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David J, makes a knife and learns some forging skills.

GPK HowTo Man Skills Thanks WIP

My good friend David Jesse came down last weekend with the hopes to make a knife and learn a little forging. He's been dabbling with wanting to make knives for a few weeks and after seeing him messing around I extended an invitation to come down and spend the day in my shop. I'm not a great knife maker, and most days I don't even feel like a knife maker at all, but I offered to share the things I have learned and hopefully show him the things that didn't work so he could get ahead in his own adventure.

We only had a day, so we had quite a bit to accomplish in a a short time. Here he is drilling pin holes on a handle.

We opted to make one of my G.P.K. models as it is a small handy knife. We started with a piece of flat stock and began buy cutting the blank, profiling and getting it ready to heat treat. O-1 as the steel we used. Here David is getting the side flat and smooth.

This blank is ready for the oven.

While we tempered the knife, we fired up my propane forge to learn some basic forging. Bottle openers are a great project to learn on as many of the basic forging techniques are used to make the. Step 1 is realizing how hot it is standing by a forge.

Step two is heating steel and admitting it is hot by the forge and more sweating.

For this one we tapered the handle in a bit and kept it flat, using slot punch a hole was made that would become the opener. Using the horn of the anvil to stretch the hole out, then using a round punch to add the lip that would catch the bottle cap and BOOM we had a opener.

It was fun and challenging to teach someone as I forged, but to see him to it was very rewarded and for our troubles we could opener our beers.

Once the our knife was tempered, we cleaned it up and were grinding a bevel. Slow and careful was the theme of day for this part.

Making some progress.

The sun had set and time was running out so we kicked in high gear and scrambled to finish, but when the dust settled this is what we had completed. He did a great job of listening and had an open mind the whole day. He hard work paid off for sure.

We covered a lot of ground in a day and were left with a decent G.P.K.  to remember the time spent together in the shop.

I think if he keeps at it, he will make some good blades and with the others who are helping him he will progress very well. It was a good time passing what I've learned on to another. My way is just that, he can take that and evolve it into his own knife making adventure.

I am humbled he came down and wanted to see how I did things and hopefully he learned some things, I know I did and had a great time.



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  • David

    I was honored to come down and learn from you! Thanks again for opening the doors to your shop to teach me some new skills.

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