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I'm stuck!


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I don't have a milling machine, so it was time to drill a little bit and file a lot.

 

I've been putting this off for the longest time just because I knew it was going to be a bear of a job. I don't understand how you can get a hairline fit between the guard and the blade, so I thought I'd ask.

 

Here's where I'm at. I have a bit of good wrought iron and drilled out the majority. Then I spent two hours with a set of needle files.....

IMG_4355.jpg

 

It's not exactly square and plumb, but it's a far better fit to the tang than I would have imagined on my first try! I'm stuck with that last quarter-inch, though. It's make or break time and I'm thinking about heating the guard up to a bright cherry and then forcing it down on the tang to get a "perfect" fit.

 

IMG_4366.jpg

 

If I wrap the blade with a wet towel, could I drop the hot wrought over the tang and use the tang like a drift to make the hole perfect? Anything I'm not seeing?

 

I don't have a forge, yet, so this will have to be done with oxy/acet or butane.

 

Oh, does that tang look too thin for the width of the blade? Too low?

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I hate this part! I just carefully file away any part of the guard thats actually touching tang. Since your tang has round junctions, I would file the guard hole like this:

 

gaurd drrawing.png

 

to accommodate the junction

Before you try the hot fitting method, try filing the hole A BIT closer to shape,and also grinding in the final shape rather than leave it square so you don't scratch the blade when doing it later ( you shouldn't be able to get it off later).

 

good luck

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It looks like you are doing a great job with your files. I wish that I could tell you about a short cut, but if you find one please let the rest of us know. I wouldn't try the trick of forcing the tang down into the hot guard to form the hole. If the guard cools too much with the tang stuck in the hole in the guard it will contract aroung the tang and you might not be able to get it loose and you'll be stuck with a poorly seated guard.

 

Doug Lester

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Use a sharpie and blacken the tang so after each fitting you will see what area needs filing. I use the same technique to fit hammer and hawk handles. You only want to remove material in the right spot or it will get uneven real fast.

 

Also your tang looks uneven and sometimes you have to remove some tang material instead of guard material.

Edited by B Finnigan
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This is one way that I do this.

 

First, a couple of tools. The first 2 are drivers, made from micarta. They fit over the tang and let you hit it hard and equally.

 

DSC07296 (Medium).JPG

 

These are the tools I use to upset the edges of the slot.

 

DSC07292 (Medium).JPG

 

Here is the guard, it's one that has been in my mistakes box for a while. It didn't work for whatever it was that I made it for, but is OK for this. You can see that it slides right up to the ricasso, that's because the slot is too big :unsure: .

 

DSC07286 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07287 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07290 (Medium).JPG

 

I take my little punch and drive a little series of divots along the sides of the slot, upsetting the slot just a bit.

 

DSC07294 (Medium).JPG

 

Here you can see that the guard doesn't quite slide down to the shoulders anymore. The next step is to drive the guard on, which creates humps where the fit is too tight. I do this several times, grinding off all of my divots, re-trying it, punching up the side to shrink it, grind it off and try it again.

 

DSC07293 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07298 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07300 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07301 (Medium).JPG

 

DSC07303 (Medium).JPG

 

When I like it, I grind the face to 400 grit and then hand sand up to 1200 or so. If I try to buff the front surface I find that the edges of the slot roll in, which makes it look like a sloppy fit.

 

 

This doesn't take all that long to do, this took me about 20 minutes, since I didn't have to make the slot. You do have to leave yourself some meat to grind off. Even with having to slot a piece it's less than an hour, of course, I do have a mill :lol: .

 

Hope this helps

 

Geoff

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Nicely done Geoff.

^_^

 

i have similar tools ...

though i use wooden rams to hammer the guard home .. cause im cheap :P

 

and a rounded, high polished ball punch for hugging the guard to the tang if i have had any gap issues.

 

as for the filing, i tend to find that using a file guide for the slot is the best for me.

as, though i do have a mill, i tend not to use it as when i do its only a sure fire recipe for disaster. :)

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I've never used a milling machine for a guard and when I do one by hand it usually takes me about 15 minutes to have a good clean fit.

 

1.- DITCH the needle files, they'll just piss you off and make your hands cramp

2.- get the smallest chainsaw files you can find (I usually get 5/32) make yourself a quick handle by drilling a hole in a golf ball

3.- layout your slot on the guard material, and center punch where your holes will go for the slot

4.- drill your line of holes for the slot

5.- connect the holes with the chainsaw file

6.- get a filing guide set to one side of your guard slot mark

7.- file until you get to the guard

8.- repeat for the other side of the slot

9.- from there I do exactly the same as Geoff and Dee

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If you have a very fine gap to close and don't want to bung up the face of the guard, a few careful whacks on the side of the guard with a fairly heavy hammer -- preferably a soft one -- can close it up a little. Remove the blade from the slot, first. Be forewarned: you can break the guard way. The corners of the slot make nice starting points for cracks.

Edited by Matt Bower
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1.- DITCH the needle files, they'll just piss you off and make your hands cramp

2.- get the smallest chainsaw files you can find (I usually get 5/32) make yourself a quick handle by drilling a hole in a golf ball

 

 

A Dremel tool can make that go even faster!

 

Be careful! Things can go very wrong very quickly with power tools :(

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A Dremel tool can make that go even faster!

 

Be careful! Things can go very wrong very quickly with power tools :(

 

honestly, I've tried dremels with carbide mills and such and i'd still take my chainsaw files over em.

 

a GOOD chainsaw file costs 1.20 at my local Ace and I can honestly do more work, faster, with better control than with a dremel, just can't be afraid to throw away a dead file and grab a fresh one.

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Well, I've grown a pair and will give this a go tomorrow. Just back from the store where I bought a 3/8" cold chisel that I can round off to make a divoter.

 

I'm a bit nervous, but I'll give Geoff's tutorial a chance as it looks like the easiest way to go. Of course, Goeff's blade didn't have daylight showing between the two parts, so I'm still holding my breath.

 

Why can't this knife-making thing be easy? All I want to do is produce museum-quality blades in a few minutes. Is that too much to ask? :o

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Another little way to coerce these things to fit is to cut a slot, as shown in the picture below, with a jewelers saw prior to whacking on the sides with a heavy hammer. Removing some material with the saw allows the metal to move inward a bit more when you hammer on it. Just be careful not to make the cut too long or it will be visible!

Guard Fitting.jpg

~Bruce~

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Actually there was quite a bit of daylight, I just couldn't get a good picture of it. It's true though, the closer you original fit is, the better off you are. The Sharpie trick is a good one, it shows you where you need to take material away. And if you over cut a piece, stick it in a box, and make another. Often you can save yourself a bunch of time by admitting that you can't fix this one and moving on. You will probably be able to use the "bad" one on a project down the road.

 

And yes, it's too much to ask. Welcome to knife making. :lol:

 

Geoff

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Almost home, gentlemen! This was a bear to fit because the guard keeps hanging up on something and I can't see where it is.

 

After another hour with the files, some dykem blue and a few dirty words, here's where I stand.

 

IMG_4371.jpg

IMG_4370.jpg

 

I really opened the slot up, but I can't seem to get that last hair off so the fit is super-tight. The wrought iron is very soft and peels away under the sandpaper, but I'll play at it a bit tomorrow.

 

IMG_4373.jpg

 

 

Mr. Keyes, that tutorial was spot on. I divoted the sides of the slot and the fit is almost too good! I cannot believe how easy that part was, relatively.

 

I'll be sure to post the finished product....

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34719_129884653730988_100001283622504_177077_575442_n.jpg

61357_129884683730985_100001283622504_177078_7923212_n.jpg

61278_129884703730983_100001283622504_177079_4021093_n.jpg

 

And it only took me forever to do! Thanks for the tutorial, hoss. Now I have to profile it and do the second one....

 

That wrought iron is an interested media. Even when sanding it with higher grits, some of the metal wanted to rip out of the grain and I couldn't get it to stop. It has more variation in the surface texture now than it did when I started! I can't wait to see how it comes out of the etching!

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