WIP -- 1st knife from scratch

Why not just cut a small piece of spacer material and glue it to the front of the scale, sand it flush then glue the spacer to the back of the scale? You may just be complicating things too much by bending it.

I think you'll have a much cleaner joint there.

Other than that, I give you a world of credit for what you are accomplishing. Keep up the hard work.

Steve Janik
ok, got to spend a few hours on the knife today. I decided I wanted to clean up the bolsters. The last thing I wanted, was to make scales for the bolsters, only to find out something was wrong with the pins.

So, I first started to file down the pins with the B4stard file.

Starting out

A little bit of filing

Some more filing

Almost there

flip the knife over.. Time to file on the other side.


A little more

getting flush

flush. But, I don't like that you can see the pin outline
So, I decide I don't like the pin outline. I figure that when I peened them, I didn't hammer them hard enough.

I decide to try something a little different. I take a punch, and decide, as accurately as possible, I'm going to pound the crap out of the pin. My thinking, is to basically mash that pin, in that hole, as hard as possible.

This is a learning knife after all.

So, after I beat on it for a few times, it looks really crappy. At this point,
I'm holding my breath, saying "ok, what did I just do?!?"

Too late now, time to start filing.

ok, much, much better.
ok, back to the scale I glued up yesterday.

I take the clamps off. Not too bad. I would have liked everything to be a bit tighter, but over all. I give it about a 6 out of 10.

What you don't see, is that there was a little epoxy on the end of the spacer
(this would be between the spacer and the bolster)

I decide I want to clean up the outline a little bit, so I can see exactly what I'm working with.
There was a lot of epoxy that was over hangning. So, I hit it with the wood rasp.

Not to bad (if I say so myself).
so, I decide that I want to remove some of that epoxy off of the end of the spacer. I touch it with the file.

big mistake. I touch it 1 too many times. When I put it back on the knife, I look at the gap, and start to cry. Well, not really, but I'm not happy either.

So, now I'm mad at myself for not going slower. You know that saying "never grind when you are angry?" well, don't file either. I just grab the file, and decide to take that spacer off the end. I was lucky that it turned out ok.
so, I put the scale on the knife, against the bolster. There is a little gap. Nothing too bad, but I can work with it.


Showing the gap a bit more.
so now, I need to mate up the scales with the bolster. Since I don't have a granit block (or even a piece of glass handy, I wasn't able to sand the bolsters totally flat (or square). Now I've got to do the poor mans job, and mate them up.

First, I put the scale on the knife, and draw some lines with my fancy blue sharpie.

Then, I cut a sliver of 220 sand paper, and put it against the bolster.

What I'm going to do, is sand the edge of the scale down. I line up the lines,
and move the scale up and down (not across -- or side to side) the sand paper.
This takes a while, because you are basically sanding about 1/8" or so
(the thickness of the bolster).
Here you can see me moving the scale up and down.

When you look at the sand paper, you can see where most of the scale was touching
(on the right). There isn't much scale dust on the left, because there is a gap there.
I need to keep sanding, until the entire scale is touching the sand paper.

After some more sanding, everything looks relatively even.

And, I put the scale back on the knife. The fit looks better.
If you look in those previous pics, at the top part of the bolsters (the part next to the ricasso) you see a bead of JBWeld that squeezed out. Ok, I need to clean that up.

I decide to take a suggestion, and use a piece of scrap brass to scrape off the bead. It worked really well. I had a piece that was extra from when I cut the bolster. It actually was pretty sharp.

Another shot, to show the wedge.

After some scraping, that bead was gone.

Other side...

Another pic, different lighting.

Thanks for the suggestion guys! That worked out really good. No scratches.

Looks good enough to me. Now, to put one of the handles on.
ok, so I start getting a handle ready to put on the knife. (can I call it a handle yet?).

I take a drill bit (9/32 again), and put some dents in the handle, so the epoxy will have a bit more to grab.


a little cleaner.
ok, now I'm starting to get a little nervous. This is where it is all starting to come together.

I place the handle on the knife, and like the way it looks. Then, I decide, maybe I want to clean up that bolster outine a little more. Bring it closer to the knife profile.

Start filing

Close enough for now. I'm not going to take it down any more.

Time to knock off a few burrs that I created from filing.
Time to do the spine side of the bolsters.

Not really that much to knock off. However, I did make one mistake (ok, more than one, but who is counting).

There was a bit of a burr on the bolster. I knocked it off with the file. What i didn't realize, until it was too late, was that it created a slight gap between the bolster and the scale. It's not noticable until I glue up the handle.
Well, moment of truth. I decide to epoxy one of the handles on. In this instance, I'm going to use some T88 that I picked up from woodcrafters (another great suggestion -- thanks guys!).

I also picked up some pigment. I actually only used a dab. As soon as it touched
the resin, it just got sucked into it, so it looks like I used more than I really did. It doesn't take much.

Also, taking pics is a real pain. I have to be careful, because just a little dab, in the wrong spot, and my wife would neuter me for getting some epoxy on the camera.

I decided to dye the epoxy, because I want to fill in the filework on the spine of the knife.

My original plan was to use red, but woodcrafters didn't have any red pigment in stock, and I wasn't going to be back in town. So, I had to go with black.

Spreading it on the handle

Glued up with a single clamp.

I ended up using a 2nd clamp on it, but forgot to snap a pic of it.

Also, did I use too much epoxy? I figured I should coat the whole handle, but by that time, it started running everywhere.
Lookin' good! Don't worry about too much epoxy - the T88 sands easily, and you should have enough on there to fill in all the holes in the tang in any case. Why did you only glue on the one scale? I find it easier if I do both at the same time.
Great job! I'm looking forward to more pictures.

I'm glad someone mentioned the T88 epoxy, I'm almost out of my el-cheapo stuff and was looking for a good epoxy.

I only put 1 side on, because I have to drill the hole for the pins. If I wouldn't have bolsters, then I would have pre-drilled the pin holes, and glued both of the handles on at the same time.

I didn't feel comfortable, clamping the handles, hoping they wouldn't shift, while drilling pin holes, only to find out there is a gap somewhere when I glued them up.
Makes perfect sense. Are you going to drill the holes, then glue on the next scale, and then drill the second scale? I would think that would be the most accurate way to do it.

@JLaw, T88 is very good epoxy - a little bit pricey, but worth it, IMHO, and very easy to work with.
Makes perfect sense. Are you going to drill the holes, then glue on the next scale, and then drill the second scale? I would think that would be the most accurate way to do it.

Ted that is the way that I do my scales work perfect and there is no misalignment when you do it this way.