Critique Request First completed knife

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Thread starter #1
First tries are the best and worst. Best in that it's a new experience, and worst in execution. I'm happy with it being a first and already know the points of contention, but wanted to get some critique from the people who really know what they are looking at. Thank you for looking, IMG_20190411_155542_190.jpg As this will be the first step in a hopefully long journey.
 
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Thank you roger, monk, and md. I appreciate the nudge in the right direction of course. I had messed up on the first go and had to go grind it down and go over the border again with less than desirable results, but I will say you learn a lot from the mistakes. (Funny that life has a similar dynamic.) I like the engraveable buck knife from grs, but didnt know if someone would recommend a slightly better presentation knife that could cut similarly. Going to get my leica in little over a month and want to have something to really bring to the vise.
-Matthew Evans
 
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edgrabow15

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#7
I think it looks great, Im just still in my 1st year and I've decided to spend the next few days cutting a million shade lines of all differant lengths and thicknesses, I just finished a practice plate and the shading is no where near what I want, 1/2 my problem is Rushing thru the shading, I know it , I just need to work at it, Im going to put on some softer music to start with and not tell myself that I want to have a certain area completed by a certain time anymore, Not this early in my lessons. If its done great. But perfect is definitely the only important thing from now on, Sorry for the bad picture, just a quickie.lol
 

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monk

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#8
I think it looks great, Im just still in my 1st year and I've decided to spend the next few days cutting a million shade lines of all differant lengths and thicknesses, I just finished a practice plate and the shading is no where near what I want, 1/2 my problem is Rushing thru the shading, I know it , I just need to work at it, Im going to put on some softer music to start with and not tell myself that I want to have a certain area completed by a certain time anymore, Not this early in my lessons. If its done great. But perfect is definitely the only important thing from now on, Sorry for the bad picture, just a quickie.lol
that's quite a beauty to look at
 

allan621

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#10
I agree with Roger. The design is nice, especially the upsweep of the scroll starts at the halfway point of the major area of the knife handle. But the uneven border takes away from it.

I don't do scroll work, just not good at it, and your engraving looks better than I could draw. But I do cut borders on pieces of jewelry. If you use a divider to scribe in the border, scribe in two lines instead of one, pretty close to each other. Then cut in the center of the two lines and border should look better. After a while it becomes easier to cut long single lines and you may not need the two lines, although in truth I still use two lines. Old habits are hard to break.

Allan
 
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Thread starter #11
Much appreciated Allan. The border was the first thing to cut, but even with pre-practice, still had the project jitters. I will definitely make a strong effort to keep my nerves about me. Do you have any examples of the jewelry you do? I understand from sam alfano that that's where the everyday dollar is for most engravers.
 

allan621

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#12
Well, showing you examples of jewelry I do is a tough one. Almost all the photos I have are of layouts of jewelry and hollowware sent for approval, very few of actual pieces. And since the photos were only to have customers check the spelling and placement, most of them are not exactly in focus or in a fancy setting. But I'll attach some of them at the end.

I have more photos of the charms I started making recently than of actual work I have done previously.

I'm not a genius engraver, I'm a work a day engraver. The work comes in, the work goes out. But each job has a minimum charge and that kind of piles up at the end of the day. Sometimes I make the minimum in 15 minutes , sometimes a lot more minutes than that. A lot more. But time practicing, and going slow when engraving makes for a more efficient work flow. After forty years engraving is like breathing, but it took a while to get there. There's a Mike Dubber video on youtube that shows him laying out and cutting a silver pendant. It's like that.

When I started engraving, there were more jewelry hand engravers than firearm and knife engravers. When I started in Philadelphia there were over a dozen good hand engravers in the jewelry district. When I left there were two.

Almost all the engravers now do firearms and knife engraving, scroll work. Very few jewelry letter engravers, almost no die making engravers, almost no stationary engravers. Engraving was a kind of dying craft but the firearm and knife engravers brought it back to life where its a dynamic, vibrant craft. Maybe a few will wander back into jewelry, using computer generated fonts and transfer techniques. I use them myself on rare occasions and I'm very thankful they're available.
 

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gcleaker

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#13
Work is simple elegant and concise nice job. Now get a good knife then do the same thing. I too often put lipstick on a pig and think it's going to turn into a monster cup supermodel. Haha but for real good job
 

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