2/13/04 The mammoth ivory has been cut and ground flat on the back using the disk grinder. If it gets hot from grinding it moves so you have to grind a little and wait, grind a little and wait. Very slow. After they have been ground flat, the bark side is sanded and polished. In this picture, they have been angle cut to match the bolster angle. The one in the clamps is being super glued to the knife so it can be drilled for the pin holes. The one above has already been drilled. Once it is drilled, it is knocked loose and the residue super glue is cleaned off. I use Uncure to remove any stubborn left over glue.
2/14/04 When you drill the scales through the back, it has to be flat. Mammoth isn’t of course so you have to drill it a little different. This is a 2” square pipe with several holes drilled in the top. The knife is clamped to the inside top of the pipe. The knife tang is flat and touching the inside top of the pipe. The scale is super glued on the ‘bottom’ of the knife tang. Using this jig allows you to drill holes that are square with the tang.
2/14/04 Here we are using the jig to drill the pin holes through the mammoth. You can see the mammoth on the bottom, the knife tang next then the top of the square pipe all clamped together.
2/14/04 Here the knife is trial fitted again to make sure all the pins line up and every thing is flush for a tight fit. I’m using 2 size pins, a 1/4” main and 2 1/8”. Joe will engrave the 1/4”.
2/14/04 The pins have been cut to exact length by marking, trimming and then fitting by trial and error. Once they are to proper length, they are crowned and polished. We are almost ready for glue up but there is one thing left to do. The pins are notched in several places. When the knife is glued up, the epoxy will flow into the notches and make a mechanical lock.
2/14/04 Here it is all epoxied up. Several clamps all around for a tight glue up. Since the mammoth scales are essentially finished I can’t just walk away and let the epoxy drip where it wants. I have to baby sit this glue up for 20 minutes or so, wiping off any excess epoxy that drips onto the finished scales. In 20 minutes the epoxy has gone off enough that it won’t run any more but it will take 24 hours to full cure.
Mickley Custom Knives