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Author Topic: Some Experiments With Blade Geometries  (Read 17041 times)
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Ed Fowler
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« on: March 28, 2007, 03:58:03 PM »

I have written about the Rudy Ruana blade made in the last 1930's and how it has influenced my thoughts on tatical knives.

I made some 7 to 8 inch knives using the thoughts inspired by Rudy's knife and the one made by Bill Scagel that he called a fish knife. Both of these knives were double ground so that the mid line is most prominent, the spine and edge thinner. Very carefully blended to be a very efficient blade for sticking and slashing. I wondered how this style would work on smaller blades and forged two.

The first blade was about 3 nches long and 3/4 inches deep.



The second blade is about 4 1/4 inches long and 5/8 inches deep.




Both of these blades carry very adequate strength to the tip, both penetrate very effeciently, naturally the longer blade is more effecient than the shorter blade. Penetration is their strong attribute, both are fairly easy to retrieve from being hammered point first into plywood.

While they appeal to me visually they are not truly great knives for every day work around the shop. The angle from edge to spine is too great for slicing work. Is there a compromise between "tatical" and all around use?  Maybe, but I would not chose either of these knives over my usual blade geometry for every day carry.

As luck would have it, one of my aged buck sheep went down and was dying, it was obviously time to put him out of his missery. Shooting a buck sheep is not always a quick death, their skulls are meant to tollerate shock. My best and I feel most humane method is simply cutting their major neck blood vessels with a knife. First I cut one side with my every day gentleman's pronghorn, waited until he died then tried it using the other two blades. The effort was a little less using the experimental blades.

Since cutting throats is not an every day occurance I have to put these mini-tatical blades into the art class. Forging and grinding them is very time consuming and a real challenge. By the time I had blended all the smooth geometry to satisfaction I felt a real sense of accomplishment. To my eye they are beautiful to look at and serve as a tribute to the fighting men of history as well as being more pleasing to me than the double edged dagger.

Thanks to Tena and Phil the photos are above! Yea team!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 05:53:05 PM by Ed Fowler » Logged

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radicat
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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2007, 12:35:54 PM »

     David, you may be thinking about the Wharncliffe/Sheep(s)foot blade that Mariano made. Or, the sketch of a rope knife by Robert. Search "sheepsfoot" on this forum to see them.             
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davidm
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2007, 06:57:37 AM »

Radicat,
No these were older knives, made by Ed.  I still haven't searched through the book.  Stuff is still in boxes from moving.. When i locate the book i'll find the page.  Basically, i remember a knife that wasn't a true sheepfoot but had some resemblance to the style, and if i remember it was referred to as a "sheepfoot".  Probably an error,,,  ..   Huh   
David
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caknives
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« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2007, 05:55:52 PM »

Hey the knife in question is the bottom one of the three pictured on page 12 of Knife talk vol. one. It appears again at the top of the second page of color pics. Not really a true sheeps foot but I can see it.
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2007, 07:37:37 PM »

I looked it up, thanks for the reference. That was an exceptionally radical dropped point. I can't remember what I was thinking about when I made it, kind of glad I did not stick with that design. Like Bill Moran said, sometimes we have to try an ideal out to see of it works, you got to learn somehow.

The problem with that design, most of what could have been a cutting edge got put on top. It would have been nice for spreading peanut butter and that kind of stuff, or keeping your hand away from your work.
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davidm
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2007, 12:14:53 PM »

Ed,
I'll leave the comments/questions i posted about edge geometry of early knives to another conversation..  Thanks for posting pictures of the new grind.   
David
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 10:21:19 AM by David Mullikin » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2008, 08:36:44 PM »

Hi Ed:  Here's coming at you from Alaska - I like the blade geometry and the double sharp point; specifically, because when trying to make an initial cut on a heavy hided animal, it sure helps to have a point and your horn handle to make the initial penetration at - say the brisket area.  I was lucky enough to shoot a large bull moose this year and an Alaskan brown bear.  Both animals were a lot of work and extremely challenging to get through the hide on initial cuts.

That said, I think the longer bowie blade is one of the most esthetically pleasing knives you have created.  I am a believer and user of your knives and hope you make more of the double grind - I would like to try to use it here.  I might mention that I believe that for the work involved with big trophy animals, it is best to have two or three different knives for specific functions.
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2008, 10:12:22 AM »

Thanks for your kind comments.
The mid-line bevel is great for sticking, but not as efficient for other tasks. I believe I will make some more variations of that grind just to see how they can work. Every aspect of a blade is a functional balancing act, the way I make my hunting knives now works very well when I do it my way, that does not mean some variations must be excluded. Just need some experimenting time.

A moose is one of the toughest animals to skin, skinning a bear is about the same.

When we have the opportunity to carry more than one knife the specialists are the way to go. I have concentrated on all purpose knives for those who only carry one.

A supreme skinning knife can be hazardous to your health when negotiating opening cuts but hard to beat for skinning. I like to keep as much strength to the tip as possible for heavy work.

Your comments are very inspirational and I thank you for posting.

Congratulations on a very successful hunt!
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2008, 10:52:53 AM »

Thanks to Chris we have a photo of a blade with the mid line ridge that broke. Chris may correct me and is welcome to if I remember it wrong, but a service man carried the blade in either Viet Nam or Korea, early in his service another soldier stuck the blade into a log. The blade snapped. He carried the knife for the rest of his time in the service, stored it for years, then asked Chris to clean it up. Chris brought it to my shop to photograph before he re-ground the tip.

 

You can see a difference in the steel above the ridge, indicating it may have been a fault early on waiting to break or there is a difference in hardness.


The difference in the steel above and below the ridge seems to indicate the ridge is or was the point of greatest resistance to stress and therefor the area where the break started.

                                                                                                

What does it mean to knife makers?

Another variable in geometry that can and does influence the nature of our blades.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 11:07:19 AM by Ed Fowler » Logged

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Jose Reyes
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« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2008, 02:14:27 PM »

Great pics, Ed. It seems you'd have to grind way back on that blade to clear the problem. I think the Japanese smiths did it on their blades but the point would have to be on the bottom edge of the blade. Not sure, but it looks like the "fault" travels back farther than than the "upswing" in the hardening line?
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2008, 10:14:35 AM »

Good observation Jose, I was hoping someone would comment on it. Yes, there is a crack that runs parallel to the edge just below the ridge. One good thing about the forged blade and making blades with the grain flowing from ricasso to tip is that faults line up in such a way that their influence in blade strength is less significant that faults  that run from the edge to the spine.
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radicat
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« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2008, 08:29:14 AM »

As I looked back through this thread, and at Ed's fighter blade, I recalled a thought (this one's lucid) that I had one day while at the grinder. "Why is no one making a blade that is not only multi-use as a single-edge, but also multi-use as a double-edge?" In other words, " Why can't a person have a knife that can be flipped over according to the edge that will best do the job?"

It's all going to be in the geometry challenge. Ed is at the forefront on this. Change his handle (I know it's blasphemy) and a tweak here, and tweak there, and you've just set the knife world on its edge with a new way of thinking.

Ed, has made the ultimate fighter that also has its place in the art world. Some would say they have a better fighter knife design. But, they would be misunderstanding Ed's purpose. He knows what others like, but he also has to follow his vision of art and function. If you understand the lessons that his blade teaches, then you should be able to develop the do-it-all knife that I dreamed of. Well, I don't think it will be all that simple. But, a study of Ed's thoughts will definitely benefit the process.

There will be a realization of the challenges that Ed had in the heat-treating of such a blade to achieve high performance. But, maybe concentrating on the design without worrying about anything but function will be a good mind-set to have in the beginning. First things first. Aesthetics will just have to wait its turn.

It will also help to study the makers who Ed has taken lessons from. Price, Scagel, Ruana, and Puma, to mention a few.

                                                 Afterthought:

These laws that prohibit both edges from being sharpened have probably prevented much thought along these lines. Senseless restrictions stifle thinking outside the box. Don't let others rob you of your freedom of thought and creativity. Soar!!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 09:00:45 AM by radicat » Logged
JayGoliath
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« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2011, 07:21:00 PM »

Hi Ed,

Decided to revive this thread.
The double grind definitely is an eye opener for a newbie like me!

Is there an update on the longer blade?

Thank you!

J Cheesy
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