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Joshua States

A tale of 6 blades.

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Hey they look great Josh

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Yup, I'll second that.  Nice looking work.

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I had a small amount of time tonight and did a little prep work for tomorrow. Every other Wednesday is a forging day for me, so I like to get things prepped the night before.

I found a hunk of W-2 That is about 3/4" square and 9" long. I'll put that in the fire along with a 1" square multi-bar thing that I started twisting......

Then I still had a few minutes left and I like to use every minute I can get, even if it's only 15 or 20 minutes.

So, I did a little work on the big Bowie in this set. It will have a coffin handle of frame construction. I did the profile grinding of the scales and frame assembled.

Frame Handle (4) V2.jpg

 

Frame Handle (3) V2.jpg

 

The frame is 1/8" nickel-silver and will get file work eventually. The scales are stabilized black ash burl.

Once the profile is done, I have to cut out the frame to accept the tang.

I take one scale off, blacken the frame with a sharpie pen, and butt the handle up to the spacer package so I can scribe the tang outline.

 

Frame Handle (1) V2.jpg

 

Then I cut it out on the bandsaw and file it for a complete fit. It should be snug. Eventually, some of the mass between the pin holes will be removed, leaving small squares around the pin holes to lay against the tang.

 

Frame Handle (2) V2.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Joshua States
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Frame handles are classy.

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Being a total newbie to all of this, I almost hate to ask some questions that others obviously know the answers to.

 

I don't understand the purpose of a frame handle vs full tang handle.  They both show exposed metal, so why go to the extra work?

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38 minutes ago, Chris Christenberry said:

They both show exposed metal, so why go to the extra work?

A frame lets you have a guard that couldn't possibly be fitted to the knife otherwise (apparent tang too wide, etc.) plus it's usually made of a material that's easier to add filework or other decoration to than the blade steel.  

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Oh, okay.

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6 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Being a total newbie to all of this, I almost hate to ask some questions that others obviously know the answers to.

 

I don't understand the purpose of a frame handle vs full tang handle.  They both show exposed metal, so why go to the extra work?

Chris, you may always ask questions of me, and I will always be happy to respond.

This question was asked by Brian Dougherty in another thread back in 2016.

This answer is about halfway down the page:

 

On 1/28/2016 at 2:08 PM, Brian Dougherty said:

I've never understood the function of the frame. Is it just a way to create that particular aesthetic effect, or is there a mechanical reason to do it?

The frame serves a variety of functions. It can lend stability and strength to otherwise unstable or weak materials. It provides a look that can often deceive the viewer into thinking that it is a full tang design and the blade extends through the guard and handle. It provides added weight for balance on an otherwise blade-heavy knife. It provides numerous opportunities for artistic embellishment.

 

The frame on this particular Bowie here, is going to look a lot like this one when complete:

(It just won't have the liners)

File work 1.JPG

Edited by Joshua States
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That's breath-taking, Josh.

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Thanks for the compliment Chris. You can see more pics of that knife here.

 

Now for todays' minor progress. I went to work on that small partial/hidden tang hunter erroneously thinking it would be quick and easy......

After a few hours of battling with it, I finally subdued it somewhat and got the guard and spacer package shaped. I also got the profile done to 220.

 

Round 2 fit & Shaped (1) V2.jpg

 

I think there's something amiss with this. It just doesn't look quite right to me. Maybe the guard tail is too long.

 

Round 2 fit & Shaped (2) V2.jpg

 

Round 2 fit & Shaped (3) V2.jpg

 

 

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Whew! Nice work.........on both knives, Josh.

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4 hours ago, Joshua States said:

 

 

 

I think there's something amiss with this. It just doesn't look quite right to me. Maybe the guard tail is too long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My humble opinion is that for a using knife as opposed to a fighting knife where a long guard may be needed is that there is little in the way of hard stabbing needed so it is only slippage that is being protected against and half to two thirds of the finger depth is easily enough to prevent that and does not dominate the visual like one that covers all of the finger depth or more might do..

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Joshua....I am enjoying the trip through these.  Thanks for taking the time to share.

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Can't wait to see all of that frame handled Bowie, looks stunning!

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13 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:

Joshua....I am enjoying the trip through these.  Thanks for taking the time to share.

Thanks Gary. I enjoy watching you go through your builds as well. 

 

I figured out what's wrong with the guard. I was trying to recreate a knife I made a few years ago and couldn't find a photo of it. So I was working from memory, which is getting worse every year. I found the photo on an old backup drive. https://drive.google.com/open?id=10Gdt5617I-P2gI0ibn-9M70dayXCrcuZ

The guard tail needs to be thinner and straighter on the back side.

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Nice clean lines on that one, Josh.  I'm really trying, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to match fit-up like you do.

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1 hour ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I'm really trying, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to match fit-up like you do.

Of course you will. You will do it the same way you achieved the fit up in woodworking. You will formulate a process, and learn the techniques that give you control over that process.

That's what craftsmanship is, is it not? Control over the process.

 

Two flat pieces of metal will fit flush and clean against each other. A flat piece of metal will fit cleanly against a flat piece of wood. Simple. So make them flat. That's a technique.

Blind pins act the same as dowels in woodworking to keep pieces against each other from moving. That's a technique.

Building the knife in parts and then assembling is the big-picture process. Each of the parts has its own process. Each of those processes are arranged in a predetermined set of steps.

Make part A (the blade) fit part B (the guard) to part A, continue with all the parts.

 

The other option is to fit rough shaped parts together (clean and flat mating surfaces) and shape the whole piece as one. That's how I made most of my first knives. 

Including this one.

My Hunter (4) V2.jpg

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Sounds simple...............but then so does hand cutting dovetails in furniture. (until  you try it!) :D

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

That's what craftsmanship is, is it not? Control over the process.

Like the sculptor only removing the rock that doesn't belong, very well put but indeed easier said than done.

 

The videos I've been watching and the continued examples here have me pondering how I will change my methods knife #75 and onwards.

 I need .75 but the best I can get is 1x glasses, for a start I need to put them on more when I work.....and of course taking them off if I want to walk anywhere :lol:

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17 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

and of course taking them off if I want to walk anywhere

Then remembering where you set them down......:blink:

 

I have a bunch of photos for the next steps in this handle. The bird head is a tricky thing for me. It needs to be symmetrical side to side and the "beak" needs to be centered on the body and in line with the guard and blade. The handle itself needs to stay centered and straight in line with the blade. The radii of the sides need to be even and match.

Some guys are good at eyeballing that sort of thing. I'm not, so I developed a little method for aiding me in keeping everything lined up and equal.

There will be about 4 different posts in the whole thing, and we have a dinner date to go to, so stay tuned.

 

Edited by Joshua States
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Hey!  No fair to tease! ^_^

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So the block of wood is never really parallel to the blade, so you have to transfer the line of the blade around the profile of the wood and carve/grind the handle to it.

I assemble the pieces. There are blind pins holding everything together. The nickel-silver spacer is a tight fit, so everything is keyed off of that.

Then I put the knife in a vice blade down and lay a very sooth piece of steel against the ricasso area.

Handle layout (1).jpg

 

 Lay a ruler or straightedge against the metal piece.

Handle layout (2).jpg

 

And draw a line with a pencil.

Handle layout (4).jpg

 

Repeat for side two.

Handle layout (5).jpg

This marks the center line down the back, or spine of the handle.

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Now for the belly of the handle. This is curved and a ruler will not lay flat on it. The guard tail is also in the way, so remove it.

Fit the spacers and the handle onto the tang (another good reason to fit the spacer tight), and chuck it up in the vice again. Tis time the edge is up.

Use the metal piece against the ricasso again and mark whatever you can get the straightedge to touch. It will probably only be the beak of the bird head and the crest of the belly.

 

Handle layout (6).jpg

 

Now, using a flexible straight edge (I'm using a piece of acetate) connect the points around the curvy parts.

Handle layout (7).jpg

 

Handle layout (3) V2.jpg

 

There's a little wobble in one of these lines that I will have to straighten out eventually, but it is pretty good as it sits.

This is the heel of the bird head. 

Handle layout (8).jpg

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Reassemble the entire blade and scribe a line around the spacer on the front end of the block.

Handle layout (11).jpg

 

Handle layout (12).jpg

 

You now have reference lines that are parallel and in line with the center line of the blade. They should travel completely around the profile of the handle block.

Now remove the handle block and measure points along the lines to establish additional parallel lines around the profile.

 

Handle Layout (13).jpg

 

Connect the dots using the flexible straightedge.

 

Handle Layout (14).jpg

 

You now have reference lines for your grinding. This makes it much easier to see where symmetry is, and where it isn't.

Tomorrow, I will start shaping the handle. More pics to come.

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I am really really enjoying this Josh. You have actually just inspired me to put down my beer and go create. Look forward to seeing more. Great stuff.

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