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JamesK

Help with guard slots

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So I’ve been working on a knife for a bit now and I’ve moved on to the handle. I have the hole for the wood drilled but I plan on also having a guard. The guard isn’t working out though and I can’t figure out how to make the slot without a drill press. I’m not worried about it being a perfect fit at all, just able to fit at all and stay with epoxy. Today I drilled 3 holes by hand but they weren’t exactly lined up and even this took a while, and they were too far apart to file together and the whole process seems incredibly frustrating to me now.

 

What keeps me focused is the fact that before power tools were a thing, knives still had guards, which means I can too (with practice obviously), so I was wondering if anyone knew any tips or tricks to making slots with as little tools as possible

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Also just for a reference as to what my knife looks like, here’s a picture before my first handle cracked and before I ruined my first guard (yea I’ve ruined a set of handles and guards already which adds to frustration)

*the handle and guard aren’t on this is an aerial to show what it would look like

13A6B1A3-DDB5-4449-A203-E0B3359D6221.jpeg

Edited by JamesK

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Lay out a line on your guard with a scribe and be sure to center punch where you want to drill the holes.

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41 minutes ago, Cody Killgore said:

Lay out a line on your guard with a scribe and be sure to center punch where you want to drill the holes.

This is good advice. I also find a jewelers saw to be easier for connecting the holes than a file.

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1 hour ago, D. Giagni said:

This is good advice. I also find a jewelers saw to be easier for connecting the holes than a file.

This.  Use a jewelers file.  Drill two holes, one at the bottom of the slot, one at the top.  Use the saw to connect the dots.  I would recommend that you cut the slot as close to your dimensions as you can, but a little under sized.  Use needle or small files to refine the opening until it is spot on.

The only other method is hot punching your guard, which I don't do.

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Excellent advice above.  I'll add that sometimes I'll predrill my series of holes with a smaller drill bit first and then drill them again with the right size bit.  You can then drill them closer together and overlap them without your bit "walking" into to the hole next to it. Its toigh on drill bits, but with a little practice it works pretty well.  Follow it up with needle files to shape and youre good to go.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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