Saturday, November 1, 2014


After the etch and a wipe down with Windex, I wrap the blade to protect it (and me) for the remaining operations. Some people wrap the blade in tape, I prefer to make a simple cardboard sheath.
Mark and cut some 304 stainless. This is 3/8" x 1-1/2" bar stock. It's a little bit harder to work that 416 SS but offers better corrosion resistance, doesn't need heat treatment, it's cheap and available at the Metal Supermarket. My hacksaw and arms get the workout here.
Once cut, the bolster pieces are squared up on the grinder. These things get very hot, so keep some water handy and insulated work gloves help too. Vise-grips are handy here too.
As this knife will have both front and rear bolsters, we'll need 4 pieces of stainless. I'll square them up a little more before drilling them for blind pinning.
This is my 'non-marring' guide clamp. It clamps on to the tang and When doing hidden pins there is not really a good way to ensure they faces line up perfectly as we cannot drill directly through the bolster pieces. The holes in the bolster pieces are only part of the way through.

When the clamp is in place, the bolster pieces can but directly up against them for clamping and drilling. We'll drill into one piece part way, then use the guide to position the second piece and drill the blind pin holes.

I pilot the hole with a small bit, say 3/32"

Then drill out the pilot hole with a 5/32". Drill to exactly 3/16" deep. I mark the drill bit with a fine felt pen so that the mark is 3/16" from tip of the bit. We don't want uncover any part of the hole when shaping as it would ruin the bolster.
It's important to identify which pieces go where and in what orientation.
I chamfered the openings a little bit with a 1/4" bit. This will remove any burr and allow the face to fully contact the tang surface.

Next I'll rout out the inside of the holes with a small diamond ball moto-tool bit and get the pins cut to length.

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