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Any Makers want to be a Mentor...?

Raoul Duke Nov 10, 2013

  1. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    I'm keen to start learning about making Knives. I would like to travel, and combine it with my interests/ hobbies.

    I have read a fair bit, know a little bit, (Already traveled to meet a maker for one day.) I realise that I learn best through direct observation and hands on experience.

    I am lucky that I have a lot of free time (I work a 28/ 28 day rotation; 28 days at work, 28 days off work)

    Also I am very lucky to be able to travel by air to pretty much anywhere in the world.
    I get business class flights to my work, but If I choose to use economy flights I can travel a lot further...e.g. I can include a round trip to the USA for free in my work flights each month...(They are happy for us to do that BTW.)

    So what I am asking is; Are there any knife makers out there that would like to be a hands on mentor to me.

    What I would benefit from is meeting makers, seeing them at work, seeing their works in progress, seeing different workshop set ups, getting some hands on experience, talking about and seeing knife making as its happening.

    I am trying to do this on a reasonable budget, but I can certainly pay my way, pay for what I use, put myself up in nearby motel/ hostel etc, come and go as required…I would not be a PITA and realize you have a life too that I would not incroach on!

    I can offer myself up to work in exchange for your time…e.g if you need to set up your new shop I can help with all the donkey work…labor for you (I am a skilled industrial professional so I am quite handy at setting up stuff.)

    I’d even do yard work, or whatever helps…I don’t want a free ride...I'm ideally looking for a fair trade...But I could pay for mentor ship if required.
    I'm saving up for workshop equipment, I have a suitable place, but it needs alot of work, and I would like to see a range of equipment used in various shops before I choose my own kit.

    Looking to travel all over the world over the next few years doing this, but I know there is a lot of you guys in the US, and Its somewhere I definitely want to see lots of and will travel around anyway…
    I would happily travel all the way to the US, or wherever just for a few days of experience, after all it’s cheap for me to do so with the free flights, I also want to get back home to see my kids during my time off, so I won’t be in any location for too long…

    I have over the years collected a lot of different knives, I mainly collect balisongs, and one day would like to make those but they are quite challenging to get right (I have a great offer already to go and learn with a maker that specializes in them, which I fully intend to do when the dates line up,) but I am keen to learn to make all style of knives…I want to/ think its best to start with simple fixed blades/ kitchen knives etc…and progress up from there…I am interested in whatever you can offer.

    So hit me up if you wouldn’t mind me coming down to your shop for a few days…if you’d like to impart some of what you have learned on to me, and help a devil out.

    Hopefully over the years this thread can become a WIP thread...
  2. knife dragon

    knife dragon Huge member

    Go for it dude

    hey Raoul Duke,
    well, u had balls enough to ask the question. just don't hold your breath for any to beat a path to your door/post.

    with that said , i saw your post and thought what you realy want to do is be a makers apprentice imho.

    i think it's real tough to get a mentor, cause mentors usually know the person they are dealing with usually and that would also entail being local to the maker usually too. at least i think that would be your best opportunity to do the deal.

    also if you plan on bouncing around learning many makers won't like that idea. i would think they will feel it's not worth there time & effort to have you come and go as you please...

    Now as to an apprentice, that is more formal and you surely know what's expected of you in general. it's like being a disciple of a Chinese martial arts master. they may so ok finally but that does not mean you get access to all their methods/techniques just because you're in the door .

    it's fine to want to make all styles of knives, but i'd ask the serious makers famous/not how best to get into the game. I'd look for local dudes you have a connection with.

    one of the local dudes in my area offered to help me in anyway he could... and i smiled inside very wide too. problem for me is i don't think i can physically do it with my arthritis & other physical issues.

    Don't let anything deter you dude. cause you're gonna need to stay game to be able to do well in the knife game as with anything else worth pursing. in the end all kung fu (skills) is basically the same in essence.

    i wish you all the best in this endeavor:thumbsup:
  3. OnceBitten

    OnceBitten Momma said I'd go blind Brigade Member


    I think that you think that you know more than you really do.

    You'd be surprised at what some of our people do for one another.

    J has been a member of JD forever and isn't the type to take advantage of people.

    He also doesn't start arguments for no reason........just sayin'
    Shawn Hatcher likes this.
  4. Bill T

    Bill T Snatch Boogie Knife Maker or Craftsman

    Hey Raoul,

    Let me beat path to your door...

    I myself am teaching a few guys who are interested in knifemaking.

    All of us have day jobs, so it's a get it done when we can kind of thing.
    Sometimes matching up days where 2 of us are off at the same time leads to weeks, sometimes months without shop time.

    But don't let that thought hinder you.

    One good way to approach this idea of yours is to get one of the yearly Knife Digests- Knives 2012, Knives '13, Knives '14 etc..

    In the back pages is a country and state breakdown of who lives where.

    Send a maker in an area you may be visiting a letter, explaining what is is you are interested in.

    You may or may not get the results you want, but it's worth a try.

    Also you could plan on going to one of Bark Rivers Grind-ins.

    I also know of a maker, Joe Szilaski, who actually does have classes, 3-4 days, at his shop in NY..http://www.szilaski.com/

    In all seriousness, apprenticing is more than you need IMHO.
    What you, and anyone else who reads this is just a short time with someone. Because the Learning really is in the Doing.
    This book here is a great foundation..

    If you have any questions feel free to PM me anytime

    And Knife Dragon, just shutup, you keep proving yourself to be an asshole with your opinions.
    GEEZER likes this.
  5. knife dragon

    knife dragon Huge member

    good on you Mr. Bill. the more detailed stuff to get him there is what he's trying to garner from his post. i figured someone would chime in sooner or later.

    I'm not going to do what you would like me to dude. shame on you is all i will say, i'll not ruin a good thread by a decent man to make you happy! :bwah:.

    i just stumbled across this link and low and behold saw some sites you might want to checkout.


    Knife Tutorials A good place for knife making info

    Knife Network Another good place for knife making info

    How To Make Knives Some great tutorials and info
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  6. OnceBitten

    OnceBitten Momma said I'd go blind Brigade Member

    So......now you back-pedal after your somewhat discouraging post three hours previous to this last one.

    A little excerpt from your PM to me (20 minutes prior to your second post in this thread), titled: "your wrong plain and simple" (sic)

    Once again I (and everyone else) "can't get what is plainly in front of you (me/us) & want to stir shit needlessly".

    You "don't want any useless drama."

    You are consistently of the notion that a) you are always right and b) everyone else is wrong.

    Don't you see a pattern here? Are you too narcissistic to see it?

    You start the drama......every fucking time.

    Someone suggested that you stop posting for a bit; that was sound advice.
  7. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    What I should have said was I want to hang out with knife makers from the JD and am in a unique position of being able to do so as I can travel anywhere and am willing...

    I know its blowing my own trumpet, but I am a good guy, I know this, I work all over this bitch and its tough...I am not a sheltered soul...I think any maker would actually gain something out of sharing their time and shop with me...I have seen alot...done alot...I can do alot, and am a reasonably clever cunt...

    I would help any makers I meet anyway I could, exchange Ideas, challenge them...they would grow also, + they would be paying it forward, IMHO they would benifit from that too...There are no knifemakers anywhere near where I live, I have looked...there are makers futher afield...I have been into knives for years...I have traveled across my country to meet knife makers for just one afternoon, I paid for their time...
    TBH I want to go to the USA anyway becuse thats where its at...I do also want to go all over the world to see it anway, to travel through it, To meet people...Make new friends...Put faces to the names I have met here on the JD...It would be great if I can hook up with knifemakers on my travels...All the better.

    Mentor is the wrong word, your right KD, I dont know the word for what I want to explain...?
    But as to what you think makers would think, that is neither here or there...It may not be the case that 'many makers won't like that idea'...Some might...They are the guys I am aiming at...
    The makers that dont like the idea of my thread will simply gloss over it and choose not to post...
    Thanks for the links, I will check them out...!

    I dont want to ask to be an apprentice straight off the bat. I could look to do that in the future if I found a maker that was willing to do that with me...
    I was just hoping there were some part time or full time makers out there on the JD that wouldn't mind me arranging a visit to their shop, to actually see what they do, what equipment they have and why...If possible getting involved would be great...Thats whats important for me to try to arrange...
    I know its unlikley, but as oncebitten said "You'd be surprised at what some of our people do for one another." & thats why I posted....I have seen some pretty generous things happen here on the JD, and if you don't put it out there it wont happen.

    I have no preconcived Ideas of what it should be like or what I should expect...I am no snob...I work in Kazakhstan and have many local friends...Its a totally different world out here and I fit right in to most places I visit.

    I know timing is an issue...I would fully understand if I got halfway across the world and they said to me, sorry something came up, and its not going to happen...that would be totally fine, I'm a big boy and I would go find something else to do I am adaptable...It would have still been a journey for me, and thats cool with me...

    Hey Bill,...Thanks for the links/ suggestions also...all good stuff... I will check it out..!

    The courses you suggested dont fall exactly into the dates I can travel on...( LOL, I know picky aren't I :) )...same with the grind'ins, I have missed the last 2 years as the dates didn't line up with my rotations/ work shedule...Mike S. is a cool dude and one day I will go see him when I can for sure!!!...I look forward to it...!!!
    I will keep an open mind on courses though...Maybe I can find one that helps, but as I said, I want to see a hobiest/ home kinda set up...something I can aspire to...It would be great to see the knife making industry, but I will never have a huge CNC plant in my outbuilding, the most I think I will get to is a grinder
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  8. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member


    Another open offer from another cool maker/ Devil to check out their set up/ work/ and get involved...

    I will post my reply to them so you get the idea below...

    Thank you very much Sir!!!

    Thats exactly what I am looking for! A list of good devils that, if I am going to be the area, I can look up and let them know/ see if they are about...No pressure...

    Your workshop sounds perfect, just what I expected...I would be honered if we get the chance to meet...

    I wouldn't expect to be put up...I will find a hotel or motel/ hostel to stay in and come and go as you please...I realise you have a life too...

    It may take me a while (maybe a year) to get there if ever...but I really appreciate the offer...

    and if it all goes tits up on the day, I'm sure I will find plenty to do in xxxxxxx...

    thankyou again...I will xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!

    all the best

  9. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    And here's the results...

    My first knife...(and most of my own work...About 85% of it anyways...


  10. Mack22

    Mack22 JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Your work looks like its been produced by a 'professional' Raoul Duke.
    Top stuff mate!

    Was it an easy 'task'?
    How long did it take to get the finished product?
    How many tries?

    How long were you at this persons stable?
    How was the experience altogether?

    Something you see doing 'forever' ?

    Knice Knife, Knice Bump :P
    You can pm me if you want, or share your experience here.
  11. Bill T

    Bill T Snatch Boogie Knife Maker or Craftsman

    I will answer some from my perspective, as it was in my shop he created his knife.

    Was it an easy 'task'? He sure made it look easy....

    How was the experience altogether? For me as his teacher. ..exceptional. .a dream student

    Something you see doing 'forever' ? Raoul Duke would easily be a great maker if he choose to do so.

    Having him is the shop was as much fun as it could possibly be.
    All of my students turn out to be great friends, as well as knifemakers. Raoul certainly was no exception. We are already planning to have him again, for more knives, but mostly for good times.

    If there are any Makers who get a chance to help/mentor a willing student, I challenge you to take the leap.
    Teaching someone not only enriches the Student, but also the Teacher.
  12. Looseyfur

    Looseyfur OG Flipper JDBA Official Member Knife Maker or Craftsman

    what ... no video?
  13. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    No...no video...there's only so many time you want to hear Bill saying Oh...fuck you!..when you pull of an even grind on both sides...

    Mack...I spent 3 days on it in total...

    the last day I wasn't on form and chewed up the secondary grind on the flats...I actually ground the choil back after heat treat and go through a lot of hardened S35V to get there...

    I should have listened to Bill and held back...my initial grinds were good... I was very please, but wanted a shorter choil and more of a recurve so went after it....

    The results were a bit of a mixed bag...I went too thin on the back of the blade, and through the belly it's a much thicker grind....Then it massively thins out again heading towards the tip...It works out great because I could easy whale down on the belly and hammer it, but the tip still slices pretty good...

    I scorched the area near the choil....It sounds ok on a file but the grind back of the choil caused things to get a bit funky on the flats... Had to get Bill to pull things back in line for me...he also surface ground the flats...after chewing up my fingers grinding I didn't have the dexterity...

    Yes I can see myself doing this a lot...I wanna make the grind in but the dates don't match up for me...

    I learned a Fuck of A lot...thank you very much Bill...!

    more pics:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
    Nirvana likes this.
  14. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Completely out of fucks to give Brigade Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
    GEEZER likes this.
  15. Shawn Hatcher

    Shawn Hatcher knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

    Raoul, you should be damned proud of that knife. Most impressive work.

    I'm not a great maker, but if you're ever in Central Texas, you're welcome in my shop.
    Raoul Duke likes this.

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