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Adam Weller

WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

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Everyone loves sand paper right? I take the handles to 2500 grit before I engrave them and then I do it again afterwards..

I use several different types of sandpaper, quite a few grits from Rhynowet redline (love this stuff), and bridge the gaps with other random types of sandpaper.

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I keep them stacked in this order and when I start a project like this I take the stack and cut about a 2 inch strip of all the grits at the same time. 

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I get uniform strips of each grit from 150 to 2500. If this doesn't make your fingers tingle it should. 

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Clamp the knife in the vise and then start working my way around the handle. 

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Trigger warning (haha, just kidding, I'm sure you guys can handle it). This is what starts to drive you nuts. See that little perpendicular line. Don't change to the next grit until ALL of them are gone. This usually takes awhile in the bigger grits, but gets progressively easier as you get to higher grits (If you got them all every time!) If you have some of these lines that just wont go away, sometimes you  should just drop the back down a grit or two and start over from there. The other rule of thumb is use the sand paper like you stole it (Or use it like it's free, may sound little better).

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By about 800, this thing is looking pretty nice!

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And by 2500 it is just straight up Luxury! Oh yeah, so smooth.

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But I'm about to rain on my own parade. When you use natural materials you are dealing with a non-uniform material... When you turn it over:

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There is an area that is more porous, starting to get into a touch of marrow... Well during the sanding process those little pores get dust in them and become quite obvious. It actually doesn't look to bad, I thought about just keeping it that way, kind of a tribute to using a nonuniform material. But I wanted to experiment so I cleaned it out (using one of my kids toothbrush and a blower tip on the air compressor) and then filled it (3 coats) with CA glue , followed by sanded it back up to 2500. You can tell it is still there, but it's less obvious and I'm interested to see what will show up with I rub pigment onto the handle after the engraving. 

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That's it for garage work. I'll be doing this same thing two more times. 

Warning! Non-Knife content ahead:

My son turns 10 tomorrow. For some reason when my oldest child turned 1 I decided to make a cake, it was the shape of a frog... Worst mistake ever. 4 kids later and therefore 4 cakes a year for all those years have made me HATE making cakes, but the wife still makes me do it. Two of my kids have converted to pies for their birthday, so it's getting a little easier. 

He wanted a monster... So I made him a cute little monster peaking up out of the pan. Enjoy.

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Now that I feel much less manly, I shall retire for the evening. Hope you guys had a great weekend.

Adam

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6 hours ago, Adam Weller said:

Now that I feel much less manly, I

Only a manly man could bake a cake like that and have the courage to show his friends in a public forum. Well done sir.

Edited by Joshua States

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Only a manly man could bake a cake like that and have the courage to show his friends in a public forum. Well done sir.

Agreed! 

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9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Only a manly man could bake a cake like that and have the courage to show his friends in a public forum. Well done sir.

 

6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Agreed! 

Thanks guys I feel better already. Haha. Just to clarify I didn't actually bake the cake, I just take the cake my wife makes, build it, and slather some frosting on it. 

Tonight is going to be tight time wise considering I have a birthday party to attend! Maybe I can sneak out to work on another handle after everyone goes to bed.

 

Edited by Adam Weller

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Great now I want some cake...… Thanks!

Just kidding..... Well sawed of. 

That handle looks real good at 2500 grit. I cant wait to see them engraved :D

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Haven't had a whole lot of time for this project the last couple days. I did manage to get them all sanded. 

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Next step is the sheath. I'm trying to decide if I want to inlay antler in the sheath or show off more of the pretty wood... Or maybe both options. We shall see.

Adam

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Those handles look sweet. Are you finished sanding the blades?

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Those handles look sweet. Are you finished sanding the blades?

Yes - Very much against my nature - I made the conscious decision to not take a ton of time on hand sanding the blade, so I left them with a Trizac A45 finish on the bevels. The Scandi ground blade has the final grind on the bevel from the Extra fine DMT diamond stone. If I were to hand sand the blade I would have done it before I assembled the handles.

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Here comes the sheath.

I originally cut the wood for the sheath at the same time as I cut the wood for the handle, comes from the same block.

It's pretty rough coming off the band saw, so I flatten up the pieces on a disk sander. You could also use a flat surface and a piece of sandpaper. I'm trying to get it as flat as I can so when I glue them together you can barely tell there is a seam.

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I have curved bolsters, so I used a drum sander that was really close to the radius of the bolster to make them fit together. I then outline the blade on the wood and label everything so I don't screw up the wood...

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Now to make the blade fit. 

First thing I do is cut the edges with my dremel tool. This picture is a little ahead of myself because there is one done and one just started, but it shows the process.

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I try to cut the right depth with the dremel tool to give myself a reference for how deep to go. The spine side is about half the width of the thickest part of the blade. Makes sense, right?

Once that is completed I take the rest of the wood out with a chisel. I hope these videos are working. They work for me. So, without further ado, the Oscar for most boring short film goes to:

Keep going until it fits! This Koa is mildly curly, so you can see how I had to figure out which way the grain is. When all else fails just use a really sharp chisel and go against the grain :D These are small knives so this didn't take very long.

Then, hopefully, it fits!

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Another weekend is here. Winter storm warnings are saying we are supposed to get between 30 and 50 inches of snow by next Tuesday. I don't really believe them, but I hope so!

Hope you had a good Friday!

Adam

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Lots going on this weekend.

Got some time to finish up the sheaths. Happy Bench, Happy life... Or something like that.

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Finished up all three

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Next up is gluing the halves together. For stabilized wood like this I'm using CA glue. Hoping it makes the seam polish up and disappear into the wood.

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Back to watching glue dry, at least this kind of glue is pretty quick.

Adam

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Well, that didn’t work. For some reason when the glue had hardened I took the clamps off, there was a scary *crack* sound and the 2 halves fell apart. Not sure why, my theories include:

1) glue starvation (seems to be a common topic these days) though I thought CA glue tolerated if not thrives in glue starved situations.

2) Old glue (I’ve had this bottle quite awhile)

3) somehow the glue on one side caused the wood to bend slightly resulting in enough force to crack the seam... 

Anyway, I went back to the old standby, titebond. Sanded the surface on a super flat surface, then I carved a small groove in the face of the seem (to help with glue starvation) and clamped it up. So now I’ll let it sit overnight.

In the meantime I decided to start on the antler inlay. Started with a chunk of reindeer antler I had.

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Then shaped the piece on the grinder.

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drew on it and the back to the grinder and disk sander 

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got it the right shape.

back to waiting for glue to dry.

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Adam

 

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Forged curved bolsters.... Antler inlays...….. This is getting good!!

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The sheaths all came out of the clamps looking good and solid.

I outline to the best of my ability where the inside cavity is... last thing I want to do is sand into one at this point.

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Then off to the grinder until it looks even.

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Two more.

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Next is the inlay... I have never done this before, and I don't really know how, so for me it is just make the piece of antler fit in the piece of wood. Seems simple enough.

I started with the rotary tool and cut close to the line but not right on it.

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This gave me a starting point to work with my carving chisels and gouges. 

I wish I had a good method here to teach, but I honestly just keep removing really small bits of the wood that doesn't need to be there. I use a sharp point to get to the outline and use shallow gouge to get the middle out. I slightly undercut the edges, not only to make it fit easier but also to allow a recess for glue. 

Here it is at the end with the various tools I used to get the job done.

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It fit with no discernible gaps that I could tell. I roughed up the back of the inlay so the glue would hold.

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Then stuck a bunch of glue in there, clamped it up and back to watching glue dry. I honestly don't think I needed to clamp it, as soon as I stuck that thing in there is was darn near impossible to get out (even dry, before glue)... We shall see how clean I got it when I sand it down. Fingers crossed.

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That's enough for tonight...

Adam

Edited by Adam Weller
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Just home from work, Got it unclamped and sanded on the disk grinder. I'm pretty satisfied.

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Now to see how much of the other two I can get done tonight.

Adam

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This is past good and into awesome territory.

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Okay, I got the other two done tonight. If anyone has any tips on inlaying, please share. As I mentioned, this is my first attempt. Since I did three separate sheaths, by the third one I kinda had a system down so I figured I would do a more step by step post. If I'm posting way to many pictures, I hope the mods will let me know.

First off, in another current thread it was recently mentioned that finger don't like belt grinders....... Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, fortunately I finished with my fingerprints intact. 

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After I got the edges roughly cut with the rotary tool (see previous post) and the remainder of the night involved hand tools, I figured I'd move my operation inside the house. Then the wife thinks I'm spending more time with her, and I'm getting something done. So while she watches her cop shows, I sit at the dining room table and make stuff. Here is the setup I built for this. I attached a music stand light to it so I have awesome lighting and I gotta admit, that ball vise is one of my favorite things.

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Step one, rough cutout, not quite to the edges with the rotary tool.

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Step two: hog out the middle. One side then the other. With a mildly curved gouge (seen in picture).

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Step three: I use my sharpest chisel and I cut right along the inside of the line, kinda deep stop cut.

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Step four: Now I can clean out to the edge from the inside out (I use a variety of chisels and a shallower gouge)

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Step Five: I keep messing with it, making tiny adjustments until it dry fits like this (man, pictures always make them look worse):

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Starting to resemble the drawing...

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More glue

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See ya next time.

Adam

 

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12 hours ago, Adam Weller said:

Okay, I got the other two done tonight. If anyone has any tips on inlaying, please share. As I mentioned, this is my first attempt. Since I did three separate sheaths, by the third one I kinda had a system down so I figured I would do a more step by step post. If I'm posting way to many pictures, I hope the mods will let me know.

First off, in another current thread it was recently mentioned that finger don't like belt grinders....... Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, fortunately I finished with my fingerprints intact.

No tips on inlay from me. You are doing exactly what I have seen everyone do in every How-To I have ever read or watched. So keep at it.

As for the photos, I'm no Moderator, but I can suggest that you always compress or reduce your photos to a smaller size so they don't take up so much storage space. Webresizer.com and pixlr.com are two free online photo editors that allow you to quickly and easily resize photos without losing any definition. I always get my photos down to a maximum of 1000 pixels in the largest dimension and under 200KB in size. It makes uploads faster and consumes little storage space on the server (someone is paying for that storage space). Pixlr has a phone app, but both can be used from your phone.

When I sand small pieces like that, I take a piece of blue painter's tape and fold it into a T shape so there is a small handle I can grip from behind while the tape holds the piece.

Where did you get that ball vice?

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

As for the photos...

When I sand small pieces like that, I take a piece of blue painter's tape and fold it into a T shape so there is a small handle I can grip from behind while the tape holds the piece.

Where did you get that ball vice?

I'll try that with my photos. I was kinda worried I was posting too many, but that's the part I like in other WIPs. 

The tape thing is a great suggestion, I'll have to give that a try. I'm constantly sanding small thin things it seems.

The ball vise is a GRS knockoff (the official brand is Vevor? I think...). It functions very well, I didn't think I needed a super expensive vise because I'm not doing any intricate metal engraving. I only paid around 100$ for it and most GRS vises are easily 4-500$. I pretty sure I bought it on amazon, but that was several years ago.

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I'm kind of jealous of that vise too!

And as for the inlay, that's pretty much how it's done.  I don't use power tools for it, just an exacto knife and chisels, but that's just because I tend to get chaotic with the dremel and ruin stuff fast. So I got a Foredom, which is much more controllable, but I still don't trust myself to do inletting with it. :ph34r:  Excellent work!  I'm enjoying watching these come together.

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30 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

So I got a Foredom, which is much more controllable,

Foredom is on my someday wish list. I have used my Craftsman rotary tool (Same one I got for my 9 or 10th birthday) for a lot of carving in everything from bone/antler, to hard wood and even rock so I have a pretty good sense of control with it. I do have a flex shaft for it which I like better than most Foredom's I've tried because the handpiece is the size of a large pencil rather than the typical large handpiece of the standard Foredom. 

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Took them out of the clamps and ran them through the disc sander... one of the antler pieces I used has alittle more porosity than I was hoping, not sure it will engrave very well... we will see I guess. I’m not going to rip it out of there at this point. Otherwise I think they look pretty good. 

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I think I’m going to take the night off otherwise. Got some stuff to do and we’ve gotten close to 3 feet of new snow in the last couple days. So things are kind of a mess. 

Adam

Edited by Adam Weller
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Another quick night. Really didn’t do too much. 

Peened the tang and sanded the sheath for two of the knives. Not a lot of process pics because there’s not much explaining to do. I used the grinder to chamfer the edges of the sheath then sanded them to a semi polish. I also used a round file to put a groove around the neck - this helps solidify the wood leather transition. Size only allowed one, I think I was alittle ambitious to think I could fit two grooves like on my original drawing.

I took the picture while holding them this time so people could get a little better reference on size.

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These are essentially ready for engraving which scares the crap out of me...

I’ll leave you with a quick tour.

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What? No audio? Looks great man!

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Thoroughly enjoying your WIP Adam.  Well done so far. 

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Wow that video really shows how beautiful those blades are!! 

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