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About Knipper

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  • Birthday 10/17/1950

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  • Location
    Rochester, MN
  • Interests
    Knife making, metal detecting

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
  • Interested in learning about
    what leather workers need in edged tools

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  1. Beercules the second, If you will let me know your email address, I'll try to look it up and finish your knives. When the email is not mentioned, it's hard to find the specific correspondence and reply! Thanks! Terry
  2. Hondo, I believe we had correspondence on Jan 24 and I said i'd have them done this week for you! Terry
  3. Everyone....the emails are coming in thick and heavy and I may have missed some. I'll try to review them again and respond. Yes Im still trying to fill orders from back in November. The order demand is so large I've run out of steel and am waiting for more to come. I'm out of some heat treated blanks on some models and have to wait for the water jet people to cut them out. All of this takes time. I never expected demand to be this huge, and there is just me doing this...one person! I make every knife one at a time, and they must be done correctly or I won't ship them until they are. I'm not intentionally ignoring anyone here. I've done a rough count and I'm looking at making two hundred knives to fill orders. I can only complete about 4 a day. I'm in the shop 7 days a week and am doing nothing else other than the usual household chores that must be addressed ( like shoveling for an 8" snowfall recently). I'm very sorry about the long wait times...I don't like them either. It's very stressful for me too, know my customers want the knife NOW. But I am filling them in the order I get them, as I feel that's the only fair way. I do not object to phone calls or more emails if you want to check status, as I do think I've missed responding on some, but not on purpose.. Terry
  4. Update! Since first writing this, I have found an even more aggressive compound that works even better. Its available from Brownell's (the gunsmith supply people), and is called their "555 Black" polishing compound. Not only does this really help re-establish an edge, but it also leaves a nice mirror finish on the blade. Its more aggressive than the green compounds by far, but I've found that after using this, I don't have to do anything further. This rubs in well on a leather strop, particularly if the strop is latigo. On harder, drier leather, an oil of some sort (neatsfoot works) applied before you rub it in will help keep the compound from flaking off. The finer the finish on the leather, the more it tends to do that, so roughing up the surface of the leather will help. One doesn't have to completely cover the leather with layers of compound. Every inch doesn't have to be coated. This stuff also works very well on a buffing wheel too. If you use only one compound, this would be my recommendation! Terry
  5. I don't think either of the green or white is aggressive enough for good steel. See the pinned topic about buffing compounds at the top of the forum. Never ever use the red "jeweler's rouge". All it will do is polish a dull edge...you would be better off stropping on bare leather. The best compound I've run across for both buffing and stropping is a compound called 555 black polish from Brownell's, the gunsmith supply people. That stuff actually sharpens your blade and leaves a nice finish behind as well.
  6. Here we go with the stainless myth again! High carbon stainless steels ( containing 1% or more of carbon) are not inferior at all! Bill Buchmann used 440C for his blades and you won't see many of them for sale on the aftermarket. I personally use ATS-34, which is an excellent grade of cutlery steel, and my customers will attest to its' edge holding ability. Paul Zalasek of Leather Wranglers is using one of the newer stainless "super" steels and his knives cut extremely well and will definitely hold their edge for a long time. The reason stainless got a bad rep is because certain manufacturers use stainless that has virtually no carbon in it...at least not enough to make the blade hard. The steel they use is NOT intended for cutlery! You're good to cut for about a foot, and then the edge gives out. People buy that crap and think its the same with all stainless...NOT SO! A high carbon stainless blade when properly heat treated and with the right edge geometry will cut and keep cutting. Just make sure you know what kind of stainless is in the blade before you buy! If they won't tell you, don't buy it. If they do tell you, look it up and see what the steel is intended to be used for. (If 440 stainless, there are several grades...it must be 440C if you want a good cutting edge) No such thing as "surgical stainless" etc....that's a marketing ploy....avoid it like the plague.
  7. Actually, L6 has tremendous wear resistance. Properly heat treated, its one of the toughest steels on the planet. As to corrosion, if you're cutting wet leather, just wipe it off and dry it before you put it away. Yes, some corrosion might occur along the edge just from ambient humidity, but a good buffing or stropping will fix that. A buffed, mirror finish will go a long way to help prevent corrosion on tool steel. One more thing...I don't buy the theory that a softer blade is better than a harder one. You're just going to spend more time honing. You can heat treat/temper tool steel blades in the upper 50' (RC58-59) with no problem. Just as important is the edge geometry. Too thin and the edge will fracture and too thick, the edge won't cut. There is a sweet spot in between that has to be discovered, but when you do, you can take advantage of a harder blade that will last much much longer and save you a lot of honing time. My concern is, though saw blades used to be made of L6, I fear those blades may be scarce as the "bean counters" always find a way to make things cheaper, even at the expense of the product's quality. To be sure, call the manufacturer and ask them what steel is used in your saw blade. Then you'll know and will be able to look up the correct heat treating specs for that steel. I'll also say that without certain power tools, count on a lot of hours to make that head knife blade! Just for fun, keep track and multiply them by your shop rate and see what you come up with. If you're a hobbyist, maybe it doesn't matter to you. Those working leather for a living, are much more conscious of their time. Terry
  8. If your draw gauge is adjusted properly, the only other factor in cutting heavy leather is the quality and sharpness of the blade in the gauge. The commercial ones I've seen do not seem to have very good steel and even after sharpening, give up their edge quickly. You then fight to pull the blade through the leather. I make blades for draw gauges and would be happy to provide you with one that will cut through the heaviest Hermann Oak leather.
  9. Well, I use cocobolo for the handles on my head knives. I chose it because its dense, takes a nice polish, has attractive grain patterns, holds up well, and I can get it in thick boards, which I then cut down to handle thickness and width, as opposed to buying smaller handle sized pieces from the suppliers. I suppose I could buy regular "no grain" walnut, or some other hardwood for the handles, but you know what?...there probably wouldn't be more than $5 difference in price between the two of them, as least for the way I buy cocobolo. It takes the same amount of labor, the same hardware and the same amount of sanding belts to finish the handle no matter what material I use. I guess I could also make them without brass bolsters, which, counting labor might shave another $15 off the price. But then the knife wouldn't have a satisfying "heft" to them. I could also use pins, instead of bolts to help fasten the handles, but bolts last longer and are less apt to get loose over 25 years. So overall, that might shave 10% off the cost of the knife. But here's the thing, as of now, I plan on offering a discount for cash purchases (real cash...not checks..) at every show I do, so that will give someone the same amount off that they would get if I used cheaper (or fewer) materials, and they still get a premium looking knife. I guess what I'm saying is, as the maker of the tool, I try to offer performance first, and then worry about appearance. Pride in workmanship prohibits me from going the "cheap" route. But the premium price is mostly because of the blade's performance, labor and quality of the materials used. I want my work to look as nice 50 years from now as it did when it was purchased. Down the road, if you ever decide to sell the tool, it should have a higher "used" value because of these better woods and minor extras. I've often wondered if offering a sharpened "Blank" for a lesser amount, would be a good idea. Then the customer can make and install their own handle. But...then I've got my name on a piece that may or may not look good when they're done, and years from now, someone will wonder if I drank a few too many when "I" made that handle! So, I probably won't go that route...we'll see!
  10. I'm very happy its working for you! Yes, that edge should hold up for a long time just by stropping. As usual, I recommend the Brownell's 555 Black compound for that or for buffing on a wheel. Keep it as flat as possible while just making contact with the edge. Adjust the angle according to your preference, but too much edge into the wheel or on the strop rounds the edge over and though it still might cut, it won't glide through as effortlessly when you cut. That sweet spot has to be "discovered"...its nothing I can explain, but when you find it, you'll notice a big difference! When it comes time to hone it, try to keep that gradually tapered convex edge. Any shoulder from honing a flat bevel will tend to hang up and resist the cut... Terry
  11. Thank you both for the good reports! I really didn't know what the demand would be for these, but they looked cool, and I thought I'd give it a try. Glad to know they're working out. I suspect they'll hold up well with judicious stropping alone for a long time. Maybe they'll last long enough to become an antique!
  12. Once again, I need some help to dilute my ignorance. The boot makers have specialty tools too, and I would like to try making some. I had a chance to see a few at the Boots and Saddles trade show, but many were really worn down. I saw enough to see that there are many ways these are made...some with the bevel on the bottom and some with the bevel on the top. (Both of those versions had the lip pointed away from the upper....) Some were curved, some were straight...some were wide, and some were thin (I suspect from sharpening). In any case, pics would be welcome, hopefully with a few showing how the knife is held against the work and actually used. I'd really like to see if I could make a good one...any help or advice would be appreciated! Terry
  13. Now that I got a good report card from Bruce, I'll be adding a few of these to my line. I'll take what I have to the Boots and Saddles show in early Oct. and see how they go. After that, I'll have to make some more, but yes...I am making these now both for the Dixon and the Blanchard Plough Gauges.
  14. I'll have a booth there with my knives...please stop by and introduce yourself! It's one place where you're encouraged to play with sharp objects!
  15. I'll chime in for what it's worth.... If you have a quality diamond hone (the best I've found and prefer is EZE lap) and its a very fine grit (600 grit or finer...say 1200 grit) you don't really have to lubricate it at all. If you do, plain water or yes, with just a bit of soap added will work. But these hones work so quickly that in practice, dry honing works very well for me. I've found that a new diamond hone needs some breaking in, which just means that initially, a 600 grit stone feels very coarse. After you use it for a while, and the peaks of the diamond particles chip off, it will feel much smoother when you hone. Its still removing metal well, but it will definitely feel smoother with use. My concern with any lubricant used on these is that the small particles of steel, mixed with the water get in all the recesses of the stone's matrix and kind of 'clog' it up. It will still work, but not as efficiently. I have never noticed a 'clogging' issue when I use them dry. Terry
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