I am cutting out the steel on the 4x6 metal band saw. It’s 0.20 thick so it’s slow cutting. Too slow. I change the blade and it goes much faster but it’s a used blade and has a couple teeth missing. Now it goes chunk - chunk every few seconds. So what, it’s faster. I’ve just noticed one of the benefits of having your own web site. When you resize pictures to fit the screen, you can distort them and make yourself look much thinner. But I didn’t. This is about how thick I really am. I was tempted though. Most every knife maker has one of these 4x6 metal band saws. They work upright like I am using it or they tip down to cut off pieces right where I’m sitting. I have installed a nice pad to sit on for long cutting sessions....chunk.....chunk...
Here I’m grinding out the profile. I wear a respirator when I grind to scare little kids that wander into the shop. They don’t come back.
Basically, I have to rough grind the outline of the knives down to the scribe marks from the pattern. I normally don’t pay much attention to scribe marks and grind it to the outline where the muse takes me. This time I will make all three knives as close to identical as I can.
Here is what I end up with after grinding the profiles. The top blade is the pattern I used. The bottom three are the knife blanks. I stacked each of them against the pattern and they all came out. Not on the first try, but eventually they all came out just alike.
The steel I will be using is RWL-34. ATS-34 is hands down, the most popular stainless steel used by custom knife makers and for good reason. It holds a good edge and is fairly corrosion resistant. RWL-34 has the same content as ATS-34 but is a particle double vacuum foundry steel. This means it will have a very fine finish when it’s done. The problem with this steel is there is just one distributor in the USA and it is sold by the inch, not the foot or pound as most steel is. It costs twice as much as ATS-34.
Mickley Custom Knives