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Thread: Road to knife making - The unfolding story of Merwe Knives

  1. #16
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    yes don't remind me .
    you don't see them that often.
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  2. #17
    Rest in Peace Dirk 08/2015

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    Doesn't this belong on the brag section? - Dvdm is good!
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  3. #18
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    Nice posting Derek, very well written - I am watching this one with great interest! I am also fortunate in having a Puma White Hunter - an 1978 model still made from the Pumaster proprietary steel and virtually mint condition. You are right, it is one fine knife - but getting pricey now - I see in the UK they sell for up to R5k!
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkman View Post
    Doesn't this belong on the brag section? - Dvdm is good!
    Nothing to brag about yet Dirkman

    Still waiting for the Herbst grinder, hopefully before the long weekend so I can start practising the grinding thing.

    This might sound daft but I've lined up a stack of knife profiles cut out on supawood the same thickness as the steel I'm going to use.

    I figure that if I turn the grinder speed right down and use a fine grit belt I might be able to practise the grinding moves on the supawood. Supawood will be less forgiving than steel to grinding slip-ups since it's so soft.

    If I can get it right on supawood I'll tackle the steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokepole View Post
    Nice posting Derek, very well written - I am watching this one with great interest! I am also fortunate in having a Puma White Hunter - an 1978 model still made from the Pumaster proprietary steel and virtually mint condition. You are right, it is one fine knife - but getting pricey now - I see in the UK they sell for up to R5k!
    I can only wish I already had the grinding experience you have under my belt

    My family and friends are going to love me for all the less than perfect knife hand-outs before I totally crack it I guess.
    The steel quality will be up to spec, I'm going to use proven steel and have it rockwell tested after heat treatment but the grinding thing might take a while to master.

    Achieving perfect symmetric grind lines manouvering a blank piece of steel on a grinder freehand is going to take some practise and lots of patience.
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  5. #20
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    Derek I can only imagine what will happen if I put you and my father together.He is also knife crazy and a big collector.I think he has in the region of 1500-2000 knifes dating back something like 55 years to the latest.He also made a couple of knifes by hand at 1 point but I think that was to much of work for him.
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  6. #21
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    Derek, if I may make a suggestion, get yourself some mild steel flat bar too for practicing. Use bluntish belts for this - mild steel is actually less forgiving than knife steel - because it is softer the belts tend to bite into it more and you have a harder to control grind - if you can crack it grinding mild steel you'll do just fine on knife steel. It really is worth going to one of KMTS's workshops or finding a knife maker in your area to show you the basics - it is going to cut hours and hours off your learning curve.
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  7. #22
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    Second "calling a knifemaker up for some advice", the few I've spoken to actually welcomed new-comers... be warned, you may chat for hours...
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  8. #23
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    ps: you may exchange photo's of their knives for grinding lessons, not that I have done so, and some are actually very good behind a camera themselves, so not a given...
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  9. #24
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    Thanks guys, going to give it a try and if I battle I'll book one of the courses. I'm adamant to tick this one off my bucket list, even if it means doing a course to crack it.
    Collecting the grinder tomorrow afternoon so I have the long weekend ahead to convert large pieces of steel to smaller ones

    I have spent the time waiting for the grinder rebuilding a very sturdy 14inch band saw I picked up for a song. Ordered parts from Strand Hardware in PE and received it in a jiffy, very helpful and competent outfit.

    Luckily the 14inch bandsaws are mostly generic, Wilton, Jet, Makita, Gold Star etc all use the same spares since 1965.

    My dad had a very peculiar hobby, he made large landscape scenes using small squares of exotic woods. He gave it up when his lungs started giving him hassles (smoking, not wood dust) so he gave me a box full of small wooden blocks, all properly dried and cured. I started putting some of these together, will make very nice handle material.
    Tamboti and Spike thorn (pendoring)

    In my thread about de-rusting I showed pics of some metal detector finds on a site where a blacksmith worked about 70 years ago.
    https://www.airrifle.co.za/showthread.php?t=26499
    The metal turned out to be geniune wrought iron, the production of which was basically stopped in the late 1800's when mild steel entered the scene as a cheaper to manufacture alternative. (The 'wrought iron' the garden furniture guys use is mild steel and the name rather describe the process used to bend the iron for ornamental purposes.)
    The geniune wrought iron when etched displays a very interesting crystal structure layered with silica as impurity which is basically glass. (No, it's not Damascus steel) These are going to become bolsters for some very special knives with some history on their handles
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  10. #25
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    Great thread, I'm watching.

    Hell, I'm even excited about you getting a new grinder! Please post a review when you get it. VSD definitely the way to go.

    If you ever need anything from CT, just shout.

    I'm only 8 knives in to this game. Got another hundred in my head. And some sheaths!

    As soon as I finish studying a course in 4 weeks time I'll be back in workshop.

    Looking forward to trading notes.

    Good luck and enjoy.
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  11. #26
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    Thanks Rodders, will keep you updated on my progress!
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  12. #27
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    I wonder how my wife would feel about another hobby???
    Let us know how the grinding goes Derek
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  13. #28
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    Derek, some motivation for You...
    Puma KOTY 2012.....


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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebert View Post
    I wonder how my wife would feel about another hobby???
    Let us know how the grinding goes Derek
    Siebs, tell the wife you need this little Herbst machine to sharpen her (and her family's) kitchen knives and then let the hobby develop from there
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDRADOUR View Post
    Derek, some motivation for You...
    Puma KOTY 2012.....
    Very very nice!
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