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Brian Dougherty

Trick for filing on bolsters

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Posted (edited)

Hi all.  I've been through a meat grinder at work for that last couple of weeks, and simply can't go another step so I thought I'd start the weekend a bit early by sharing something I did recently to make shaping bolsters a bit easier.

I solder bolsters to my full tang knives before fitting the rest of the handle.  Some shaping can be done after the rest of the handle is glued up, but as you all know there are things that are easier to shape off the blade.  I'm always struggling to hold small pieces in a vice so I can get good access with the files while doing the shaping.

Last weekend I was rummaging around the tool box and rediscovered a stout little pair of jeweler's pliers that I picked up somewhere.  The handles had notches cut in them that made them almost ideal to use in reverse to clamp down on the bolsters I was working on.

I used a small clamp to pinch the jaws together which provided plenty of clamping force at the handle tips to hold the part.  Then I just held the pair of plier is my bench vise.  It worked a treat :)

Here is a shot during the shaping:

 

IMG_20180714_092956621_LL.jpg

This is after most of the handle shaping was done so you can get an idea what they will look like when completed.

IMG_20180718_195347719.jpg

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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Cool idea. I usually just use super glue to hold them together. Them I can put them in a file jog or my file work clamp

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Is that a pair of tongs I see holding the bolster?

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4 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Cool idea. I usually just use super glue to hold them together. Them I can put them in a file jog or my file work clamp

every time i try the super glue trick they fall apart the instant i touch something, or shortly thereafter from heat.. and when i want something to come apart they may as well be welded on... LoL (or at least on too good to get apart without marring/damage)

 

 

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Might be the glue you are using Gabriel, I bought some cheapo superglue from the hobby shop, and that stuff wouldnt hold worth a dang. even on clean rough ground surfaces.  But then I bought some super glue from Home Depot ( cant recall the brand, its at home on my desk ) and that stuff nearly requires a tempering cycle to soften it up enough to separate parts once its set. 

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Sorry guys, I hadn't noticed the questions.

Andy, what look like tongs, are really a small but stout pair of jewler's pliers.  I use them backwards, and put a c-clamp on the jaws to pinch the handles together.  This particular pair happens to have little notches at the end of the handles that make them well suited for holding parts.

Gabriel, I bet Robert is right in that it might be your glue.  It might also be surface cleanliness.  I use superglue to do this sort of thing all the time.  I only seems to fail when I am doing something that gets the parts real hot.  ( or if I happen to be working on a piece that simply can't be replaced, and that the world will come to an end if I mess it up)

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