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Alan Longmire

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Finally finished that 18th century-style folder with the checkered bone scales.  The pin isn't disappearing as much as I'd like it to, but the action is nice.  I also domed the spring pins, a first for me.  I usually leave them flush.  This time I didn't want to mess up the checkering.

 

checker7.jpg

 

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checker10.jpg

 

AEB-L blade and spring, nickel silver liners, bolsters, and pins. Bone scales cut from a cow femur section sold as a chew toy for dogs.  Next time I'm just going to buy bone slabs, it's not worth the extra work to prepare the raw bone.

 

Just for fun, here it is next to the first one of this style I made a few years ago.  

 

checker11.jpg

 

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The older one used the same bone, but left thicker.  And that nickel silver butt-end bolster adds a full ounce to the weight!  The long clip blade is not a shape one sees on 18th century folders either, it just seemed to fit better at the time.  

 

Both are 4" / 105mm closed, 7 3/8" / 190mm open.  The new one weighs 3.4 ounces / 96.5g, the one with the rear bolster weighs 4.4 ounces / 124.7 g.  

 

Down in the "what did you do in your shop today" thread in The Way there's a few WIP shots of the checkering process.  

 

Thanks for looking!

 

 

checker8.jpg

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It wasn't truly raw, it was just unmodified. It had been steam cleaned and bleached, all I did was use a bandsaw and disk sander to turn it into flat slabs 3mm thick.  

 

Had it been fresh, I would have simmered it in water until all the grease was gone and let it dry slowly. Some people soak it in solvents to remove the grease.  That's faster, but I think it leads to a more fragile bone.  Whichever way you degrease it, once it's fully dry you can soak it in strong hydrogen peroxide, the kind they bleach hair with, for a couple of weeks to make it blindingly white.

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Thanks!  Adjustable fly cutter and milling attachment on the lathe. The new one is about a 7/8" diameter, and looks a lot better than the old one which demonstrayes why climb milling with a 1/2" dovetail cutter is a bad idea.

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Well, it takes more than the right tool to get them to look as good as this one, but I should try a fly cutter.  I bought a dovetail cutter, and crashed it on the first use when I ran into a hard spot on the pattern welded blade :(

-Brian

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I really like this one.

 

I like bone and like the 18th Century, so there ya go.

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Nice work Alan.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

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Alan,

Cool man….

I like the checkering going the full width of the handle more than the first one ….. but I like the boarder that contains the checkering more on the first one….. do you know about checkering files? I can’t imagine you don’t and just didn’t feel like footing the price for one….. 

and yeah that fly cutter  nail nick looks so much nicer than the dovetail one…

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Thanks, Dick!

 

I like the older one's paneled layout better too, but I screwed up and ground the scales too thin to do that on the new one... :rolleyes:  thus the more modern style of checkering.  I do have a checkering file as well, I used it on the older one.  Couldn't use it to its best advantage on the newer one because of the thinness of the scales and the awkward little patches around the pins that would have had to be hand cut anyway.  So yeah, one 22 line per inch file, one set of 22 line per inch cutters, for around $130 total in tooling to checker two folder handles. :lol:

 

And thank you for the tip on the fly cutter!  Well worth the money as compared to a dovetail cutter.  Just have to use a very slow feed, that old lathe isn't the most rigid milling device.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice to see this (these). I didn't know you had a lathe :) . I got my Sheldon from the 1960s running recently. 

Anyway, those are both nice folders. I am impressed. I told you years ago, I can do multi-bar swords, but folders intimidate me. I am impressed!

 

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks!

 

The lathe is a 1941 Atlas/Craftsman with a 6" swing, not a "real" toolroom lathe.  It does the job, though!

 

And trust me, I also can make multi-bar swords, and folders still intimidate me. :lol:  They're certainly faster, but SO much more fiddly.  

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I really like the bolster on the new one. I also like the panel look on the older one (sort of like what Dick said).

 

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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I had a chance to check this folder out in person at the guild meeting last weekend. Outstanding craftsmanship, smooth as butter action.  It's hard to imagine the level of craftsmanship in this folder until you hold it in your hand.

Inspiring work.

I especially liked the checkering. What was your setup, and brand of tool did you use, to achieve this level of precision?

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Thanks, Bill!

 

I have the Dem-Bart beginner set of checkering tools. I cut the first guide lines with a triangle file, then used the checkering tools, promarily the one with a blank follower on one side and cutter on the other. The knife wasn't assembled at the time.  For the small areas the guided cutter wouldn't fit I used a very short cutter.  The beginner set has five different cutters.  The guided long one, a long single cutter, a short single cutter, a border tool, and a long double cutter. That last one is used to equalize the checkering so it looks more even.  They make a triple cutter as well, I just don't have one.

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There are WIP photos down in the Way's "what did you do in your shop today" thread, but since it took me a while to find them I figured I'd add them here.

 

The first layout lines, with the guided cutter pictured above.

checker1.jpg

 

checker2.jpg

 

checker3.jpg

 

checker4.jpg

 

checker5.jpg

 

You can see how it's kind of uneven.  This is before I used the equalling cutter.  Oh, and forgot to mention this is the 22 line per inch cutter set.  They come in 18, 20, 22, 28, and 32 lines per inch.

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