Shield Inlay Tutorial

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
#1
Here's the knife I'll be inlaying the federal shield into, these are the first elephant ivory scales I've put on a slipjoint so there's no room for error. The template is hardened 1095 and because the hole is water jet cut, the sides are tapered. The smaller side needs to be on top, notice I've marked it so I get it right.


My first step is to figure out where I want the shield so I mark it on the knife. If the scales have a rough texture I add a piece of masking tape to draw on.


The shield has a tab on it from the water jet cutter which must be removed. I use an abrasive wheel on my Dremel.



In order to eliminate any gaps I go to some extra steps to make sure the shield and the template are a good fit. The shield is tapered too so I press it into the smaller side of the template, lay it down on my anvil and hammer the template down over the shield. I then check for gaps around the shield. If there are any gaps, I use a small fuller to push some material into the gaps to close them up.




Here you can see that the fullering has almost entirely closed the spaces.


Next I trim off any flash left from pressing the shield into the template and I'll have a snug fitting shield when it's installed.



I use a 1/32" HSS cutter in my Dremel to cut the pocket for the inlay, and an adapter that screws onto the Dremel to turn it into a small router.


I then clamp the knife frame and the template into my home-built fixture. (Boss has clamps for sale).



Here it's clamped in and ready to cut the pocket.


To be continued.
 
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cnccutter

Well-Known Member
#2
great job Keith. I love your idea of the squeeze clamp. seems like a nice stable way of holding the pattern in place.

Erik
 

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
#4
Thanks guys, now it's time to remove some ivory to make a hole for the shield. Since the shield is .040" thick and I want it flush in this case, I place a couple of .040" spacers under the base of the Dremel router and adjust it so the tip of the cutter is touching on the centerline. I remove the spacers and at a medium speed I plunge the tip of the bit into the material and remove as much ivory s I can, concentrating mostly on going around the edges.



Here a lot of the most of the ivory is removed


Here it's all cleaned out




I now drill a #52 hole in the center of the pocket. One reason for the hole is to be able to push the shield out if it gets stuck during fitting, the other is I'll be pinning the shield on as well as gluing it.


Here it's partially in place, it's starting to look like a good fit. I scrape the edges of the pocket or file a little off the shield where needed until I get a snug but not too tight fit. If it's too tight nay eventually cause the ivory to crack as it changes over time.


All the way inlaid and I'm satisfied with the fit.


It's now glued in, (I use Loctite 330), it's contoured and I've drilled the #52 hole through the shield


Next I chamfer the hole in the shield and the liner and pin the shield in place. I use this 10 degree tapered reamer from MSC.


And here are both sides when the the pin is peened and ground off on the shield side.



I'll post pictures of the completed knife when I can. In the meantime, tell me if I need to clear up any details, I'll be happy to post more pictures or answer any questions.
 
#5
Fantastic Keith ! Thanks for the tip on that tapered reamer. I'll be picking one of those up next time I order something.

The sheild seems pretty do-able following your directions

Appreciate you taking the time to share :)

-Josh
 

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
#12
Here are a couple photos of the completed knife. It's 3 1/4" Lanny's Clip with integral barlow bolsters. The blade and spring are CPM 154 CM. As I said above, the scales are pre-ban elephant ivory.

 

jeffsaul

Well-Known Member
#15
Keith,
Excellent explanation and terrific photos, that really bring life to what is seemingly a simple process, but in actuality is quite difficult.
One other comment concerns your need to use some hand cream or crack cream, works wonders on those "working hands"!
Jeff
 

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
#16
I really liked this tutorial, thanks for posting! I also like your rough hands...the sign of a working man! Good job!
Keith,
Excellent explanation and terrific photos, that really bring life to what is seemingly a simple process, but in actuality is quite difficult.
One other comment concerns your need to use some hand cream or crack cream, works wonders on those "working hands"!
Jeff
Thanks guys.

That's what dry northern Minnesota winters does to my hands. I have tubes and jars of lotion sitting everywhere and almost every evening I superglue cracks shut. They'll quit cracking in about 5 months.:biggrin:
 
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