Here it is all laid out before being pinned. The ivory inserts are shown so you can see the fit. It’s tight. The metal inserts will be used at first, then removed and the ivory inserts added later. Just about at this point I realized I will have to modify the original design a bit. The bolster won’t be rounded over as there simply isn’t enough to get a decent convex surface so it will be finished flat and just the ivory will be convex. This will make it more of a challenge to shape the ivory, get it smooth and keep a nice polish on the surrounding metal bolster. I’m not quite sure how I got myself into a mess like this.

One last trial fit before peining. I have to tell you that this part is something I haven’t looked forward to. I’ve procrastinated for a day or two so I could work up the nerve for the next step. If I don’t get it tight all the way around, I have to start all over with a new bolster and new ivory. This bolster is big and it could twist slightly when it is pinned in place. I’ve put it off long enough, it’s time to do it.
 

5-28-04 Here it is after it has been peined. Now I will need to drill a small 1/8” hole in the handle using a carbide bit to go through the hardened metal. This will allow me to pin the metal insert in place for the bolster clean up and polish. So far, so good, I won’t know if it is a completely tight, and acceptable fit until I clean it up and grind it to the handle profile so I can look at the seams. I believe it will be tight all around though.
 

6-10-04 Upper left. The metal inserts are pinned in place. Upper right: The handle has been profiled.

Lower Left: The handle has been rough ground to a convex shape and rough polished. Lower right: Ignore the color. It’s just an odd reflection but now the handle has been shaped and polished to a near mirror with finger relief on both sides.
 

6-10-04 This is the horizontal grinder. I am grinding a couple scraps of ivory trimmings. I’ll collect the dust, mix it with epoxy and use it around the edges for the glue up. This will color the epoxy the same color as the ivory (well nearly anyway) and help hide any small line showing up around the metal bolster and the ivory insert.

6-10-04 Here it is just before glue up. You can see the old metal inserts have been drilled out. The ivory inserts are just above and the ivory powder from the grinder, ready to mix in to the epoxy. I won’t be showing any pictures of the glue up since it will take nearly 10 minutes and the epoxy goes off about that time.

6-10-04 All glued up. You can see both cups of epoxy. The lower cup as ivory dust mixed in and I used this around all the edges. The other cup doesn’t have any dust mixed in and I used this in the center of the inserts for a little extra holding strength that might be lowered by the ivory dust. Since it is 3/4 inlay, this insert isn’t going anywhere anyways. Now it has to set up for a day or so and I will grind down the ivory flush with the bolster and make it all a smooth convex. It’s almost ready for Ron to scrim.

6-22-04 Here is The Scrim (it’s now official name) done as far as I will take it. The edge hasn’t been sharpened yet. I’ll do that the very last thing. It has been shipped off to Ron Newton to be scrimmed and then to Joe for engraving and finally Sandy for a sheath. The darn thing will have a couple thousand miles on it by the time it gets back to me for an edge. To get it to this point took around 8 hours of sanding by hand.

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Mickley Custom Knives

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