Wednesday, May 4, 2016


After the blade is pretty and taped up, I cut two pieces of 1/4" thick 416 stainless steel. These are curved to be the bolster pieces.
I clamped and drilled some 1/8" holes to match the two foremost holes in the tang. Once drilled I put temporary 1/8" steel pins in so I can finish shaping them as a single unit.
Here I am checking the lines on the knife. The goal here is to do our best to make the fronts and backs line up as perfectly as possible. Not an easy task and even after a dozen bolsters things can go wrong.
The faces need to be polished. I clamp them in the vise-grips and buff with a 6" cotton wheel charged with black compound, followed by green compound.

The pieces are buffed. The reflection looks wavier than it really is.

I cut two sections of 1/8" 416 stainless steel round stock and chamfer the ends. These are polished with 220 grit sand paper so that no scale is on the surface. This is key as the scale on the outside of the pin will show itself as a black ring in the bolster.

The bolster pieces and pins are cleaned and fitted together, then taken to the press for squashing. I have made some flat bar stock with slots. These allow the pins to just squeeze when a large pressure is compressing the bolster. This process sets the bolster, but the pins are not fully compressed yet. I then remove the slotted spacers and finish the pressing.
Pins are squashed and the bolster is set for grinding.

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