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Nessmuk WIP help


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So I have these two Nessmuk skinners that just came off the forge. I am planning on doing curly maple scales fixed with 1/16 brass pins. This is probably a dumb question but what size drill bit should I use for the best fit? This is only the second (and third) knife I've ever made so I don't really know what I'm doing yet.

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David,

 

My solution (not saying the best solution) is to use a 1/16" bit and 1/16" stock. I cut the stock a bit longer than needed (fudge factor) then chuck it into a drill and run some coarse paper, with a hard backing, over it. The backing is necessary to keep the pin from developing high and low spots. You need to take off enough material that it fits the hole just right. A bit of practice beforehand is a good idea. Flip the pin over and do the other side and you are done. The coarse grit gives the glue something to hold when you epoxy it all together. With 1/16" stock you will need a delicate touch or, just support the backside of the stock somehow.

 

~Bruce~

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What I do, which is just an option and not "the way" of dealing with it, is to take a carbide bur in my Dremmel tool and just run it around the hole quickly a couple of times to enlarge it slightly. I do like Bruce's idea however.

 

Doug

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I've tried the number and metric bits to tighten the pin holes but I have found that the method that I mentioned above gets it tighter if done carefully. I imagine the same can be said with Bruce's method. Just remember to grind/sand a little and test fit a lot.

 

Another thing to remember is to test fit the pin stock before you start adjusting the pin hole or the diameter of the pin stock. I once had some 1/8" copper pin stock that slipped snugly into a 1/8" hole without any adjustments. That's not likely to happen but it does occasionally.

 

Doug

Edited by Doug Lester
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I always use a number drill a few thousandths larger than the pin size... for 1/16" pins I use a #52 (.0635"). I also rough up the pins as Bruce mentioned.

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Well the 1/16 bit I used worked perfectly. I had bought 1/16 precut pins and they were true to size so they slipped right in nice and snug. The only problem I ran into was that when drilling the LAST hole on the second knife, I got about halfway through and my bits wouldn't go any further. I've tried new bits, different bits, more pressure, less pressure, different speed, etc. Nothing. This pin hole is closest to the blade and I am wondering if maybe I accidentally dipped this portion into the quench. I tried tempering the blade again and letting it cool more slowly in the oven to see if that might help. I am thinking about buying a carbide bit or masonry bit and seeing if using low speed and lots of lubricant might help me break though. So frustrating to get stopped cold in my tracks by something so simple...

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You might be up against a clump of carbide or the steel around that spot worked hardened. I generally cut to the chase and drill the holes in the tang with carbide bits. Just go slow and use a cutting oil.

 

Doug

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Yep, drill before heat treating with high speed steel or Cobalt bits. If you drill after HT, just jump directly to Carbide.

Caution...Cobalt and Carbide bits are Drill PRESS only. They are far too brittle to handle the flex induced when using a hand drill.

James

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Thanks again for the replies. I finally managed to get that last hole drilled using a carbide bit and a ton of pressure. I was literally bearing down on the drill press handle with my entire body weight and the bit was flexing pretty hard but eventually it bit and made a hole. I thought I would post a picture of the results. One of these knives was for me and the other was for my friend. I gave him the one that has more of the black forge finish remaining, and also ended up with a better shaped handle and straighter blade. The one I kept for myself developed a slight warp during the quench which I mostly managed to straighten, but not 100%. I am really a fan of this style though, I think my next project is going to be another Nessmuk with stag handles, a lanyard hole, and a smooth transition between blade and handle with no guard.

img20150124_105953_zps54264ba4.jpg

img20150124_110021_zps8c628b19.jpg

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