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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:40 pm
by knifemaker3
Made it to the shop this afternoon. ::ds::

Here is the knife after heat treat and temper.
Next, I clean the scale off with a 36 grit belt. Then I test on my hardness tester. I have a hand held tester I bought several years ago on Ebay. Here I'm getting ready to test for hardness.
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This blade test at 59 on the Rockwell C scale.

Next, starting with 100 grit, I start finish grinding the knife. At this stage, I only need to grind enough material off to get the knife to it's final dimensions, clean off any remaining scale, and refine the plunge cut.
After the 100 grit, move to 220, 320, and 400 making sure to get the previous grits erased. I will grind at a slightly different angle to make certain I am getting rid of the previous grit.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:48 pm
by knifemaker3
This is what it looks like when you let the thumb slip onto the 36 grit belt while grinding. The grinder eats fingerprints really well :roll:
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This happened while cleaning off the heat treat scale and before I tested the blade for hardness. A little Hydrogen pyroxide, rubbing alchol, a bandaid, some duct tape, and I was ready to grind again!

This is why I stress safety. It doesn't take but a split second and you can receive some pretty serious injuries in this business. So be careful!

Well, I also started the brass bolsters but haven't taken pics yet of them. I'll try and get to the shop tomorrow and work more and post tomorrow night. If not, see you all Monday! Have a good one!

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:49 pm
by Rupe
Great tutorial and ::tu:: on such a nice shop! Thank you much.
Next, the blade will be heated to 1860 degrees. It will be held at that temperature for 30 minutes, and then taking out of the kiln and air quenched. This blade is 440c stainless, so it can be either air quenched or oil quenched. Air is a lot cleaner of a quench so I air quench 440c.
Please forgive what is probably a silly question, but, could you explain "Air quench"?
Is the blade just allowed to cool or is a compressed air or gas used to speed the cooling process?

Thank you.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:28 pm
by knifemaker3
Next, the blade will be heated to 1860 degrees. It will be held at that temperature for 30 minutes, and then taking out of the kiln and air quenched. This blade is 440c stainless, so it can be either air quenched or oil quenched. Air is a lot cleaner of a quench so I air quench 440c.
Please forgive what is probably a silly question, but, could you explain "Air quench"?
Is the blade just allowed to cool or is a compressed air or gas used to speed the cooling process?

Thank you.[/quote]

The blade is just allowed to cool after removal from the kiln. Some makers use a fan blowing on the steel to help it cool quicker, I've just never had to do that to get good results in my shop. Remember, anything you read is just guidelines. You may have to tweak them to make it work in your situation. What works for me in my shop may result differently if tried in someone elses. There is not just one way to make a knife. Experiment and use what works best for you in your shop.

To those who have been watching this tutorial, I apologize for not posting the last couple of days. I've been busy and haven't had time to get to the shop. Hope to make it out there today since it's turned cold here in Southern Missouri and I won't be able to work outside.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:41 pm
by Ringmaster
Hey Craig,

Have you ever tried plate-quenching your 440 ? I've never done it myself, but some makers promote that technique, most often used with A-2, I think ?

Be careful today,

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:52 pm
by knifemaker3
JR, I haven't tried that but I have heard about it. Like I said there are different ways to get the job done. I have even successfully hardened blades in my propane forge even though they say it can't be done because of the 30 minutes hold cycle at 1850 degrees. I done it with the forge, got it to temp with a tempil indicator stick, quenched in oil, tempered at 225 for 2 hours twice, and the blades test at 58C rockwell. But, I ain't going to promote that as I haven't done any testing to make sure they hold up as well as How I heat treat in a kiln. I have the book The Handforged Knife by Karl Schroen and he tells how to heat treat and temper stainless steels in a coal forge.

I'm a firm believer in the phrase "What work for you in your shop is the best way for you to do it".

The guys with science degrees may disagree, but oh well. :P

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:25 pm
by knifemaker3
Next, decide what the bolsters will look like on the finished knife. Take the brass barstock or whatever material used, and lay it out with layout fluid or sharpie marker.

Cut the pieces out and sand to shape. Also, I make sure that the back where the handle material will butt up against the bolster material is a perfect 90 degrees angle. This way there will be no gaps when fitting the handle material. Sometimes I use a 45 degree angle when using dovetailed bolsters.

Next, layout all items needed to attach the bolsters to the knife.
Here, I'm using the JB Weld and pins method to attach the bolsters. I also solder the bolsters with silver solder and pins, but I like JB Weld better as you don't have to worry about losing temper in the blade from the heat and it cleans up by simply wiping with a rag and acetone.

Prefit and clamp everything together to make sure everything is properly aligned and fits. Be sure to leave enough pin material sticking out on both sides to pean the pins later! Then, I mix the JB Weld per instructions, coat the bolsters, and clamp everything together. The JB Weld that oozes out from under the bolsters is simply wiped off with a paper towel. I let it stand in the clamps for 4-6 hours before working on it again.
That's all for now. Have to let the bolster dry!

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:07 am
by Redrummd
What metal prep and cleanup do you do before adhering with the J B Weld? I am wondering how the epoxy get a good "bite" to grip to each side.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:49 pm
by knifemaker3
Sorry, forgot to mention cleaning with acetone all contact surfaces. Writing this tutorial has made me realize just how hard it is to remember to put everything you do down in words. ::dang::

Thanks for keeping me straigt redrummed!

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:01 pm
by knifemaker3
It's turned really chilly here, @5 above this morning and only in the teens right now. So, instead of warming up the shop to work out there today, I'm just doing what I can inside the house and making short trips out to the shop. So, there may not be very many pics, but I will explain what needs done.

I also forgot to mention that when sanding your bolsters to shape and before permenently attaching them, finish sand the front of the bolsters down to the grit you want. It's almost impossible to finish them once they are attached as you will really mesh up the finish on the blade. I sanded down to 400 grit. Brass buffs really easy and you can get a great mirror finish from 400 grit so I seldom ever take brass past this.

OK, now for today. Next, I take the knife out of the clamps, clip the pin material to where they are within an 1/8" from the bolster on both sides, and then pean the pins. I don't worry so much about chamfering the hole for the peaned pin as this is just to give added support to the jb welded bolsters. It may be overkill to pin with the jb weld but I don't want a knife coming back with a bolster knocked off either. So, this is the method I use. I also pin when soldering which makes a much stronger joint. If the knife is a heavy utility style or camp style blade that will be subjected to serious use, I will solder and pin to make as strong a joint as possible. NOTE: I only use the jb weld with pins method when using jb weld. I don't trust just the jb weld alone to hold the bolster. When soldering, you can just use solder and no pins, but I still pin just for added security.

Once that is done, I sand the pins flush and then prepare the handle material. In this case it will be stabilized black walnut. I sand the handle material flat on the bottom and also the front where the handle will meet the bolster. I check as I sand to make sure the handle material meets the handle and bolster with no gaps.

Then I lay out everything I need.

I dry fit and clamp everything together. Then lay it out to prepare for epoxying the handle on. I use Devcon 2 ton epoxy. I feel it holds a little better than the 5 minute stuff. Wipe all mating surfaces with acetone including the handle material, tang, and bolster. Mix epoxy per instructions, coat ALL surfaces and clamp.

TIP: I use disposable latex gloves when epoxying to keep the stuff off my hands. I hate cleaning epoxy off the hands!

I only glue 1 side at a time. I glue and clamp, let dry, and then drill all the holes in the knife handle. If it's not done this way you cannot find your holes to drill them out! :shock:

That's all for now. I have 1 side clamped and drying. After I have both sides done, I will start again with pin placement. Until then, have a good day!

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:20 pm
by knifemaker3
Sorry to all who have been watching this thread. I haven't had much time to work on this knife due to chiropractor appointments, cold weather, and added work on the farm. ::dang:: ::dang:: ::dang::

Hopefully I'll get to work some more on it next week. :oops:


Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:22 pm
by gmusic
No problem Craig................................

Thanks for the tutorial.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:52 pm
by knifemaker3
Made it to the shop today again!

Ok, after the 1 handle drys, I unclamp, drill all the holes, and attach the second side using the same procedure as above. After it has dried, I drill all the holes, and take it to the bandsaw and rough cut it out to the shape of the handle. Here is what it looks like:
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Closer look:
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Next, I carefully sand to shape making sure not to get the handle too hot. If the handle gets too hot at this point, the epoxy will soften and the handle material will pop up. When that happens, I drench the crack between the handle and tang of the knife with superglue and reclamp until dry.

Here is the knife sanded to shape:
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Next, I set the pins. I do this by cutting the 1/8" brass pins material so that I have between 1/16"-1/8" sticking out on both sides of the handle material. Next, I chamfer all holes with a 60 degree countersink bit in the drill press. I also countersink the thong hole as well even though I'm not going to be installing a tube.
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Next, I slightly round the ends of the pins on the sander. Then, I insert a pin and very carefully start peaning it. On the first hammer strike, I make sure I have the pin sticking out enough on the bottom side to have enough to pean. Then, I hit it medium hard strike with the flat side of my ball pein hammer. Then I flip and repeat making sure to not hit so hard as to crack the handle material. Then, I start using the round side of the hammer and start lightly peaning the end of the pin. I usually do about 5 blows, flip and do 5, flip and so on. I keep doing this until the countersunk holes are filled. It takes practice to do this and not crack the handle material. I just go slow and watch and use very light blows after the initial taps.

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:11 pm
by knifemaker3
Next, I go back to the sander and finish sand the handle. On this particular knife, I am going with a more flater profile so I just use the platen to do most of the work around the tang area of the knife. I start using 220 grit, then 320, and finally 400grit. Then, I work on the sides of the handle starting and finishing with the same grits. I slightly round the edges of the handle with 400 grit to knock the sharp edges off.

When I want a more round profile on the handles, I use a slack belt and hand finish with strips of old sanding belts and hand sand.

After the handle is finished sanded, I start getting ready to buff the knife. I will just buff to a satin finish. If I was mirror polishing, I would still start with a satin finish. I put a satin finishing buff on the Grizzly grinder. Here I am ready to start:

Next, I switch to a sewn muslin buff charged with fabulustre compound to buff the spine, tang, handle, and bolster areas.
Then I buff these areas. Here is the almost finished knife!
100-0008_IMG_3.JPG (61.76 KiB) Viewed 6106 times

Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:37 pm
by knifemaker3

I sharpen by starting on the sander using a worn 400 grit belt. Once I see the burr show on the edge, I buff off the burr. Then, I usually hand sharpen on a diamond hone to better refine the edge. I usually get it sharp enough to shave hair off your arm and slice through newspaper. Anything more is not needed in my opinion. One thing I've noticed about stainless steels, I just can't get that same scary sharp edge I can with carbon steel blades sharpened the exact same way. I think it has to do with the molecular makeup of the steel. I just know stainless is harder to sharpen than carbon.

After it's sharpened, it's time to mark my logo on the knife. I used to sale under the name of Blankenship Knives, but since adding screenprinting to my business, I have since changed my business name to Booger County Outfitters LLC. I use 2 seperated marks, one with a banner and the business name inside the banner, and the other a circle with BCO inside the circle. On this knife I will use the circle mark.

Here I have everything laid out to make the mark. I use an etchomatic etcher and stencils bought from Ernie Grospitch. These are great stencils and if anyone is interested, I'm sure he won't mind me refering you to him. Just give me a pm and I'll shoot you his web address.
The finished mark:
And here is the finished knife.
I still need to make a sheath for this, but will not be including the sheath production in the tutorial. I will be making a leather sheath for this knife.

I have really enjoyed making this tutorial for you all to see here on AAPK. I really want to thank Bryan for the opportunity to do this. It's been a pleasure.

To whomever wins this knife when it is given away, I hope you enjoy using this knife for many years to come.

Thanks all for letting me do this. This is a great community and I just wanted to be able to give back in some fashion.