Tools for Working Wood

 Joel's Blog at Tools for Working Wood

Making (and How To Make) Folding Knives in Sheffield England  

05/31/2011

When we decided to stock traditional English pocket knives we went to Taylor's Eye Witness in Sheffield, which has been trading since 1838. While they do do modern work their manufacture of folding knives relies on skill, practice, and remarkably unsophisticated machinery. Each knife is made by a single craftsman. In the video below we see a lot of traditional tools such as a knife maker's anvil which has a slot for the excess pivot pins. They have buffing wheels galore and the traditional disposable plastic coffee cup for cooling. Take a look at the video. The knives we stock are from their "Premier" decorative and fancier line, with multiple blades and decorative workbacks and take more effort and skill, but the core concept is the same.



The way you get good at free hand blade grinding is you practice. Here is how it's done (not at Taylor's Eyewitness but at another firm)


If you want to make your own folding knife the videos above were made in conjunction with this website which has very well done step by step instructions for making a folding knife and assumes you know very little about the process. If you navigate the website thoroughly it even has videos on knife design and short videos on hand operations that might seem tricky like riveting. I'm impressed at the method of instruction.

If you want to take a look at some very nice, very fancy, yet production, very useful, made in Sheffield folding knives for a present for your self or someone else - (father's day and graduation day are coming click here.

Here is a link to the researcher who made the films and the how to website as part of a project to understand how craft skills can be taught. Dr. Nicola Wood.

ps. Festool Jigs saws on sale tomorrow!!! (June 1).
Tags:Product News, Sales, and Promotions,Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects
Comments: 2
05/31/2011Steve 
There's a nice slide show about another Sheffield knifemaker, part of the Guardian's Disappearing Acts series: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/audioslideshow/2010/jan/26/sheffield-pocket-knife-trevor-ablett?INTCMP=SRCH
06/07/2011Anthony http://thedinosaurwalk.com/woodworkerswarehouse
This would be a great project, my grandfather will love it, thanks for the post. It kind of makes you agree with The Anarchist's Tool Chest, 50 tools or less and you can make anything.
Comments are closed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
Subscribe
 Joel's Blog
 Ben's Blog
 Work Magazine
Recent Blogs:
Colen Clenton - A Man and His Shed-10/29/2014
Designing a Moxon Vise-10/15/2014
The Modern Split-10/01/2014
This Weekend: Maker Faire AND The Saturday Market Project at The London Design Festival-09/19/2014
The English Arts & Crafts Movement-09/17/2014
Maker Faire 2014 - Sept 20-21, NYC - My presentation-09/10/2014
Woodwork On The Streets - And Other News-09/03/2014
Ken Hawley, MBE 1927-2014-08/21/2014
King Lear and the Common-07/30/2014
Summer Reading: Factory Man-07/16/2014
The Hand and Eye Blog and some FYI's-06/19/2014
Relentless Self Promotion (and a Small Freebie)-06/11/2014
Lettercarving In Wood and Chris Pye's Free Offer. -05/28/2014
Handworks May 2015, Amana IA - Probably a Bad Idea-05/21/2014
NYC Design Show at Industry City-05/14/2014
Gehard Demetz - Woodcarvings in Chelsea - and Other News-05/07/2014
Festool Domino Sale - Machines and Accessories 10% off May 1 - June 30th 2014-05/01/2014
Automation and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-04/23/2014
English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 5 - How to Handle a Chisel-04/17/2014
English Mortise Chisels - Mid-18th Century to Now - Part 4 - Chisel handles-04/15/2014
Older Entries...
Some Interesting Woodworking Blogs
Adam Cherubini
Tom Fidgen
Full Chisel Blog
Heartwood
Hock Tools - The Sharpening Blog
Norse Woodsmith
Jeff Peachy (book conservation)
Pegs and 'Tails
The Produce Savant
Konrad Sauer
Another Chris Schwarz Blog
Robin Wood Woodcraft
Rude Mechanicals Press(Megan Fitzpatrick)
UnpluggedShop.com - Hand Tool News
The Woodshop Bug
Chris Schwarz
Some Woodworking Forums
Family Woodworking
Knots
Saw Mill Creek
Wood Central
WoodNet
Woodwork Forums (Australia)
UK Workshop