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Monday, October 17, 2016

Let's Make a Knife, pt 4

OK...we're on step 16. Working on finishing the blade and then on to installing the handle.

Now that the blade is cooled after being heat treated, it can be cleaned up. For this one, I'm going to run it over 120 grit, and 320 grit on the flat belt sander.

Then I'll freshen up the bevel. This is when you get it nearly sharpening comes at the end. I'll use a Lansky type system for that. Since I'm rubbish with free handing, this is when having a good work rest becomes extra important.

During the initial shaping, I mentioned that I would do the drop point later on. Now is the time. This one is very subtle, just a little bit from the top of the blade. I wanted the drop point to line up with the grind on the bevel.

I have found that a trip over the buffing wheel helps a lot, even when a knife won't have a polished finish. You ca n work out some surface flaws...and spot some of the ones that you couldn't see before during this stage.

Once the blade has been smoothed out, for a satin finish I will rub it with a red scotch pad.

Step 17: Handle time! I resawed some redheart for a matched handle. There are a few different ways to go here. You can lay out and drill the handle before cutting, or after (as I am doing) I believe both have the pros and cons. Personal preference, really. Anyway, lay out the handle shape on the scales.

Cut to shape, leaving some margin that will be worked off later.
Step 18: Prepare to drill. In order to transfer the the handle holes from the blade to the scales, I clamp one scale to the blade. I use a squeeze clamp and then...

I add a C-clamp. The C-clamp will hole tight. The squeeze clamp just makes it easier to put the C-clamp on.

Transfer punch...

I don't have a 1/16" transfer punch, so I drilled directly.

Go ahead and drill the first scale and...

Clamp it to the second scale, transfer punch, and...

Drill again! (that's the wrong hardware in the picture...I grabbed the wrong stuff but corrected my error before I went further)

Quick test fit to ensure the hardware fits.
Time to do the hardware counterbores. I use one of the scales and set the depth of the counterbore. On something this size, a spot between 1/2 and 2/3 the thickness will work.
Counterbores complete.

I installed the pin into the handle at this point and test fit the handles again. The pin brought the rear hole out of alignment a hair.

So I clamped it up and used a small diamond burr to open the rear handle hole. It's really just a smidge of material we're talking about.
 So...I'm going to call it there for this installment. Next we get into gluing, shaping, and finishing.

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