Sunday, January 26, 2014


My next knife is going to be a DH11 made from 5/32" CPM154. The slab I have is 9" long, but the pattern size is about 8-1/2" long, so there's a 1/2" of waste.

I transferred the paper template on to some thin plywood. Attached with a thin brushed on coat of super glue.
 The rough shape is traced with a paint pen.
 Hacksaw and more hacksaw. 18 TPI and a little elbow grease.
 I found it easier to use a small dill bit and drill press to get into the hard to hacksaw parts. With these little holes, I simply "connect the dots" with the hacksaw. Much easier.

I used the bench grinder to get the profile close. I used a drum sander to the get the finger relief shaped.

Now I am approximating the bevel, choil, handle scales, pin holes and lanyard hole. Some more work has to be done before the bevel grind begins, but this is a start.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I originally thought about making this knife with  a scandi grind but changed my mind at the last minute.

I take to the bevelling jig and get the angle correct.

Then work it into a flat grind. I recently bought two new Nicholson files that work this steel quite easily.

After getting the bevel loosely shaped, I reduced the mass of the tang by drilling a bunch of holes. This will be lighter and better balanced when the slabs go on.

I also added three little half rounds for a thumb grip. This is done with a 3/16" round file and a steady hand.

This is a wickedly strong little magnet. I used it to hold the steel while the belt is rolling. Saves on gloves.

Friday, January 24, 2014


After going at this blade with the bastard file, I switched to a smooth file. It's still pretty rough though.

I started with 100 grit on a block and worked the file scratches out of the bevel. The I went on to 150 and 200 grit and finally 320 grit.

The scales will be of stabilized spalted maple. I bought these on eBay. They are pretty chunky at 1/2" thick.

A little more touch up and this will be ready for heat treatment.

I apologize of the slowness of the posts recently. I am working on a 2 x 72" belt grinder and 'am documenting the build. Coming soon to the links at the top of the page.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


After tracing and cutting out the two scale pieces with the band saw I clamped one side to the tang and  drill the holes for the pins to 3/16" while it stays clamped.

Note that this is a tapered tang, so I set the back end of the tang on a piece of sheet metal then drilled the holes. This compensates for the taper. I then drilled some red spacer material.

Once both scales and and the spaces are drilled, I temporarily pin them with wooden dowels and shape the front of the handle. As everything is pinned together all the layers should line up later.

Put some tape in the blade for grip and protection. Put your respirator on. This stuff can be nasty.
I stack everything in place and pin again with the wooden dowels. Tap them in with a hammer and we're ready to hit the sander. It took some time on the belt and disc sanders as these scales were thick!

Detail shaping with the sanding drum. For me this is a very pleasant and relaxing operation. Adjust the speed of the drill press to control the rate of removal. I used a 1" drum (150 grit) which is the same diameter used to make the finger choil in the steel.

 The roughed handle.
After a picture or two, the handle will be disassembled and reassembled without the blade. The fronts of the scale will trued and detail sanded and the blade will be worked and perfected up to 400 grit.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


It's been a while since I sat down and actually did some knife work as I have been working on the 2 x 72" belt grinder. Now that the grinder is done I got back to some heat treating today.

I made a foil pouch from 0.002" 304 stainless steel and add a tiny piece of tissue paper.

Then I fold and crimp the edges to make a seal. Two folds all the way around.

While I am preparing the pouch, the heat treatment oven is warming up. Once it reaches 1050°C, I open the door and quickly slip the pouch in.

As I don't have a stand, I use a piece is fire brick with the slots cut in it.
Once the steel is back up to temperature, I let is soak for 15 minutes and remove the pouch and press it between two copper plates and blow compressed air on the whole works for a few minutes. It's cool to touch very quickly.
Open the pouch with scissors and reveal the blade.
I like this unusual oxidization pattern.
No to time waste, into the tempering oven for 2 cycles of 200°C for 2 hours each.

This is the product after tempering is complete. It's unfortunate I cannot keep the cool colours. They will be sanded off in the next step.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Post Heat Treatment Finishing

After heat treating I had this cool rainbow colour effect on the blade, but I must go forth and start finishing. I start with 220 grit sand paper and WD-40 as a lubricant.

You can see oxidization is gone and the elbow grease continues. Once I have a satisfactory finish I give it a good wipe with acetone.
Placing my maker's mark stencil on. I have only a small area to work in, so I had to be very careful about the positioning.
 After the electrolytic etch. A little dark, but this will polish out.
 I cut the mosaic pins and thong tube to go through the holes. After hack sawing, I chamfered them a tiny bit on the belt grinder.
After making sure that the pins were going to fit in all the pieces, I mixed the epoxy and quickly went to work.

As this is a tapered tang, I didn't realise I would need as many clamps as I did. I ended up using my leather-jawed vise grips along with a carpenter's vise and a C clamp! What a beautiful mess.

 This is what it looked like after 5 hours after mixing the epoxy.

 Next I start finishing the handle with a 1" drum sander. I love this process. The drum sanding is easy and allows one to make small adjustments in the surface without botch. (At this stage we don't want to botch anything!)
 The drum sander also works the curves. If you have a set that has the different sizes, I'm sure you'll get to use most of them working on knives.
After removing the masking tape I noticed a gap between the spacer material and the blade. This was cause by the masking tape being pinched in there and preventing epoxy from going in that area.
 My fix is to mix up a micro-batch of the same epoxy and pressing it down into the crack.
 Then I wipe with a wet wipe. (like those Armour All wipes.)
A little bit more sanding and here is where I am at for today.