Throw some features at me

Discussion in 'Redmeadow Knives & T.Knotts Knives' started by Redmeadow Knives, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    I'm working on a 4 - 6" full tang design and would like to know what individual features you would like to see or not see on an upcoming Redmeadow design.

    The simpler you keep the post, the better it is for me to work with. I know that sounds like a dick move but trust me on this.

    Examples would be:
    "Sharpening notch, swedge, No thonghole"
    "4.25" blade, stabilized wood"
    "Tapered tang"
    "No finger notch in handle"

    Remember, what you want is just as important as what you don't want.

    Send it:thumbsup:
  2. Creaky Bones

    Creaky Bones Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    This with a 6” blade
    A couple of Corby bolts and a lanyard hole
    5/32” AEB-L
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  3. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Thanks for the input Creaky Bones, a scaled down version of the Camper would be pretty sweet.
    Creaky Bones and Melvin-Purvis like this.
  4. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    I've got a model mocked up, 5" from scale to tip and just over 9 inches overall. I've been working on it for a while, it finally clicked and sketched out nice. The mockups are promising.
  5. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    ~4" dagger
    Double edge
    Full tang
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  6. Crazy Canuck

    Crazy Canuck Singing along with the voices in my head Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2013
    edited to remove evidence of reading comprehension fail... :p:oops::(
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  7. Rupestris

    Rupestris Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    :DDon't do any of the things shown here:


    Exposed tang/pommel.
    Finger choil on the blade.
    Screwed together.
    Cheap bead blasted finish.

    Not shown: Over the top, pregnant sow palm swell.

    Something I would like to see i a 4" to 4.5" utility/bushcraft/hunter with micarta or wood scales with optional thumb cutouts (for lack of the proper term) like these:

  8. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    ^ This as a capable THROWER :thumbsup: Really - would be great fun on my woods walks. :)
    Redmeadow Knives likes this.
  9. jlauffer

    jlauffer Dissident Aggressor Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Would love to see John's take on this! CPK has one in the works, and really hoping to score one. Would be a hell of a pair I'm sure!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
  10. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Ed Zachary
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  11. jlauffer

    jlauffer Dissident Aggressor Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Did I mention I love daggers?:D

  12. Melvin-Purvis

    Melvin-Purvis Not a Registered User Staff Member Super Mod

    Jan 14, 2001
    Chute knives are the best knives. That is all.
    Redmeadow Knives and gunspease like this.
  13. SpyderPhreak

    SpyderPhreak Rocketman for hire Platinum Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Had a feeling a dagger might get some traction. Chute knife could be cool too. :)
  14. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    A guard, soldered or integral and a birds beak pommel on larger camp/hunter style knives, especially if the blade is over 4" long.

    This is good on larger knives and hard use knives along with a birds beak pommel. No need for the finger notch in the choil. 37085a1b13b39f18731c42ea27231852.jpeg
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  15. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Hey John,

    I appreciate your willingness to solicit design comments. I’ll start off by saying that I think your designs (i.e. Cowbell Pocket Blade, Camp Knife & Serrano) are already pretty darn nice just as you imagined them. These models check many boxes for me with their simple flowing curves and lack of any questionable aesthetic gimmicks that detract from ergonomic comfort in carry or use.

    Here are my general design preferences, dislikes, and other comments.

    Blade Features:
    • I prefer tapered tangs for improved balance on knives with 3” to 5” blades. I find TT’s more aesthetically pleasing too. It is also a nice way for makers to demonstrate a skill level that separates them from hobbyist builders.
    • I like the unsharpened ricasso section to be short. I call this area “dead space” because it is neither cutting edge or handle, so it serves no useful purpose to me. I like the bottom area of the ricasso to be even with the back edge of the blade. I don’t care for little metal nub guards that extend below the cutting edge because they interfere with close cuts using the back edge of the blade and make sharpening more difficult in this area.
    • I like distal tapers and rounded spines. I can take it or leave it with swedges because is not a feature that adds much utility for me, but I love the look. Same thing with jimping. I don’t need it, but it’s OK as long as it’s not too sharp on the thumb.
    • I tend to prefer cutting edge shapes that are a continuous flowing shallow curve the best vs. hunter/skinner type shapes with a lot of belly. Spearpoints, drop-points, and long narrow leaf shapes are the ones I am most drawn to. I have a couple of narrow trailing points for B&T roles and a little variety in the mix.
    • I strongly prefer steel thicknesses to be on the thin side side of the spectrum for any given model’s intended use. Slicing and cutting is Job#1 for me. Ease of edge maintenance with stropping and the occasional sharpening seems to go much quicker with thinner steels.
    • I am open on steel type as long as it’s not a cheaper carbon steel like 1095, 01 and the like. I have had good results with CPM 3V, 52100, CPM 154, S35VN, M390, CPM 20CV, M4, Elmax, AEB-L, “good” D2, A2, and even the ubiquitous S30V.
    Handle Features:
    • I prefer handles that are open and maneuverable feeling in hand. By this I mean that my grip is not locked into a single grip position by some handle feature(s) on the knife. The bottom handle shape and position of any palm swell or finger notches are the key determinants of whether I describe the handle as feeling open or closed. Kephart-style handles are open and maneuverable feeling by my definition because they don’t have palm swells or finger grooves. Most field or hunting style knives have some type of palm swell. I like this feature if its there to be at the mid point or a touch further back on the bottom of the handle so that the hump sits between my middle and ring fingers rather than under a finger bone. I also look closely at what I call the “m” curve shape on the bottom of the handle that goes up and down and up and down from back to front to see if it’s a shallow “m” or a tall “M”. Shallower is more open and maneuverable feeling than tall in this regard.
    • I prefer rounded pommel shapes vs. flats, angles, and points. I don’t like pommel shapes that have a severe forward rake toward the bottom side of the handle because they shorten the usable length in this critical area of dexterity control. In my opinion, too many knife makers choose exotic pommel shapes to show off their knife making skills and/or create a distinctive look even though that frequently comes at the expense of greater ergonomic utility to the buyer who wants to use the knife. Sharper edged pommels also tend to poke into my side more noticeably when hiking or climbing.
    • My handle material preference usually leans towards synthetics like micarta with a grippy finish rather than polished. Stabilized wood is certainly beautiful and practical as well. Combine the two as a handle / bolster combo and now you have something special.
    • On the front end of the handle, I agree with @Rupestris that thumb scallops or flats are a practical and desirable feature to me. I like it because it makes transitioning to a pinch grip or side grip much more natural and comfortable. Here is a photo of some Ban Tang knives with angled flats that I particularly like in this regard.

    I guess that is enough rambling from me. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for the next project.


  16. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Phil, your post could be a sticky in itself. Those are the most articulate descriptions I've ever read. Most if not all resonate with me a lot.

    Thanks for all the input everyone, keep it coming. What I'm trying to do is design a model that incorporates features that you guys like when possible.

    This is what my mock up looks like and features I'm considering:

    -Bird beak handle with a bit of drop at the butt.
    -A single curve from "beak" to ricasso (no finger notch).
    -Small sharpening notch
    -5" blade kind of a long clip point but I'm not sold on it yet.
    -Tapered Tang
    - .17" steel with aggressive distal taper
    - Very shallow hollow grind using a radius platen
    - swedge
    - spine etch (which I'm liking lately because it doesn't force me to design the scale fronts and ricasso around a Makers mark)
    - Sloped scale fronts
  17. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Thank you for the kind words John. I am pleased to hear that my post was a worthwhile read for you.

    The opinions I stated above were drawn from the experience of owning, using, and comparing a couple hundred fixed blades over the last dozen years. It was only about six years ago that I got serious about applying some critical analysis to understanding why one knife works for me and another doesn’t. Those comparison and analysis exercises came in handy in the last three years after I hit the accumulation wall on my collection and started making hard choices about what to let go of and why on the road to a much smaller group of favorite users. The slow refining process yielded yet more clarity and a strong sense of contentment in what remains even though the number is less than 20% of where I started.

    I think you are on the right track with the design parameters you penciled out for the next project. The only feature that gives me some “wait and see” pause is the bird beak pommel. That is a classic design feature that can make or break my interest in a given knife. I like look and feel of a proportionate short/small beak on small-to-medium size knives. Large choppers can justify a bigger beak because it serves a purpose in added grip security when swinging the blade.

    My rule of thumb on medium and smaller knives is that if my eye is easily drawn to the bird beak as a prominent feature on the handle, that means it is too big. That problem becomes even worse if it is combined with a significant forward rake in the primary pommel angle. I don’t a long handle that performs like a short handle just because the maker is going for a certain cool look.

    About five years ago I posted an answer to a question in the Fiddleback sub-forum that relates to this topic. The OP asked why his new Bushcrafter Jr. felt 1/4” shorter than his Patch even though the BC Jr. has a longer handle. I had examples of both knives on hand that I photographed to explain my answer.

    The Bushcrafter Jr. has what I consider a relatively small bird beak. Even so, the inward curve of the beak intrudes on the length of the bottom edge of the handle. In this photo, #1 is the point of the bird beak and #2 points to the depression where the center of your index feature most naturally sits. The distance between the two arrows is an indicator of useable handle length.


    Without moving the numbered stickies at all, I photographed the Patch with #2 lined-up with the center of the index finger depression. The #1 label points 1/4” points ahead of the back edge on the bottom of the handle. That explained why the OP noticed the Patch handle felt bigger.


    The following comparison photo shows that the Patch has a shallower “m” curve on the bottom of the handle than the BC Jr., which contributes to a more open and maneuverable feel in hand.


    I don’t expect everyone to share or agree with my preferences on handle design. I enjoy hearing other experienced opinions because the learning never stops with this hobby.

    My last word is that I am very much looking forward to the Cowbell Pocket Blade when my turn on the Dibs list comes up. That knife ticks all of the features I like and none that don’t. Keep doing what you are doing John! You nailed it.

    Rupestris, RayseM and jlauffer like this.
  18. Redmeadow Knives

    Redmeadow Knives John Conner / lessismore Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Very well said Phil, I've never really pit the two against each other but a bit of belly on the underside of a handle locks the knife into your hand, while a birds beak can lock your hand into a knife. I can see the beak being useful for swinging or retention but for an EDC it could force you into limited grip options.

    I'll be honest in that I first intended this to be strictly an EDC but as I sketch it's almost turning into a fighter with a persian look to it. A style that I'm not at all a fan of but am liking the direction it's going at the moment. I'm gonna play with this idea and get back on the EDC goal as well.
    Mack likes this.
  19. Mack

    Mack Expert Ultracrepidarian Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    Persian fighter? Now that has my attention.
    Edc Persian fighter? Very interesting.
  20. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Hidden lanyard hole at the base of the tang.

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