Hand Tools Archive

Re: The hawley grinding video...

David Weaver
A good contrast to the grinders is a very recent video of the buck 110 knife being made. It goes into a machine that shapes the blade, into another one that hardens and tempers, and then into a couple of wet (automated) grinders that hollow grind the blade.

There's a penknife maker on one of the hawley videos, also. He works efficiently, but the factory version of assembling the knife is pretty much a jig that puts the pins/rivets through the knife and then peins them all at once.

I have two of those buck 110s - for what they are, they're nice knives. They can retail them for $45 on ebay with cocobolo handles and a fair amount of brass and decent stainless. George wilson turned me on to tidioute knives, which are factory made, but a higher level of refinement - I remember him being astounded at the finish quality on them for about $100-$125, and he said something along the lines of costing $1500 of his time at his shop rate to make a knife as good.

Given that these shops were doing mostly specialty work already in the 1960s, and most people now would see any human irregularity in a made tool as "poor quality" unless it's on etsy as a boutique tool, the ship has long sailed.

(the only issue with the buck knives in the past for me was that they're a lower carbon high-carbon stainless. a "plain" stainless. This whole dust up with the unicorn sort of solved the edge holding issues I had with them. I think they're intended to be a folding hunting knife, but I don't hunt. Without a buffed edge, they don't tolerate much box cutting or shop chore work, but they work great with the edge buffed off).

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