Knife Patterns

Having looked around the web for decent starting points for making knives, I found a lack of free printable knife patterns, templates or any knife profiles in PDF or other suitable format and have had mixed results. In an effort to contribute to the knife-maker community at large, I'd like to share some profiles that I have made. These are not to be considered precise, but rather a starting point for your knife project. Feel free to add your own variations, shrink, stretch, pencil over the curves etc. You can transfer them to wood, polycarbonate or steel to make a pattern.


I try to make them in different sizes so one should be a close fit to your piece of steel.
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These are FREE to use. Free as in Beer. If you do use them, I'd appreciate if you sent me a note or a pic of the finished knife; that would be awesome!
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Note: Save the PDF or open in Acrobat first before printing. Printing directly from your browser's preview as this can distort the dimensions. 

There are now over 75 PDF downloads now! Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions! 
 

More profiles at the Knife Patterns II page, Knife Patterns III and Knife Patterns IV pages.
Please 

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DH18 - Drop point
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XMDJlTkFqcWhIRlE/edit?usp=sharing



















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BC4 Bushcraft Knife

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XVFd3WUlVck9RSGM/edit?usp=sharing




















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Chef's Knives

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XSXY0VC1LWk9rams/edit?usp=sharing


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DP16 - Drop Point

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XMUVINTk3VlpOOW8/edit?usp=sharing




















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CP2 - Clip Point w/Thumb Grip
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XeFNpTTU0b3dXalk/edit?usp=sharing




















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BK2 - Drop Point

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XeU1OSVFnZGxLSkU/edit?usp=sharing



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 DH15 - Drop Point Hunter



















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 DH14 - Drop Point Hunter




















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 DH13 - Drop Point Hunter





















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DH12 - Drop Point Hunter

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XekFhaWdPYzd6SzQ/edit?usp=sharing

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DH11 - Drop Point Hunter
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XdFR6Q3M4Rl9hSEk/edit?usp=sharing


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DH10 - Drop Point Hunter
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XaDFrWmd0VW1oT2c/edit?usp=sharing




















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DH9 - Drop-point Hunter

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XZklORVJqSGV0SlE/edit?usp=sharing



















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DH8 -  Hunting Knife

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XRGt6ZFF5eHNyZ2c/edit?usp=sharing



















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DH7 -  Hunting Knife

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XY1NRMDk2WGhsWGc/edit?usp=sharing


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DH6 - Hunting Knife





















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CP1 - Clip Point
Roughly based on Paul Beebe's design.






















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DH5 - Drop Point Hunter























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KR1 - Template in various sizes.

 


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BC2 - Bushcraft knife
http://dcknives.com/public/downloads/BC2%20-Template%20-%202013-DanCom.pdf



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BC3 - Bushcraft Knife






















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DH1 - Drop-point Hunter
This is a design based on Schuyler Lovestrand's beautiful Model H-10.







 

 

 



 

 

 






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DH2 - Hunter
This is a slight variation on the Hunter theme.




















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LZ1 Template
This is roughly based on Marcin Bona's "Lizard" design.





















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BRA1 - Bushknife





















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DH3 - Drop-Point Hunter
With in-tang lanyard hole. Akin to the "fox."


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XQ2VGMjNnNENmZ3M/edit?usp=sharing





















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MIL1 - Military/Police Knife
Styled similar to ESEE MIL series.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XbldMRmhDbV81NVk/edit?usp=sharing






















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TCK1 - Tactical Style
With Western tanto style tip.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6FhjkYELD-XU3BMTk5weWZrXzg/edit?usp=sharing





















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More profiles at the Knife Patterns II page.
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HOW TO MAKE A PATTERN

As a rule, I always make some form of pattern when doing a first time profile. This is how I do it.

Print the profile and choose the right size for your stock. In this example I choose the 8" version. After printing, simply slap a ruler down and determine which is best. Remember that there will be some line thickness from your marker, so choosing a size that is slightly smaller than your stock is better than one which is slightly larger that your stock.


Using regular scissors I cut the paper to shape and do whatever creative curves here.
 Cut a piece of plywood, say 1/8" or 1/4" that will fit your paper cutout.
 Glue the paper down to the plywood using any PVA glue, wood glue/white school glue etc.
 Once dry, get to cutting it out with coping saw, band saw, scroll saw, whatever means you have.
 I have a small bandsaw that works great for this. Be sure to cut outside the line as we're going to want to sand this into a near-perfect shape.
 Once cut, sand to the line (or wherever you want the shape to be). I use 80 grit to get the basic shape. Sometimes a round file works good in the tight inside curves.
 Drill the holes for the pins/lanyard holes. I use a small bit, 1/8" for this as the holes are only for marking and don't have to be the actual size of the pins.
I keep several versions of the same design for giggles. Clamp the pattern down to your steel and mark the shape with a paint pen or permanent marker. Wherever possible, apply the pattern in a way the will reduce the amount of cutting. In this case I put the template near the top edge. Putting it in the middle would mean having to cut both top and bottom out. This can amount to lots of extra work depending on the thickness of the stock.




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Here's a picture of Mark's knife made from DH9. Awesome work for a first knife! Thanks for the pic Mark.






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Here's a picture of Pete's knife with scales made of white oak from a whiskey barrel. Thanks Pete.






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These are Larry's skinners with paracord. Sweet looking hamons!






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A beautiful knife based on the DH1 by Henry.





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I like what Hunter did with this variation on the DH6 pattern. Very sleek!





















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This very nice knife and sheath were made by Andrew from the BC2 pattern. Beautiful!

96 comments:

  1. You a rare breed who takes there time/money to help others. God Bless You.
    Thanks Again.
    Have a great weekend my friend,
    Claymoore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no god.

      Cool patterns though.

      Delete
    2. How does anything exist? There was lack of existance then boom... stuff.

      Delete
    3. If someone says God Bless, they are just hoping you receive blessings. If you want to consider is free Karma then so be it. In the end they are simply being nice and hope that good things come your way. I don't understand why folks cant just take it for what it is, being nice. :)

      Delete
  2. Thank you for your kind words Clay. One gets what one gives and I very fortunate to be able to do what I do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cheers for sharing, very helpful for starters! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you very much. Just what I was looking for as a new maker.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are excellent! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Austin, I believe I was pouring through a library book at the time: 500 Knives: Celebrating Traditional & Innovative Designs, either that or Bark River or possibly inspired by Eli Jensen's designs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey, there are some great designs here, made a blade based on one but have to no idea how to post/send a picture of the finished knife.

    ReplyDelete
  8. knife is more important product in human life mostly this is use in kitchen. your discussion on this topic is to good.
    hunting knives

    ReplyDelete
  9. I want to sincerely thank you Dan for these on your site. As a new knifemaker, I also have been frustrated on finding patterns. Have bought many books (including Loveless) to find patterns that a noobie like me can start on then learn to use creativity later on. A case of beer (not just one) will be coming from the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Troy, thank you for your kind words. A beer sounds good but you know how shipping works. Maybe you could buy a beer for a fellow noobie on my behalf. Cheers!

      Delete
  10. hi, These knife patterns are very innovative. Knife is an very important tools in daily use life. It is used from cutting to survival purposes. Knife lovers will find this blog very helpful.
    Thanks Check...Automatic-Knives

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Dan for all the good info you have here. I wanted to show you a finished knife based on one of your designs, but can't seem to add a pic here. How can I get you the photo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PJ,

      Great to hear! Send me a photo to dan-(at)-dcknives.com.

      Dan

      Delete
  12. Dan. Just sent you a pic of a finished knife. Thanks for the assist. Mark

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wanted to ask your opinion on the best way to cut and grid my first knife.
    I decided on 440c because of articles I've read about it. Tonight was the start on the project and it quickly ended in frustration. Went through 3 (probably cheaper) hack saw blades and then tried to grind some of it with my bench grinder. I kept dipping the steel in water to keep it cool but my grinder hardly removed any material at all. I also have a hand grinder but didn't know if that would heat the steel too much. Once it starts to color change in the grind spot, thats getting it too hot?

    Thanks for any tips of suggestions you could pass along.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, 440C is pretty tough to work and I'd expect to go through a couple of hacksaw blades, depending on the thickness of material you are working with. Get bi-metal blades, DeWalt ones are fairly good.

      To profile my first blades I used some 18 tooth-per-inch blades and a bench grinder with a 'coarse' stone. Yes this does get hot. Just go slow, keep dipping and of course wear some work gloves so you can handle the hot piece. Some guys clamp the steel in a vise and use a disc grinder too. That way you're holding on to the grinder, not the steel. You can finish the profile with a file and get it accurate to your pattern lines.

      Once you are done the profile, cut the bevels with a coarse file. Something like a mill bastard file. I used a jig to help guide the file. (see my Shop Jigs & Fixtures page for ideas.)

      As far as getting it too hot, and any heat at this stage generally isn't a big deal as you are going to have the finished blade heat treated after all your grinding, filing and sanding are done. Once the heat treatment is done and the blade is hard, any excess heat at that point will ruin the hardness. For 440C, I would recommend sending the blade out for heat treatment, unless you have kiln capable of 1000°C (1900°F).

      The best advice I could offer would be to visit the Knife Network (http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=18) and hang out in the Newbies Arena. I am learning so much from those guys and they are super helpful.

      Good luck!

      Dan

      Delete
    2. Thanks Dan! I am using 1/8 inch stock for the knife. I think the issue with my bench grinder was the grinding wheel wasn't course enough. Going to get better hacksaw blades and a different bringing wheel today.

      I've read and watched hours of videos on You Tube about knife making and have learned a ton so far.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for sharing! i made knife using one of your templates( drop point hunter dh13). i used l6 carbon steel,flat grinded and cheery wood for handles. Thanks again very useful. greatings from Serbia

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beginner knife maker here, just wondering why you make the knife pattern out of plywood and then trace it on to the steel, I know this is very common and probably necessary in some way that I don't understand but why don't you just trace the pattern onto the steel straight from the printed out pattern?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Hunter,

    I make the pattern from thin plywood as it's more durable and easier to clamp and trace than paper or cardboard. Both plywood and polycarbonate are easy to shape with sanders and files until they represent a perfected shape. Once made, I can make many copies on to steel.

    A busy knife maker will make patterns out of steel, where 100s of knives can be made from the initial pattern. So it's about durability.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  17. please call me dan lee at jack russell leather 517 677 1468

    ReplyDelete
  18. i used several patterns thanks i also have cnc machined the handles they fit with no sanding at all

    ReplyDelete
  19. would love a design for folder or flip open style i could the parts for you if you like ...Lee

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, I am going to start selling my knives and was wondering if you mined me using your patterns for commercial use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alaks,

      It was always the intention that the maker would add his or her own flavor when creating a permanent pattern. Every aspiring knifemaker will sell a knife sooner or later and that's a great thing. I have no issues with you selling a knife which has it's origins in one of these templates. "Free as in beer" means I won't come asking you to pay me later.

      Please note that I maintain copyrights on the PDF files and reproducing the files for commercial use requires written permission.

      Best of luck in your endeavour!

      Dan

      Delete
  21. This will be a great help as I am just getting started making knifes.

    Thanks So Much
    Rudy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rudy. I am trying to document as many knifemaking processes as possible. I am always looking for suggestions. If you think I missed something, please let me know.

      Cheers!

      Dan

      Delete
  22. thanks for sharing patterns
    like to sends pics of knives made with your patterns.
    capoprn@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. You're great! Saved lots of these nice patterns. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dan,
    What program do you use to draw up your knife patterns?
    I need to do that with some of my designs so I can save them electronically.

    Justin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Justin,

      Adobe Illustrator or any vector graphics editor (OpenOffice Draw, CorelDRAW etc.) will let you draw or trace and make the shape in vector form. I use the Spline and Bezier functions. Once in vector form the image of the knife can be scaled without losing quality.

      Best wishes!

      Dan

      Delete
  25. Thank you for all of your hard work for us knifemakers out there. Best of wishes from Montana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words. Always great to hear from our neighbours in Montana!

      Delete
  26. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

    Tool Steels For Demolition Knives & Tool Steels For Slitter and Side Trimmer Knives

    ReplyDelete
  27. i made a bar of damascus and made a knife with it based ona template here. how do i get a photo to you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi James,

      You can send it to: knives/@/dcknives/./com (remove the slashes)

      Cheers!

      Dan

      Delete
  28. Dan, i've never thought there was such a useful source like this for knife designing. Amazing.
    Thanks for time and hardwork
    Blessing from Italy
    All the best
    Ubaldo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ubaldo,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Delete
  29. Wonderful drawings ! Do you have a file (zip, rar, etc. archive) with all these drawings together? Would you be so kind as to help me find them ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the suggestion. I do not currently have all the PDFs in one file. I am however working on a database which will allow you to search by style or key words to locate and download a knife pattern.

      Dan

      Delete
    2. I can combine them into one file in 15 seconds if you like. Send me your e-mail.

      Delete
  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for posting these. I used and very slightly modified "CP2 - Clip Point w/Thumb Grip" for my 1st crack at crafting my own blade. The finished product is filled with flaws but damn I'm proud! How can I send you pictures so that I can fulfill your request for pictures of finished products?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matt! Sounds awesome. You can send me a pic via email. I have a link at the top of this page: Knife Patterns III

      Delete
  32. Thank you so much! I'm going to download all of these. I was breaking my head trying to design a knife and I had basically given up. But then I finally got to work and designed one, I kept changing things until I had completely changed the look a few times over. I don't think I'll have a problem drawing now but I'll need a backup since I'm not too good at drawing smaller knives.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Excellent.
    Thanks from Chile, (Quellon, Chile).

    ReplyDelete
  34. Really appreciate the tips, patterns and ALL the good factual info. Just completed a blade smithing course this summer and hope to build a small forge soon. Your photos and advice are right on.
    Glad to see a fellow Canuck who is willing to share the knowledge in an open manner, makes me proud to be Canadian.
    Thanks Kooter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words Kooter. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you!

      Delete
  35. Great designs, thanks from the UK! Making some now!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you so much for all the insightful and helpful tips. I do have one question, I recently came into possession of a few hidden tang (?) blades. From the point to plunge line their about 8ins. How would attach scales to these? Would you add a weight of some sort to balance the handle and blade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Normally for hidden tang knives we wouldn't use scales. I would use a block and hollow it out for the tang to fit into. Then I would glue and pin. If the tang goes all the way though the handle (through tang) you can attach a butt of say brass or stainless steel. This would put some weight at the back end to counter a heavy blade.

      Good luck!

      Dan

      Delete
  37. Thanks Dan!! These are perfect templates for what I've been looking for! I'll send you some pics really soon! Brett

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Dan, the link to the BC4 template appears to be broken? And many thank's for all the templates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up. I fixed the links.

      Cheers!

      Dan

      Delete
  39. Thanks for the patterns! There is very little truly "free" things on the web anymore. I transferred some to scrap plastic laminate I had in the shop, formed it with the 2X72 and now have thin, durable patterns. Thanks again and will send some pictures once my work becomes worthy.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. Giving is the way to ensure we always have plenty. ;-) I hope that you find some useful in your craft. Please let me know how your knives turn out. They are always super rewarding!

      Dan

      Delete
  40. Where can u buy the steel and where do u ship it to get heat treated

    ReplyDelete
  41. I get steel from Canadian Knifemaker Supply. I heat treat myself in my shop. If you are in the USA, try Admiral Steel, New Jersey Steel Baron, Jantz Supply or USA Knifemaker. (search for knife making supplies). For heat treatment, try someone local first. If you can't find a heat treatment service near to you, there's Peter's, Paul Bos, Texas Knife Supply and Pacific Metallurgical. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  42. These are great, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you so much for these!!! I'm making some of these for my Friends for Christmas/Birthdays!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey was wondering if your email was full. Tried sending some pics of my first knife but kept getting a bounce back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly some issues with the server. Mail seems to be working ok.

      Delete
  45. Thank you very much for your pdf. Best regards from Romania.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi I'm thinking of making a small knife my dad could use to skim small game like rabbit, any suggestions on the design i should use? I really appreciate people like you giving people that want to start out, a resource such as this one;] thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These knives are commonly called "bird and trout" amd feature a full length, slightly skinny handle, and a thin shallow blade about 4" (100 mm) long and 3/4" (20 mm) high. Take a paring knife as a starting point.

      Delete
  47. hey man, please, can you send me and zip or something like that with all pdfs?of all 4 pages? o would love it, im making an workshop with some friends and i love making things im making one now i have drew and i will make a lot of knifes with your templates or with changed templates (by me uahuahauha) can you do that for me?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi DanCom,

    First of all, i love your blog! It has a lot of useful info and the knife patterns are awesome. I based my first knife on the BK-2 template. It was quite an adventure, it took me a couple of months to finish, but I am very happy with the result.

    Here are some pics:
    http://imgur.com/JlAfVCd
    http://imgur.com/l5P80lI
    http://imgur.com/napfMJ9

    specs:
    blade length = 210mm (8.3')
    blade thickness = 4mm (0,16')
    Hardness = 58-59 HRC
    Micarta handle
    Kydex sheath

    (As I live in Belgium - Europe, the shipping cost from US were way to high. Therefor I got my supplies from 'www.jatagan.eu'. A tip for all European knife makers)

    Greetings, and keep up the good work.
    Vincent
    Belgium

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hey DanCom, I was wondering if you had any templates of camping knives with a bottle opener at the bottom? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not as of yet. But seeing that they are increasing in popularity I could come up with something.

      What ever happened to the twist-off cap? :-)

      Dan

      Delete
  50. Dude...thanks...I'm starting out making my first knife and I'll be using a design from above. It's gonna be kick ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on! I'd love to see how it turns out. I am afraid you will become addicted to knifemaking. :-)

      Dan

      Delete
  51. Hi there im starting to make knives and i was wondering what program you use to make these wonderful templates
    thanks tate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I use a couple of programs. One is OpenOffice Draw, the other is Corel Draw (old school). As long as the software is capable of making "vector drawings" then it's worthwhile using. I have a post and video on using OpenOffice Draw. http://dcknives.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-to-make-knife-template.html

      Cheers!

      Dan

      Delete
  52. Howdy!

    I've been using your knife patterns for quite some time. I wanted to say thank you for such a great resource and to show you a blade I made recently using your BC2 pattern.

    http://i.imgur.com/S0LYu1z.jpg

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, That is one very handsome knife and sheath. I would like to add the photo below.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Dan

      Delete
  53. Hello dan,

    I used one of your template,s , and now i,m supposed to send you a picture of the finished knife, but i can,t find a email adres to send it to

    Greetings
    Gerben
    The netherlands

    ReplyDelete
  54. I just came across your site. Truly amazing for you to share all this information. Deeply grateful as I struggle with design more than with making.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Focus on the making part. Your designs will come out of that.

      Thanks man, Keep on it. Send a pic.

      Dan

      Delete
  55. Hey Dan great site thanks for the patterns. Here is one i just finished based on the 1LZ pattern. Feel free to add it to the site. http://imgur.com/je0nl59 http://imgur.com/L86qt4R

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  56. This is a treasure trove. Thank you for your work here.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Awesome knife templates. I noticed you have a HT1 and HT3 knife designs but I can't find HT2. Is there an HT2 design?

    ReplyDelete
  58. I've started working on the BC4 pattern using an old metal file i had. After softening it, i ground it down, and super glued the pattern to it. Using a cutting disc i cut it out. Sanded it with a hand sander 36 grit, up to 120. I'm now hand filing the edge, it's going great! I'll post a pic soon!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I just finished a copy of your 120Vac oven and the ramping slows way down around 440 deg f. Is that normal or do I have do do something else? Great build.

    ReplyDelete