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Jon Graham GMT SS3 Razel


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TN knife maker Jon Graham has been making custom knives for a long time over in the Chattanooga area.  He is a well respected craftsman and always has a waiting list going.  Like many of the most popular makers right now, Jon was looking for a way to get more knives into people's hands.  Well, he has licensed a few designs to CRKT but thats not what I mean.  People want his work from him.  The way many people are getting their work out there now is to send off a design to CNC and have the parts cut and mostly machined for them.   This leaves final fit and finish for the maker.  The popular term for this is mid-tech.  Hence, GMT or Graham mid-tech.  

 

Jon's first mid-tech was recently just before Blade 2014 with the majority of them being sold at the show.  I was lucky enough to pick one up.  These knives are half the cost of a full custom and a little more expensive or equal to the high end productions on the marker.  

The frame is full titanium with titanium standoffs.  Screws and pivot are stainless.  Blade is CPM 154.  The entire knife features a stonewashed or tumbled finish.  

Here is a picture of one as Jon delivered them.  

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The one that I picked up, well I'm fortunate to have great friends and before I even left Blade Show, I already had a replacement titanium pivot installed.  

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But that wasn't enough.  The guy that makes the Ti pivot also makes Ti screws (Steven Kelly) and Steve told me that I needed a full Ti setup.  So after he got home, he sent me a set of Ti screws to complete the set.  I got them a couple of weeks ago and installed them.  Not a huge difference to be seen yet but it is another step in the evolutionary phase of this knife. 

 

IMG_4652_zps4173102e.jpg

 

 

 

So that last picture was taken thursday.  By Friday afternoon, I made a very noticeable change to the knife.  
 

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I traveled down to outside of Tupelo to my friend Chad Nichol's shop.  I was fortunate enough to be on hand for the anodizing process.  My first time seeing it done.  Seems simple enough and way too much fun.  Blue is a higher voltage so we ran it to blue first.  Then put the frame halves into the tumbler until the blue was nearly gone from exposed areas.  Turned the voltage down to get bronze and then redipped the frame halves.  I really like the way that the frame came out.  The little bits of blue that break through the bronze give it a bit of a worn look.  And the bright blue screws, standoffs and pivot are a nice accent.  The pivot was done at the same voltage as the other parts but it went a little purple.  At some point I'll likely take it back down to plain Ti and then try to get it to match the standoffs and screws.  
 
 
 
Doing stuff like this is dangerous for my bank account because now I want to get a power supply and start playing around with other pieces.
 
 
This is a really nice knife and I enjoy it a lot.  Jon is already working on the second mid-tech which is going to be a version of his stubby razel.  
 
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I saw that on USN.  It looks really good.  I should be pimping my Razel in the next few days.  I will post some pics when I get it finished.

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I saw that on USN.  It looks really good.  I should be pimping my Razel in the next few days.  I will post some pics when I get it finished.

 

 

If it weren't for the USN, I would still have a plain knife.  Steven Kelly provided the Ti hardware and Chad Nichols provided the shop for me to work in.  


I wanted to acid wash the blade but I let Chad talk me out of it.  I'm thinking about hitting up some other makers and seeing if I can get someone to do a nice hollow grind on it though.  Or I may just leave it as is.  

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TN knife maker Jon Graham has been making custom knives for a long time over in the Chattanooga area.  He is a well respected craftsman and always has a waiting list going.  Like many of the most popular makers right now, Jon was looking for a way to get more knives into people's hands.  Well, he has licensed a few designs to CRKT but thats not what I mean.  People want his work from him.  The way many people are getting their work out there now is to send off a design to CNC and have the parts cut and mostly machined for them.   This leaves final fit and finish for the maker.  The popular term for this is mid-tech.  Hence, GMT or Graham mid-tech.  

 

Jon's first mid-tech was recently just before Blade 2014 with the majority of them being sold at the show.  I was lucky enough to pick one up.  These knives are half the cost of a full custom and a little more expensive or equal to the high end productions on the marker.  
 

 
 
I traveled down to outside of Tupelo to my friend Chad Nichol's shop.  I was fortunate enough to be on hand for the anodizing process.  My first time seeing it done.  Seems simple enough and way too much fun.  Blue is a higher voltage so we ran it to blue first.  Then put the frame halves into the tumbler until the blue was nearly gone from exposed areas.  Turned the voltage down to get bronze and then redipped the frame halves.  I really like the way that the frame came out.  The little bits of blue that break through the bronze give it a bit of a worn look.  And the bright blue screws, standoffs and pivot are a nice accent.  The pivot was done at the same voltage as the other parts but it went a little purple.  At some point I'll likely take it back down to plain Ti and then try to get it to match the standoffs and screws.  
 
 
 
Doing stuff like this is dangerous for my bank account because now I want to get a power supply and start playing around with other pieces.
 
 
This is a really nice knife and I enjoy it a lot.  Jon is already working on the second mid-tech which is going to be a version of his stubby razel.  

 

Graham makes some simply stunning blades and yours is no exception. Congratulations. :up:  If you wouldn't mind tell me a bit about your friend Chad Nichols. He did a nice job with your anodizing and I've been looking for someone to do a little for me. Will he take small orders? Does he have a website?

 

And if you decide to get into this anodizing thing please let me know. I'd do it myself but I'm just not set up for it. I have no place to do it or maintain it. Thanks.

Edited by Grand Torino
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I doubt Chad would be willing. His primary business is making and selling Damascus. He just shipped a big order to Boker. Secondary is cutting parts for mid techs. He has two cnc machines running to cut all the different parts for bad blood, graham, burch and others mid tech lines.


I'll give him a shout though and ask. He just helped me out cause of our friendship. It was more about me hanging out for the day.
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I doubt Chad would be willing. His primary business is making and selling Damascus. He just shipped a big order to Boker. Secondary is cutting parts for mid techs. He has two cnc machines running to cut all the different parts for bad blood, graham, burch and others mid tech lines.


I'll give him a shout though and ask. He just helped me out cause of our friendship. It was more about me hanging out for the day.

I understand. Thanks. :up:

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I doubt Chad would be willing. His primary business is making and selling Damascus. He just shipped a big order to Boker. Secondary is cutting parts for mid techs. He has two cnc machines running to cut all the different parts for bad blood, graham, burch and others mid tech lines.


I'll give him a shout though and ask. He just helped me out cause of our friendship. It was more about me hanging out for the day.

 

 

I did not know you were friends with Chad, he is an awesome guy and in my opinion makes the best Damascus steel there is

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If I am not mistaken, I think this little machine was used to do my scales.  It think it worked pretty good.

 

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/benchtop-power-supply-csi12001x.html

 

Acid washing of the blade was done with ferric chloride and vinegar solution.

I've looked at that machine but I just have no addition room for it and the vats and all to  set it up for oxidizing. It's why I was hoping to find someone near that does it and doesn't mind small orders.

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If I am not mistaken, I think this little machine was used to do my scales.  It think it worked pretty good.

 

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/benchtop-power-supply-csi12001x.html

 

Acid washing of the blade was done with ferric chloride and vinegar solution.

 

 

Thats the one that Sean Kendrick is using and recommended to a friend who then recommended to me.  

 

 

I've looked at that machine but I just have no addition room for it and the vats and all to  set it up for oxidizing. It's why I was hoping to find someone near that does it and doesn't mind small orders.

 

 

The setup we used took up about 2 square feet of table space but could easily be placed back in a cabinet or on a shelf.  But I understand not having room.  

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