Tools for knife enthusiasts


Tools for knife enthusiasts

A place to discuss tools specifically relevant to knife making and restoration. But since Boys (and girls) like toys, we'll likely end up talking about tools in general anyway!

Members: 12
Latest Activity: Mar 15

Discussion Forum

Bandsaws, tips, upgrades and advice.

Started by Michael Squier. Last reply by Carl Rechsteiner Jan 9. 18 Replies

Ok, ive got an old sears craftsman 12" bandsaw on a floor stand. It gets used the most of my power tools. My upgrades are added wheels so I can roll it out of my harage to use. Now lets here your…Continue

Most useful tool in the shop

Started by D ale. Last reply by allanm Dec 24, 2016. 22 Replies

Which tool in your shop do you find the most useful ??Which one do you simply use the most ??Are they one in the same ??.Where did you source it ??Have you modified it ??Be specific.Add ons .. again…Continue

Routers in knife making

Started by allanm. Last reply by allanm Dec 24, 2016. 4 Replies

So maybe routers are not used much in knife making, but I do see some admittedly limited, potential use. Specifically, I have a number of hardwood flooring pieces (free samples are very easy to get,…Continue

Vernier Caliper

Started by D ale. Last reply by Carl Rechsteiner Dec 24, 2016. 6 Replies

Digital Vernier Caliper .. 6” / 150mmDigital readoutHigh accuracy & repeatabilityEase of useAffordability.…Continue

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Comment by Jan Carter on March 15, 2017 at 12:22

I can certainly attest to Carl's willingness to be helpful.  Donnie caught the bug standing next to him and he has been a staple in the "how do I do this" conversations right from the start LOL.

ooops, sorry Tom, not your fault, I did not see the typo in my posting.  I usually try to check them in discussions but not in chat LOL.  Yes I could justify the purchase that way but unless he sells a knife I likely wont LOL

Guys, I so totally agree with Carl.  In reality the buffer may be the most dangerous tool in the shop.  If it yanks that knife out of your hand, it can seriously kill you.  I have heard tales of a well known maker that ended up with a 1/2 finished knife in his chest.  Took hours to convince the Dr  in the ER and the police he called that really no one attacked him.  On a side note, it took a year to get his knife back and it was ruined from sitting in evidence with blood on it

Comment by allanm on March 15, 2017 at 9:50

We all missed it Tom :-) I usually pick up every typo in anything I read. I sometimes say I should have been an editor, not an IT geek / programmer / operating systems type. I am already a beta reader/reviewer for a few authors and get the benefit of reading all their books free. And in some cases, I even get a signed paperback after publication as a thank you, which is a nice touch. Just having early access and free beta, then production releases is reward enough for me.

But out tools discussions and knife work when it's not too cold for me to work outside is more fun! My wife has been talking again of using a room in the house, if appropriately reorganized. I reminded her as someone else's good advice here came - dust I generate even with me using a mask could get into ventilation ducts. Not a good idea. When I check my little band saw and belt sander, dust seems to be well contained within a very small area, but outside the house is definitely better.

Comment by Tom Peterson on March 15, 2017 at 9:43

Hey Jan,

I was just poking fun at you because in your original post you typed that the grinder was "meant to least". But like most of my attempts at humor it went unnoticed, lol. As far as the table goes, you just rationalize that with all of the money that you saved on the portaband you can splurge on the table!

Comment by Michael Squier on March 15, 2017 at 8:58

Carl, good advice is always welcome. thanks. 

Comment by allanm on March 15, 2017 at 8:07

Your advice is good Carl, and always welcome. My needs (for now, and I honestly don't expect to change a lot) is for finishing ready made blanks. That's likely to be the extent of my knife making, along with making sheaths from home tanned deer hides.

I have a small townhouse, no garage - just a small shed outside, so my tool space is very little. With a few physical health issues I don't think I could really do a lot in the way of forging and hammering. With no space to do that anyway, I'm not spending money on that sort of equipment.

So smaller, woodworking tools will generally work well for me on scale work and some buffing/polishing of finished handles and any minor scratches I might put on the tang in the process. Or minor buffing of knives if I do some repair or restoration work on as I learn.

I have thought a little about at some point working with a friend who does have some tools suitable for steel to try cutting and grinding a blank from a piece of steel stock and sending it out to a hardening/tempering service. But as people often say here, with my own expression - when the bug bites, the infection grows.

Warnings of woodworking dust and then sparks from steel is of course totally valid.

Comment by Carl Rechsteiner on March 15, 2017 at 5:59

Hey Folks, been following this a good while. I realize the desire to make knives is very strong - obvious by content of most of the postings. I have a little experience in this area, especially with trying to make the tools I had/have on hand and ones I thought I could afford. I have also made a lot of my own and adapted a lot of tools to do what I needed. It has been quite an adventure, about equal in good and bad as experience goes.

Bottom line (at least for me) has come to this - sure you can "make" wood working tools do double duty and work metals. Since they are not geared for metal their speeds are usually too high, their bearings are underrated, motors are usually underpowered and not totally protected from extended metal dust, plus several other less than positive attributes. They handle wood and other soft materials well as designed, but simple will not hold up to the rigors of working steel for any serious length of time. One has to weigh the difference in wearing out a good woodworking tool prematurely vs. spending a bit of cash for a tool made for the job and will last a lot longer if maintained properly....plus give much better service and better results.

Understand I am not in anyway trying to dissuade any of you. I'm all-in for anyone wanting to learn a new skill. Donnie and Jan will confirm this. Just if you are the least bit serious, don't waste the years I did learning and being frustrated by using the wrong tools. Sure, I "made" them work, but very few lasted any cost effective length of time. Just asking you to give it some thought and weigh out the end result.

Mostly have fun and be safe. If you do use woodworking tools to work steel - make sure you clear all residual dust BEFORE you start making sparks! (or thermal dynamics will do it for you in a less than favorable way)

As to the warning about the Buffer......the buffer and the wire wheel are probably the two most dangerous tools in your shop. They must be given respect and used with total concentration.

Hope all of you are having a great New Year, still have all your fingers and, if you can come to Trackrock the weekend after next and have some fun with them.

Comment by Jan Carter on March 14, 2017 at 20:14

Tom I promise you it is meant to last.  Donnie uses it daily on forged knives

That is the table I am looking for but 130 kinda hurts when I only paid 90 for the portaband LOL

Comment by Michael Squier on March 14, 2017 at 17:28

I have tne Ridgid tools spindle/belt ocilating sander, it works great on wood. I have not used it with any metal yet. 

Comment by Tom Peterson on March 14, 2017 at 13:46

Hey Miss Jan,

I will check out Pheers. But I'd rather have one that's meant to last, lol!

The only portaband table that I even know of is on the 4x4 Off Road site that I posted about awhile back. It was about $130+/- but also seemed pretty solidly built from what I could tell from pics.

Hey Allan,

I agree with you on the HF experience. I have tried their extended warranty on either my first or second 1x30" and got a replacement with no problem. But after that I do think you're on your own.

Comment by allanm on March 14, 2017 at 12:12

That's good advice Tom, not preachy. I knew I need to be careful with a tool like that, but a warning like that with personal experience we should all learn from.

I was looking at Wen and Ryobi spindle sanders. I like Harbor Freight and their sales, but as often as not I'm seeing amazon and Lowe's (or Home Depot which I really don't like much for various reasons) with similar or better prices. And they often have a 2 - 3 year limited warranty where Harbor Freight is nice in 90 days no questions asked, but then nothing beyond that. At least not officially, though others may have good experience with returns and exchanges outside the 90 days.


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