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I found this forum the other day while looking for ways to improve my multi-tool grinder attachment and decided I should stick around for a while since you all seem to be a knowledgeable group with a great collection of skills. 

First picture is of the knife that inspired my design.  I actually made a knife for my wife that very closely resembles the drawing I made based on this knife.  I then traced hers after I got it roughed out because I liked it so much and made a slightly larger version for myself.  I intended for it to be a more exact copy but ended up leaving more material on it all the way around.  As with my first round of knives I made most of these were intended to be Christmas gifts so I was a little limited on time which is why I'm just now getting back to working on mine 9 months later. 

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You can see I loosely based the shape of the handle around the inspiration but I changed up the blade shape a fair bit (IMO).  I really like the way that the scales projected into the oversized choil and ran with that as the focal point of the overall design.  I like how it affords a good forward grip on the knife for choking up on the blade.  Overall I was pretty happy with how hers came out other than the handle needs some improvement/ refinement.  (I'll try and remember to get some pictures of hers to add to this thread for reference.  It didn't come out bad but it would have been better if xmas wasn't fast approaching when I was finishing it.)

Below you can see the group of knives I heat treated in that batch, all O1 steel that I bought precision ground.  I had a good mix in there, everything from a pry tool bottle opener thing to hunters and a kiridashi like blade.  A keen eye will note that in my haste I forgot to file the jimping into my hunter although my wife's is jimped.

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I've been using WD-40 when hand sanding the blades and it seems to help the paper last a little longer.  Strange stuff happens with suspended metal particles in oil on a magnetized blade.  Do blades often become magnetized like this? 

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Scale cleaned up after heat treat.

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Polished (I've since sanded the blade again, I think it looks better than the polish did.  Possibly because the polish was less than perfect.)

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This is some prelim design work for the handle.  I've decided not to attempt to copy the carving on the scales but I was playing with the idea in the below sketch.  IIRC the scale material I picked out for this knife is Gaboon Ebony I got from Bell Forrest. 

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Up until this point those are all pretty old photos from either late 2018 to early this year.  From this point forward you're seeing what I've done in the last week or so.

I decided that the black scales on the polished blade might be a bit boring and decided to add a liner to them.  I thought about just doing a layer of brass but I decided to go ahead and add a layer of red micarta between two layers of brass.  (.010" brass, .030" micarta)

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I spent some time getting the scales flat on one face and gluing up the liners (is that the correct term?) then brought them to work to drill on the mill.  I don't have a drill press at home and the last ones I hand drilled came out a little bit off.  The blade now has a 600 grit finish on it but I'm not sure how far I'll end up taking it.

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Beginning to rough shape the scales.

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Where I ended up last night.  This ebony is a filthy wood to work with, makes an absolute mess of me and the shop.

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I screwed up a little bit last night.  I got a little ahead of myself and glued the scales on after I got to this point.  It would all be fine and dandy if I didn't have more sanding to do on the blade.  Oh well, it will just take a little more work to protect the scales and not make swirly scratches where the blade meets the scales.  I doubt I'll make any progress tonight as I have some other errands planned but I'll keep you all posted as I make progress.  Thanks for checking out my project let me know what you think.

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Looks good so far.  A few comments:

You have excellent taste in beer.

Yeah, ebony is very messy to work with.  Macassar is the worst variety because of the oils.  It will stain your hands black for a week.

I've never had a blade get magnetized from sanding, but it is possible if you go the same direction every time in a dry climate.  I typically wet-sand with either 0w-5 synthetic motor oil or Windex.  They both help the paper last longer, neither one causes rust, and the Windex is easy to clean up.  I prefer the finish the oil gives, though.  It seems like Windex increases the probability of swirl marks in the higher grits, I suppose because of its thinner viscosity allowing the paper to make better contact.

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31 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Looks good so far.  A few comments:

You have excellent taste in beer.

Yeah, ebony is very messy to work with.  Macassar is the worst variety because of the oils.  It will stain your hands black for a week.

I've never had a blade get magnetized from sanding, but it is possible if you go the same direction every time in a dry climate.  I typically wet-sand with either 0w-5 synthetic motor oil or Windex.  They both help the paper last longer, neither one causes rust, and the Windex is easy to clean up.  I prefer the finish the oil gives, though.  It seems like Windex increases the probability of swirl marks in the higher grits, I suppose because of its thinner viscosity allowing the paper to make better contact.

I like trying different craft beers.  I have a bit of an infatuation with high alcohol content beers but still struggle with IPA's. 

I put nitrile gloves on last night before gluing up the blade and my hands are definitely stained black.  I think the sweat along with the wood dust did it.  I'm sure it won't be the last time I do it.  I don't like working in gloves unless I really need to. 

I'll have to give the 0 weight oil a try as well as the windex for the finer grits.  WD-40 has a bit of smell to it and I usually wear gloves when wet sanding with it. 

Thanks for the tips!

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The one thing I didnt like about working with Ebony was the smell when I ground it on my belt grinder, my garage stunk like a morgue for a week and my girlfriend threatened to hurt me if I ever did it again. 

But man does that stuff finish out PUUUURDY! 

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That's some nice looking beer... getting thirsty all of a sudden... gotta give that a try... Anyway, something about a knife? :P

Looking good so far man. Keep us updated. 

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One thing to keep in mind is that if you have an (almost) straignt front to you handle scale it helps the visual if it is the same angle and parralel to the plunge line. 

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45 minutes ago, Garry Keown said:

One thing to keep in mind is that if you have an (almost) straignt front to you handle scale it helps the visual if it is the same angle and parralel to the plunge line. 

I went back and forth on the angle a few times and ended up with a slight angle to it.  I was trying to make it look a little sleeker but overall I agree with you and if I had it to do over again I'd either angle the plunge or straighten up the front.  I don't think it looks terrible but that is a place that could probably be improved upon.

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Made some progress tonight. Got the scales roughed in and sanded to 1200 and put a couple coats of paste wax. I think I'm just going to add a few coats of wax to the wood over time. It seems pretty oily and very hard. 

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Hey that's a beer from my place ^_^. My prefered one from Unibroue is la Maudite. It's a shame it has been sold to Sleeman which has then been sold to Sapporo. Though it's one of those rare cases where the quality of the craft beer didn't seem to change after being sold to a beer giant.

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4 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

Hey that's a beer from my place ^_^. My prefered one from Unibroue is la Maudite. It's a shame it has been sold to Sleeman which has then been sold to Sapporo. Though it's one of those rare cases where the quality of the craft beer didn't seem to change after being sold to a beer giant.

There are a couple local stores that have a dozen or two micro brews in the large bottles.  I like to try out a new one every once in a while, they are generally between $10-15 each for the larger bottles though so they aren't an every night kinda beer.  One of my favorites that I've tried was a Flemish Sour Ale but I can't remember the brewer.  I had no idea what to expect flavor wise but it reminded me a lot of mead or cider.  Very different but addicting.  Didn't have a super high alcohol content though, when I pay that much for a beer I like to get my moneys worth >10%. 

The Great White I had last night is one of my favorites on the lighter side when I'm not drinking cheap stuff. 

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Ebony doesn't really need oiling or waxing, I usually just buff it with White Diamond compound on a loose flannel wheel for a nice shine.  

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I need to get a buffing wheel, all I have right now is a white scotch bright buffing belt that I got when I ordered my multitool.  It works pretty well for metal but it feels a bit rough for a fine finish.  Maybe I'll head to town at lunch and see if I can find one. 

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You can even get by with a felt wheel on a Dremel for small stuff.  It's hard to get a uniform finish on metal with those, though.

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

You can even get by with a felt wheel on a Dremel for small stuff.  It's hard to get a uniform finish on metal with those, though.

I never think to use those but I have a few in my kit. 

I picked up a pair of 6" wheels at Lowes during lunch.  The yellow one feels rougher than the white but I was hoping it would be softer than the white.  White one is pretty soft though so it should work.  I've wanted a buffing wheel on the grinder for a while now anyways.  I never use the stone being it has the belt and disc on the other side.  Buffing wheels are scary though, they beckon a good deal of respect.  I remember watching the grinder I have now rip the front window molding off of the Olds out of my dad's hands and throw it across the shop when I was in high school. 

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Yeah, the buffer is known as the most dangerous tool in the shop for good reason.  At least one maker has been killed when the buffer grabbed a blade and threw it into his femoral artery, others have stories about getting hit with the blunt end, getting a blade stuck in the ceiling, thrown across the room, that kind of thing.  That's why mine is slow-speed (1350 rpm) and mounted high, it helps keep things from touching the dangerous parts of the wheels.

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Putting the first edge on hard steel is less than fun. 

If I had more cajones I'd have taken more off with the trizact. 

That is all for now. Polished edge pictures tomorrow. I hope. 

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On 9/18/2019 at 6:00 PM, Alan Longmire said:

  It will stain your hands black for a week.

 

On 9/18/2019 at 6:35 PM, Dave Brownson Jr. said:

I put nitrile gloves on last night before gluing up the blade and my hands are definitely stained black.

Try washing your hands in lemon juice or scrubbing with half a lemon. It works for Blackthorn anyway.

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Finally have some finished pictures for you guys.

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This is my fifth knife I've made if you don't count two small box opener/ utility knives that I made.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I'll probably have another go at the sheath as I put this one together a little hastily last night.  The sheath works but there is room for improvement for sure.  I got a little ahead of myself in a couple spots like tooling where the belt loop goes.  It could also use a better finish on the edge, I need to get something to help with that.  I've found that burnishing while the dye is wet works well but it isn't great for the multiple layers of leather. 

On the knife I really want to improve my plunge lines on my next one.  I need to modify my multi-tool belt grinder to make it better at what I need it to do.  I'd also like to spend more time sanding the tang around the handle as well, even though it's polished there are some coarse grit scratches in the tang.  I may still go back and work on that at some point. 

I'll probably post this in the critique forum too. 

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