Making a knife start to finish, part 5

Now the handle block is glued to the locating spacer:

The holes are drilled, and the pins inserted:

Then the shape of the guard is drawn on using a template:

and the grinder platen is set to an angle:

The guard is ground to shape, and the front surface is sanded to 240 grit:

The guard is mated with the handle block, and marked where the extra material needs to be hogged off:

Then it’s ground off using a 1″ wheel:

And here it’s all stuck together. I need to anneal the tang a couple times, then drill the pin hole while it’s all together.

After the tang is softened, the handle is assembled, and the grip shape is rough cut with a bandsaw:

Then the shape is refined with the grinder and the locations of the pin and thong tube are marked:

The holes are drilled. I’m using 1/16″ stainless rod for the pin, and 1/4″ tube for the lanyard:

Now a pin is inserted, but NOT glued in. The tube is glued with CA:

I start shaping the handle by blending the sides with the guard:

Then hollow out the butt area using the 10″ wheel:

Then the corners are all rounded off, mostly using the 1″ wheel:

After I’m done grinding the handle to shape with the coarse grit, then I go back over it with the same attachments, but this time with 240 grit:

Then with 240 grit and 400 grit slack belts:

Then I push out the pin and disassemble the handle:

Now the guard is heat treated. I attach it to a length of wire,

and after coating it with anti-scale powder, it is put in the oven to soak for 15 minutes, then quenched. Since edge holding is not important for a guard, I temper at 500 for 2 hours and that’s it.

When I drilled the pin hole, I had forgotten that the customer wanted a mosaic pin. So I had to drill it out to 1/4″ after the handle was shaped. The way I did it was measure the thickest part of the handle, then the thickness at the guard, and tape a spacer half the thickness of the difference to the guard, like so:

This ensures that the pin will be vertical. The hole is drilled from the other side, obviously.

Here’s the pin:

After tempering, the guard needs to be etched. I coated the bottom with lacquer to act as a resist:

and then sanded the sides of the guard with 600 grit paper to remove the oxides and scratches from the last grit. Then it’s tied to some Nichrome wire:

cleaned, and etched for 10 minutes:

After etching for 10 minutes, I neutralize, then rub the oxides off with my fingers, then etch again. I did this three times, then buffed the guard carefully. Decided it needed some more etching, so I de-greased it, and etched some more.

After etching the last time, I again buffed the guard, being careful to not round off the corners.

Now it’s time for assembly. Here’s all the parts laid out:

First I mix up some J-B weld and coat the area where the guard will go:

Then slide the guard up to the shoulders:

Now I mix up some slow set epoxy:

and put some in the tang hole, and also coat the tang. The handle is slid up the tang, and the pin inserted, making sure it’s well coated with epoxy also:

After it’s all together, the squeeze-out is cleaned off with rags, and the extra J-B weld is cleaned up too.

Next, the pin is carefully ground down flush with the handle:

and the ends of the thong tube are chamfered:

Then it’s time to sand the handle smooth and buff it. Buffing it immediately tells you if you’ve sanded enough:

I had to go over it by hand with 600 grit paper to get out scratches like that. This stuff takes a nice polish, but you definitely have to work for it.

Now the section of blade that’s serrated is uncovered, and then masked off again, exposing the serrations but protecting the rest of the blade:

and a diamond wheel is used to sharpen and polish the serrations:

Like so:

Then the tape is peeled off, and Goo Gone is used to remove and adhesive residue, and the edges are sharpened. At this point, the knife is finished. I’ll post pictures after the customer sees them first.



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