WIP -- 1st knife from scratch

I got mine at Woodcraft, but you can also buy it online. Woodcraft didn't have any other color pigments than black, but you can order it on System 3's website, or Woodcraft should also be able to get it for you. It really is great epoxy!
Never heard of woodcraft before. Thanks for the tip. I googled them, and found there was a store in Louisville. I was luck enough, that I was in there these past few days, and was able to pick up some bottles.

Thanks a bunch!

sanded the rest of the red epoxy off of the knife.

decided to put the bolsters on. First, I wiped everything down with acetone in prep of using this:

I mixed a bit up (I must be getting sloppy because I could have swore I took more pictures).

and put 1 side on.

After that side was, and the pins through, I put some on the other side.


First mistake I made. I shouldn't have put so much on, near the front of the bolster.
Here is a pic, just before I start to peen the pins down.


And another one.

The one thing I wish I would have had, was a reamer. I wish I could have reamed the holes, just at the outside of the bolsters (maybe 1/16 deep). this would have made them more secure.
So, I start smashing away. I'm using both sides of the hammer.

flat side

round side.

And a pic when I'm done.

I then used acetone to clean everything up, so there wasn't any JBWeld visible.

(wish I would have took a few pics of the bolsters, all the way around)
Just for good measure, I put a c-clamp on the bolsters, and tightened it down pretty good.

Don't know if I dented the bolsters or not.

Looking back on it, I made 2 more mistakes.

a)I should have used a piece of wood when I clamped.

b)I should have looked closer (these pics are actually better than when the knife is in hand). I didn't realize that much JBWeld came out.

Any suggestions on cleaning that up? I know it's going to be pretty hard.
I'm hoping I might be able to take a sharpened wedge piece of wood to scrape it off. Maybe that in conjuction with some acetone.
So, got to work on the knife earlier today.

Took the C-Clamp off. You can see some of the JBWeld that squeezed through.

One side:

The other side:
so, I put the scales on the tang to see how they would line up.

There was a little bow on one of the bolsters, where I didn't sand it flat. screwed up somehow. oh well.

So, I decieded to try and take it down a bit. I colored the bottom side of the bolster (tip of the knife is pointing down in the vice).


And, I gently touched it with a file. Being careful to keep it flat, and only
hit the high spot.

Next pic, shows the scales.

They are green scales. I would like to thank
Mark Farley from It's a Burl

for supplying them. I actually won them from a drawing he had here on the forums. Once I got them from him, I started planning out how I was going to do this (fingers crossed).


Here I'm clamping the scale to the tang. I want to draw an outline, and cut it down.
I also want to use some spacers. I actually want to use them between the tang and the bolsters. The plan is to scribe a line on the spacer material, and bend it up, so that it's at a 90. It sits between the scales and the bolsters/tang.

I don't know yet if I'm going to end up doing that. You will see why in a bit.

So, I trace out the tang

And start cutting it with some tin snips.


One mistake I made. I cut everything too close. I should have left more over hang, all the way around the outline. This would give me more fudge factor. Trying to be cheap, catches up with me in the end.
So, once I have the spacers cut out, I scribe a line. This will be the joint, where the spacer bends up at a 90* angle, against the bolster.

Everything looking good so far

And then I bend it. However, I bend it the wrong direction. I then been it back. Oops.

Now, because I cut the outline too close, I don't have enough material to scribe another line for a 90* bend. I have to cut out a new spacer.
Ok, breathe, breathe...take a breather from the stupidity I just did.

I decide to work on the scale. I hit it with a 9/32 drill bit, to rough it up, so the epoxy has more places to grab between the scale and the spacer. Why 9/32? Just what I grabbed out of the box, because it looked good.


You would swear that the impressions are CNC machined, they look so accurate. lol
Ok, I've never cut stabilized wood before. This is tough stuff. So first I try with this saw.


Yeah, that ain't working....time to think about it some more.
So, I go back, and cut another spacer out. This time it worked ok. Still, I didn't learn from my last mistake. I still cut the spacer too close. I need to leave a little more room next time.
So, back to cutting scales. I decided to try a hacksaw. That worked much, much better. It cuts more like really soft metal, than wood.

Making some cuts down to the outline

Cutting a good sized hunk off

Rough cut outline.
ok, then it hit me. I have to sand this stuff. Plus, I can tell from just a little cutting, this isn't fun to breathe. I borrowed a wood rasp from a buddy. That shapes it really nice.

Filed down with the wood rasp. I'm going to have to get one of these for my 2nd knife.
ok, moment of truth. Time to clue the spacer to the scales. I don't know if I did this right. I really had to do a lot of juggling to even get this close.

I would appreciate some feedback on if I did this correctly.

It wouldn't have been to bad, but I couldn't get that 90* section tight. If I tighted down 1 clamp, it would move just 1/64, and create a gap somewhere. I was lucky in
that I'm usein 24hr epoxy. When I take these clamps off tomorrow, I'm afraid what I
might see. If it's bad, I'm thinking I might just sand off that little 90* spacer section,
which means the scale would be right up against the bolster.

Let me know what you think.

nice pictures. Appreciate the time and effort in getting them here.
Way to go on your first one too1

Taking pictures keeps me honest. I have to think about things (or at least attempt to), because i'm looking for feedback here. I dream about the day when I'm a famous knifemaker, getting $5000 for a blade, and I can look back at this thread and chuckle. ;-)

Although, as long as it's taking me on this one, I don't think I'll ever finish it.