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We're having the reveals for the LumberJocks Knife Swap today so check out all the cool work!

This was an interesting swap theme for me. I spent a bunch of time researching styles of knives that I thought would be useful to a woodworker but that most woodworkers may not have already. I have seen a bunch of Kiridashi knives online over the years but they were always presented as marking knives so I assumed that was their primary function. Well, in my research, I found that wasn't the case at all. The design does lend itself well to marking but, traditionally, they are a general utility knife. Kiridashis are simple knives with a straight edge ending in a sharp point and are used in Japan for Bamboo work, garden work, origami, carpentry, wood carving and just about anything else. Kiridashi's are unique in having a single-bevel cutting edge which is why I imagine the style was adopted for marking tools.

OK, background lesson complete :) I felt like a pair of these knives would be a great entry for the swap. I floated some ideas past my buddy Dave and he seemed to really like the idea too. In fact, he asked me several times to document the build for him and send him templates for the knife shapes. Well, Dave really did me right in the last Surprise Swap. So, I decided to basically let him design the knives, choose the materials and decide on what kind of holder I should make and then I stealthily "rigged" the swap so I got his name :)

The knives are made from 5/32" precision ground O1 tool steel. I cut the rough shapes out with an angle grinder with cutoff wheel and then ground to final shape using my 1×30 belt sander. I rough ground the bevels and the spine reliefs in with the belt sander as well. Then I laid out and drilled the pin holes and lanyard holes.



Next I heat-treated the knives. This is the first time I've hardened O1 other than just the tips of marking tools. So, I fired up some charcoal in a small portable grill and used a blow dryer to increase the heat. It took a while but eventually I got both knives hot enough to loose their magnetism and quenched them in vegetable oil.



After hardening, I did several temper cyles until I got the hardness to about 59 Rc which was my goal. I would have left them harder but the fine tips are pretty fragile and I didn't want them to snap off. I then ground the blades to finished shape and polished them up and honed the edges.

Finally I put some Bolivian Rosewood scales on with hollow aluminum pins and made some pull fobs for the lanyard holes using some 550 paracord and wooden beads. I turned the large beads from Walnut to represent my VA woods and laser engraved my maker's mark on them. Then I turned a small bead of mesquite for one knife and one of Eucalyptus for the other. Those beads represent AZ woods where the knives were destined.

The final task was a sheath. Dave wanted a single sheath that held both knives. So, I learned how to work with Kydex :) There was a little bit of a learning curve but once I figured it out, it's a really neat material to work with and presents lots of possibilities! Dave seems happy with the appearance and functionality of the holster so I'll call it a win.

I couldn't leave Dave's wife out since he sent my wife a pen in the last swap. So I made a veggie peeler from Macassar Ebony and a kit. His wife and I had some fun at his expense :)) Read his reveal post in the swap thread ;-)

This swap was a LOT of fun and I picked up some new skills. I'm kinda hooked on making knives now though so I already have a couple in process for Christmas gifts and will be making myself a set that matches these when I have free time.

Thanks for looking! Questions, comments or suggestions always welcome!

Gallery

Comments

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Very nice Ken, I see you have caught the knife bug also. That's not a bad thing. Thanks for taking part in the swap and all your help!
 

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These are nicely done, I was going the same line as the Kiridashi for my swap but I got selfish and kept it. Oh and I especially like that you did the left and right great thought.
 

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Kenny these are soooooo badass. I want to poke something with them. These look extremely professional, well thought out, and the design is off the fleek - as the kids say.
 

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These are really great, well done. I love the charcoal grill with a blow dryer for heat treatment, MacGyver would be proud.
 

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Thanks fellows! :))

...the design is off the fleek - as the kids say.

- ToddJB
Really? They say that? Geeze, I'm so old

These are really great, well done. I love the charcoal grill with a blow dryer for heat treatment, MacGyver would be proud.

- bobasaurus
The charcoal worked well but it was slow going. I've ordered up a small coffee can forge from Santa to remedy that :)
 

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Pro work Kenny. I bought a bar of O1 awhile back to make some kiridashi, hope I can do half as well.
 

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Thanks Rick. I'll definitely be making myself a set, they're really handy knives. I'm sure you'll do at least as well as me ;-) The only caution I really have is to be careful of the tip. If you get it too think before hardening it will likely burn off and it's pretty fragile afterwards so be extremely gentle until you get them tempered or you may snap it off.

FWIW, I'll leave the relief grind on the spine off on future sets. It looks nice but it weakens the tip.
 

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Those things look wicked (awesome)! Nicely done.
 

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Beautiful work Kenny. They really are amazing knives.
 

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As the owner of these. I can say they look bad ass but honestly. The functionality of these makes them worth their weight in gold. I use them constantly. I probably use them on things that would make Kenny cringe but I can't help t. They are too handy and I'm too lazy. I would buy a set of these if I didn't own them.

Thank you again sir!!
 

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...The functionality of these makes them worth their weight in gold. I use them constantly. ...
Thank you again sir!!

- KelleyCrafts
That right there means it was a successful build and well worth the effort I put into it if you ask me :))
 

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Those are some cool knives. They remind me of throwing daggers. Great design. And the peeler can't be beat.
 

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Those are some cool knives. They remind me of throwing daggers. Great design. And the peeler can t be beat.

- doubleDD
FWIW, I used this ceramic peeler kit from Woodcraft. It seemed nice but Dave will have to let us know how it holds up. Honestly it only took me about 10 minutes to make the thing and have it hanging with wax on it. I kinda feel bad saying I "made" it. More like assembled ;-)
 

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A VERY BEAUTIFUL set of knifes and the holder WOW ….GREAT JOB :<)) GRATZ TOP 3
 

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Very successful Kenny. I think anyone who has a shop of any kind should have a set of these close at hand. Not sure how I did things before.
 

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I have a kiridashi marking knife. Interesting to see the background on them. I love what you did with these ones. Great shape.
 

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Outstanding job on the knives Kenny! I really like how you did the pull fobs. Congrats!

^Spammer?
 

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Very cool design. If a ninja needs marking knives, I'm sure they would look like these.
 
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