The ideal knife maker workshop is a place that allows you to build the design of the knife you want to make with the desired finish and care.
The tools help but in my experience what makes the difference is the maker’s ability to “feel” the detail and achieve it.
Man always makes the difference!
I have seen makers with few tools make extraordinary knives and vice versa makers with “very rich” laboratories make mediocre knives.
Now I do not want to say that the tools can not help you in the realization and there are some that are also fundamental to work effectively, but the final result is dictated a lot by the ability of the maker more than by the tool.
Improvise, adapt and achieve the goal!
Now regardless of this we are going to “build” the ideal laboratory for a maker.
Ps. I deliberately do not insert images in the post because I do not want to advertise any type of equipment or material.
Somehow building this post is like getting to know each other a little more one step at a time.
Step by Step!
Attention that what I propose is an ideal laboratory, a small dream for a knife maker but as you well know, the reality is that they are things that are built with time, because it is necessary to have the space, the economic availability, the desire to face this passion in a more professional way and who knows how to make it even a business.w
As I told you before the final result is regardless of all this! It is always the man who makes the difference even if clearly the equipment is helpful and supportive.
The ideal laboratory workspaces
Where you have a desk with a PC and draw on paper or 3D CAD, study and write your notes, take care of your site, post your creations on social media, do your research, etc.
It is also a relaxation area! 🙂
Where you carry out the assemblies, it is an area where there are no dusts and where the activities that do not dirty the environment are performed.
In my case I also have the 3D printer, the laser for engraving on soft materials, the press for micarta, etc.
Where all dirty operations are performed, such as smoothing, scraping, hardening, cutting, etc.
It must be an isolated area.
Where you store materials such as steel, plates, woods, pins, bones, glue, resins, etc.
You should have a list of the materials you have to avoid making double purchases.
Now as you can guess these areas but above all the dirty one must be separated well with airtight doors that do not pass odors and dusts and in passing between one area and another you should clean your shoes well and take off your shirt if you wear it.
My extra personal area
Personally I have an additional area of inspiration that is related to my other passion and that is adjacent to the area where I work.
The ideal knife maker laboratory equipment
- Screwdrivers of different shapes and sizes,
- Pliers as varied in shape and size,
- Miscellaneous keys such as type and size,
- Iron and rubber hammers,
- Iron and wood files of various shapes
- Chisels of various sizes
- etc. , etc.
Ps. Take a ride from a brico or a self, there is fun!!
For material removal
It is composed of hand tools but mainly electric to give shape to knives, handles, etc. such as:
- Belt sander with inverter, with wheels of different diameters and plate.
- Flexible from at least 800W,
- Iron ribbon saw,
To lock the part
- One or more traditional benchtop vices, preferably large.
- Tube clamp for knife maker
- 3D arm vise
- Manual iron saw of various sizes to cut the steel bar or other smaller like pin, mosaic pin, wood, etc.( a big ass!!)
- Vertical band saw from iron to cut the steel bar (it is also good for wood since you do not make many cuts)
- Disc hose to cut the steel bar.
- Truschino (Italy)
- Feedback plan to track
- Point to trace
- Pencils to trace
- Prussian blue
To refine and file work
- Files of various shapes and sizes,
- Micro files for precision work,
- Dremel or manual milling machine,
- “Special” file for making thump filework on the back of the blades in various sizes,
- The Hand Drill
- Column drill with adjustable speed
- The high-precision watch trap (for those who make lockable knives)
- Column drill clamp
- Two-axis clamp for column drill
- Belts for the sander in the various grains
- Abrasive paper of various grains
- Drill bits
- Prussian Blue
- Various glues (bi component, attack, resins, spray glue, etc.)
- Polishing pastes
- Cotton wheels
- Hardening oil
- Solid work benches
- Electric cleaner with mola and rag wheel
- CNC mill
- 3D Printers
- Laser Engraver
- Tempering oven(Rockblade, Titangrinder,others)
- Oven for lunisation
- Compressor you need to blow and sand
- Blasting booth (doesn’t need great since you make knives but if you have space)
- Tig steel welder
- Pantograph cutter
- Grinding machine
- Lapidello, alternatively you do it on the feedback plan with the abrasive paper.
- Anvil to be able to beat without ruining the workbench or the vice.
- Vacuum equipment (stabilize woods, etc.)
- Plumbing press (for various uses)
- Portable powder vacuum cleaner
- Professional suction system
- Masks for powders
- Fire extinguisher
- By press with dowel engraved with the logo
- Chemical logo engraver
- Punch or electro engraver
- Press for Kydex
- Hot gun
- Pin insertion press on Kydex
- Leather cutting tools (I don’t make the list but I make a specific post)
- Leather sewing tools (I don’t make the list but I make a specific post)
- Leather colours
- Light or lights for the sander
- Workspace Lights
- Light to make the defects on the blade stand out (if there are any)
- Miscellaneous to see (magnifying glass, etc.)
The warehouse of the knife maker lab
Where you have steel bars, woods and synthetic materials, where you keep liquids, etc.
It must be a storage area that you also need to quickly understand what you have available and avoid making unnecessary orders of materials that you do not need because you have forgotten what you have.
Extras for forgers – An additional specific area
Basic version – the bare minimum
- – Coal or gas forge
- – Anvil, minimum 25 kg
- – Hammers, essential two round pens of 500 and 1000 gr and two clubs of 1500 and 2000 gr
- – Steel bite, cast-iron ones even if good can’t take barrels
- – Blacksmith’s tins of various sizes
- – Blacksmith’s tongs of various sizes
- – Lime of various types
- – Iron saw
- – Cards and abrasive stones
- – Steel brush
- – Small grinder
- – Double over-the-counter grinder, or tape sander
- – Column drill
- – GpL burner
Evolved version, – with the help of additional equipment and machinery
- The information shown for the basic laboratory
- – Professional propane forge
- – Steel anvil s50 kg up, you can also work with two hands
- – 3, 5, 8 and 10 kg
- – Blacksmith’s bite, they’re meant to withstand violent blows.
- – Tape sander, with engine of at least 1 Kw
- – Grinder with disc of 20-25 cm and cica 2 Kw
- – Electrode welder, possibly inverter, up to 150 A
- – Badgers and leghold traps from anvil and furniture
- – Oxyacetylene torch
Ideal version – no expense spared
What is indicated is for the basic and evolved laboratory + more..
- – Hammer, the bigger the better
- – Press, minimum 20 tons
- – Chiodiera, a sort of white cast iron anvil with various shapes and grooves
- – Iron tape saw
- – Bench saw
- – TIG Plasma welder
- – Adjustment
- – Tornio
- – Compressor, with attached pneumatic rotary tools
- – Over-the-counter shear
- – Milling machine
My workshop is small but intense and creative. I have everything you need to do from cad drawing to prototyping the knife before making, the belt sander and the hardening furnace.
I have no chance to forge for reasons of space and safety but even if it is something interesting it is not something I would like to do for reasons of time and my personal interest.
Now what I like and that I remain only inside my laboratory, somehow inside my world where in its silence and through the wall you play of my music playlist and outside even if there is confusion, in my journey.
I’m always in the middle of the streets and maybe that’s why somehow it’s like a place to look at yourself and stay with yourself for a while.
This way is only a part of my work no coincidence there is a part of the laboratory that is not a place properly as a knifemaker but is always part of my world.
Sometimes it may seem selfish to be alone in your laboratory, but it is a kind of meditation and if you look into my eyes do not get lost in his reflexes, I do not need anything but I am pleased if you recognize me in the midst of people.
There’s a book I like, “The Monkey Thinks, the Monkey Does,” when reality surpasses Chuck Palahniuk’s fantasy.
I hope that you too in your workshop, or in your creative space, find space for your thoughts, your imagination, your creativity.
It is wonderful to discover how everything you imagine becomes achievable like the curves of a knife imagined on a sheet of paper.
Are you experience?
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