15-Year-Old Builds His Business With a Tormach PCNC 440

Stone Hendrickson started making things at an early age. His uncle got him into archery at around 10- or 11-years old, and his interest in manufacturing spawned very quickly.

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Knife Maker Uses TITANS of CNC: Academy and a PCNC 440 to Launch His Business

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Tools You Need to Build a Shop for Knife Making

Knife making can be both artisan and a highly automated process, but like any craft, there are some very specific tools that make the whole process easier. While you might be able to make a knife with a hunk of steel and a couple files, having the right tools in your shop will make things much easier.

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3 Ways You Can Make a Knife

Walter Sorrells is a professional bladesmith and a YouTube knife maker. His channel focuses on teaching the processes of making knives and exposing the world to everything that is involved in the knife making process. Sorrells recently bought a PCNC 770 to help him produce and standardize his line of Tactix Armory knives. Since his channel focuses on tips for the knife maker, Sorrells launched a three-part series of videos, where he makes the same knife three different ways. He creates the basic design in Fusion 360, so as to keep the final design fairly similar. But, Sorrells does change up the type of steel he uses from knife to knife, since different metals lend themselves to better work with different knife making processes.  In the first video, he makes the knife with basic tools that almost anybody inclined to make stuff has in their garage. This more rudimentary style still uses a printout from his CAD file for the layout of the initial design. With little more than a bench grinder and a power drill, Sorrells makes a fairly impressive throwing knife. [youtube]vaHwLSxHyGg[/youtube] The second video in the series goes the more traditional route of hand-making a knife with professional tools, like a belt grinder, a mill drill, and a forge. He still uses the CAD file, but simply traces the pattern right onto the steel blank. [youtube]kHqGfN5Xb4A[/youtube] Lastly, Sorrells goes to his PCNC 770 and walks through the details of designing, fixturing, even dealing with details like chatter when cutting thin parts. He even goes through the challenges of using S30V steel when it comes to feeds and speeds. S30V is a high-performance stainless steel, which likes to wear on tools more than mild or high-carbon steel. After taking his material and cutting tools into consideration, Sorrells cuts through this stuff at about seven inches per minute without any coolant. [youtube]pR4j9kIPie4[/youtube]

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Knifemaking the Tormach Way

After an injury while serving time in the military, Phil Rose found himself delving into the world of knifemaking. His business, Phil Rose Knives, operates as a partnership between Phil and his father, and they use a Tormach PCNC 1100 to produce their custom knives.

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Recap: CNC Knifemaking Workshop

About a year ago, we started toying with the idea of creating a specialty CNC workshop at the Tormach Training Center here at the company headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. The workshop would fit into a niche-interest like knifemaking, RC car modding, or model railroading. We already had the training facility and qualified machinists—the only factor missing from the equation was an instructor willing to come up with a project for the class. Partnering with John Grimsmo on his popular Knifemaking Tuesdays video documentary, we put the challenge in John's corner, asking him to design a knife that could be built from a raw piece of waterjet cut from 5160 high carbon steel over the course of three to four days. Describing the workshop as a hands-on specialty course designed for CNC enthusiasts with a special interest in the craft of making high-end custom knives, students would also receive practical experience in CNC programming, machine control, and machining. He came up with the Tor, a fixed blade hunting knife each student would make as a "take home" project at the end of the week. [singlepic id=526 w=320 h=240 float=center] Scheduling the class for the first part of November, five students registered—one from Texas, two from California, and two from here in Wisconsin. Following a daily itinerary, blades were machined, heat treated, tempered and hard-milled for a surface finish. G10 handles were then machine contoured and installed with the blade before using a Wicked Edge knife sharpening system on the final edge. Between classroom instruction and making their own Tor, students worked together and even hung out at the local brew pub one night. Knowing a few people might be interested in seeing what went on during the class, we took the opportunity to roll the camera throughout the week. Talking about their overall experience and impressions on the last day, here's what they had to say.

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