Installing my new work shop

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So I have a small collection of knives, a small collection of knives, I enjoy sharpening, next step: making my own knives! I have never done this, so I believe I can do this (some people will get the reference here ;)). I am handy, I have patience, I can work meticulously and I think it could be a great hobby.
The sensible thing to do would be to start with hand tools and start from there, but I know (from other tasks) that it's so much easier if you have the right tools for the job, and I've always wanted some kind of work shop, so...
I cleaned up the garage, spent a few months reading on this forum and other sources about what tools to get and how to use them. I would like to take the opportunity here to thank all the members who shared their wisdom!
My aim is to get quality tools that will serve me for years without the need to upgrade. Of course within the limits of budget and space, I have just a few square meters in my garage and a limited budget. I though I'd document/share what I ended up with. Comments are welcome, just don't say I've bought the wrong equipment, everything is paid for already...:)
 
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The first tool arrived last week, a drill press. I't a dutch brand, made in China, but they seem to have a good reputation. This is their smallest model, but built like tank, weighs like 40 kg. It turns nice and slow, quiet and without wobble (no play) which is the most important I think.

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Cobalt drills for steel and long drills for hardwood to drill tang holes.

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Yesterday I went to pick up my belt grinder. This is the most expensive piece of equipment I bought, the crown jewel of my work shop so to speak. I chose for Batko, they are around for many years and seem to make quality products. I got two hours of explanation about the machine, they were really helpful.
It is a 2x72 except here in Europe it's called a 50x2000, although the belts that are more widely used are 1650 mm. I still have to make some kind of table or stand at the proper work height .

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Yes, you are absolutely right! Don't want to shorten my life inhaling metal and wood dust. I have thought about that as well and ordered items for personal protection. For dust collection I have to test if an industrial vacuum cleaner works. And metal sparks will be caught in water of course.
 

TB_London

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Yes, you are absolutely right! Don't want to shorten my life inhaling metal and wood dust. I have thought about that as well and ordered items for personal protection. For dust collection I have to test if an industrial vacuum cleaner works. And metal sparks will be caught in water of course.
An extractor going through a dust bong is a decent way to catch the crud without too much risk of anything catching fire. The more suction the better. If going vacuum they tend to be high pressure- low volume, whereas you really want high volume - low pressure, commonly described as HVLP.
Don’t skimp on the coarse belts either if you’re going the stock removal route. 36grit ceramic makes the roughing out stage much more tolerable
 

Bensbites

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Yesterday I went to pick up my belt grinder. This is the most expensive piece of equipment I bought, the crown jewel of my work shop so to speak. I chose for Batko, they are around for many years and seem to make quality products. I got two hours of explanation about the machine, they were really helpful.
It is a 2x72 except here in Europe it's called a 50x2000, although the belts that are more widely used are 1650 mm. I still have to make some kind of table or stand at the proper work height .

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A proper belt grinder is a wonderful thing. I always wear ear, eye , and lung protection with mine.
 

ian

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I find I often don’t need ear protection with the grinder unless I’m doing really high pressure high speed stuff. It’s nothing like operating a circular saw. My shop vac is much louder than the grinder, so I wear ear protection when I’m doing wood (and hence dust collecting). I don’t usually have the vac on while grinding metal for fear of sparks. Just use a full mask and have an air purification system running. 🤷
 
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Nice, maybe you can make custom saya for the knife also. A lot of people looking for regular or custom saya. Also make a custom handle while continue making knives.
Seems like you have some work for me already :) . Patience, after everything arrives and is installed (which will take at least 5-6 weeks) then I can start learning to use my tools! Looking forward to it.
 
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An extractor going through a dust bong is a decent way to catch the crud without too much risk of anything catching fire. The more suction the better. If going vacuum they tend to be high pressure- low volume, whereas you really want high volume - low pressure, commonly described as HVLP.
Don’t skimp on the coarse belts either if you’re going the stock removal route. 36grit ceramic makes the roughing out stage much more tolerable
Thanks for the dust bong tip, could be useful. I will have to find out what works best. Belts: I bought 15 different belts with the grinder (AlOx, ceramic in different grits, Trizac, scotch brite and cork) so I can try them all.
 

WilliamDallas

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Wow man I’m super jealous of your workspace. I’m currently woodworking out of a 10x15 shed 😂
 
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Next item: bandsaw(s). When reading about the topic I could not figure out what was more indispensable: the metal bandsaw or the wood bandsaw. I guess it depends on the knife maker’s preferences and way of working. What was clear however is that you can’t have just one bandsaw for both metal and wood. You would have to be able to adjust speed, and change the saw as well, not convenient. So I got two bandsaws.
 
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My metal bandsaw. Most bandsaws are horizontal, so knife makers seem to use a portable band saw like this and make it work vertically. I made a table/stand in wood, not completely happy with it but it works for now. Probably I'll ask a friend who can weld to make a more stable design in metal. I the US you have the SWAG table but those are not available here (or very expensive to import).
 
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Then the wood bandsaw. I smallest ones are benchtop bandsaws with typically around 300W, and I suppose these are good enough for cutting handle material. However if I would want to cut a thick block of hardwood (e.g. to make a saya) those would be underpowered. So I chose something more heavy (literally, 81 kg!) 12" wheels, 2240 mm band, 900W.
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Mind you, this is still small in the world of bandsaws. For some time I was looking at used bandsaws, but mostly it's very old small hobby stuff, or very heavy industrial machinery working at 400V, and I don't have the space and the power supply for such heavy tools.
You may notice both saws are from Makita. I am in no way sponsored or anything like that, it's just I already had some Makita tools, I am happy with them, and I have a little OCD side that wouldn't want me to mix up different brands/colors.
I mounted the 16 mm saw with 14 tpi at 800 m/s and its running smooth, good for straight cuts in hard wood.
 

Dominick Maone

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If you wait to have all the tools you need, you will never make a knife.

I’ve been making knives for 4 or 5 years and need 10-15 more pieces of equipment.

Get some metal and an angle grinder and start cutting out blanks. You have all the tools you need to do everything before heat treating.
 
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If you wait to have all the tools you need, you will never make a knife.

I’ve been making knives for 4 or 5 years and need 10-15 more pieces of equipment.

Get some metal and an angle grinder and start cutting out blanks. You have all the tools you need to do everything before heat treating.
I know what you mean, and as I said in my introduction, that’s the sensible way to go, but it doesn’t work for me. When I want to do something I think about it for a long time, overthink it maybe, and then do it as I planned it in my head. That’s just me.
Anyway, I’ll get there soon. The grinder is not branched yet, the variable speed control needs to be in a dustfree cabinet, this will arrive next week. Also waiting for my PPE, delivery times are a bit delayed right now because of holidays.
 
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My forge just arrived! Devil forge with two burners. I know one burner is enough to forge, but I'd like to use this forge for heat treating as well, and 40 cm depth and two burners will help to do that. I know a heat treat oven is better but that's out of budget right now. Also I mainly want to work with low alloy steels (80CrV2, 15N20, 1095) that should be fairly easy to heat treat. I will probably put a metal tube in the forge when heat-treating for a better heat distribution.
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northside

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My forge just arrived! Devil forge with two burners. I know one burner is enough to forge, but I'd like to use this forge for heat treating as well, and 40 cm depth and two burners will help to do that. I know a heat treat oven is better but that's out of budget right now. Also I mainly want to work with low alloy steels (80CrV2, 15N20, 1095) that should be fairly easy to heat treat. I will probably put a metal tube in the forge when heat-treating for a better heat distribution.

Absolutely do get a baffle for heat treating. A high temperature thermocouple in a ceramic shroud is also highly recommended.
I'll actually be building a heat treating furnace soon that I will use for all hamon work in place of my electric kiln. You can build one for very little money and achieve very stable and even temperatures with very little decarb and scale. Look up "Don Fogg 55 heat treat drum" on Google to find plans, etc.
 
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Last weekend I finished the work bench for my grinder and made all the connections
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Unfortunately I can't get it to work. The variable frequency controller keeps giving an error, too low voltage. According to the seller it has to do with my electrical installation at home. Anyone has an idea?
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