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Take down Bolo fighter WIP


Chris Moss
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Hey everybody

this is the first of a couple projects i have been dying to try but orders come first, so i am finally getting to this. it will go up for sale once it is done.

 

I have been wanting to try a take down, and i love this style blade. i dont have any forging pictures as I made this billet up at the Fire and brimstone hammer-in in 2010. it is W2-15n20-1084 at about 100 layers (i think) and the forging was done when i left my camera at work. =(

 

the blade has been forged, rough ground, and heat treated then final ground, ready for hand finishing. it is about 3/16 thick at the widest with a modest distal taper. it got a slight warp in the tip during the heat treat and i had to bend the blade almost 45 degrees before it would alter the curve in any way. it is a light flexible blade, which is a nice change from the heavy stiff tool steel blades i normally make. but will handle more like a fighter than a chopper.

 

Knives038.jpg

Knives036.jpg

Knives037.jpg

 

and here are the plans. amboyna burl handle, and damascus fittings (the nut too if i can swing it)

Knives039.jpg

 

i will be working on this as i have time.

thanks for looking

~Chris

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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okay,

I have decided that i am going to go with custom made "wood grain" carbon fiber handle and a titanium s-gaurd. i am still not sure if it is going to be a take down or not. i might save that for a hunter or something in the future due to some helpful advice. so unless it just falls together and works perfectly as a take-down it will be a normal fixed blade.

 

finishing up the order i am working on so i should be on to this soon. or at least machining the the Ti guard on my lunch breaks.

 

thanks!

~Chris

-Knifemaker-

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Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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okay...

so i fianlly got a replacement for my camera that died and i got a little work done. I am going with a Titanium guard version 1.0 looks like this:

I would really appreciate constructive criticism on this.. i think it is quite right yet.

Knives058.jpg

 

Got the titanium nut turned:

Knives042.jpg

 

and i went with a SS 10-32 bolt.

Knives040.jpg

 

Welded

Knives043.jpg

 

going to make the handle material next.

thanks

~Chris

-Knifemaker-

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http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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looks good - i much prefer the revised guard design. if it were me, i'd exaggerate it a bit - extend the bottom tine another inch, shorten the top one a bit, and increase the flare at the ends until it's the same as the thickness of the guard. my favourite way to make these types of guards is to cut or forge them so the flare is on the same plane as the face of the guard, and then twist and bend to shape - i think the twist adds a lot of interest.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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Morning Chris,

 

What did you use to weld it? Arc, mig, tig?

 

Thanks, Art

 

i used a mig welder with the wire feed turned down and the heat turned up.

 

 

looks good - i much prefer the revised guard design. if it were me, i'd exaggerate it a bit - extend the bottom tine another inch, shorten the top one a bit, and increase the flare at the ends until it's the same as the thickness of the guard. my favourite way to make these types of guards is to cut or forge them so the flare is on the same plane as the face of the guard, and then twist and bend to shape - i think the twist adds a lot of interest.

 

the gaurd is going to be milled out of titanium till it is close to the finished geometry and then heated and bent. i would agree with the lengthening of the lower tine., i will just have to find another piece of Ti stock that will be enough for the added length. when you say the flare is on the same plane as the face of the gaurd, what do you mean? that the face is a smooth "S" and the "flare goes the opposite direction... or?

-Knifemaker-

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Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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Chris, what i mean is that i would forge or cut the plate to this basic shape:

 

guard sketch.jpg

 

and then twist the ends 90 (or 270) degrees until the flares were correctly aligned, and then bend to shape.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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I second what Jake suggested, I think that go well.

Lookin' good!

 

Greg

Catch the wind in mainsails high,

Race the dark and stormy skies.

Land ahoy! To port we ride,

And there we drink our hearts to nigh.

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  • 1 month later...

okay....

i have a nice long update for you. several posts. so bear with me.

 

I got the guard design hammered out I think. I am going for a light, fluid look. Ti is strong enough to deflect pretty much anything even at that thickness.

Then I milled the slot with an 1/8th inch endmill on a manual Bridgeport mill, leaving about 0.005 on the side so I could file it in, and then rough profiled the guard.

With the slot milled I still had to fit the guard to the handle, so out came the files, and I snuck up on it[/b]

 

 

Knives081.jpg

 

 

Knives084.jpg

 

With the guard rough fit, it is time to make the handle. This will be a "dry run", in that I am going to test the procedure out with low quality resin as a proof of concept, so I can tweak my process before I make the final handle.

 

With composites, the name of the game is "preparation"- you have to have everything ready before you mix the first batch of resin.

First, since this will be a unidirectional handle I have to get a bunch of fiber ready. I just used a bunch of scrap material I saved and pulled it apart to get the fibers all in one direction.

[/b]

 

Knives086.jpg

 

Knives087.jpg

 

 

 

As I pulled the fiber apart, I sorted it acording to length until I had more than I would need. Again, better to have more than you need than run out of fiber while you are all sticky and your resin clock is ticking.

 

Knives088.jpg

-Knifemaker-

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Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I got everything ready to go. My carbon fiber was ready, the "mold" was set-up, I had the resin and all my spreading implements...and plenty of paper towels and acetone

[/b]

 

Knives089.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

I almost forgot to mention; you need some form of release agent so the resin wont stick to your blade or mold. I use at least 2 types, usually three. In this case I actually used four. The "mold" is covered with teflon tape, as is the part of the blade that isnt getting "molded". Then I wax all the parts with two layers of regular car wax. Then I used a dry mold release that comes in a spray can. Once that dried I put on a layer of poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) that is water soluble and dried to a film. Then, I wipe down the tang with a very, very light layer of grease.

 

Then I called for my handy shop assistant, as it is almost impossible to pick up and use a camera with resin in your hands. It is also almost impossible to pick up dry carbon fiber with sticky hands and it not turn into a huge nasty sticky mess... so I had my wife hand me the carbon fiber.

 

Now, mix the resin. I was using the cheapo stuff from Walmart or Lowes made by Elmers for "fiberglass repair"- this stuff sucks. It smells horrible, it is bluish green, (who decided on that?!) and it doesn't cure as well. But it is cheap, so it is what I am using. Normally I use West Systems epoxy resin, and it is what I will be using for the final handle.

 

Resin mixed, I brush a layer of resin on the first side of the mold. I lay a layer of fibers down and spread resin on it, making sure that I get resin into the corners and that the fibers are saturated. I repeat that process; layer of fiber, layer of resin till the first half of the mold is filled.

 

Knives102.jpg

 

Knives114.jpg

 

Knives119.jpg

 

 

 

 

Then the other side, trying to get the same amount of carbon and resin on both sides, and enough that when the mold is pressed together it compresses the fibers and resin.

 

Knives133.jpg

 

 

 

 

I set up the knife so that I could clamp it down and "suspend" the knife in the middle of the mold. However, when I clamped it, it moved the blade and so it is not centered. That is something I will change in the design on the second mold.

 

I put the blade in position and flipped the second half of the mold over top of it and clamped it down

 

Knives135.jpg

 

 

 

 

Then you have to play the waiting game. As it was, I had to play longer than usual because it was slightly chilly and almost all resins are temperature sensitive. The colder they are, the slower they harden. So I went in, ate some dinner, played with the puppy, watched some TV and generally "chilled out" with my fantastic wife.

 

I let the resin cure for almost a day before popping it out of the mold and cleaning up the edges. when i did... it looked like this:

Knives138.jpg

 

 

 

The blue resin was pretty apparent, as was the fact that the blade wasnt quite centered.. and I made the mold TOO LONG. So.. I took it to the bandsaw and cut it closer to size. The blade and nut released perfectly, and slid out of their custom made pockets. Concept success, process needs tweaking. I will be making the second handle later.

 

Knives139.jpg

 

I have a couple ideas on how to do it better this next time. I am going to mix in some finer carbon for a little bit of contrast in the "grain", hopefully it will be as instructive as it is fun.

 

I am also glad you like the guard... I think it flows pretty well. The handle idea is also a good one, though a lot of it will depend on what it looks like when I am finished shaping it. I do have access to a sand blaster here at work. I absolutely LOVE Don Fogg's textured wenge, but didnt realize it was blasted.. I was going to go for a satin finish on the handle with the sand blasted anodized ti and a blued/satin blade. I think it should go together nicely.

 

As it stands, I will make the final handle, and do the fitting of the gaurd and spacers before doing the rough shaping/bending of the gaurd. The ricasso on the blade is finished, but the flats have to be polished and then it will be the final fitting and tweaking. I have to say the molded handle fits together like a glove and is rock solid. I am very excited about that.

[/b]

 

 

***********

 

 

 

I did get the second handle all made but without my shop assistant handy, (she was in washing the dishes and making cookies) I wasnt able to get any "in progress" pictures. However, the process is the same. I did have a different mold set-up however. I turned another Ti nut that was a good deal longer, and made a set of blocks to hold it in the center of the mold.

 

Knives145.jpg

 

Knives144.jpg

 

Knives146.jpg

This time I used West Systems epoxy. It is pricy but it is also the best. Cleaner, less smelly, cures harder and is easier to work with. But it is like $50 a quart.

 

So, I made my new mold and cut some more fibers. I also wanted to point out that I covered the exposed threads on the tang with clay so the resin wouldn't get in them and "lock" the tang in place. I did the same thing on the first one.

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I pulled the second, (and hopefully final) carbon handle out of the mold. The pin locator worked great in keeping the blade centered in the "billet". The longer nut allowed me to hold the tang while still allowing for enough of a space between the end of the billet and the actual handle, as the edges and ends of a lay-up are where the most flaws are. You need enough "buffer" on all sides to get a really good part. [/b]

 

Knives147.jpg

 

Knives148.jpg

 

While I was waiting to cut the handle out, (since I dont have a bandsaw in the garage yet) I started working on putting the foundation polish on the blade, starting with the clip. I am using a piece of corian to back my sandpaper as it is hard and stable, but wont scratch the blade like a file or steel blank.

 

When I am sanding bevels or clips, I use a sharpie to mark both sides. The best thing to use is lay-out dye, but most people dont have this... and a sharpie does the same thing. It allows you to see where you are sanding and makes sure you have your sanding implement flat to the clip/bevel and that you are staying off the transition line which keeps the lines crisp and clean.

[/b]

Knives153.jpg

 

 

 

 

This also allows you to check to make sure your clip bevels are the same on both sides by highlighting them in contrast to the blade. When I am sanding the flat of the blade I reverse the procedure and have the clip colored.

 

Knives156.jpg

 

 

 

 

It is pretty humid in my area, and since I rarely have the time to polish a knife start to finish in one sitting, I need to protect the blade from rust, especially as the polish gets finer. I use a little axle grease and rub it on the blade. It wont evaporate or get sticky, and protects the blade very well.

 

Knives157.jpg

 

I then cut out the handle to a rough shape and to check for major flaws. It looks good. There are some very small voids that will get filled with fiber and resin, but at this point, almost all the flaws you see will be ground away, so I will wait till I have the handle rough ground before I touch it up. The holes for the handle and the nut came out perfectly and there are no voids around them. it fits the blade like it was made for it... oh wait... :D

 

Knives161.jpg

 

Knives158.jpg

 

Knives159.jpg

 

Knives160.jpg

-Knifemaker-

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http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I rough cut the handle out on the bandsaw, and then fit it to the handle with the guard. I still have to cut out for the spacers, one of which I have decided should be damascus and the other being Ti, but I wanted to see if it tightened down. OOOOhhhhh boy, did it ever! The fit is like nothing I have ever seen. Even with it rough fit and the nut finger tight, I can hit the flat of the blade with my palm and there is no vibration at all. It sounds and feels like a single piece.

 

Knives162.jpg

 

 

 

 

Then, because it is difficult to see sharpie on carbon fiber, I taped up the handle and used my pattern to get the handle a little close to the final profile.

 

Knives163.jpg

 

 

 

Once I had it close.. I had to see what the final is going to look like so I put the pattern on top of the knife. I think it is going to be nice!

 

Knives168.jpg

 

 

 

I also milled the slots in the spacers so I can file them in and then put in the locating pins.

 

Knives169.jpg

 

 

 

My plan is to get the pieces to fit together perfectly, then tighten them all down and do the rough profiling on the spacers and guard so I can go in and get the profiling of the guard. I will bend the guard before I take all the material off to account for dings and warpage from the bending process.

 

I rough cut the handle out on the bandsaw, and then fit it to the handle with the guard. I still have to cut out for the spacers, one of which I have decided should be damascus and the other being Ti, but I wanted to see if it tightened down. OOOOhhhhh boy, did it ever! The fit is like nothing I have ever seen. Even with it rough fit and the nut finger tight, I can hit the flat of the blade with my palm and there is no vibration at all. It sounds and feels like a single piece.

 

Knives162.jpg

 

 

 

 

Then, because it is difficult to see sharpie on carbon fiber, I taped up the handle and used my pattern to get the handle a little close to the final profile.

 

Knives163.jpg

 

 

 

Once I had it close.. I had to see what the final is going to look like so I put the pattern on top of the knife. I think it is going to be nice!

 

Knives168.jpg

 

 

 

I also milled the slots in the spacers so I can file them in and then put in the locating pins.

 

Knives169.jpg

 

 

 

My plan is to get the pieces to fit together perfectly, then tighten them all down and do the rough profiling on the spacers and guard so I can go in and get the profiling of the guard. I will bend the guard before I take all the material off to account for dings and warpage from the bending process.

-Knifemaker-

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http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I decided that I wanted to make a second guard for two reasons; I wasn't quite happy with the tolerance of the first guard, and I wanted a little extra length to play around with for the curved sections of the guard. So I cut out a piece of Ti on the saw and put it in the vice on the bridgeport to make everything flat and square.

 

Knives174.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Once I had the block square and to the right dimensions, I used the existing part to scribe the rough location of the slot onto the face.

 

Knives175.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Now, since I had the existing part, I took the dimensions from that and figured out what I needed to cut. I dont want to bore you experienced guys with this... but inquiring minds might want to know:).

 

The slot I wanted to make was 1.075" long and .160" wide. To cut the slot exactly that size I needed to do some simple calculations. I am using a 1/8" endmill for this.

Length: this one is easy. Simply subtract the diameter of the tool from the length you need to cut, since the machine records length of travel from the CENTER of the tool, so;

1.075" (slot length) - 0.125" (tool diameter) = 0.95"

 

Width: I know how wide the slot should be and how wide the tool is, but I need to know how much to move the tool "off center" to cut the right amount of material off each side. Again... machine travel is from the center of the tool.

 

0.160" (Slot width) - 0.002" (how much I want to leave on each side so I can file it in) = 0.158"

then 0.158" (finished slot width) - 0.125" (tool diameter) = 0.033" (extra material total)

but we want to take it off each side to make sure the slot is centered, so;

0.033/ 2 = 0.0165" (amount of material to take of on each side of the 1/8" slot)

 

Knives181.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

So, you find the center line for your block. There are a bunch of ways of doing this, but I use and edge finder most of the time

 

Knives176.jpg

 

 

 

 

Once it is on center I line up the outside edge of the tool with the outside edge of my slot and set the machine to Y-axis to zero.

 

Knives177.jpg

 

Knives178.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Milling a slot like this with a small diameter tool took about 0.03" of material off each pass. I usually leave 0.005" once each end of the slot is cut while I am roughing it out, and then go to the full length after I have cut all the way through the piece. This makes the sides and ends of the slot smoother and less likely to have the tool chatter or taper the slot.

 

Once you know what you need to do, you just have to make the passes and keep the tool cool and lubricated while it runs.

Knives179.jpg

 

 

 

Another change to this guard is that I am taking Nick wheeler's advice and cutting a slight relief in the back of the guard to allow for better fitment. I am interested to see how it works!

 

Knives180.jpg

 

I didnt like how the second guard fit and so I am touching up the geometry of the tang a bit and hopefully the 3rd time's the charm, should have an update for you later. I have had zero time to work on it since the last email. I got a big job in at work and I have been working overtime and weekends.

 

I got about 2 hours to work on the knife after putting in 12 at work. I spent the entire time fitting the guard. The other two fit fine... but I wanted it to fit GREAT so... that takes time. At the end of the night, I got it:thumbup::cool:. It needs some final tweaking to get it perfect but it is almost there.

 

There was sharpie on the blade so there is a slight exaggeration of the "seam" and this is only the first fitting up to the shoulders.

 

Now that the guard is fit and everything is on I will drill the locating pins in the handle spacers and guard before doing the rough shaping. The blade will get finished, and then after the guard gets bent it will all go back together for the finish shaping. After that it is just anodizing and final polishing.

 

Knives186-1.jpg

-Knifemaker-

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Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I am trying to figure out the cross-section of the handle where it intersects with the spacers and gaurd. I want it to be slightly smaller than the width of the guard and fit with the curves of the s-guard, so I look at my handle drawing and extrapolate lines for the slot and the height of the finished handle.

 

Knives188.jpg

 

Knives189.jpg

 

 

 

Then I square the guard with the lines and trace the width of the guard on top of the lines.

 

Knives190.jpg

 

 

 

To get the width of the slot I line up the slot with the lines I traced for the outside of the guard and then trace along the outside of the guard that is technically "inside" the drawn guard width.

 

Knives191.jpg

 

 

 

 

I do this for both sides, and since the offset of the pen tip is the same it should create the exact width of the slot in precisely the middle of the drawn guard width.

 

Knives192.jpg

 

 

 

Now, because I extrapolated the height of the handle as well as the location, (vertically) of the slot, I should have the slot drawn in the correct position on my template that has the maximum dimensions of the handle cross-section.

 

Knives193.jpg

 

 

 

In order to get the profile symmetrical I can either fold my template in half vertically, (lining up the edges) if I only want it to be symmetrical vertically, or if I want it completely symmetrical I fold it both ways.

 

Knives194.jpg

 

 

 

Then I simply cut it to the desired shape. I may have to unfold it, check, refold and modify the cut if I am not happy with the shape.

 

Knives195.jpg

 

 

 

Now I have a completely true, square and symmetrical profile that I can use for roughing out the handle profile onto the guard or the handle.

 

Knives196.jpg

 

Knives197.jpg

 

 

 

Now that I have everything cut out and fitting, I am going to glue the parts together and drill the dowel pin holes in the spacers and guard, then in the handle. Once everything lines up I can do the profiling on the handle. I am going to polish the blade first though.

-Knifemaker-

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Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I got the dowel pins drill and set in the guard and spacers.

 

Knives205.jpg

 

 

 

With the holes set I heated the parts to pop them apart, then cleaned them and re-assembled them with short pins. Then I assembled the knife and glued the two spacers to the handle. The pins are a nice tight slip-fit so I slid the spacers off along with the handle and used the spacers as a template to drill the holes in the handle. I used both spacers in order to get enough thickness to ensure I drill the holes straight.

 

Knives206.jpg

 

 

 

It goes together with the pins, without gaps, and aligns perfectly every time.

 

Knives207.jpg

 

 

 

Okay, so now it is time to get the guard roughed out. I used Nick Wheeler's trick for this, and made a half template that fits on the blade ricasso. I covered the guard in layout dye to show the scribed line a little better.

 

Knives208.jpg

 

 

 

Then I used a scribe to mark along it for a symmetrical profile. I marked it once, but didn't quite like it so modified the template. I will cut to the inner of the two lines.

 

Knives210.jpg

 

 

 

Just a cautionary warning about grinding Ti- not only is it really tough on tools and belts the sparks are NO JOKE. I wore my leather apron, (normally I don't bother) safety glasses, dust mask and a long sleeve shirt. These sparks will catch stuff on fire a lot easier than steel, so I clean up my work-space before I go at it. Also... I completely destroyed a brand new ceramic belt roughing this guard out.. and it took me close to an hour.. TI is tough to work with.

 

Once I got it close I re-blued the face and re-marked the profile as the heat from grinding discolors the dye.

 

Knives211.jpg

 

 

 

I finished the shaping and proceeded to cut the profile of the guard. This is a step that it is easy to screw up all of my hard work and have to start over, so I take it slow and continually check to make sure I haven't gone too far. I also drew where I wanted to go with a sharpie and then scribed a more precise line.

 

Knives212.jpg

 

 

 

 

After the profile was done, it was an easy task to cut the handle to match. It still needs a little tweaking and then I will be roughing out the guard to match the cross-section of the handle.

 

Knives213.jpg

 

Knives215.jpg

 

Knives216.jpg

 

I made a piece of aluminum that matched the profile of the handle shape and put it against the guard. This serves two purposes; I dont want to accidentally roll the part and ruin any of the grind, and I'm using it as a template as I rough the shape of the guard in. Being able to disassemble the knife repeatedly is really nice.

 

Knives222.jpg

 

 

 

I am going to do most of the handle work before I finish the blade as I dont have to worry about marring the finished surface. As all the mating surfaces are finished already, I can finish the blade last and not worry about ruining anything. So I roughed in the shape of the handle. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the roughed guard before I started the handl. I thought I did but i must have forgotten.

 

Knives223.jpg

 

 

 

There are some slight voids in the handle, but they can easily be fixed as I can fill them with fiber and resin. Unlike wood, where you hit a void and it just looks like you filled it, I can fill any voids with the original material and there will be no break in the continuity of the look or finish of the handle.

 

I will get the handle very close to the finished shape before going over and filling any voids. Then I will bend the guard and start the finishing process.

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I got the gaurd set up in the vice. Using some copper to protect the face, I am holding it deep enough in the jaws that it should eliminate any warpage of the mating surface. Plus i would have to get it hot and the larger cross-section keeps it from getting too hot.

 

Knives226.jpg

 

 

 

 

So.. turn on the propane torch and get ready to do some bending! It only took about 3-4 heats to get the right bend. I used my drawing as a template.. and it is really, really close. This is why I left extra material on, because now I only have to get it as close as I can before removing the excess stock to reveal the smooth curve inside.

 

Knives228.jpg

 

 

 

I did the same for the top, and them popped it on the blade to see how it looks. Pretty darn good, if you ask me. Especially after having it stick straight down for so long.

 

Knives229.jpg

 

 

 

After then it was on to the laborious and tedious work of hand sanding... I still have the extra piece of aluminum on there that is the shape of the handle, so I don't round the back of the smallest spacer. This is what it looked like after I was finished with most of the roughing on the grinder.. and had moved to a drum on the dremel.

 

Knives230.jpg

 

 

 

This is the kind of work that makes me love my pana-vise. This is after a couple hours of work with 120-280 grit paper on blocks, files, and dowels.

 

Knives231.jpg

 

 

 

Popped it back on the blade with the handle. I am waiting to finish the handle transition till I am almost finished with the guard due to the soft nature of the carbon fiber.

 

Knives233.jpg

 

Knives234.jpg

 

 

 

And here is a small preview... I wanted to see what the contrast looks like. This is a light etch on the Damascus. It is just a linear pattern, and will be topographically etched when the time comes and colored to match the blade, while the Ti. will get anodized. i think it will make for a real pretty contrast.

 

Knives235.jpg

 

 

 

I put another coat of resin on the handle and should be ready for finishing. should have an almost final fit and match of handle and guard very soon.

 

I was planning on doing a light etch, to bring out the contrast, then blue the blade before going over it lightly to polish the 15n20 a bit for higher contrast without a topographical etch. Then I will sharpen the edge. The blade is really light and fine and is almost sharp now at an almost zero edge. It is going to cut like a razor.

 

I did get the key done, and I will be honest.. I am REALLY excited about this- it is really trick! I think we are both going to be happy as a result of this knife.

 

I cut the finial off, and designed the "key holes" to fit around the thread as they are deeper than the threaded hole. the key is Ti as well and will be anodized to match. next time i will make the finial a little bigger and deeper.. but you live and learn. The keys are hardened steel dowel pins.[/b]

 

Knives236.jpg

 

Knives237.jpg

 

Knives238.jpg

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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I got the guard cleaned up to 400 grit and ready for blasting- I didn't want there to be any scratches that showed through. Also notice how I made a cap and a plug so I wouldn't round any corners.

 

Knives270.jpg

 

 

 

The sand blasting was done, and I threw it back on the handle just so you can see how it fit, and what the handle looks like now.. also to 400 grit. It will be getting a 2-part epoxy clear coat in just a few days, (once it warms up to above 60 degrees).

 

Knives271.jpg

 

 

 

I got my anodizing setup working. The only glass container that is large enough, that I had, was a beer stein, (works for me!) but that will be changing for my next go-around. The setup is very simple- a variable voltage AC source converted to DC over a 4-way bridge, and then a ion-rich solution, (I used TSP cleaning powder in water) with the leads hooked up to an electrode and the part to be anodized. The color is dependent on the voltage. This will be set at about 10-15 volts for a bronze color.

 

Here is the guard ready for anodizing:

 

Knives276.jpg

 

 

 

And the Ti spacer in the solution. The anodizing process takes about 30 seconds to a minute.

 

Knives277.jpg

 

 

 

I need to make some Ti clamps, as the steel alligator clamp I was using pulls voltage away from the work piece, giving an uneven coloring. So these will get blasted again and the corners rubbed to a polish and then anodized again with Ti clamps. But I think this is a nice preview...

 

Knives279.jpg

 

 

 

And I did the key just to see what it would look like on a polished surface... pretty cool to watch it change colors!

 

Knives280.jpg

 

One or two steps closer to the final knife. I got the Ti parts re-blasted and the edges polished. Then I got them anodized to the proper color. Holding the part in the solution with a Ti hook I made really fixed the evenness of the anodizing.[/b] (thanks Chuck for the suggestion!)

 

Knives305.jpg

 

 

 

The handle is finished and ready for the clear-coat and I also got the finial to the finished dimensions. It looks pretty sweet if you ask me. The picture makes it look like there is a slight gap around the finial, but it is an optical illusion.

 

Knives310.jpg

 

 

 

 

I started polishing the blade and had to throw it together. All that is left on the knife is polishing, etching, and bluing the blade and clear coating the handle.

 

Knives308.jpg

-Knifemaker-

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http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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Beautiful work Chris - a great looking knife and an excellent WIP. Really admire your attention to every detail. Look forward to seeing the completed knife. And just realized I spent my whole coffee break reading this!!

J

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This is a fantastic tutorial. I tuned in for the info on how you formed the handle but can't turn away now.

CUSTOM KNIVES BY JL RHODES

JLRKNIVES

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

God bless you. I thank God every day for the freedom to spend time with those I love, and time to pursue this craft.

 

"Adversity is a test for strong men."

"What one man can do, so can another."

"NO excuses, just do better next time."

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Thanks guys! i am really glad you like it. I am nearing the end of the project and am very happy with it.

 

 

The leather for the final sheath will get here in the next day or so. While the total carbon wrap didnt work out so well, I am planning on doing a carbon fiber inlay in the sheath, and it will have the stud anodized. I think it should make a really pretty package.

 

Before I got to the final grits of polishing I etched my mark in the blade. This is the first time I have ever etched my name, so I didnt have time to get stencils made, however I used nail polish, (my wife doesnt use this color...) and got my mark in there pretty good. I am thinking about changing the mark to just be my last name.

 

Knives316.jpg

 

 

 

And then there were days of sanding... lots and lots of sanding. I think this was 320 grit.

 

Knives317.jpg

 

 

 

Eventually I got it to a clean 1500 grit and ready for etching.

 

Knives318.jpg

 

 

 

It took about 3 tries at etching and bluing before I got it the way I wanted it, and I am pretty happy with it now. It still needs some final touch ups (primarily the plunges).

 

Knives323.jpg

 

Knives324.jpg

 

 

 

I also got the handle sealed with automotive 2-part epoxy clear that is UV protective so the resin in the handle wont yellow with age. I still have to cut and buff it. There is no way to show how intricate the carbon on the handle is. The fibers reflect on the light as you move it.

 

Knives328.jpg

 

Knives334.jpg

 

Now all that is left is the final touch up and assembly for the knife and making the sheath. Then it is going off to Coop for pictures.

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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This is looking great. I look forward to your updates.

 

I do have a question about your mark.

 

 

 

Looks like a hand cut paper template and then you painted around it with the nail polish as a resist.

 

Two questions;

 

Did you stick the template down or just hold it carefully? If its the first what did you use?

 

What electrolyte did you use?

 

 

Thanks

CUSTOM KNIVES BY JL RHODES

JLRKNIVES

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

God bless you. I thank God every day for the freedom to spend time with those I love, and time to pursue this craft.

 

"Adversity is a test for strong men."

"What one man can do, so can another."

"NO excuses, just do better next time."

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This is looking great. I look forward to your updates.

 

I do have a question about your mark.

 

 

 

Looks like a hand cut paper template and then you painted around it with the nail polish as a resist.

 

Two questions;

 

Did you stick the template down or just hold it carefully? If its the first what did you use?

 

What electrolyte did you use?

 

 

Thanks

 

hey

i actually painted the finger nail polish on the blade, then drew my mark on with a fine tip sharpie then removed the fingernail polish with an x-acto knife free-hand, then cleaned it up with a acetone soaked bamboo kebab skewer. it is just a sharpened piece of wood, but the tip is fibrous and cleaned up any small bit of polish inside the mark that the x-acto knife missed. i plan on getting some templates made but haven't found a good resource for them yet.

 

i used salt as the electrolyte. I actually used my Ti anodizing set-up to do the etching. It is a variable AC power source that is converted to DC via a 4-way bridge. I grounded the blade and clipped the other lead to a electrolytic solution soaked q-tip and ran that over my pattern. it worked pretty well and got the mark pretty deep.

 

i hope this helps!

~Chris

-Knifemaker-

MossKnives.jpg

http://knifemaker87.googlepages.com/home

 

Hamons are a painting; blades are a canvas, clay is my paint, fire is my brush. the problem is.. i am still painting like Pablo Picasso.

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