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Von Gruff

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Von Gruff

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Lovely work as always @Von Gruff

A couple of questions so we can all get an education from you:

1.) I keep hearing about Nitro V steel knives. What is this steel and what are its benefits/applications?

2.) For the Driftwood Model above, is it literally designed for bushcraft carving of bowls and wood tools? Never seen a blade like that, I’d like to understand its uses.
This si the Knife Steel Nerds full run down on the NitroV SS https://knifesteelnerds.com/2019/09/23/nitro-v-its-properties-and-how-to-heat-treat-it/

As for the driftwood whittler the lady said she was using her husbands knife but it was a bit short and wouldnt keep an edge with the down side that she had a severe groove in her thumb from the pressure needed to direct the blade and sent me a couple of pics of it.
315954278_1351988032005642_3472532482781569027_n.jpg


315991286_447122794169374_8421228790372194317_n.jpg


I cut this one above from 4.3mm 1075 for a broader spine, lengthened the blade and had a less severe angle from the spine to the tip then put a comfortable handle on it but I was having a play with what might make a more broad based whittling knife and drew this one up on my pattern steel so would be pleased with any feedback on what you all think a whittling knife needs to be.
20221130_171159.jpg


A spoon or bowl carving knife needs a scooping blade something like a farriers hoof knife but with a larger scoop.

hk.png
 

Von Gruff

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Your buffalo skinner is far and away my favorite profile of your blades @Von Gruff … beautiful lines!
Thanks Dave
Have these 3 in with an Old Western waiting to go to the engravers for the names and or initials to be done. The engraver is tied up at the moment with end of year school and golf club trophy engraving and has set the 9th Dec asside for me to go through and get them done. Fortunately the Buffalo skinners are for NZ customers so they will still get them for the Christmas presents they are intended for.
20221130_172409.jpg
 

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That driftwood whittler is very similar to knives that beef boners use when separating the spine from the various cuts of meat attached to it. The blade is slightly longer and about half as wide-but otherwise- That's it.
 

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That driftwood whittler is very similar to knives that beef boners use when separating the spine from the various cuts of meat attached to it. The blade is slightly longer and about half as wide-but otherwise- That's it.
I havent seen one of those knives Ray.
 

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I havent seen one of those knives Ray.

The more time I spend on this forum, the more I realize that I do not know how to use a knife. So many designs were created based upon the task at hand and a learned technique for operating a blade for that job.

I enjoy learning to be less ignorant, but the more I read the more I realize I know nothing.
 

Wyatt Smith

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The more time I spend on this forum, the more I realize that I do not know how to use a knife. So many designs were created based upon the task at hand and a learned technique for operating a blade for that job.

I enjoy learning to be less ignorant, but the more I read the more I realize I know nothing.
This forum can be very humbling at times.
 

Ray B

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I havent seen one of those knives Ray.
Attached is a off-screen picture I took (I couldn't figure out how to copy it). The knife is designed for close contact between the beef boner's hand and getting the tip of the blade into the curves around the spine bones, primarily on the NewYork strip and filet cuts. The idea being to get as much meat off of the bone as possible.

DSC_2561 (2).JPG
 
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This si the Knife Steel Nerds full run down on the NitroV SS https://knifesteelnerds.com/2019/09/23/nitro-v-its-properties-and-how-to-heat-treat-it/

As for the driftwood whittler the lady said she was using her husbands knife but it was a bit short and wouldnt keep an edge with the down side that she had a severe groove in her thumb from the pressure needed to direct the blade and sent me a couple of pics of it.
View attachment 502780

View attachment 502781

I cut this one above from 4.3mm 1075 for a broader spine, lengthened the blade and had a less severe angle from the spine to the tip then put a comfortable handle on it but I was having a play with what might make a more broad based whittling knife and drew this one up on my pattern steel so would be pleased with any feedback on what you all think a whittling knife needs to be.
View attachment 502782

A spoon or bowl carving knife needs a scooping blade something like a farriers hoof knife but with a larger scoop.

View attachment 502783
You actually nailed the profile of a whittling knife pretty well with this. Short, stiff, with a relatively straight handle that fits the user's hand (the most important part). Typically some version of a sheepsfoot blade.
For a driftwood whittler. Heavy 1075 blade and eucalyptus handle.

View attachment 502766

View attachment 502767
Thickness of the blade should be such that the pushing with the thumb is comfortable to the user. Length of the blade is where the leverage of the cut comes from, but too long a blade makes it unwieldy. The straight edge with the very sharp point is what allows a chip carver to create the intricate detail in a piece.
Being a bit frugal myself (read cheap SOB, lol) I have found the cable splicer's knife I carried for years to work quite well. Blades on them run about 1.25" and about .125" thick, .5"-.625" tall. Straight, rubber coated handle of roughly 5". Not even close to the quality of your blades, @Von Gruff , but they were literally free to me, and they work when I need a carving knife. Your design, with the cutting edge below the line of the handle which is sloping away slightly, is much better than the straight line of what I'm using.
The only potential adjustments that I'd want, but this is very subjective, is a parallel spine to the cutting edge. For me, it allows adjusting the pressure of the cut more accurately and I've found a sloping spine doesn't "feel" right for me. The only other is a more rounded butt. While I love the look and purpose of the bird beak, a whittling knife gets used in all orientations in the hand and I find the beak to get in my way too often.
I really like your work. Well thought out designs and ergonomics executed exceptionally well. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing with us.
 

Von Gruff

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You actually nailed the profile of a whittling knife pretty well with this. Short, stiff, with a relatively straight handle that fits the user's hand (the most important part). Typically some version of a sheepsfoot blade.

Thickness of the blade should be such that the pushing with the thumb is comfortable to the user. Length of the blade is where the leverage of the cut comes from, but too long a blade makes it unwieldy. The straight edge with the very sharp point is what allows a chip carver to create the intricate detail in a piece.
Being a bit frugal myself (read cheap SOB, lol) I have found the cable splicer's knife I carried for years to work quite well. Blades on them run about 1.25" and about .125" thick, .5"-.625" tall. Straight, rubber coated handle of roughly 5". Not even close to the quality of your blades, @Von Gruff , but they were literally free to me, and they work when I need a carving knife. Your design, with the cutting edge below the line of the handle which is sloping away slightly, is much better than the straight line of what I'm using.
The only potential adjustments that I'd want, but this is very subjective, is a parallel spine to the cutting edge. For me, it allows adjusting the pressure of the cut more accurately and I've found a sloping spine doesn't "feel" right for me. The only other is a more rounded butt. While I love the look and purpose of the bird beak, a whittling knife gets used in all orientations in the hand and I find the beak to get in my way too often.
I really like your work. Well thought out designs and ergonomics executed exceptionally well. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing with us.

A birds head handle should allow the knife to be held blade up or blade downwith equal comfort and controlability with the shape blending into the hand either way. The same holds true for a hunting knife and I make sure that is a function of every design I make. The 4.3mm/.170 thich steel allows for a wide and comfortable blade spine for when whittling pressure is needed

20221201_121628.jpg

You can see with the blade up or in the paring position the thumb locks into the finger notch and the birds head fits comfortable round the palm.
20221201_121644.jpg



If there were interest from whittlers here on the forum I can do a group buy at US$95 each. Possible that all US addresses could be sent in the one package to my agent for on posting for reduced cost over individual shipping from here.
 

Woodcarver

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A birds head handle should allow the knife to be held blade up or blade downwith equal comfort and controlability with the shape blending into the hand either way. The same holds true for a hunting knife and I make sure that is a function of every design I make. The 4.3mm/.170 thich steel allows for a wide and comfortable blade spine for when whittling pressure is needed

View attachment 502961
You can see with the blade up or in the paring position the thumb locks into the finger notch and the birds head fits comfortable round the palm.
View attachment 502962


If there were interest from whittlers here on the forum I can do a group buy at US$95 each. Possible that all US addresses could be sent in the one package to my agent for on posting for reduced cost over individual shipping from here.
Yes, love the birds head on my hunting knives. The only reason I've preferred without on my carving knives is they often are used in positions other than up or down. That being said, I will be the first to jump on your offer! I would love to put one of your knives to use in the shop!
 

Von Gruff

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Yes, love the birds head on my hunting knives. The only reason I've preferred without on my carving knives is they often are used in positions other than up or down. That being said, I will be the first to jump on your offer! I would love to put one of your knives to use in the shop!
There is always the likes of the bushcraft hunter handle but with rounded end if that would make for a more user friendly knife as compared to the one already done. I have never been a whittler so happy to take tips and ideas from those who use them.
20221201_203326.jpg
 

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Hello @Von Gruff

I have a question for you but I think others might have a similar question for you.

Like many people, I have kitchen knives from the usual suspects of Wusthoff or Zwilling Henckels. Over time and abuse, the handles rot out (accidental dishwashing, etc).

1.) Honestly speaking, are these $100-$200 kitchen knives junk?

2.) Is it worth sending them off to a craftsman like yourself to have new handles applied and to get a better bevel applied, or should we give up and just order a few complete kitchen knives from you?

I'm struggling with the notion of thrift versus putting good money after bad. I'm not in a financial position right now to spend $1500 to get a full kitchen set of your knives, but I can either repair/restore 4-6 german knives or maybe just buy 1-2 new Von Gruff knives for daily use.

What's your professional opinion?
 

Von Gruff

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Hello @Von Gruff

I have a question for you but I think others might have a similar question for you.

Like many people, I have kitchen knives from the usual suspects of Wusthoff or Zwilling Henckels. Over time and abuse, the handles rot out (accidental dishwashing, etc).

1.) Honestly speaking, are these $100-$200 kitchen knives junk?

2.) Is it worth sending them off to a craftsman like yourself to have new handles applied and to get a better bevel applied, or should we give up and just order a few complete kitchen knives from you?

I'm struggling with the notion of thrift versus putting good money after bad. I'm not in a financial position right now to spend $1500 to get a full kitchen set of your knives, but I can either repair/restore 4-6 german knives or maybe just buy 1-2 new Von Gruff knives for daily use.

What's your professional opinion?
For knife handles to "rot out" there are two answers with the first being that these handles are made from an unsuitable material and the second is that you have correctly stated as being dishwasher destruction of that material.
That would not make them junk knives in the right hands in the normal sense of the word but if you also feel the need for bevel change then you are into the realm of knives unsuited for the purpose they are being used. It is not just good steel and correct heat treat that makes for a good knife but there is the grind as you mentioned and the make-up of the knife with design and longevity of handle being as large a part of the quality as well.
Dont forget that the majority of the commercial knives are made to suit the general population of kitchen knife users who have not had experience with "good knives", are generally less knowledgable about these aspects of the kitchen knives where hunters are more in tune with what makes for a good knife.
A rehandle of a"good knife" is one thing and I have done it for an excellent old knife that had been passed down through a family but for the majority of commercial knives it is really not an economical proposition.

I believe that apart from good steel, correctly heat treated in a well designed knife, the handle material should, in general, be man made, unless there is the ongoing ability to care for them with hand washing only.
I also think that many kitchens have a collection of knives (often too many) that overlap in use where for most kitchen cooks a 3 knife set covers the chores most cooks use them for. Of course there are exceptions with special needs knives and for those with adequate funds a wider selection is available but in my opinion these three will cover the needs in the majority of kitchens and made from cryo quenched NitroV SS, although I can also make them from carbon steel if desired.

I have decided to put this minimum set together as a kitchen set for the forum with an 8 inch chef that will cover almost all food prep, the 6 inch general purpose that Lyne finds the most usefull of her knives and the 4 inch paring knife for all the smaller work.
It will run at US$585 plus choice of handle material that can run from $75 to $140 for the set in canvas case. All kitchen knives will now have the mini corby bolts to hold the handles in conjunction with the west systems slow cure epoxy. Of course the stabilised exhibition grade woods are available but they will be priced accordingly.

I am going to make a set of these for my niece with a spilled milk acrylic as the handle material.
20221202_082250.jpg
 
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Woodcarver

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There is always the likes of the bushcraft hunter handle but with rounded end if that would make for a more user friendly knife as compared to the one already done. I have never been a whittler so happy to take tips and ideas from those who use them.
View attachment 502985
That would be the solution! That sketched profile would be what I'm describing. Having that bit of swell would be great without the point of the beak to poke me in the palm.

I cut this one above from 4.3mm 1075 for a broader spine, lengthened the blade and had a less severe angle from the spine to the tip then put a comfortable handle on it but I was having a play with what might make a more broad based whittling knife and drew this one up on my pattern steel so would be pleased with any feedback on what you all think a whittling knife needs to be.
View attachment 502782
Also meant to mention, this sketch would be a very good general use blade at 1.5'-2" for a lot of carvers. With the longer blade, most use would be in a conventional grip where that handle profile works great. As most of my use is adding sharp detail where the Foredom can't do it, the short chip carver's blade is the best tool for the job typically.

I've noticed you have a very good eye for the ergonomics of a working knife. I see a lot of custom knives where the blade is well profiled, but it is connected to a poorly designed handle, making it nothing but a wall hanger at best. I think people really like your knives because they not only look good, they are truly functional.
 

Von Gruff

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Has stainless advanced to the point where it can challenge carbon for keeping an edge?
short answer is yes but there is a difference between hard and tough and the stainless steels have been progressing to where they can have greater toughness or abraision resistence.
It is noticable with the sharpening of them with the stainless taking a little more when doing the hand sanding of stainless compared to carbon steel and again when doing the initial sharpening.
 

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Knife # 900
I have a few days hunting organised for the 14 - 16 Dec so decided it was time to retire my old standby Light hunter with the end grain olivewood handles so I made myself this Tahr Hunter with scolloped OD canvas micarta handle over blaze liners with lanyard tube on the 1075 blade with jimping in a closed top sheath with edge stamping.

20221204_080943.jpg


20221204_081020.jpg
 
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geoff rath

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Knife # 900
I have a few days hunting organised for the 14 - 16 Dec so decided it was time to retire my old standby Light hunter with the end grain olivewood handles so I made myself this Tahr Hunter with scolloped OD canvas micarta handle over blaze liners with lanyard tube on the 1075 blade with jimping in a closed top sheath with edge stamping.

View attachment 503327

View attachment 503328
Yup, reward yourself, Mate.
 

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