ATTENTION Knife Makers
Leading Edge Fabricating now an authorized distributor of Niagara Specialty Metals Knife Steels
Knife Makers - Waterjet cutting of knife blanks
Leading Edge Fabricating Inc. is a full service job shop that offers abrasive waterjet cutting of knife blanks. We seek to combine a respect for tradition with a love of progress and innovation. While we are not knife makers, we do have an appreciation for the knife making business, the personalities involved and an eye for the fine art of quality knives. We certainly understand the passion for making knives using traditional hand tools, but we can offer you a fast, accurate, safe and consistent method to blank out fixed blades and folder components along with profile cutting of some handle materials. Let us efficiently cut your blanks so you can spend more of your time applying that personal craftsmanship.
We’ve been in the Waterjet business processing specialty materials since 1999 and are currently running the latest Flow 5 axis taper controlled machine. In 2009 we discovered the custom knife world and started working closely with knifemakers who were tired of doing their stock reduction with a bandsaw. Our years of experience have provided us with the capability to become the best supplier of components for the discerning knifemaker.
Along with design and waterjetting, we carry raw materials including good inventory of Ti 6-4 and are a distributor for Niagara Specialty Metals.
In our experience, we have found there is a pattern in the way that projects evolve. Specific project information is required from each customer to maximize workflow, consistency and profitability.
These are all custom orders so there is no standard price list, but we will do our best to give an accurate quote. Keep in mind there are basic costs associated with each and every project whether we are producing six or six hundred sets. Along the way we have developed a process that has proven successful and will give you quick payback for your project investment.
If you are ready to proceed, and want to get a project quoted or place an order we will be asking you to submit some basic information. We can provide a list that will help you create “Work Instructions”. Once your work instructions are complete, and we have a chance to review them, we may request a short meeting over the phone to confirm and clarify any uncertainties.
At Leading Edge Fabricating we stand behind our work that is based on customer provided work instructions, templates and or cad files. If there’s a problem and the root cause is our fault we will work to make things right.
If you are interested in increasing productivity and have quality parts cut in a short time frame give us call.
"If price is the driving factor our shop may not be the right fit. Our focus is on superior quality, turn around and service along with a fair price.
2.4 The “economy of scale” needs to be taken in account when planning a project; prototype quantities are more costly based on piece price than full sheet orders.
2.5 Also, consider residual stress in raw material from the manufacturing process to make the material. Raw stock from coil or sheared edges of sheets will have a much greater chance of warpage due to the stress relief from parts being cut from a bar, sheet, or plate.
3. CAD FILES AND DRAWINGS - Provide your CAD designs in DXF or DWG for flat 2D work, or STP format for 3D designs. On 2D waterjet orders, draw exactly how you want the piece cut; holes undersized and profiles with clean up stock added.
3.1 Geometry must be drawn as arcs and lines, or polylines, not splines. For standard waterjetting, draw single layer 2D geometry with all endpoints connected.
3.2 If your design was created in a 3D CAD software package please create and export a simple 2D DXF waterjet file. When saving, if you have the choice use "R2000-2002 Binary drawing (*.dxf)" as this has the highest compatibility between all software types. Saving as a pdf is also recommended, along with details dimensioned. This will be used to inspect your parts.
3.3 In your waterjet file include a 1” x 1” square next to the part for scale verification.
3.4 In your information include a PDF drawing with dimensions and notes addressing any critical features. We will use it as verification that your geometry has imported correctly into our software, and as inspection criteria for 1st Article inspection of parts being processed.
3.5 Define smaller features in a scaled up view for better clarification.
3.6 DO NOT tolerance anything that does not require a tolerance. DO tolerance fits for pivots, counter bores, and any other critical features (see example drawing).
3.7 A general tolerance note for hole locations and other common features are perfectly acceptable and preferred. Typically, you do NOT need a +/-0.003” tolerance on a screw hole location. Tolerances cost money, therefore, the more tolerances, the more the part costs. Likewise tighter tolerances cost money, therefore, the tigher the tolerance the more the part costs.
3.8 Dimension logically and clearly. Note anything that might need clarification. Keep dimensions of a feature in one view if possible. A machinist having to hunt all over the drawing for dimensions to a feature has the potential to cause errors and add expense. Try to apply dimensions in a logical flow of the most probable machining sequence for the part. If applicable, keep all milling and finish information separate from waterjet blank information. Do not dimension features that are not necessary, so as to keep from confusion with dimensions for features we are not responsible for machining.
3.9 When designing waterjet blanks make sure to add clean up stock on profiles and hole diameters. Remember, all waterjet cut surfaces are done as a roughing operation, and will require secondary work to finish. With that said, we default to provide the best edge quality on the parts we make, so cleanup is easier on your end.
3.10 When considering profile geometry, use inside radiuses that match up with your small radius contact wheels for easy access to cleanup. If you are providing us with templates, note whether you have added or need us to add cleanup stock to any details.
3.11 When doing Liner or Frame locks the lockbars can be cut with the waterjet using slower feed rates than normal outside profile cuts. You have a choice of “Dynamic” (.040” wide cut) OR “Single Line” cut ( .025” - .035”on bottom side, visual to the outside on a right handed design and .035” on topside as cut, not visual on the knife assembly). Both ways provide excellent results, so it is a personal preference. The lockbar face can easily be finished per your requirements saving you time and money.
4. WATERJET EDGE QUALITY - We run projects using 60% feed speed settings. This gives a very clean edge that will easily clean up with very little pressure using a 120 or higher belt. The 5 axis optionis effective on profile cutting of thicker materials, small diameter holes will have about .010” taper/included angle. We can provide rough edge quality with the fixedhead option on, but it is typically more efficient to opt for better edge quality that will save you time and abrasives.
5. RFQ’S AND BUDGET - If you do not have your design developed and are only looking for budgetary layout and yield estimates we possibly ballpark some pricing based on your scope of work. If you’re looking for design review, layouts and detailed information we require a general order to be activated. Setting up this kind of information is part of processing an order, and is based on your completing a WJ_PO Form. If you have a specific budget you are working with, please share it with us as soon as you are aware of it, instead of running through the quote process only to find out our estimates do not meet your plans.
Problems do arise on occasion; normally the cause can be traced to inadequate “Work Instructions” or inaccurate interpretation 99% of the time. At Leading Edge Fabricating, we stand behind our work, which is based on customer provided Work Instructions, templates, working models, and/or CAD files. If a problem arises, we are here to help you make it right. We will help you identify and resolve any issues that may develop.
You supply material drop shipped or we can with a modest markup. We carry a limited inventory based on customer repeat business. Handle material is cut on a case by case basis due to variables within specific materials. Leading Edge is now an authorized distributor of a line of knife steels produced by Niagara Specialty Metals in Akron, New York.
Are you willing to invest some time and money to provide us with what we need to start you project?
1st Step - Design Print - starting at $100 & up. Price is subjective to the quality of your intitial template or CAD file. The more changes and communications the higher the price.
If you're not willing to invest in your project please do not inqure.
We will return ship using USPS. Please make all requests for a different shipping method or express shipping on the KNIFEMAKER ORDER FORM.
Return shipping insurance will not be included unless it is requested on the KNIFEMAKER ORDER FORM.
We take delivery dates seriously. We recognize that our customers are the source for our success. Upon completion of your order we will notify you with a tracking number and a link to the shipping company so you can track your order.
At Leading Edge we always strive to maintain the highest ethical standards, honoring our commitments and being open and honest in all that we do.
Payment is due upon receipt of order acknowledgment and before order is shipped.
We accept PayPal, credit card, check or money order.