Knife buildoff challenge discussion



Sep 26, 2012
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Yes, both of those techniques are firmly within both my budget and skill level :rolleyes:
Pshht. Worn out sandpaper and flat shoe lace then. Skill is just practice in hindsight.

But you've got me curious. How is that leather attached to the handle? A wrap over top? That would serve to fill in the grooves on the edge of the tang, which is causing me troubles galore
No idea, was just a random on google images. But I went and found the original article.

Looks like he just made it snug, lubed it up, and slid it on. But he's also putting it on a bow, so the stresses causing it to slip (and consequences if it does) are different than a knife handle.
 
Jun 19, 2016
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I just found this competition. This sounds fun. I never thought this group would have a knife making competition too. I have been a flintknapper for many years. I have never made a knife out of any of my blades, but I am going to do some knapping today and see what happens. I live a half hour from Flint Ridge Park in Ohio. I belong to the group that puts on the largest Knap-In in the world. I have some really exotic flints from around the world stashed away. Flint is much sharper than metal, and I knap barefoot. Some call me crazy. And they are correct!
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Sep 26, 2012
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I just found this competition. This sounds fun. I never thought this group would have a knife making competition too. I have been a flintknapper for many years. I have never made a knife out of any of my blades, but I am going to do some knapping today and see what happens. I live a half hour from Flint Ridge Park in Ohio. I belong to the group that puts on the largest Knap-In in the world. I have some really exotic flints from around the world stashed away. Flint is much sharper than metal, and I knap barefoot. Some call me crazy. And they are correct! View attachment 154558
That's cool.

Jump in! There's still 13 days before the deadline.
 
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I'm not going to complete mine in time. I won't have the wood I want for the handle for another month or so. I'm getting it from a friend who lives in the next state. Probably won't see him until Memorial Day-ish when we go cycle camping.
 

Captain Awesome

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I'm not going to complete mine in time. I won't have the wood I want for the handle for another month or so. I'm getting it from a friend who lives in the next state. Probably won't see him until Memorial Day-ish when we go cycle camping.
I haven't even started mine. After I started healing from my injury I had zero motivation. Sucks
 
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I haven't even started mine. After I started healing from my injury I had zero motivation. Sucks
Counting for experience and a good starting point I'd reckon you could probably get yours out in an afternoon or two. If motivation strikes.


I'm far enough ahead on mine so I don't have to DNF (life goals) if it comes to that, but I'm really not seeing many opportunities in the week ahead to finish what I wanted to get done before deadline (sheath and decorative work)
 
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Five days to go on this challenge.

Finish up any work you wanna get done and post your final pics in the build thread with the word Finished at the top of the post, to be included in the vote.

Deadline is midnight central time, April 30
 
Sep 26, 2012
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Five days to go on this challenge.

Finish up any work you wanna get done and post your final pics in the build thread with the word Finished at the top of the post, to be included in the vote.

Deadline is midnight central time, April 30
I'll put the voting thread together, I'm but looking for a volunteer to go through the build thread after Friday and make their own list of all the finished entries, I'll then double check what I put together against theirs. Just to ensure no one gets missed.
 
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This one turned out okay. Took about an hour and a half to make. This is a beautiful piece of Arkansas Novaculite that I had been wanting to work. It changes colors many times from one end to the other. Even has some clear streaks through it. Almost 8" long. I guess I should name this blade if I am going to enter it. And figure out some sort of handle.View attachment 154559View attachment 154560
I have zero experience with stone blades. I think I tired to sharpen a piece of limestone when I was 8.

So, I'm curious. How are these for utility? Can you get some practical use out of them?

I know they can get extremely sharp, depending on the material. I heard that obsidian is sharp down to a molecular level. Looking at those serrations, I bet it slides through cuts of meat like nothing else.

How careful do you have to be to not break them? Is their any maintenance?
Could you EDC a stone knife? :bigsmile: If all you had to do was cut random stuff sometimes, open shipping boxes, and the occasional bag of chips?

NB: I understand that today they're mostly for appreciation of the craft and artistic expression, or for developing the skill in case of some prolonged fantasy emergency survival situation. And that a steel knife will probably out perform them in almost every category. I'm just curious about their actual properties.
 
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Sep 26, 2012
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Last day to post your finished photos and be counted in the vote!
Get em in before midnight US central time tonight!

If you're done already, double check to make sure you've posted your best three photos at the top of your post.

The rule as written is you have to put "Finished" at the top of your post to be counted.
But, because of the number of DNFs, I'm making an 11th hour decision to include anyone so far who's done, but might have missed that detail, or just really looks like they're finished.
What he said..
 
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Voting thread is live! Go vote

Probably shoulda said that here when I first posted it :/
 
Jun 19, 2016
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I have zero experience with stone blades. I think I tired to sharpen a piece of limestone when I was 8.

So, I'm curious. How are these for utility? Can you get some practical use out of them?

I know they can get extremely sharp, depending on the material. I heard that obsidian is sharp down to a molecular level. Looking at those serrations, I bet it slides through cuts of meat like nothing else.

How careful do you have to be to not break them? Is their any maintenance?
Could you EDC a stone knife? :bigsmile: If all you had to do was cut random stuff sometimes, open shipping boxes, and the occasional bag of chips?

NB: I understand that today they're mostly for appreciation of the craft and artistic expression, or for developing the skill in case of some prolonged fantasy emergency survival situation. And that a steel knife will probably out perform them in almost every category. I'm just curious about their actual properties.
I know a lot of people that are full ABO hunters using nothing but stone for all aspects of the process. Obsidian cuts between the cells, that's why it is preferred for eye surgery. Metal cannot achieve that sharp of an edge and destroys cells (which increases healing time and scar tissue). As far as breaking a point while knapping: You really have to understand the physics involved so as not to put any stress on a piece while it's being worked. You are strategically breaking pieces off of the preform thousands of times before being finished. Just one bad hit can leave you holding two pieces in your hand instead of one. Failure rate is very high when you're a new knapper, and even the best knappers break one once in a while. I like studying broken-in-process artifacts to understand their process. They all tell a story. I studied artifacts for almost 30 years before I learned to knap. I learned more about artifacts in the first 5 years of knapping than I did in the previous 30 years of study. The story is captured in time with each flake taken off. Sometimes it's even possible to tell if the same person made multiple pieces. It has been determined that only a few knappers made the hundreds of large obsidian blades in the Hopewell mounds in Ohio. I have two knives from my Grandma's farm (right on the Ohio River) that were made by the same person (about 3000 years ago). Those 2 knives are made from flint types that have sources many hundreds of miles apart. He was probably a river traveler that met his end very near where I found the 2 knives because they showed almost no evidence of re-sharpening. I had those knives 30 years before I figured out their connection with each other. Knapping gave me the ability to figure out their story. It's like going back in time.
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Jun 19, 2016
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Amazing stuff, Tim. Hard to imagine that anything we do today would still be around and functional in a few thousand years.
Hopefully, my points will be preserved and appreciated, but future people will consider our time (the industrial age) absolutely the most wasteful and destructive period in human history.
 
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Apr 18, 2015
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I just found this competition. This sounds fun. I never thought this group would have a knife making competition too. I have been a flintknapper for many years. I have never made a knife out of any of my blades, but I am going to do some knapping today and see what happens. I live a half hour from Flint Ridge Park in Ohio. I belong to the group that puts on the largest Knap-In in the world. I have some really exotic flints from around the world stashed away. Flint is much sharper than metal, and I knap barefoot. Some call me crazy. And they are correct! View attachment 154558
I didn't know you were in Ohio. I'm also about a half hour from flint ridge, never tried knapping but have studied it a bit.

Looks like you make so cool stuff.
 
Sep 26, 2012
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At least we've accomplished something
Every piece of steel made since July 16 1945 is contaminated with radionuclides, i.e. all post-WWII steel is mildly radioactive... so that's another fun impactful thing we did.

Hey, that gives me an idea. If you want to verify that your pre-war bike frame is actually pre-war, hold a geiger counter next to it! Though... you might need to put it in a low-background chamber first, otherwise you'll just pick up the regular background radiation.

I never thought about it in the context of bicycles before. My '37 CWC would have a notably lower radiation signature than my 70s Peugeot, and perhaps most appropriately, my "Atomic Age" Spaceliner frame likely is the most radioactive, being made during the decades of peak background radiation levels.