Monday, June 2, 2014


For the bolsters I am using 304 stainless steel that is 1/4" thick and 1-1/2" wide. I marked off  four 1-3/4" sections with a square and sharpie, then cut on the band saw.
Once I trued two matching faces, I carefully lined up the piece with the plunge line, allowing about 1/32" overhang so I could shape it back to the plunge line. Then clamped with vise-grips.
I drilled the pin holes from the tang side through the bolster piece. Add a little oil or cutting fluid here. For 304 SS, I would recommend cobalt bits. #30 bit is ideal for this.
You can see how stringy the 304 is. A super sharp bit will do this.
Once drilled, I pinned the first side with some 1/8" steel rod as temporary pins. I marked the material to be removed under the handle belly.

I then fitted the second  (un-drilled) bolster piece and clamped so that it lines up with the drilled one. Then removed the first piece.
Drilling the second bolster piece and mark the for material removal.
Now I have the two halves. I work the pieces individually on the belt grinder.
It's fairly quick, but hot work with a ceramic belt. I was wearing leather gloves and kept going back to the water pot frequently.
These are the two pieces side-by-side.

A quick test fitting on the knife.
Again pinned together, I go ahead and mark for the angled joint to scales. More shaping on the belt grinder and some special focus on the bolster fronts.
I will work up in belts on the fronts of the bolster pieces together. The rest of the shaping will come with the bolster pinned to the knife where I can match them to the handle shape.

After some work on the Norax belt.

This is the bolster re-pinned for shaping the belly. I've protected the blade in case it get dropped or hit with a belt.

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