For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hodge Podge

So, as I wind down my's the details from what got accomplished last night and today. I think I can squeeze in a few more things tonight, but I'm pretty much ready to give myself over to the fact that I have to go back to my day job.

Grinding gauges. I use these to set up my belt grinder. I may have mentioned them a while back...can't remember, but I felt like talking about them because of how handy they are. Each one of these has a different step cut into it. The idea is that the step represents a dimension equal to or greater than half the thickness of the knife being ground. This allows me to reset my grinding rest to the same position every time. For example, a 1/8" blade needs a step of 1/16" or more. The closer to half, the less steep the grind...making a finer edge. The larger the step, the grind gets steeper.

With the back of the gauge against the work rest, the step will reach a point tangent to the wheel. I then lock down the work rest. If the step is LESS than half the thickness of the blade, you will never actually grind an edge, you'll just keep going up the blade.
That wonderful feeling knowing that the primary knives in my kitchen are hand made! Chef's knife, santoku, fruit knife, paring knife.

First time in action. What a pleasure to use! Now to improve my technique.
Hunter ready for a handle.

Canary wood (very) rough cut and brass tubes.

After sitting overnight and shaping completed! Ready for a finish.

This is going to someone who will actually take it out and use it as the woods, cutting apart bambi. I decided that since it's going to get that type of use I would use epoxy to finish the handle. This particular stuff takes a long time to cure, so we won't hear from this knife for a few days.

Testing thinned epoxy on a a piece of scrap to see how well it cures up. Time will tell.
The last part that I'm doing is a press for micarta. Think fiberglass, but with cloth. In fact, it predates fiberglass and other composites like Garolite (G10). Originally made with linen. Its one of those materials that lends itself to imagination. You can use any type of cloth, or even paper, that you like. You can blend colors and textures to suit your needs. Here I'm laying out the components on a piece of birch ply.

Everything is cut and ready for fitting and assembly. I'm keeping it simple. No complex joints, just face glue and screws. The cavity is 6" x 6". That is plenty big enough for making knife handle blanks. The piece off to the back will act as the press to squeeze the epoxy and cloth together. I will have to seal this up good after it is glued. I will probably line it with wax paper or parchment paper when I lay up a blank. Besides making micarta, I can also use this for making some of the layered handles that I use with G10 or brass and wood combinations.

This is what the closed position will look like. More to come.

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