Kitchen knife

One of the main tools I need in my kitchen would be knives.  This is the second knife I worked on.  For this I designed the knife in CAD and 3D printed the blade in steel.  The cost of a solid knife was far too expensive to justify 3D printing, so I decided to cut out most of the weight from the middle of the knife.

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I then used algorithms in grasshopper to put back in place a structure to give more strength to the piece.  Using grasshopper allowed me to play with the structure until I found an arrangement I was happy with.  This was great in this particular case as if I had drawn this in rhino alone I would have only had the option I had drawn and it would have been far more difficult to change.

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The knife cost £34.15 to print from Shapeways.

The first job I had was to sharpen the blade.  I didn’t want to temper the steel so I avoided using a machine to grind the edges.  At first I used a file which took off most of the edge.  I was then given a sharpening stone from a friend which was far easier for the job and took very little time.

The next job I had was to make the handle.  I wanted a contrast in the piece between handmade and CAD build work as I felt this would add part of my soul into the work more with combining the handmade element.

I cut a piece of metal to act as a stopper at the end of the handle.  This slipped down to join between the handle and the blade to make the piece look a bit neater.  I then made the handle using a piece of exotic hard wood called black plamera.  I cut the wood in half and cut out the shape of the handle.  In the centre of the piece I placed some dark blue acrylic sandwiched between light gathering plastic so that when you hold it up to the light you can see through the piece. 

    
    
 

After gluing the handle together with epoxy resin I glued two brass rods though the handle to secure.

 

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I then filed the handle into shape and sanded down to a high finish.  I used Danish oil to finish the wood to a high polish.

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Claw Hammer

For the last day or two I have been designing a claw hammer for larger scale use such as building my house.  I went through a few designs and decided I would make use of the CAD and design the hammer so that I wouldn’t have to wedge the handle at the top in a traditional way.  I designed the handle and the hammer head so that they join in the handle shaft.  hammer9

I got a little carried away with the handle when the hammer head started to look a little like a seahorse.  I’m not sure if I will keep the base section exactly like this or if I will simplify it a little before production and comfort.  I am hoping to cast the top section in bronze and get the handle either milled in wood or 3D printed in hard clear resin.

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3D Printed Hammer

A few weeks ago I sent away a CAD model of a jewellers hammer head to Shapeways.  I got the model in the post on on Tuesday of this week.  The hammer head cost just over £24 to print.  I was able to design it the way I wanted it to look and personalised it with my hallmark.

 I was very happy with the finished result of the print.  Each of the faces of the hammer show the layers of the build and require to be sanded and polished.  I have started to sand the flat side if the head which has been quite easy, although takes much longer than other metals.  I am yet to start cleaning up the domed side.  I feel this might be a little more tricky to get perfect.
 After getting very excited about my hammer arriving and picking it up from the local shop I went straight to the park to find a suitable handle.  I picked up a few sticks off the ground that looked roughly the right size and took them back to my flat.  One of the sticks was very weak and snapped.  The other I tested for strength before starting to work with the wood.
 I used my 3D printed chizel to strip and carve the stick.  This is the first time that I have really got to test my chizel.  It worked really well.   It both striped the bark with ease and carved really smooth and accurately.


At the end of the handle I marked with a pen where the wood needed to be removed to fit the head.  I carved and then filed the oval to size.

    I have spend about a day working on the handle so far.  I have been sanding the wood to try and achieve a high polish.

I still have a little more work to do to get the hammer perfect.  I need to make the connection at the top fit better and carve down the top of the shank a little to make it look more like it flows into the head.  I am going to finish the handle by polishing it with Danish oil every day for the next week.  Once I have done this I will attach to head permanently.

3D Printed Chisel

Whilst writing my proposal a few months ago I decided I would try and 3D print some tools that I might need.  I wanted to test how durable and feasible it would be to direct laser sinter in steel.  This is my first piece made by sintered steel and the handle is a stick found in my allotment.  I put holes in the piece to take the cost down but made them hexagonal to hopefully keep some strength in the piece.  It cost about 20 euros to print and the end result is very sharp after I filed and polished the tip.