Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eagle Knife Build Complete

The following photos show the progress that I made on my son's knife this weekend.

I tried another new technique on this knife, that of jeweling the insides of the liners.  It's a very subtle embellishment, but it looks really cool.  I do this by covering the liner in some valve grinding compound that I purchased from the autoparts store.  I chuck a rotary tool felt cylinder in my drill press and lower the felt until it makes contact with the liner.  I allow it to spin there for a few seconds and them slide the liner over and make another mark.  It's a little tedious, but I think it will be worth the extra effort.

Here is a shot of one of the liners after it has been jeweled.  I hope you agree that it looks very classy.  The thing I liked most about doing this is that I don't have to spend a lot of time polishing the inside of the liners, and I really hate polishing the inside of liners.


Here is a photo of the blade after it gets a nice satin finish.  I use 1500 grit sandpaper to put the hand-rubbed finish onto the blade.  By the way, my new grinder worked absolutely fantastic when it came to hollow grinding the blade.  I'm very pleased with the new grinder.  It's making my time in the shop much more pleasant.

This picture shows the liners after they have been anodized.  I really love the way the jeweling looks on the blue liners.  Very classy indeed.

I thought I'd post a pic of my hand sanding jig that I just made.  It's really a  simple thing, just a piece of steel angle that has been drilled and tapped to accept a bolt that passes through the pivot hole in the blade.  I put a washer on under the head of the bolt so that I don't sand away that area.  There is also a piece of red spacer material glued to the jig to help cushion the blade and guard against scratches.

 I turn my own thumb studs for all of my knives.  That way, each knife gets a custom thumb stud that fits the design.  I don't have a metal lathe, but my little wood lathes works pretty well.  I use an assortment of files and sandpaper to achieve the design I want.  I drill and tap the bottom of the stud to accept a 0-80 screw that will hold it to the blade.  The wood tool rest is there so I don't damage my good steel tool rest.

I still need to put an edge on the blade, but other than that, it's finished.  I debated whether or not to do some etching or engraving on the bolsters with something to commemorate my son's achievement, but I decided against it.  I did, however, choose to anodize the liners blue, which together with the red scales and white (well, silver) bolsters, give a very patriotic "flag" theme.  I sure hope he likes it and that you like it as well.  Thanks for following along with this build.  The next one will certainly be one that I will make available for purchase.  I really need to sell some knives to pay for my grinder.  Thanks for stopping by the Robinson Edge.

-  Brandant Robinson

Monday, April 6, 2015

File Work on the Guardian Knife

I truly enjoyed the Easter weekend.  I had a great time just spending time with my immediate and extended family, eating burgers and shooting the breeze.  Amid all of the festivities, I didn't get to spend much time out in my shop, so I didn't get the knife finished as I had hoped.  But, I don't regret it at all.  I did, however, get a little time in the shop and made a few strides of progress on the knife.

Before I can get the blade heat treated, I need to get all the file work done on the spine, since the blade will be too hard to file after heat treatment.  The tools above are those that I will need in order to produce the pattern that I have chosen for the blade spine and the spacer.  They are a ruler, exacto knife, two round files, a three-corner file, and a jeweler's saw.

The first step is to black out the edge to be filed so I can see my marks.  I use a black sharpie marker along the top edge of the spine of the knife and the spacer (shown above).  I then use a ruler to mark increment lines of 1/8" to get the proper spacing for the pattern.  I do this with an exacto blade.  I used to make the lines with a sharpie, but the lines were too broad, hence the exacto blade.  If you look closely at the photo above, you will see the first diagonal mark that I started with the jeweler's saw on the far left of the spacer.

I really got into the zone when I started filing and forgot to take progress pics along the way.  But, you can see above the final product.  This is a simple design that I call "V's and O's" along the blade spine.  The name is kind of self explanatory.  The lines are cut with the saw and the semicircular cuts and done with a round file.  I think this pattern will look good on this particular knife design.  Now that the blade has been filed, it's into the oven for heat treatment.

The next step after heat treatment will be grinding the hollow into the blade.  That's the part I have been looking forward to since getting my grinder finished.  I can't wait to see how the grinder performs.  I'll give everyone the lowdown when I get to that point.  Thanks for stopping by the Robinson Edge.

-  Brandant Robinson

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Guardian Build Continues

I got quite a bit done on my son's knife today and took some progress pics along the way.  Like I said before, I have a tight schedule on getting the knife done, so I'm working as fast as I can.  Luckily I have a couple extra days off from work this week, so I should be able to squeeze in quite a bit of shop time over the next couple of days.
I tried a new technique with fitting the scales to the inside curves of the bolsters.  I usually make the front bolsters first, followed by the scales, and finish off with the rear bolsters.  This way, I only have to fit one joint at a time.  But, in my exuberance to get this knife made, I accidentally skipped a step and made the rear bolsters before the scales.  In order get the correct contour, I used some Sculpey clay and formed it into the scale slots on the handle.  I put the Sculpey clay and knife into the oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes to harden the clay.

Here is one of the Sculpey clay templates after it has been hardened.  It worked pretty well.  I was worried that the clay would shrink, but it didn't.

I decided to use some of my dyed and stabilized maple burl for the scales for this knife.  I sliced them thin on my band saw and super glued the Sculpey clay templates onto the burls.
I used the Sculpey clay templates to grind off the excess wood from the burl scales.  I forgot to take progress pictures while making the scales, but this is what they looked like after being shaped and drilled to accept screws.

Here is the tang of the blade after grinding in the lock ramp.  I use my disk sander set at 8 degrees to set the angle of the lock ramp.

I use a black sharpie to color in the inside of the right liner along the bottom where the lock bar will be cut out.  I also screw the spacer to the liner so I can get the right open location for the blade.  Once the pivot assembly is installed and the blade in place, I use an exacto blade to scratch along where the tang meets the liner.

You can see in the above pic the scratch mark where the lock face will be and the additional scratch that runs the length of the liner where the lock will be cut out.

I use a small Dremel cutoff wheel mounted in my drill press to cut the lock bar free in the liner.  The liner is held in a drill press vise and I manually move the vise into the cutoff wheel to make the cut.  I leave a little extra material at the lock face so I can fit the lock to the tang down the road.

Here is a picture of the lock after it has been cut.  I use small strips of sandpaper to polish up the surfaces of the cuts.

After assembling the handle completely, I round off the edges of the bolsters and scales and get everything fitting tightly.  I also polish the entire handle and put a satin finish on the bolsters, liner edges, and back spacer.  I think it is turning out quite nicely.

I'll be adding some file work on the spacer, liners and the spine of the blade.  But for now, this is where I had to stop.  I should have time over the next couple of days to make a lot of headway, if not finish the knife completely.

Thanks for following along with this build and for stopping by the Robinson Edge.

-  Brandant Robinson