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Mark_Bartlett

Dogbone Dagger Work In Progress

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Now of the ivory. Some nice clean mammoth pieces. I marked the profile and then cut in the bandsaw without touching the lines. This gives me a bit of room to have to grind down. There were a few small places in the back of the scales that had thinned out where the core of the ivory and the outer section met that had a bit of separation. I flooded those areas with water thin CA glue. Then sanded them back off flat. Missed the pics where I cut the center out of the frame and lined lined up the frame and guard spacers and marked the pin placement. But it's very similar to how I marked the guard. (and still very rough cut) Then I put the blade up on the little mag chuck and found the height of the center rib of the blade and marked that line on the tang to give a reference to make sure the handle lines up. Now, with everything together, I wrap some thin pinstripers tape around the frame. The last layer is a different color and when grinding the scales down to the profile, grind down till the belt removes the first layer and with a few wraps left under it, it gives you about .025" of a buffer to grind to with the 60 grit that keeps you from getting into the frame. Then some final trimming and hand sanding on the flats and truing up the radius in the flare at the butt. Next is going to be grinding the bevels into the handle.

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On 4/29/2017 at 10:56 AM, Mark_Bartlett said:

Now for a morning tip as I sit here, not working on anything, but looking at pictures. One thing I tend to do rather than just look at the knife in my hand and see what needs to be fixed is to take pictures. I'm sharing these as a WIP, but a lot of them are more for my benefit than yours. Yesterday evening on facebook and instagram, people ooooh'd and ahhhh'd over the picture of this guard reflection and how seamless the fit is where the coined edge of the spacer meets the guard. Blow the picture up and clarity starts to betray faults that the naked eye can miss after long hours of staring at the same piece while you're working. No fancy camera, just an iPhone 7 Plus.

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I'm curious how you are going to fix these small issues?
Because you have a 4 sided shoulder where the pre guard bolster meets the shoulders are you going to grind it flush?
File it flush?
Sand it flush?
How do you do that and still keep the angle of the bolster.
This question applies to both places that its proud.

The same thing with the plunges.
Are you going to put the file guide back on and adjust with files or something else?

This project is amazing and I appreciate you sharing the process.
Thanks,
JJ

 

 

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The plunges are easy... a few round and teardrop shaped stones and a lot of time. The guard spacer (I've been told it's technically a western habaki) is going to take some patience. The plan is to radius one edge of one of my old sanding blocks and knock it down flush with the ricasso while at the same time finishing the hand sanding of the ricasso. Just takes time. There will still be a slight lip anyway because the blade is damascus and when it's etched there will be high and low spots. But it'll be as close as I can make it.

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This thread is awesome Mark. Excellent process documentation. Thank you.

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Thanks for the answer.
As I was looking at it and brain storming I had a few crazy thoughts about how to fix these things.
Your plan is a lot more tame than mine.

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2 minutes ago, JJ Simon said:

Thanks for the answer.
As I was looking at it and brain storming I had a few crazy thoughts about how to fix these things.
Your plan is a lot more tame than mine.

Occam's razor JJ. Never forget Occam's razor.

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6 minutes ago, JJ Simon said:

Thanks for the answer.
As I was looking at it and brain storming I had a few crazy thoughts about how to fix these things.
Your plan is a lot more tame than mine.

Let's hear it... tame may be the way to go to prevent screw ups. Or not. I'm by no means an expert. I'm just a little patient, a whole lot of stubborn, and Mike Quesenberry told me I'm a glutton for punishment. But I am open to suggestions.

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Occam's razor JJ. Never forget Occam's razor.

I know not this Occam but here goes.

2 hours ago, Mark_Bartlett said:

Let's hear it... tame may be the way to go to prevent screw ups. Or not. I'm by no means an expert. I'm just a little patient, a whole lot of stubborn, and Mike Quesenberry told me I'm a glutton for punishment. But I am open to suggestions.

I was thinking of taping off the ricasso to the edge and then chasing the proud parts to the edge and filing flush
Essentially using the ricasso itself as the guide.
Of course this could be done with a file too.
It would have to be done under magnification and of course its always possible that you'd either dimple the ricasso or leave a file mark in it.
I thought about trying to scribe the face of the proud parts also using the ricasso as the guide again.
And then filing a chamfer to the scribe line so that it meets the lip and then knocking down the high spot on the habaki with a file or stones or whatever works best.

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Just so there's no confusion. I'm a novice. I've been making knives for three and a half years. At this point I'm about to pay my dues and rejoin the ABS and start back on the track to getting my JS stamp. (long story short, frustration led to a hiatus)  What you're seeing in these pictures is research in action. Some guys want the answers laid out for them every time they ask a question. I chose to read. I've read through countless WIP threads and filled in the blanks. I've learned from the best even if only through pictures. And others I've had the blessed privilege of talking to in person and over the phone and messenger. I've picked up tips upon tips from amazing people that saw that I was putting forth an effort and not just begging for the secrets of the world. So when you see something that you might have done different, I'm all ears. This is Work In Progress as well as Learning In Progress as this is the first time I've ever attempted a full sized dogbone like this. The bowie I posted last week was my 27th knife. All the rest are in this little photo except for two of them. I'm nobody, but this should serve as an example. If a nobody can do it, what are you holding back.

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For 3 plus years and 27 knives you are slaying it.
Your dedication and education from the masters you are working with shows.
I've been making for 10 years and have gotten no where close to this level of work.
I'm glad you're posting.

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23 hours ago, Mark_Bartlett said:

Just so there's no confusion. I'm a novice. I've been making knives for three and a half years.

I beg to differ with that opinion. 

nov·ice
ˈnävəs/
noun
  1. a person new to or inexperienced in a field or situation.

You are neither "new" nor "inexperienced" as far as I can tell. The amount of years spent is insignificant when compared to how that time was spent. You have spent your time wisely and have achieved much more than others who did not have, or did not realize there was, access to the resources you have made good use of. You also have the benefit of focus. You zero in on what you want to do, gather as much information about exactly how to do it, and proceed to actualize the vision. Your methods and processes are detailed and specific. There is no "well, I'm going to have a go at making a knife and see what happens" in your endeavors. You have a very specific goal and a laid out plan on how to achieve it. That is not "novice" methodology.

 

BTW: There are only 24 knives in those photos above.......there's 2 knives missing:D

Edited by Joshua States
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On 5/14/2017 at 9:11 PM, Joshua States said:

BTW: There are only 24 knives in those photos above.......there's 2 knives missing:D

Yea, I mentioned that. #2 and #14. Mom has #2 and #14 was a rare occurrence. I finished the knife, had the sheath made, and delivered it without taking pics. Was a nice little lacewood handle hunter.

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Lets start with the handle. I use this little micarta wedge to pry apart scales from the frame and liners when they're on dowel pins. The pins are tight. Just the way I want them. Once I had them off the frame, I marked across the head of the frame to locate center and drilled a 3/16" hole to allow the stud to slide through. Then it was time to reassemble the handle and put it on my little rotation jig to layout the lines where the bevels would be ground to. With those drawn out, I flipped my big D2 file guide over and squared the shoulders up in the guide to set the initial plunge of the handle bevels. with those ground in, it's on to the grinder. I set the adjustable platen at the same angle I used to grind the spacers and started off hogging it away with a new 60 grit AO belt. Then to a scalloped 220 J-Flex to keep from digging into the plunge. 

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I finish the bevels with a file. When I did the push dagger, I tried to hand sand them in and almost ended up remaking them. The files give a much more consistent cut. Darken the center rib with a pencil. The pencil lead will not stain the ivory like a marker would and provides a nice contrast to work with. Then it was a small 1/8" round file to touch up the plunge and some hand sanding with a rounded tip micarta stick and some 220 paper. 

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Last few things for the day cut a notch in the tang for the stud. I use high temp 40% silver solder for this. Flux the tang and stud and then heat with a small oxy/propane torch. It'll have to get up around 1100 degrees I believe before the solder starts to flow. Once that's cleaned up, I put the guard in my bending fixture and hooked the ends of the guard. Had to go back and tweak one end over slightly but it's straight now. 

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And lastly for today, the whole thing assembled. Now i've got a lot of cleanup, hand sanding, filing, twisting, and finishing to do. All those little details that keep good from being great.

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Mark, very nice work, your attention to the details is working well for you!

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This is quality stuff; both the WIP and the dagger.  Cheers to you Mark!

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JJ,

Occam's razor, named for Robert? of Occam.  He postulated that if there's more than one solution to a problem,

then the simplest is usually the most elegant and the best.  I guess it's the foundation for the KISS principle.

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Started friday afternoon with finish fitting the spacer to the ricasso. Got it even with just a slight 5 thousandths or so lip. I left it just over so the transition wouldn't look jagged with the blade etched. Then I scribed a grind to line on the ends of the guard and started thinning them down and tapering the guard. Nothing looks worse than a blocky guard on something like this. After that was a whole lot of sanding and polishing. I've got a few places to touch up but it's finished for the most part. 

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Next comes cleaning up the guard spacers. I took the whole stack to 400 with the belt running really slow. Then to 800. Then, the accent rings... This is about the only real side load work I'll do in my drill press. I keep the drill running wide open and cut light so the chance of damage from side loading the bearings is minimal. I've got some small knife edge cratex wheels I'll clean them up with later. Then the same thing for the finial spacer. And lastly cleaning up the plunge of the frame and spacers with a small tapered cratex bit. And here we have the newer, cleaner, more elegant profile of the guard.

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Separate comment for this. I was asked over on facebook if I used EDM stones. Not really. I have a few odds and ends of diamond hones and rods and some ceramic and a few hard Arkansas stones and such that I use for the task of cleaning up plunges and such. But all my hand sanding is done with sandpaper and backing blocks. 

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Everyone knows about hand sanding so I won't spend much time here. What I will show you though is a little dimple in the ricasso. And how do you get it out without tearing up the world. I watched a video (highly recommend it too) of the gentleman at Greenfield guitars building custom acoustics. His apprentice was fitting some spalted maple pieces into a trim ring groove. While most of us would say flip the grinder on and ever so lightly bump the piece against a belt or disc, he was putting a little bit of pressure on the work piece and gently rotating the disc by hand with his other thumb. I've found it's easier and less likely to screw something up if I hold pressure on the ricasso against the platen and with the drive belt off, roll the belt by hand, repeatedly checking progress. I left it with just a slight mark that is all but gone now after hand sanding the blade.

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And now the escutcheon plate that almost made me throw things. Small piece of stainless, beveled edges, and two pins is the norm. once I have the bevels ground, I put two pieces of a 3x5 card on either side and set my big file guide down on them. when the guide is clamped to the plate, it leaves a few thousandths stuck up over the guide face. This is how I've been trying to go about this and had a makeshift one from when I did the push dagger. Works much better with this oversized guide. Then I soldered the pins to the back into some recessed holes. I located where I wanted the plate and marked the holes for the pins. Filed the excess solder off the back, and heres where things took a turn. The plate warped in the soldering process and refused to sit flat. So I had three choices, Leave it with a gap, break off the pins and flatten and try it again, or, screw it... Yes, screw it. I found a #48 drill bit, drilled the holes all but through the plate, and threaded them with a 2-56 blind tap. Then counter bored the back of the holes, flattened the back of the plate, and put two stainless 2-56 screws in it. and I'm done for the night. I'll play with it some more tomorrow.

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Time for pins. I've been dreading this because it's not being done in the traditional method and even now, they aren't permanently attached, and I hate anything overly repetitive. Like 18 stainless button head rivets. But anyway, I took the pins, chucked them in the drill, and polished them. Then trimmed them to length and turned down an undercut behind the head to allow it to bend easier. Then the pin heads are bent over in a block that is only slightly steeper than the handle facets to account for the pins springing back.

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