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  1. Bradley Robinson

    Bradley Robinson

    Jul 19, 2019
    I've got a few bars of 1/4x1.5x12" 1095
    I want to make at least 2 knives per bar...

    I'm racking my brain for design ideas that will allow the 1/4 thick stock to work nicely with a blade profile that is both useful and clean. I was thinking a spin on a Loveless drop point with the grind profiles of a Bark River Bravo? Any ideas, or knives you know of that show a great example for ideas and "inspiration"?
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Those bars are twice as thick as you want. You will have to forge the knives from stock that thick. Loveless knives are around 1/8" thick. You could easily forge two Loveless drop point hunters from each bar. If you don't forge, set the bars aside and order some 1/8" stock.
  3. Bradley Robinson

    Bradley Robinson

    Jul 19, 2019
    I absolutely agree. I was thinking more the shape and style of Loveless with the hunk and brute of a Bark. Not so much the profiles and geometries of the loveless.
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    1/4 inch is a prybar. You don't need any normal knife in 1/4" thickness. A Loveless profile in such thick steel will not handle well, and the cutting efficiency will likely be severely affected by the thick blade (wedging).

    Save those bars for when you forge.
  5. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Or make a single large bowie out of each bar
    Coy Ranch and Weitzel like this.
  6. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I’m not exactly in the same camp as Stacy with regards to thickness. But he does bring up good points. I personally like thick blades but it has to be done right or you indeed have a pry Bar. I think where thick steel shines is with small radius deep hallow grinds. The extra thickness really makes the grind pop. But in all honesty a clean flat grind on thin steel is really hard to beat. This has really hit home with me lately as I cut a lot of blades out of .090 15n20. It’s amazing what a steel like that can do when ground thin.

    I have seen a lot of blades come through my shop that where made out of thick steel and it seamed like thy just could not get the extra meat off the edge bevels so it ends up with a concave grind. Some of these blades where designed with that in mind and others look like thy just gave up hand filing and stoped there.

    Never take a short cut just because it’s easy. This includes using the wrong steel or size for the blade your wanting. Another thing is don’t try and scrimp and save material. This usually ends up with 2 blades that just don’t work right. Design one blade and if you have room for a second then good but don’t cut corners to save a few bucks of steel. You might just end up wasting it all if you try to.
    Weitzel likes this.
  7. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Good advice.
  8. Rsq

    Rsq Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    Thick isn't great for most knife uses, but it works just fine for cutting wood. A thick knife with a scandi grind doesnt cut all that different from a thin one. If you wanted to make a few puukko style blades, you might not have to thin them out all that much. I have plenty of wood carving knives that break 5mm thick, which I would consider unusable in almost any other grind. I can't say if you'll enjoy them as much as I do, but it's not a bad thing to do with a nice piece of steel that's too thick for anything else, but you don't want cluttering your shop.

    Another fun idea for you: yoroi doshi (Japanese armor piercing tanto) were usually a lot thicker than that. 12" is a bit short, but doesnt mean it wouldnt still be an interesting project. I have long been meaning to get around to making a kwaiken sized yoroi doshi, ground with an osoraku zukuri yokote, just to see what it would look like. I can't imagine what it would actually be used for, but it would be neat. If 1/4" is too thick to slice, get creative and think about making a knife optimized for something other than slicing.
  9. Bradley Robinson

    Bradley Robinson

    Jul 19, 2019
    Interesting! And if you can share a photo or two of the knives you made that you use for carving. I'd love to see them!
  10. Rsq

    Rsq Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 7, 2011
    I would be delighted. Here's a little pile I'm working on now. These are cpm 4v, waterjet cut to shape, and I've just started working on them this week. I have wanted to make a good set of chisels forever, so I'm finally getting to it.

    The small, almost finished one is probably my favorite pattern. I enlarged a super effective little whittler I made from a japanese straight razor. I love the kamisori grind, and it's trivial to re-sharpen. I ground the chisel point and the combination of the long, low angle edge and the small, steeper chisel point is incredibly useful.
    2019-08-12 16.18.58.jpg 2019-08-12 16.19.59.jpg
    These are made from .156 stock because I wanted to take full advantage of cpm 4v and keep them light weight, but 0.25 would honestly make no difference. The bevel would just ride higher.

    Obviously I'm not making the best looking knives on these boards, but I've experimented with a lot of geometries and I have no fear of ruining a nice knife if it yields informative results. If I had steadier hands, or maybe after I convert my belt sander to a surface grinder, maybe I'll start making things that look as good as the Jelio puukko that is my most used tool.
    I reground it to a slightly convex zero bevel, polished both sides to the apex, then fixtured it and put a 20* microbevel on only the side that's facing down. a little stropping and this knife (which is a little over 5mm) will do things like this to hard maple with minimal force and no momentum. That was a light-moderate force push cut to test the edge.

    Edit: I apologize for the picture weirdness. I posted this from my phone and it keeps giving me errors posting images. I think they're all there, but I'll erase the duplicates and put them in line the way I meant when I'm at my computer

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  11. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    I would grind them distal taper if they are mine ...........best geometry for knife /especially for that thickness / if you ask me :) If you are good with grinder you can grind them distal taper from tip to but and you will end up with /probably/ only 3.5-4mm on spine in front of handle ......:) You ask for design ideas...so this is mine .......
    Something like I do on this one .....https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/distal-taper-handle.1460137/ ......
    or this one

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    J. Keeton likes this.
  12. Bradley Robinson

    Bradley Robinson

    Jul 19, 2019
    I love everyone's ideas and help. I'll reply individually once I have a moment on my own to get onto my computer.

    I've decided on a few hybrids of the ideas here

    I used a basic drop point design with full tang. I made a primary bevel up to about a 1/2" from the spine for maximum thinness without loosing the weight and balance of the tang. It's a flat grind to nearly edge thickness. I drilled the pin holes, and balanced the blade to just in front of the plunge line with some small weight reduction dimples on the drill press. The dimples are in the tang between the two pin holes.

    I made a nice distal taper
    As mentioned here, except the distal taper starts about 2/3 the way toward the tip for a thinner and lighter profile at the tip for finer work. I feel that 1/4" blades tend to be good for chopping but nothing more. So having a tip that is very thin and profiled will give more ease for doing food or drilling in the wild.

    I differentially treated the blade, the lower half of the blade from edge to mid point on the primary bevel was fully treated with a final plunge in oil for the spine. I did 2, 2 hour tempering at 450 to bring everything to about 58 rockwell with the spine nearer to 54-55 for some flex.

    I tested the blade at a local metal supply, the mid point of the harder tempering sat at an average of 57 rockwell, with the spine and tang (4 point test) averaged 55 rockwell.

    I'm working now on stabilizing some maple for the handles, or perhaps doing a resin handle with maple sawdust and chips/curls. I want the handle to be usable but interesting to look at comfortable too. I was going to laminate my own "MyCarta" from some denim I had gotten and bleached. I was going to dye them various colors for a neat marble like red-blue-orange color scheme. Alas my mold didnt work and the laminate was garbage. So..onward I go.
    Natlek likes this.

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