New Designs Sometimes Succeed and Sometimes Do Not

Thomas Edison famously remarked that after making 300 attempts to produce a filament for his light bulb remarked, “I have discovered 300 things that did not work.” Such is the case here where I attempt to make a more conventional grip design for my Hovey’s Knives of China Knives and improve the blade’s hardness by using a new tempering method and fail on both counts.


Failing in an initial effort does not damn the project forever and eternity, as many people assume. Failure is a vital part of experimental development. There was likely never a success that was not proceeded by a series of sometimes catastrophic failures as was the case with many early flying machines. Even some of the Wright brother’s early efforts ended in crashes – after all, what did a pair of bicycle makers know about airplanes? Initially not very much, but they taught themselves by trial and error.

My not succeeded with this new design has taught me, like Edison, what I did wrong and how to improve my next efforts. I have another knife blank to experiment with, and that effort will be recorded in a video that will be added to this post.

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