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How to Make Knives Paperback – 1 Sep 1994
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If you want to be an expert smith, read Jim Hrisoulas as well. If you care about the history of other traditions, then read Leon Kapp. If you just want to start making your own high quality knives, even if you're not used to metalworking, then start with this book.
The authors do love their belt grinder ! Even though we're not all manufacturing on a commercial scale, their workshop techniques are described well enough for any of us; from one-offs to shops.
The production quality could be better. Some of the photos have a "homely" quality that reminds us of how difficult specialist book production could be before cheap computer-publishing. Maybe a discerning publisher will realise just how good a book this could be with a little more polish. That's nit-picking though
MY ONLY REAL NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS WORK, IS THE POOR QUALITY OF THE PHOTO-COPIED PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE BOOK. THERE IS A LOT OF DETAIL MISSING IN THE PHOTOS, THAT,IN MY OPINION, WOULD SERVE WELL IN SOME OF THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE WRITTEN WORD.
THAT SAID, IT IS A VERY IN DEPTH BOOK, SHOWING, FROM START TO FINISH, THE ART OF NOT ONLY KNIFE MAKING, BUT ALSO HOW TO MAKE DIFFERENT SHEATHES. WELL WORTH A READ.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I ordered this book, just to get some pointers and proceedures on this project. I was totally impressed with this book as soon as I opened it. It really is much more than I anticipated. A very thorough look at a high-end professional knifemaker's shop and equipment is just part of the package. Every single part of the process, from cutting blanks, to using the right abrasives, to soldering, to grinding is described in the utmost detail, in word and in photographs. It's amazing.
I mean, with this book, a dedicated craftsman would find great useful information on techniques, materials and the best equipment to start his or her own knife making business. It's that good. My interest is totally casual. I make things, rustic furniture, walking sticks, I do carpentry, I fix old planes and chisels and antique tools, bringing them back to good usable condition. This goes way beyond the level of skill that I am interested in, though this is not a criticism, just a comment.
It is fascinating to see the great skill, craftsmanship and time required to craft a fine knife this way. I'm recommending this book to anybody interested in getting the inside scoop on an honorable and fine craft, whether for cursory interest or for diving in as a newbie pro knifemaker. It is a superior book, in every way.