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April 30, 2012 6:57 AM   Subscribe

How to Make a Tiny Kitchen Knife.

[via]
posted by quin (29 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
You think that's cool? You should see the inside of a mechanical watch. Watchmaker lathe FTW.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:00 AM on April 30, 2012


Very cool. Also, some links at the bottom of the page are NSFW.
posted by Kevtaro at 7:01 AM on April 30, 2012


They say he carved it himself .... from a bigger knife.
posted by barnacles at 7:01 AM on April 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ah, the Reverse Dundee. This isn't a knife.
posted by zamboni at 7:04 AM on April 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Khan Academy: Prison Skills 102
Enroll? [Yes] No
Purchase Insurance? [Yes] No
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:04 AM on April 30, 2012


If you go to the watermarked livejournal, he's also made a fork, a knife, and several other things.
posted by zamboni at 7:09 AM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's cool; if I ever have the spare time I might try it.

Also, love the post title!
posted by TedW at 7:11 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That really is fabulous, and it comes across as a doable project with the artists documentation, I got a little inspired like TedW!
posted by Iteki at 7:18 AM on April 30, 2012


he's also made a fork, a knife, and several other things.

The fork seems harder than the knife because of the tine spacing.

But the vise. Wow.
posted by DU at 7:52 AM on April 30, 2012


From the source link (can we get that switched out perhaps?) the vice is an amazing piece of tiny engineering, I love how the maker thinks in terms of cross-sections and re-purposing materials. Who knew a capacitor yields half-mm aluminium plate for making spoons with. Google translate also makes everything sound profound and surreal.
posted by Iteki at 7:56 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Giant match.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am pretty glad my hands are too shaky for this because otherwise I would spend the rest of my life making ALL THE TINY THINGS.
posted by elizardbits at 8:10 AM on April 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am surprised he isn't using the tiny vise to hold the tiny tools while he works on them.

Now I want to make some tiny things!
posted by caution live frogs at 8:12 AM on April 30, 2012


This entire post needs to be redone with links to his real site and direct links to awesome parts like kitchen set, crescent wrench, and vise.
posted by DU at 8:22 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just use an exacto knife to cut your tiny little steaks. sheesh.
posted by DarkForest at 8:29 AM on April 30, 2012


Handy if you want to cook some n scale pigeons.
posted by Namlit at 8:36 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


step 16 to 17, no problem. 17 to 18 ? Like voila...
posted by k5.user at 8:39 AM on April 30, 2012


Reminds me of when the Soviets beat back the Nazi hordes with their fleet of tiny, tiny T-34 tanks. T for tiny.
posted by TheRedArmy at 8:43 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Glad to see he isn't filing the threads by hand; my self-esteem might have shot it self if he was.
posted by Mitheral at 8:46 AM on April 30, 2012


The detail and precision of these individually crafted miniatures is astounding.

I think about the lifetimes of skill, the steady genetic-predispositioned fingers and hands, and the systems of mining, metallurgy, and smithing required for the making tools—the files, drill bits, and clamps.

Then I think about 3D-printing and how real skills like this will inside of a decade be as useful as concordance compilers in the age of search engine technology.
posted by mistersquid at 8:46 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Step 17 to 18 is the same step as 2 to 3, only in plastic instead of metal.
posted by DU at 8:46 AM on April 30, 2012


real skills like this will inside of a decade be as useful as concordance compilers in the age of search engine technology.

Which is to say "very very very useful, but seriously underutilized".

I worry about this too in the field of machining. I'm learning as fast as I can from the existing masters but they are all over 60 (or older) and aren't long for this world.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


At first I was all, ooooh, cute, I want one of these. I have pattern files and a tiny vise even, I can do this! Then it hit me: the guy was making the knife using the same technique used for a full-sized knife, only tiny. Then my fingers basically all cramped up at once.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:50 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


At first I was all, ooooh, cute, I want one of these. I have pattern files and a tiny vise even, I can do this! Then it hit me: the guy was making the knife using the same technique used for a full-sized knife, only tiny. Then my fingers basically all cramped up at once.
Actually, the number of file strokes, or whatever you want to call it would be smaller with a really small object like that then a large one. I think knives are usually cast, or hammered into shape while hot, rather then being filed down from a large bar of metal.
posted by delmoi at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Probably so, delmoi, but my experience with making very tiny things is that once you get into stuff like bolting the handle to the tang, you're still doing some very delicate things. My fingers cannot handle the tiny like they used to.

Still, this is a dandy project and the guy did end up with a swell little knife.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:11 AM on April 30, 2012


Step 1) Buy Clue.

Fin.
posted by maryr at 10:37 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think knives are usually cast, or hammered into shape while hot, rather then being filed down from a large bar of metal.

I can hardly believe that just two days ago, I might have thought the same thing. Then I ran across an artisanal sausage and cheese seller in Vieux Nice (old town), and he happened to have a basket of pocket knives in heavy leather cases, on sale for 8 euros a piece. Being as I've always needed a pocket knife but never gotten around to seriously looking for one, I thought, what the heck, I'll spend 8 euros on this knife that feels good in my hand, has a nice blade grind (I know enough to tell when one's underground/i.e. cheap) and has a locking mechanism.

And being your typical beanplating MeFite, as soon as I got home I wanted to know exactly what the heck my type of pocketknife was best for, and especially what the locking mechanism was, since I hadn't seen it before. Turns out it's a linerlock.

Long story short: nope, knives aren't cast or smithed (though larger ones can be), they are indeed filed down from a large bar of metal. To wit, the most comprehensive site I found while beanplating my 3-inch linerlock: Jay Fisher: Blades. Scroll down a bit and you can see an image with a whole bunch of roughly-shaped bars of metal that are to be filed down into knives.

Respect to this guy's tiny workmanship indeed. I hope he has apprentices.
posted by fraula at 10:43 AM on April 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oooh, oooh! This is my chance to tell my story about my really tiny gun!

I bought a really tiny gun in a foreign country. It was attached to a key chain and it didn't fire bullets. It was only slightly bigger than that knife. One time I went through airport security and I put my keys, on the key chain, in that little plastic bucket so they wouldn't beep the metal detector, and after I got through the detector the airport security people called me aside and told me that I couldn't bring the gun onto the airplane. I explained to them that it was not really a gun, but rather an ornament on a key chain. They told me that regulations prohibited anything that even looked like gun, and they would have to confiscate the gun if I wanted to get on my plane. I tried to explain that the gun was only about an inch long, and that I had no chance of hijacking the plane with something that small, but they persisted. Eventually I gave up and just got on my plane. I never saw that key chain again.

True story. Thanks for allowing me to share. I had no idea that episode still bothered me this much.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:57 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next up: 'Why to make a tiny knife'?
posted by narcotizingdysfunction at 2:48 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


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