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Thread: What I Have Been Up To Lately

  1. #101

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    success master

  2. #102

    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Haven't posted an update recently, it is about time.

    Made a fairly smooth transition into western handled knives. Still fine-tuning the details, but can say that I am fairly comfortable with the outcome.

    At this time I am offering primarily S grind geometry, but also dabbled into an asymmetric grind, though I need more feedback on the performance before making it available to the public.

    There are a few new types of knives that I intend to bring to the market soon: scimitar, 8" breaking knife, Miroshi deba and others.

    On fulfillment of the custom work, need improvement. Find it a bit difficult to manage time efficiently combining new/experimental work and old custom work. I made a priority to get the knives out that had a deposit or were paid in full, and until these are out, all custom work is on hold. I will, however, fulfill the custom orders placed through the web site or email, but it will take some time. The bright side - I am willing to accommodate people and will offer some incentives to make up for a long wait, besides being locked into the old price. Also, I will be offering work that wasn't available at the time they placement an order and it will be an option. The custom order list is closed for the next 1-2 years.

    In my professional development, the next step would be to get into forging and damascus making. I intend to bring some integrals down the road and to make my own mokume and damascus. This is a mid-term plan, but I have to start making some moves toward that end in the next 3-6 months.

    Accessories production is on hold because of a lack of time and I haven't been successful finding help.

    Thanks,

    Marko


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  3. #103
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    Marko that's awesome to hear you will be working in forging and Damascus.

    Can't wait to see the results!

  4. #104

    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgraeff View Post
    Marko that's awesome to hear you will be working in forging and Damascus.

    Can't wait to see the results!
    Thanks. I have to take a pilgrimage trip to Panaka first. For now I have been researching equipment needed. Forging is likely to have by far a steepest learning curve than anything I have attempted.

    M


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  5. #105
    Senior Member Sabaki's Avatar
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    I also wonder what brand it is on that salt bath heater of your's, and lastly... how is the forging coming along?

    Vive pro omni die

  6. #106

    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Nearly two years passed since I posted an update, so one is long overdue.

    These past two yeas, I have been thinking about knives, making knives, trying new grinds, profiles, methods, learning new things, often by trial and error. I used to have a quote by Niels Bohr in my signature, "An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field" and I guess, the description is quite accurate, though I am by no means an expert. Any new approach, typically results in a failure in the beginning, before things start improving.

    The learning process never ends, so more trial and error ahead of me, but I think I am now a more confident knife maker that I was. I have tried numerous geometries, and came to understand nuances of each. Learning new geometries also made me think of new approaches of producing them, using tools I have.

    I have done some minor tweaks to my heat treatment, and have been thinking of new ideas for heat treatment, in terms of equipment and a process. Heat treatment has never ceased to fascinate me.

    So, my next step is forging. My workshop is in a basement and my landlord doesn't allow open fire, so for the next couple of years, I plan on visiting places around where I can forge, but at first, I will spend some time learning how to forge with a reputable forger. My goal is to start with simple forging - integrals, san mai and gradually move to damascus and forging other types of blades and swords.

    I plan to continue producing ready-made knives alongside customs. There is a chance that some of my ready-made knives will be offered through a third party/s. Some knives will also be offered through my web site, but these will be mostly knives I like to make. I plan to open my custom order list once my retooling is complete, and I start forging.

    I have been working on retooling my shop for a while now. I do all the processes in-house, and I am a one-man shop, so time management and efficiency is the only way to stay competitive. I am adding several new pieces of equipment and grinders to the shop to improve efficiency, so I don't have to waste time on changing tooling. Also, I am finally adding a dust extraction to the shop, as the dust has always been an issue, so I can work without a respirator.

    I also plan to continue woodworking - sayas, strops, mag strip and cutting boards. Woodworking adds a different level of satisfaction for me.

    I also plan on giving leather working another shot. My butcher knives could use sheaths and I think leather sheaths are a better match for curved blade profiles. Currently I am researching and educating myself on leather patterning and shaping.

    Some of you have seen my grinder project. I think we have a great product, but there are hurdles to overcome - cost (mainly shipping to the US) and production. These are essentially hand-build grinders, and like custom knives, building one takes a long time, often longer than originally thought. We are trying to make changes to address these issues, and I think we are on a right track, but there is still much to do.

    I am finally starting acting on knife ideas that I have been thinking about for years - butcher knives, neck knives, hunting knives and a folding knife in a near future.

    I also partnered with a couple of friends to bring a great wood selection for my customer. We source woods from different parts of the world and make it available for sale to the public. I hope this will give my customer an option to find what they are looking for. Besides wood, there will be other exotic materials available such as mammoth tooth and ivory. I reiterate that I will not offer elephant or walrus ivory, nor will work one if a customer supplies, per-ban or not. I draw a line on this, but I don't mind working mammoth ivory or mammoth tooth. All of the wood and ivory for sale will be stabilized by K&G. I am shipping about 200 blocks for stabilizing next week and many more will follow. Koa, redwood, thuya, bog oak, and many more...

    So these are some things I have been doing these two years among ups and downs in my life.

    Thanks for reading.


    "All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new." The Shakers' saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  7. #107
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    WildBoar's Avatar
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    Marko, thanks for taking the time to write this update. It's good to know where you hope to head with this profession, as it shows you intend to keep building on the foundation that earned your knives a great reputation as very good cutters with well thought-out grinds.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

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