Thursday, September 12, 2013


DH1 - Drop-Point Hunter

The DH1 is born from a piece of Crucible's S35VN knifemaking steel. The basic stock is 5/32" thick and 9" x 1-1/2". I printed the template on paper and transferred to a 1/4" plywood. See my page on Knife Profiles for details on how to do this.

This is the finished product, sans sheath.

 After the template is made, the profile is traced out with white paint pen on the steel.
 Hacksaw is busy and hot.I prefer the bi-metal 24 TPI (teeth per inch) as these stay sharper long with more teeth in contact with the steel. They do cut slower, so be prepared to work at it. I spent about 1 hour with the hacksaw.
Perhaps one day this process will be done on a small band saw.
 This is the rough shape. I have used the hacksaw only up to this point.

This is after some "get close to the line" work on the bench grinder. Keep a tub of water handy as this thing will get hot when grinding.

The next step is to get the shape just right with the belt and drum sanders.

Working the bevelling jig.

The S35VN is certainly easier to cut than CPM154 and 154CM. I guess this is as good a time as any to decide on whether this is a flat grind or a Scandi bevel.

This will now have to be worked drilled and worked on the belts for pre-forging polish.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Drop-Point Hunter Scales

DH1 will feature maple burl slabs to make a rustic, yet durable handle.

To pin the handle I marked, punched and drilled 4 x 1/8" holes in the tang. It's a good idea to put some protection on the blade. This will protect the blade AND maker from injury.

 I traced out the slabs, marked them L & R and cut them out with the band saw. Once cut to the rough shape, I clamp them to the tang one at a time and drill the 4 holes on the drill press.

I pinned the slabs on with 1/8" wooden dowel and went to the belt sander and drum sander.
 This is after sanding the coarse outline.
 After some careful shaping I wanted to check the burl with a drop of tung oil.


So far so good!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



Before firing this blade I polished it up to 320 grit and made sure I removed all the major scratches. (A lesson learned from my second knife.) I clamped it down and worked the sand paper from 150 grit to 320 grit.

It went into the mini forge for 45 minutes at full blast. you can see from the picture it's getting pretty hot.

As I don't have a thermometer/thermocouple that goes this high I can only use the colour of the steel as a temperature indicator.
 I warmed the oil with another torch and quenched it until the colour disappeared.

Then air cooled on an piece of aluminum. You can see the oil residue from the quench and some scale that formed during the heat treatment.

Now for more elbow grease. This time 220 grit wet sanding until the blade was clean again. Not too worried about under the scales as long as the epoxy will have a place to attach. Note the three extra holes for epoxy grip.

 Now into the toaster oven for three 2 hour soaks at about 200°C (425°F).

Monday, September 9, 2013


DH1 - Handle Scales & Pins

I started by truing up the front (ricasso ends) of the slabs and measured and cut the pins.

Some shaping close to the lines before epoxy goes on.
These temporary wooden pins will be replaced with the brass/stainless mosaic pins.

These particular pins are 1/8" mosaic pins; brass tube with five stainless rods and epoxy inside. Very elegant. They smell like fibreglass resin when you cut them.

Glued up, pins in place and first tung oil application.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013



I started doodling knives and come up with a pretty cool design for my second knife. The spine is an arc and the blade is a drop point, thus I dubbed it Arc Drop 1. Having a slab of 0.156" CPM154 that was 9" long sitting and looking like it needed a purpose I started on the AD1 this morning.

This was the initial sketch, but considering that I am working with a 1 1/2" piece, I made an artistic call to make the belly deeper. The sketch is 1.125" at the ricasso line, while the grind-time variations resulted in it being 1 1/4".

Plywood template is made from the sketch. I drilled the pin holes in this after I took the picture.

The 0.156 (5/32)" material is only slightly easier to work than the 0.187 (3/16)". I went through 2 bi-metal hacksaw blades.
With a little help from the bench grinder and belt sander this is where I got to today.

There are two inclusions in the blade area that I want to work out. Luckily they are not too deep, about 0.01inch. I am not going to grind out the inclusions where the handle slabs will be.

This is after another 1 and 1/2 hours on the 50 grit belt. Inclusions are gone and I am starting the grind the cutting edge.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



I had originally bought some book matched maple burl slabs to complete this knife, but in my latest shipment from knife supply I received some DymondWood composite "Cocobolo Macassar" slabs. A phenolic type of material. I will apply them to AD1 for trial.

 Size is on the label. These are 5 inches long, 1-1/2" x 5/16" thick. Which should work for most knife handles.
 I shaped the blade ends to match. This is done with the disc sander.
 Drill holes for the pins (1/8" for this design) and push some tapered strips of wood. Popsicle sticks, skewers whatever you have. I found it helpful to clamp one scale to the tang, drill, clamp the second scale and drill from the first scale through the tang through the second scale. Temporary pins hold everything together.
 Shape with sander, rasp, files etc.
Remove the steel and match the two slabs. Reinsert the wooden pins to keep them lined up.

The drill press with a 1" drum sander in the chuck works great. Be prepared for lots of orange, smelly dust.
The benefits of using a composite material for a handle is that water will have little impact the handle. Dishwasher safe just may be what is required. Real wood on the other hand, however beautiful, will need maintenance and probably shouldn't be submerged in water.

On the downsize, phenolic smells when you work it and this particular material leaves a very visible orange-red dust. Yes, mask up and have the dust extractor or shop vac running.

The handle is close to the shape I want. When it's all in place, I'll take the finer sandpapers to it followed by a buff on the cotton wheel.