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Adam Weller

WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

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On 1/27/2019 at 1:14 AM, Adam Weller said:

This week is Winter carnival here in town so snow sculptures appear all over town and way to many people show up to look at them (and go skiing/snowmobiling/snowshoing/bad driving/etc.) Most of the locals stay home and only go out the day before everyone shows up, or for emergency/work.

This one is my favorite this year, Osprey in front of the local grocery store. I didn't get a shot of the whole thing, it stands about 10-12 feet high.

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My family was up in McCall for the festival this year too, pretty cool!

Edited by Conner Michaux

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Alright. Ready for the next installment. 

First thing from my wife this morning, "are you going to work on the bathroom?" I have this love hate relationship (More hate at the moment) with the downstairs bathroom. I am renovating it, currently finishing up the sheet rock, which is not my favorite thing in the world. Next is texture, so my bench looked like this to start out

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Had to patch up a couple spot in the drywall, so I told her I would spray the texture tomorrow. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right?

So after a few more chores: had to pick my daughter up from a sleepover, fix my hitch so I can go get a trailer next weekend, take the boys to ski hill for the afternoon, go grocery shopping with the wife - I was finally able to duck into the garage for a bit. 

Here we go:

I have found marking things is very important or I start getting things all mixed up by the end. Number one:

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I take the pieces to the disk sander and get all the edges flat and happy. I do this by eye, probably not the most accurate method, but it's tolerable in my opinion. I put the mark on the work rest so I know how long the antler portion is going to be, and so I have a reference to try and keep the two ends as parallel as possible. The hardest part is the antler as there are no square edges...

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After they are all sanded I am going to glue them together, this is were I deviate from my prior attempts. usually I glue everything together as I put them on the tang, but this time I am going to take a few extra steps, bear with me. This is a complete experiment.

I started by drilling a 3/8" inch hole in the center of each piece.

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I don't have a legit drill press vice, so my little mobile bench vice will have to suffice. It goes with out saying you want the drill bits to be sharp here, I didn't seem to have a sharp one, so I started off giving them a sharp edge on the grinder.

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Making a wood, antler and phenolic paper sandwich.

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A little G-Flex

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Want to get every surface very well covered to avoid defects in the transitions later.

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I keep them all in line with a convenient allen wrench. and clamp them up in the vice.

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One at a time at this point. The others are prepped and waiting in line.

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Now it's the waiting game, watching glue dry, so to speak. 

Gonna post this and then go help make dinner, have family coming over.

Have a good weekend!

Adam

Edited by Adam Weller
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28 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

My family was up in McCall for the festival this year too, pretty cool!

I like winter carnival. Glad you were able to come up! The sheer amount of people makes town crazy for the carnival, but the locals just stay out of town as much as possible. Hopefully you were up last weekend, had that nice cold snap that kept everything crisp and beautiful. This weekend is pretty bad, warm temps, and some rain. The sculptures start to get pretty worn out and everything is slushy and slippery. 

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O man this is a great WIP!!! Thanks for taking the time to post it. Those knives are going to be beautiful when finished. I love the hole design

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All three are glued up. After the glue sets I pull the pin out of the middle and just clamp them. I try not to touch them for 24 hours.

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Starting to get nervous, hope this all works.

Adam

Edited by Adam Weller
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I know I'm weird, but when the whole family is staring at the TV watching some important event, I find it the perfect opportunity to sneak out to the garage. Nobody even realizes I'm not there. So I grabbed some hot wings and headed out.

Squared up the pieces of old wagon wheel, I'm hoping this metal has some grain to it when I get it finished. We shall see. I know alot of these knives have brass/bronze bolsters, but I just don't like the look of brass most of the time, so I'm stuck with more unconventional methods.

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 I hope all the pictures aren't a problem, but I'll throw this in there for some context, we got some snow today. Not a huge amount, only 6-8 inches, but it was heavy and wet snow which sticks to things and trees struggle a bit. We lost the power this morning for a couple hours, probably a tree limb or tree falling on a line or something... A big thank you to those guys that go out in the cold and fix these kind of things, doesn't ever seem to happen during normal business hours.

A view out the shop window.

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The front yard

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Okay, back to business. Each of the little squares took a turn in the sauna (dry heat).

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Then they went to a Yoga class to learn how to bend a bit. I added yet another tool to my stump. I think I'm just going to start calling it my swage stump.

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After the bend, they headed over to the grinder for some deep exfoliation

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Looking pretty good I think? Getting them marked up for the next step.

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First I make a cut with a cutoff wheel, it seems to help keep the drill bit centered when I drill out the slot. This is when I dream of having a Mill and knowing how to use it...

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Back from the drill press. I hog out the bottom with a larger bit so there isn't as much material to deal with.

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I throw my bench pin on the front of the bench and grab my jewelers saw to hog out more material.

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Next grab the files and get to work. Some day I'm going to heed Alan's advice and invest in some nice files, but until then I'm stuck with a random assortment of cruddy needles files I have acquired over the years... Then begins the incessant checking. Does it fit? Nope. File. Does it fit? Nope. File. Does it fit? Nope. File. Does it fit? Nope. File. Over and over again.

First check

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One Millionth check

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Then, hopefully, at some point it clicks in.I was pretty excited about this fit.

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Here is my daughter's (she is 8) contribution to the snow sculpture contest:

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It's hard to tell, but that snowman is sitting on a couple feet of snow. 

Well, that's all for today. Two more to go.

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Quick question about scandi grind... Do I sharpen the blade before fitting it to the bolster? One of the reasons I'm not sure about a scandi grind is you can't sharpen the whole blade without scratching up against the bolster. It just seems like the first time you sharpen it your going to screw up the entire look of the blade/bolster transition? What do you guys think?

Back to work tomorrow. I didn't get a chance to texture the bathroom... Hehe...

Adam

 

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Adam, If you keep the ricasso,  sharpening after assembly won't be a problem.  Whether there is a ricasso or not, the blade should be at the final dimension when fit to the bolster.  This will assure a tight fit.  My final sharpening and stropping is done after final assembly  

Edited by John Myshkoff

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4 hours ago, John Myshkoff said:

Adam, If you keep the ricasso,  sharpening after assembly won't be a problem.  Whether there is a ricasso or not, the blade should be at the final dimension when fit to the bolster.  This will assure a tight fit.  My final sharpening and stropping is done after final assembly  

That’s the main reason why I like to keep the ricasso. But traditional Scandi grind blades don’t so I was wondering if finally sharpening and grinding was done before that last fit on those. One of my blades I did a traditional grind on so I’m trying to figure that out before I get to fitting the bolster...

Edit: the far left blade is scandi. From what I understand there is no secondary bevel and when you sharpen it you grind the entire bevel? Wont this make the bolster transition pretty ugly after the first time you sharpen? Maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong... 

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Edited by Adam Weller

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First off: This is a great WIP thread. I am loving that swage stump. The grinder cut for the drill guide is a brilliant idea, and that snowman is pretty fashionably attired.

Here's a suggestion for speeding up the filing process on those tang slots. Get a set of calipers. I prefer the digital ones that allow you to choose fractional inches, decimal inches or mm in measurement, Also get a carbide scribe and a steel ruler that is graduated in 64th inches and/or mm. Then you can measure the thickness of the tang with the calipers and scribe a slot slightly less than the thickness and file up to the line right away leaving only fine tuning to get it snug.

As for sharpening, that blade will end up being sharpened a lot during its lifetime and the bolster is going to get jacked up from the sharpening sooner or later. That's the benefit of the ricasso/choil combination. It keeps the stone away from the guard. Anyway, you can sharpen before or after fit up, just be aware that if you sharpen before, you will probably cut yourself more than once before the knife is put together! If you wait to sharpen until after final assembly, you will want to protect that bolster with something when you go to sharpen the edge. A simple piece of acetate (printer transparency works) slotted over the blade against the bolster will generally keep you from scratching the bolster up.

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Joshua has given some very good tips.  I like the acetate idea. 

Edited by John Myshkoff

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17 minutes ago, John Myshkoff said:

Joshua has given some very good tips.  I like the acetate idea. 

I use acetate for a number of things. most notably for protecting the handle material while I dome pins.

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Thanks for the tips, hopefully I can pull this off. 

Got another bolster made tonight, didn't have much time. We got about 14 inches of snow Sunday morning through the night, so I got up early and cleared the driveway, by the time I got home from work we had another 5-6 inches, so I did it again. The wall of snow on the side of my driveway might just keep out the white walkers soon... It is to the tops of the fence posts, so at least 4 feet of standing snow everywhere. Perfect.

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The view to the west

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I digress. Back to the Bolster!

Drill it out.

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Saw out the extra

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File, File, File.

And, Bam! I was pretty happy with this one as well.

Oh and a quick trip to the grinder cleaned up the really rough edges of the handles. They are looking good.

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It always looks worse when I post the picture then zoom way the heck in. Oh well, when your holding it at arms length it looks awesome :)

One to go. The next is the scandi grind. 

Adam

Edited by Adam Weller
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Go man go!

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One more bolster to make, here goes.

I'm still not sold on this scandi grind bolster concept. It just seems as soon I get this all assembled and completed I'm going to sharpen it and the bevel is going to look funny. Not sure how I'm thinking about this wrong, because I see so many cool scandi blades that are perfect all the way up to the bolster... Are they just never sharpened? I'd love to see the close up shot of a scandi blade right against the bolster that has been sharpened a few dozen times. Not sure what to think, but I'll give it a go. 

Drilled and cut out

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A little filing and alittle blunt force trauma (big hammer and a copper pipe). I have found a few good wacks takes care of that last little gap that you want to get rid of, and seats the bolster on there nice and tight. To get it off, loosen the vice and set the bolster down on the vice and it only takes a couple little taps on the tang.

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It's done. another tight fit, if I do say so myself.

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Going to start fitting the handles next.

I hope this evening found you well. No glamour shots tonight, I figured your all probably getting tired of snow pictures, and that's pretty much all we have right now ^_^

Adam

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12 hours ago, Adam Weller said:

One more bolster to make, here goes.

I'm still not sold on this scandi grind bolster concept. It just seems as soon I get this all assembled and completed I'm going to sharpen it and the bevel is going to look funny. Not sure how I'm thinking about this wrong, because I see so many cool scandi blades that are perfect all the way up to the bolster... Are they just never sharpened? I'd love to see the close up shot of a scandi blade right against the bolster that has been sharpened a few dozen times. Not sure what to think, but I'll give it a go. 

Drilled and cut out

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Like any knife, the profile changes when you sharpen it. Having the grind go all the way to the bolster/handle lets you get a bit closer, but just like with a ricasso, there will inevitably be a little "dip". Some old Scandinavian knives had shoulders stick out above the bottom of the handle which helped with this a bit.Pukko-5.jpg

An old very well used puukko next to my reproduction guessing at he original profile. It you look at pretty much any knife which has been used and resharpened for years and years, it will have some kind of concavity on the edge from sharpening. I haven't noticed it on any of my hard-use scandi knives yet, but the oldest one is only about 3 years old.

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2 hours ago, Aiden CC said:

Like any knife, the profile changes when you sharpen it. Having the grind go all the way to the bolster/handle lets you get a bit closer, but just like with a ricasso, there will inevitably be a little "dip". Some old Scandinavian knives had shoulders stick out above the bottom of the handle which helped with this a bit.

An old very well used puukko next to my reproduction guessing at he original profile. It you look at pretty much any knife which has been used and resharpened for years and years, it will have some kind of concavity on the edge from sharpening. I haven't noticed it on any of my hard-use scandi knives yet, but the oldest one is only about 3 years old.

This is helpful, Thanks! I guess they really just develop their own "pseudo-plunge line" over time. I guess my concern stems on asthetics only and as soon as I finish the knife and sharpen it the bevels will no longer have a nice finished, "just off the girnder" look to them that I like so much (from what I understand you sharpen a scandi grind by sharpening the entire bevel). This is why I was thinking maybe I should sharpen before fitting the bolster because you would at least (temporarily) avoid that until you had to sharpen it the first time.

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1 hour ago, Adam Weller said:

This is helpful, Thanks! I guess they really just develop their own "pseudo-plunge line" over time. I guess my concern stems on asthetics only and as soon as I finish the knife and sharpen it the bevels will no longer have a nice finished, "just off the girnder" look to them that I like so much (from what I understand you sharpen a scandi grind by sharpening the entire bevel). This is why I was thinking maybe I should sharpen before fitting the bolster because you would at least (temporarily) avoid that until you had to sharpen it the first time.

Glad it helped! I always sharpen scandi grinds before assembly. It's much easier to sharpen that way and, as you mentioned, you can get a better finish initially. In old knives, they were often ground with a slight hollow, which eventually gets sharpened flat, and then ends up convex. All of the originals I have show some signs of a slightly convex edge. Knives almost always come off of a sander a bit convex, which you can keep, or you can use sand paper on a flat surface to get it flat(er). This makes the first resharpening easier  and look better (since the knife will be flat on the stone). In the past, it seems people cared less about keeping the bevels perfectly flat and just ground it on a stone until it was sharp again.

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Adam, That curve in the bolster will end up helping to keep it from getting too wacked up when someone goes to sharpen the edge. If I were in your shoes, I would take that edge down to sharp right before final glue up. If you hand sand with a flat & hard backer, you can get it pretty thin at the edge. Then, after the glue has cured, you can use the acetate shield and hone the edge that last little bit.

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Only quick minute in the garage tonight. 

Trying to fit the handles to the bolsters at this point, got the two blades with a ricasso nearly done, maybe alittle more fine tuning to go.

First I keyhole out the center hole with my fancy, very specialized tool...

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When the tang fits all the way to the bolster I draw a parallel line on the handle. 

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Then, using a combination of the disk sander and hand sanding I work it down until fits flush with the bolster. I have never done this before either, which is why I wanted to try a curved bolster on this project. There will be vulcanized paper in that gap when all is said and done. 

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When I get this done it’s on to the butt of the knife then handle shaping. 

This was actually a few days ago. Had to stop and take a picture as I drove through town.

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Adam

 

Edited by Adam Weller
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Just one pic tonight... you’re seeing this in the 15 minute blurbs I get to spend in the garage each night. 

Starting to resemble the initial sketch, kinda.

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Adam

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I can't wait to see the finished knives!!!! There gonna look awesome!!

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No update last night = No garage time :(

Headed to the nearest city to pick up a 30' trailer today. Scheduled the pickup a couple months ago, and it decided to coincide with this massive storm. So far I think they have blown it out of proportion, we only got 5-6 inches overnight which is minimal. We will see how it plays out on the trip home as it is 2 hours driving on a super twisty, two lane road up the side of a steep canyon to get home... Always a fun time when it's blizzarding.

13 hours ago, JASON VOLKERT said:

I can't wait to see the finished knives!!!! There gonna look awesome!!

12 hours ago, John Myshkoff said:

Beautifully crafted! 

Thanks guys!

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Back to play.

The tang is going to be peened so they cannot remain hardened. I wrap the blade in a wet cloth, grab the torch and carefully watch the colors move up the tang.

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I then fit the cap for the butt of the knife. This is the same process as the bolster. Drill, File, Check, repeat until it fits.

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Then fit the handle to the curve of the cap.

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Do it three times

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I still had some time, so I started to shape the handle on the first one, just to get a sense of what it's going to look like. I started by grinding the bolster and cap close to the final shape, just to use as a guide for the handle.

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 I use a really sharp, high grit belt at a pretty slow speed to hog some material off. The super careful part here is to not left the antler get hot at all. If it does, it gets brittle and really screws up the engraving later. I quickly move to a rasp and aggressive file to get the material off.

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I'm not going to deep yet because I'm not really sure how I'm going to proceed from here. I would like to etch the heck out of the bolster and cap, and I want to do that before it is glued and peened to the handle, but I'm not sure I know how to do that and have a good fit at the end... Any suggestions? I'm going to think about it some more. 

Anyway, here is where I ended the evening.

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Just as a side note, we made it up and down the canyon on Saturday. 100 miles each way, the trailer made it home. Towed nice and smooth through a lot of slush and ice on a steep mountain road. The wife always gets nervous when she can look over the edge and see the river way down there, but even she stayed pretty calm.  So far we've probably got about a foot of snow at home, they are claiming another 2 feet by Wednesday. I hope so, but I wont hold my breath. The ski hill loves this!

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Pretty excited about the trailer. We (me, wife and 4 kids) basically live out in the far reaches of Idaho's mountains during the summer, riding mountain bikes on the gnarliest trails we can find. Last year the kids were relegated to tents which sucked when it would rain/snow on us. So now we can fit everyone (and the giant pile of bikes) inside.

Mondays almost here, hope you had a good evening.

Adam

 

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So what is the Sami style of knife?

WHat was it used for and where did it come from?

 

Edited by Conner Michaux

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