Sunday, November 10, 2013





The parts came in for the bangle I have been working on.  I am kind of excited.  I have some re-designing to do.  The holes didn't quite come out and I had to manually clear them with some pin stem wire. The bench jeweler in me loved the monotony.  I also will have to alter the spacers for the knot that will need to be tied unless I use a crimp or a seamless cord. 

It was hard to find stretch cord that would actually stretch and return to its original length.  


I also think these parts are a little weak and I am a little worried about the sections snapping when stretched.  I think I can make the entire piece a little more dynamic by applying the same workflow that I use for the laser etched enamel brooches and increasing the thickness on the interior supports.  The shapes could get bigger and smaller and certain areas and be on both sides of the bracelet.  I am hopping to use grasshopper and see what happens.   Learning grasshopper on my own has been like learning a new language without ever hearing it.  

As usual, I have WAY too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I sent off new knife designs to my laser cutter.  Being that it is extremely hard to solve some issues without actually cutting material, I have decided to just go ahead and keep cutting until I find a design that works.  You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. 

Anyone need some knives?  Half off? 

 I am looking forward to a little break over thanksgiving.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

knife part II

So I picked up the knife blanks.  

Here is what I learned:

  • I used 1/8" 301 304 stainless which may be a little too thick
  • 301 304 stainless is not hardened tool steel so I need to experiment with cutting to determine how long the edge will keep. 301 is the same stainless industrial kitchen table tops are made from. 
  • My design is not perfect.  I think the handle needs to be longer in order for it to be better balanced and usable.  
  • I made two sizes, the larger blade is about eight inches long.   Unfortunately the handle on the larger knife is WAY too small.
  • I need to figure out how to stamp or mark the blade.  
  • I am also rough grinding the blade as much as I can and then I am actually having the edge ground by a cutlery expert near the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  I would love to do it myself, but until I can get a hold of some proper tools (Belt grinder etc) I am going to leave it to the experts.  
  • I have to alter the design a bit but I would like to make more soon for the holiday season.  
  • I should really put a hole in it, either for rivets or for it to hang on something.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

knife research Part ONE

Sooooooo coming off making two cutting boards for friends I have decided to do a limited run of knives.  

On with the research.  

Sometime last year I thought it would be great to make a couple of knives.  I ordered some knife steel and quickly realized..... that I didn't have the right tools to make what I wanted.  I burned up bits,  I snapped sanding belts and melted few things.  Plan B, fast forward to today.  I thought I would laser cut the metal and then all I would have to do it put on an edge and maybe make a handle?

So a little research.  First, I found this website that was incredibly informative.  This website made me realize that I was missing some of the vocabulary and design elements that would be necessary to even attempt making a a knife.  

I have a lot of experience with knives.  Ever since I was a teenager I have always had a knife on me or near me.  It all started with the swiss army knife then later a folding spyderco, then a gerber, saber on and on and on.  When I was older, working on two houses and having a full time job teaching studio classes  I was actually detained at an airport because I forgot to leave my knife at home.  I also love cooking and using knives in the kitchen.  De-boning turkeys, chickens and roasts.  Cutting Soba noodles.  

I have started designing a few things in Rhino and have based the design on a basic vegetable chopping knife/chefs knife hybrid.  I made two sizes thinking that one might make a great bench knife or prep knife.