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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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. 

I did it. I went out and spent a bunch of dough on an etching machine. I didn't like stamping blades. Not only is it tedious, I believe it is detrimental to the overall quality of the knife.
For the low price of $275, you get the power supply, cleaner, etching solutions (2 kinds), extra pads, hand piece, instructions, stencil film, and some practice stencils. To me, this is worth it. I can use this beyond knife making. It can mark my tools, and I can definitely use it for marking any future woodworking tools that I make...which I still plan on doing.
First shot with a practice stencil. I grabbed a scrap blade...the finish was a little rough so the etch wasn't that good. So...

...I ran the blade over a finer belt. Better etch this time.

I then made my own stencil. This is my abbreviated signature. I use this at work...not at the bank. I much prefer this to stamping. I also think it looks way better and has a more personal touch than the plain letter stamps. I think I may send this out to be professionally printed so that I don't have to try and recreate it by hand if I wear out the stencil. The stencil should last for many etches...should.
I had some other ideas on the stencil, but settled on the signature because that was the easiest to make myself. I tried a few other ideas this evening, but they came out sorta crumby. If I want to use a different design, I will just send out for it to be printed. I will get better results. I have a 2' roll of stencil paper and more than a few scrap blades, so I will likely do a few more experiments and see what works and what doesn't. All I know is that I'm glad I made the investment.

I hope my epoxy finish on the new Hunter is cured by tomorrow so that I can finish it up. I'm having a local leather worker make a sheath for it, then it's being sent off to it's new home where it will do all sorts of ghastly things related to killing your own food. (me, personally, I'm the kind of guy that prefers to get my meat pre-dead. Hunting isn't my gig, but I appreciate the people that do because I like the venison sausage they share with me)


  1. Agreed - the etched signature looks way better than stamped initials

    1. Another advantage is that I can wait until after a blade is hardened to mark it. That takes some stress out of the process.