Thursday, September 29, 2016

Glaucus Continues

Well, after spending a few sick days in bed, I'm now upright and able to take nourishment.  That's why my weekly post is a little late.  I did manage to make a little more progress on the Glaucus knife last weekend, so I thought I would share my adventures in the shop with you.

The bolsters and scales have been attached to the liners and both sides of the handle have been profile ground.  I think I might change out the screws to black oxide before I'm done.  I think that would add to the overall look of this piece.  We'll see to that a little further down the road.  I'm really liking the looks of the red scales with the red copper bolsters.  I think the combination makes a bold and striking statement.

Got the blade ground, pivot system built, and the knife assembled for the first time.  I think it's going to be a sweet little knife.

Alright, moment of confession.  As I stated in the beginning, I've been thinking about putting an etched finish on the blade.  I masked off the pivot area and the back of the tang on the blade with some nail polish and dipped it in some ferric chloride for a time.  I had the blade suspended from a copper wire when I put the lid back on the plastic jar that I keep the etchant in.  I guess putting on the lid lifted the knife slightly out of the acid.  This caused only half of the knife to be etched.  ARRGGHHH!!!  The blade is totally ruined.  Now I get to start all over again.  But, sometimes things happen for a reason.  In my minds eye I saw an etched blade looking really good with this handle, but, as it turns out, it really didn't look that good at all.  It made the knife look drab, which is exactly the opposite to what I wanted to accomplish.  So, new blade and no etching. Maybe a mirror-polished blade . . .

I spent some time working on shaping the handle while the blade was being ruined in the acid.  Here's the handle after 220 grit on the grinder.  It's all handwork from here on out.  I think it's looking pretty cool.  After the major setback with the epic blade failure, I can't wait to see this baby in its finished state.  I hope to make some progress on it tomorrow, so check back soon.  Thanks for following along with me on this build.

-  Brandant Robinson

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Available Knives Discounted

If you stop by the Available Knives page here on the Robinson Edge, you will find that the prices on all of my knives have been drastically reduced.  I hate all the sales gimmicks that folks use, but I really need to turn over my inventory of knives as they are starting to stack up.  I'm thinking of sending off a few of these knives, if they don't sell, to an online dealer to sell by consignment.  As I would rather not pay their consignment fees, I thought I would lower the prices of my knives here and pass that savings on to you.  I would much rather sell my knives directly, but I'm just not into marketing.  So, if you have had your eye on one of my folders, now's the best time to buy.

Thanks everyone for your interest in my work and have a great week.

-  Brandant Robinson

Monday, September 19, 2016

Small Wheel Attachment & New Knife Build

Well, fall is settling in and the yard chores were starting to pile up.  Over the last couple of weekends I spent most of my free time pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, and other assorted gardening tasks.  I did manage to take a break from the chores for a few hours to get some play time in the shop.  Here's what I was able to accomplish over the last couple of weekends.

At this point in time, in order to shape small, inside curves on my knives, I've used a bench-top spindle sander, the kind used for woodworking.  While it has been able to get the job done in a reasonable fashion, I have really been limited.  The sanding sleeves only come in 80 and 120 grit sizes, so the limitation in abrasive selection alone is enough to make me want something more.  Not to mention, the sleeves are quite pricey and don't last very long.  I have seen several people on the internet make their own small wheel attachment for their grinders from some simple materials, so I thought I would give it a go.

The above photo shows the raw materials that will be used to make the interchangeable wheels.  I actually ordered these components off the internet several months ago, but just didn't find the time until now to get started.  The black rubber cylinders are replacements for the same kind of spindle sander that I'm trying to replace.  The plastic bag is full of 1/2" inside diameter flanged bearings.  And at the bottom of the pic you can see a 1/2" O1 steel rod that I've had lying around the shop for years that will be used for the axles.

The rubber cylinders are about 4-1/2" long which is twice as long as I need them to be.  I cut them into 2" lengths on the band saw and flatten off the cut end on the disk sander.  I also cut the O1 rod into 3" long pieces which will act as the axles of the wheels.

In order to keep the wheels from rotating around on the axles I applied some contact cement to the axles and the inside surfaces of the wheels and push the axles into place.  As an added measure of precaution, I ran a bead of super glue around the edges of the axles where they contact the wheels to make sure there is no slippage.

Once the glue was set, I attached the bearings to the axles by staking them in place with a center punch.  It's a simple matter of standing the axles up on end and pounding on the lip of the axles with a hammer and center punch to expand the axle edge tightly against the bearing.  The above photo shows all six of the completed wheels ready for action.  I now have 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 2", and 3" wheels which will give me a good selection of diameters to choose from.  Unfortunately I didn't have any materials needed to make the actual tool arm that will accept these wheels, so I had to put the project on hold while I find some suitable materials.  So, in the mean time, I started a new knife.  I'm pretty excited about the prospects of this one, so here goes.

I thought I would try something a little bit different this time around.  I had a very small piece of some really cool stabilized maple burl that has been dyed black and red which I have been itching to use on a project.  It looks like molten lava once it's finished and polished up.  That got me thinking about using some copper for bolsters which will look really cool against these rich-colored scales. I've worked a lot with copper in the past, using it on ferules for woodcarving gouges.  I've learned how to put some really cool forced patinas on copper, and if I can pull it off, I think this will be a really stunning and unique look for this knife.  This knife is my Glacus design which has turned into my best seller as well as my personal favorite.  The blade will be CPM 154 and the liners will be from 6AL4V titanium.

As there is really no new techniques that I will be trying on this knife, just new materials and assorted finishes, I didn't bother taking any step-by-step pics.  The above photo shows the liners with the scales already attached.  I put some black spacer material on the backs and on the dovetails of the scales to add a little more drama.  the copper that I had was about three times as thick as I needed it to be, so I ground down the bolsters blanks to about 1/8" thick.  I forgot how fast copper heats up and have a couple of sore thumbs where they singed my skin.  Occupational hazard I guess.

The last thing that I was able to accomplished was to finish heat treating the blade.  Here's the blade after hardening, quenching, cryo treating, and two temper cycles.  I'm thinking about going with an etched finish on this blade.  I think that kind of finish will look awesome with the copper and red burl.  I've never done a full etch on a blade, except for Damascus, so this should be a fun experiment.

More to come next week.  Thanks for stopping by the Robinson Edge.

-  Brandant Robinson

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Raptor Complete

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend as much as I did.  I enjoyed spending time with my sweet wife and kids and just relaxing.  I slipped out to the shop just long enough to finish up the final touches on the Raptor knife.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  It's definitely a design I will keep at the top of my list.  I didn't take any progress pics of the final steps, but here are a few photos of the finished knife.  I've also included a short video that I shot with my tablet which will hopefully give you a better impression of the knife than the still images.

I really like how the Damasteel blade turned out on the blade.  I was a little worried about how the Damasteel would take my maker's mark, but it looks pretty good.  I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this piece, so feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line.  I'll post this knife for sale over on the "Available Knives" page shortly.  Thanks for stopping by.  Now, what to do for the next project . . . 

-  Brandant Robinson