, that's where I am. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to type an article when I'm done. Then a week later, it seems like old news to me, so I don't do it.

Well, that being said, I'm on vacation. I believe the snobbier amongst us would call it a "staycation." I don't use words like that. They make me feel pretentious and arrogant.

Anywho, I have a 10 day weekend, and I'm putting it to good use.

(rant over)

New stuff. Happy stuff. A 12" contact wheel from Ameribrade, and a pair of 2" wheels from Wilmont Grinders. The guys at Ameribrade are a new business, just getting on their feet. I thought I'd throw them a little support. The little wheels, well, we'll have to wait for a later post before we see them again. I need to get some new chunks of aluminum to build the attachment they are intended for. I bought some other wheels from Wilmont, and my grinder is based on his it's only appropriate that I support him.Well, it's appropriate because he makes good stuff. I could start a whole rant about...shut up, Mark. Ok.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Grinding Rest Redo

I've said it before that I rely on jigs and fixtures because my free handing skills aren't so good. That means that the guides I use need to be accurate and user friendly. My existing grinding rest for my belt grinder was neither, so it was time to remake it. Here's just a glimpse into one of the parts...

One reason I was putting off this upgrade was the fact that I didn't have a rotary table. Well...guess who has one now! First order of business is to find the center of the table, and that's done with a coaxial indicator.