Joshua Pitre


I am rather new to making knives and would like to eventually work my way up to swords, I would like some advice on a few different items in regards to tools, heating and materials.

1)      After combing through the internet I believe I have decided upon a grinder to purchase, I have decided spend the cash first, (and once). I am look in at a BEE Grinder 2 x 72 but I am wondering what the difference/advantage/disadvantage would be between:

A)     The 1 hp and the 2 hp,

B)      The single speed vs the variable speed,

C)      A 8” contact wheel vs a 10 “ contact wheel,

D)     A smooth contact wheel vs a serrated wheel.

Obviously the price goes up depending upon which accessories are added and I am trying not to break the bank. Below is a link to a supplier I have located with the descriptions.

2)      I am considering a heat treating oven as opposed to a propane forge due to the accurate temperature control capabilities for annealing, heat treating and tempering. I have found one that may be sufficient in regards to size for a sword and may be used for a knife simultaneously (I believe, although it may waste a lot of energy for knives alone). It is an Evenheat KF 49.5 Oven Setpro Control 10"W x 6.5"H x 49.5"D 240v. What I am wondering is:

A)     Am I nuts or should I be looking into a propane forge for one third or less of the price

B)      Could this do the job for both a knife and a sword

C)      Would I be better off getting a custom one built where it opens like a coffin from the top (as I have read nothing but good reviews about these coffin custom builds)

D)     Does anyone have any experience with this type of oven and what is your opinion on the Setpro temperature controller

Here is a link to the oven I am considering with its description.

3)      I am having trouble locating a band saw that can cut metal under $1000.00, but the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E may be suitable for a decent shop, any thoughts or opinions?

4)      My final question is in regards to the handle material known a Pakkawood/Dymondwood, I have worked with this material in the past and now knowing that the factory has gone the way of the dinosaur, I have found a replacement that may be suitable, so this is also a passing on of information to those whom may not know of it, but I would like to know if anybody has used it and would recommend it. Webb Wood.


Thanks for any assistance you are willing to give.


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Howdy from 'bama.  So it sounds like you are going for the stock removal method of knife making.  A heat treat oven will serve you well for all your steels.  Simple carbon steels can be heat treated in a forge but you'll need the oven for the more complex alloys.
For your grinder, I'm not familiar with that brand.  However having more power is going to be needed and you'll want the variable speed.  The wheel size will affect your hollow grinds.
I'd have to check on that band saw to see what's out there.  You might also think about a plasma cutter.
I've not been a fan of Dymondwood, it's not my style.

Keep us up on your progress.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Joshua Pitre
Thanks, I'll look into the plasma cutter, and yes I am leaning more to stock removal with some forging on the side
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Hank Rearden
Hi Josh thanks for the links. I was looking at a grinder when you posted this the other day. Although they're a little expensive for my taste I'll probably find an adapter to go onto the grinder for the time being. I'm not a fan of the micro tools as far as the bandsaw goes. My thought is that the tolerances poor anf for the bearings; worn out replacement parts are hard to find, but that's me. As far as the engineered wood I'm indifferent. I have a black walnut tree fall over in a windstorm and all those roots are ready for Harvest now they're about three years in the drying process and now that you mentioned it I think it's time for me to go and get some of those roots.

Money is no obstacle I am a fan of top quality tools. As far as an oven for heat treating it was recommended to me from a forum member to use a toaster oven. Just an idea.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
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If your just getting started, what I did is started with a file,soup can forge, hacksaw, and sand paper. It's important to start from the bottom and work your way up because that enables you to learn the fundamentals of what goes into making a knife. As your skill grows so will your collection of tools. I personally have been making knives for a year and and am just now about to buy a 4 by 36 belt grinder. What I'm trying to say is having a bunch of fancy tools won't make a good knife, it's skill that makes a good knife.
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Well said, Dominic!
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