RAISED of $61,635.00
$285.00raised of a $61,635.00 goal.
Theo Nazz - N.Y.C. Bladesmith
I’m a real New Yorker. Born, raised, educated; started working summers at 13, waited tables weekends through college, and all the while teaching myself how to make knives. I’ve had a lot of jobs - many of them required a handy tool to open boxes, cut twine/rope, trim cloth or leather or cardboard - the need for a good knife became evident to me at a young age. My father’s hand-me-down pocket knife earned it’s keep. The internet and books became an endless bounty of information in my late teens as I built a backyard coal forge and began forging crude but effective blades. My father, James Nazz, was kind enough to share his shop with me, to which I added the bare-bones knife making essentials. Using these basic tools I gradually built the base skillset necessary to produce effective (but ugly) knives.
In 2012, I visited the UK and took a class by Owen Bush on forging the pattern welded (damascus) seax. His class propelled the quality of my knifemaking tenfold. When I returned to the US I was fortunate to meet Marsha Trattner of She-Weld forge, whom I rented forge use from. I am especially grateful for access to her power-hammer and multiburner forges which allowed me to develop a solid understanding and grasp of pattern welding.
2013 I began working on a freelance 3D modeling project that led to my models being 3D printed, which is how I learned about 3D printed cast bronze. I immediately began experimenting with printing components for knives. Unfortunately, it was an expensive process that many of my clients weren’t willing to spring for. Most prototypes were out of pocket, and the resulting blades only broke even with the cost of materials.
Early 2015 I moved my shop into a vacant section of Grand Laser, a laser cutting and fabrication shop I design products for. Even though it barely allows for my previous equipment and my new forge, and in this tight space I cooked up “Chassis”.
Development of Chassis and Titan - Function over Form:
I knew from the beginning of my excursions into 3D printing that the goal was to create a better functioning knife. Yes, I was now able to create designs that were beautiful and artistic, but for me first and foremost comes function; the knife must perform its job superbly. This is called function over form. I heavily test every knife design, tweaking each version to ensure the best results. This translates into a concrete ideal that each blade I create is held to.
To achieve this I sought to use 3D printing to create components that wouldn’t have been possible to fabricate beforehand. My first success in reaching that goal was the “Maple Slicer” (right), a themed knife with 3D printed maple leaf bolster, maple wood handle, and 15N20 blade. The bolster was designed with a detailed relief that provided great purchase for the user’s fingers. from there I evolved into larger designs. For example, the honeycomb mesh of "Titan" is lofted 1mm-2mm, and allows for airflow under the palm in an attempt to maintain a solid grip through sweat/blood/etc. Swinging it around you feel a slight breeze under your hand. The integral lock in the "Chassis" folder is stronger than even a standard stainless or titanium lock.
I began to offer knives with 3D printed components, and astonishingly customers loved the idea. They requested very creative designs, many of which not possible through traditional knifemaking methods; and I happily rose to the challenge. I also began to experiment with various designs, borrowed from various cultures, in an attempt to find “my style”. Unfortunately, these self-funded explorations were expensive due to the need to use vendors for my printing and casting. The 3D printing process is very prototype friendly - relatively fast turn around for plastic parts (one three weeks, strong plastic let me test fit the assembly - but each variation added up.
Benefits of my design combined with my new gear:
Using traditional knifemaking hand and power tools I pay equal attention to every detail that I would for a custom knife. Even though these are semi-production I will pay each the respect it deserves.
A themed knife with 3D printed maple leaf bolster, maple wood handle, and 15N20 blade. The bolster was designed with a detailed relief that provided great purchase for the user’s fingers.
Eventually I landed a folding knife commission. The customer requested a heavy duty knife, one that will really take a beating. I created my first 3D printed cast metal knife, the “Bronze Beast”, and immediately fell in love with the idea of the 3D printed folding knife.
I had already been working on a pattern in an attempt to increase friction with the palm of the hand, which I began working into the knife handle shape I prefered for folders.
The beauty of these blades is in the resulting shapes of its functionality
Thank you for your support!!
Current TOTAL: $61,635