The "Ask Nathan a question" thread

Discussion in 'Carothers Performance Knives' started by JustinFournier, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    The Field Knife 2 is a brilliant tool in real use. I also like the Behemoth a lot.

    I'd say the Field knives have probably been our best sellers. They're winding down now, but they had a really good run.

    The Shiv has "legend" status but we never really made very many of them. It was a weapon with a limited utility.
     
  2. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    Jason pointed out that soldiers are almost all gear heads that appreciate a good knife, but most of them are not knife nuts. And they're judged by the condition of their gear. The stain resistance of 3V was not adequate and most folks would choose a shitty stainless blade over our 3V just for the corrosion resistance. Look at the Buck 650 "nighthawk" for example. There were real special forces Green Berets carrying this POS. The UF was developed for these folks and we needed a stainless option. I chose Elmax because (given the right heat treat) it had an unmatched combination of edge retention and durability. What's not to love?

    But Elmax was a bear for these guys to sharpen. And because they're not always careful about clacking the edge against something hard it goes dull just as fast as AEBL. They weren't getting much of a dividend from the wear resistance because for many people knives don't really go dull from abrasive wear. They go dull due to a lack of edge stability. For many applications wear resistance is just a "selling feature" for knives made from steels designed to be plastic extruder screws exposed to abrasive mineral filled plastics. People who baby their knives and use them in soft abrasive materials will benefit from high abrasion resistance. Knuckleheads in Afghanistan don't need or want that. They need a stainless that is tough, holds an edge well in rough use and is easy for them to sharpen. Optimized AEBL is the best there is. It also happens to be inexpensive.
     
  3. beattheheat

    beattheheat Gold Member Gold Member

    307
    Jan 13, 2018
    Hi Nathan,is it possible for some/most of us to put a 90 degree spine on the Kephart?just for the ease of striking a firesteel rod?
     
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  4. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    I will apply a small chamfer and tumble it. But yes, someone could grind that back into a sharp spine if they wanted to
     
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  5. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Can I have a beer?
     
  6. woodysone

    woodysone Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Me too:p
     
  7. moparsbob

    moparsbob Gold Member Gold Member

    850
    May 6, 2014
    Hi Nathan, I was wondering how thin you think that you could go with a D3V blade without it becoming too fragile? I'd love a kitchen knife with as thin a blade as possible. I like very thin slicey blades sharpened to a very actue edge. Do you think that it would be better to do this as a very thin blade flat-ground to near 0 with a convex edge, or would a better approach be to hollow-grind a somewhat thicker blade (like your famous potato knife)? As I recall, you said that you have sharpened D3V to a 13 DPS edge. Do you think that it would be possible to go to a 10 DPS edge and still maintain edge stability? Or would another steel be even better for this type of blade? - Bob B.
     
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  8. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    I don't know. Can you?
     
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  9. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    Delta 3V was optimized for edge stability. Meaning we put a great deal of effort into making a somewhat complex steel behave almost like a simple steel in that regard. but you'll never do better than Hitachi white or W-2 or even AEBL at extremely narrow geometry. At a certain point, low carbide wins the day in the kitchen.
     
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  10. Box_Opener

    Box_Opener Gold Member Gold Member

    245
    Aug 21, 2018
    Would you ever revisit the shiv pattern? Just curious.
     
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  11. bluemax_1

    bluemax_1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    He mentioned plans for an integral Shiv :eek:
     
  12. Box_Opener

    Box_Opener Gold Member Gold Member

    245
    Aug 21, 2018
    Well, that has to happen then!
     
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  13. Brummie

    Brummie

    Jan 13, 2007
    Hi Nathan - For the Kephart you said that the balance would be between the first and second finger, and I'm just wondering what the logic is for that, as I have the impression that everything you do is by design. For a general use knife. I prefer the balance to be on the first finger, which I consider to be a neutral balance. Anything behind that, and it feels handle-heavy to me, and therefore makes me feel like I'm carrying unnecessary weight. That was one of the things I wasn't so keen on with the original Field Knife (have never handled the FK II).
     
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  14. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    The Field knife was a challenge to balance because it was a multi purpose knife with a long handle with multiple positions. Ultimately the short blade and long handle made it a little handle heavy which is why it was so extensively skeletonized. With the longer blade and shorter handle the Kephart won't have that challenge. It won't need much adjustment.

    Like you, I like my tool knives and skinners to balance on the first finger. A bushcraft knife like the Kephart needs to be frequently repositioned in normal use with a loose grip without concern about it tipping out of the hand while being repositioned. It should be a little handle heavy for this. Probably between the first and second finger.

    I don't have the original here to measure the balance point but I do have a copy of it that differs from the original in a few ways but (in theory) has the balance "correct".

    This detail isn't a settled property yet. Like anything, we will play with it.


    I am also going to attempt a modified flat grind where the angle along the spine is more acute than directly behind the edge. I'll do this with two distinct flat grinds for the primaries instead of one. The goal being reduced binding when splitting small wood, like a convex grind. This might affect the weight of the blade which will affect the balance properties which will determine how much adjustment the final design will need.

    TL;DR Idunno we'll try it
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  15. Brummie

    Brummie

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thank you. Just the kind of response I was after.
     
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  16. Siddhant

    Siddhant Gold Member Gold Member

    321
    Jan 25, 2018
    Hi Nathan, perhaps you already discussed this, but have you settled on a method of deployment for the CPK folder?
     
  17. Nathan the Machinist

    Nathan the Machinist KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 13, 2007
    The first CPK folder is going to be a shameless blatant rip off of the Chris Reeves Sebenza.

    We will evolve and gravitate into titanium flippers etc, but to start I want a simple heavy duty tool folder.
     
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  18. Siddhant

    Siddhant Gold Member Gold Member

    321
    Jan 25, 2018
    Two slabs of titanium with a high performance blade in the center, combined with CPK craftsmanship, certainly sounds like a winning formula.

    So it will be a thumbstud opener then?

    There have also been some nice designs using a fuller, might be nice on a CPK folder at some point...

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  19. - SpyderMan -

    - SpyderMan - Gold Member Gold Member

    843
    Mar 28, 2015
    Mmmm.....awesome!
     
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  20. Brummie

    Brummie

    Jan 13, 2007
    While we’re on the subject of shameless blatant rip offs, how about the suggestion I made some time ago for something similar to Charles Marlowe’s Badger? A wide drop point 4-4.5” 3V blade with a lock that can’t fail (because it’s a balisong).
     
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