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Knife Making
swizz
post Jun 28 2012, 08:40 PM
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Time to learn something new. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif (I blame Woody for this)
I am going to build a custom knife... and hopefully many more after I get skilled enough.
I've learned a lot through the internet and am ready to get started, I'll post my progress. Hopefully I won't screw it up too bad. blush.gif

So far....

I bought a fixed-handle knife blank. The overall length is 7" and the blade length is 3-1/4". It is 1/8" thick.
Good steel - 440c with a hardness of 56-58 RC so it should hold an edge really well. happy088.gif
This blade style is called "Western Skinner" and will make for a nice fish & bird knife when completed.


While I'm waiting for parts... I decided to practice some decorative file-work today. I plan to incorporate something like this on the Skinner.
This is a vine pattern that I practiced today on a piece of leaf-spring metal that Woody gave me (also 1/8" thick). I used several different needle-files to do this work. I'm ready to try it on the real thing.




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Woody
post Jun 29 2012, 06:44 AM
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Chriss everything you touch seems to turn to gold, great job.

I'm going to have to give you my next girlfriend and see what you can do with her. lol. If you need some more material let me know. I'll bring some with me next time I come up. Woody.


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Denise
post Jun 29 2012, 02:02 PM
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worthy.gif Your talents never cease to amaze me Chris!! The design is amazing and looks fantastic, great job!!

I am so picturing that knife with Unakite from your claim! I have no doubt that you could add that to your many tallents but even a wooden handle will look awesome. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif



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swizz
post Jun 29 2012, 08:17 PM
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Thanks yous guys!
.... and don't I wish that things I touch turn to Gold, LOL.... more like 2c.gif in this economy. tomatoes.gif
It's gonna be practical handles like wood for a while, until I learn more. I also think that I'll have to eventually step up to a lapidary bandsaw (diamond) for the handle process if working with stone. It would be more efficient for that type work. Inland sells one for under $300 I think, so maybe sometime down the road. It would be good for shaping slabbed material for handles.
Another thing to consider... I've been seeing some incredible examples of fine knife makers who incorporate very ornate Gold inlays into metal scribes of knives and handles. That has given me some good ideas too. I think they buy wire gold (24k)... then melt it to fill the fancy engravings. These guys are metal smiths who forge their own blades so who knows. I haven't studied that process yet... but Gold is something else that is available to me from my soil.


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swizz
post Jun 30 2012, 11:31 AM
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This is my handle-making material.
It's "Malee Burl"... which is a type of Eucalyptus tree. I picked up these matching slabs for about $10 on eBay.
They are 3/8" thick so I'm going to have to plane them down a bit.





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swizz
post Jun 30 2012, 06:13 PM
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Now I'm working on the steel. Handle will come later.

I wasn't happy with the shape of the handle tang on the blank so I'm modifying it here on my bench grinder...


I have the shape I want.
Now for the fun part! I've started to create a vine pattern which will be on the exposed portion of steel that runs through the handle (top of the tang).
I'm using a few different needle-files to do this. Starting with small diameter and working my way up. I will add the thorns later with a half-moon shaped needle-file.
This is the start of the vine pattern.


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swizz
post Jul 1 2012, 06:36 AM
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Well.... this is as far as I got with the vine before my file finally gave up the ghost. sad.gif
Hopefully the hardware store has another needle-file of this shape and size or I'll have to buy another needle-file kit... fortunately the kits are inexpensive.



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swizz
post Jul 2 2012, 04:12 PM
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moving right along......

almost done with the vine pattern, a little more fine-tuning.... errr, I mean "vine" tuning. tongue.gif tomatoes.gif


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swizz
post Jul 3 2012, 06:32 AM
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now working on handle design and making a template



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swizz
post Jul 3 2012, 07:46 PM
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Tracing template to the handle slabs


Then the wood is trimmed down with a coping saw and stationary belt sander. These will be slightly oversized when I install them to the knife... then sanded down to the precise fit. I still need to do a little Dremel work near front of the handles (ricasso area) before installing the wood. That area is nearly impossible to sand once on the knife.


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Denise
post Jul 3 2012, 07:54 PM
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It's looking great Chris, sweet wood you chose to use also! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Love the updates!!
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swizz
post Jul 4 2012, 11:45 AM
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Thanks!

I have shaped the ricasso area on both handle sides, they match perfectly now. I used a Dremel Flex with a barrel-shaped diamond bit. Worked it light and slow with a steady hand. I will bevel the ricasso areas freehand next using the same tools.


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russau
post Jul 4 2012, 01:22 PM
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looks really nice!
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swizz
post Jul 4 2012, 03:49 PM
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Thanks russ!

I have epoxied one handle side to the tang. Once the epoxy cures, I will drill those holes through.
Kinda get a good side view of my file-work which created the vine pattern in this pic.


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russau
post Jul 5 2012, 05:36 AM
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that will end up being a very cherished item to pass on to the kids/grandkids some years in the future! your makeing me do some thinking! thanks for the pics and words!
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