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How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:18 am

Hey you knife makers. Tell me how many hours it takes to take a sheet of steel and turn it into a knife? I've really never asked this question of any of you.

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:34 am

It really varies.. if I attempted a half arse job with the tools I have it would take prolly 30+ hours. I believe murray carter can do a kurouichi nakiri in 45~ minutes

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:09 am

...and Mr. Carter is laminating his, he's not working with sheet stock. ;)

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:25 am

Depends on the size/shape of the knife. I can do up a normal handle in under 2 hours usually, but on some larger knives, I may have over 3 hours in grinding just the blade and still have to make it look pretty. This is assuming that it's already heat treated. Hand rubbing a blade can take several hours, so I usually do a belt satin finish on them.

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:23 am

The time will vary greatly depending on experience and tools available. I think most makers will find their "niche" over time and do what they do best. Even then its gonna be a time consuming process. The hardest part for me is knowing when to stop. This is assuming you mean "custom" as synonymous with "handmade".

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:06 pm

About 12 hours for a 9" chef's knife:

An hour getting the sheet cut and profiled and any bends out and any holes drilled in the tang for handle rivets, bolster attachment, etc.

Two hours to heat treat it.....the initial heat treat, plus two cryo treatments and two temper sessions. This actually takes a couple of days, but time actually spent messing about with the knife is probably in that 2 hour window.

1/2 hour scribing the center line of the knife and generally cleaning it up prior to the start of grinding

Four hours to grind and belt polish (I've rarely ground one start to finish in one session though.....as a hobbyist I take what shop time the wife allows.

1/2 hour to etch name and clean it up.

3 to 4 hours for the handle....this is actually done over at least two days....whether it be wa or western the mess is epoxied together and left to dry overnight and then shaped the next day. Probably an hour the first day and 2 to 3 hours of shaping/polishing/etc.

An hour to get everything polished up, cleaned, boxed, pictures taken, and ready to ship.

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:01 pm

i woudl guess 3-10 dependign on type and finish thts not couunting the 6 hours in the kiln or the over night in cryo

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:40 pm

How long is a piece of string? How blue is the sky? How deep is space?

Just some more questions we will never be able to fully answer.

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:38 pm

crap, it takes me 2 weeks just for a handle.....

I had heard at one time Kramer only produced 50 ish knives per year. (I don't know if it's true, but just hearsay)

Re: How long does it take to make a custom knife?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:43 pm

...or ni-mai blades that sit for a year to set, in case of binding hagane:jigane.
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