4-19-05 Back from Paul Bos Heat treat. 4 daggers and 8 folder blanks. You can see the dagger on the left has already been started to get cleaned up to a mirror finish. The daggers are now going to be sand blasted on the handles. During glue testing, I found that sand blasting vs rough grinding gives epoxy a better purchase for the handle scales so all of my knives going forward will be sandblasted for the handle material area.
Starting on the bolsters, the 416ss has been rough cut to start and stacked underneath the blade for drilling. All three layers are temporarily super glued together for drilling through the blade into the bolster material. This makes for an exact fit. You can see on the handle area where it has been sand blasted. The bolster area doesn’t need sand blasting as it is held so firmly in place by pinning it can’t possibly come loose.
The bolsters are drilled. You can see on my drill press the table has been swung over to the side. I have drilled a small hole right through the table to accommodate faster drilling.
Once the bolsters are drilled, it is time to surface grind them for a very close tolerance fit. The surface grinder is accurate to .001”. Here you can see the two bolster pieces chucked up in the mag table. I use a few strips of 1/16” material around them to help hold them in place. Once the mag chuck is ‘on’, you can’t pull the pieces off since it is so strong. This is a fine, double pole mag chuck, my first was a single pole and it didn’t work well for these smaller pieces.
Surface grinding in action. When you do this, you can only take off .001” to .0015” at a time. Any more than that and the whole project goes south in a hurry. The metal gets too hot and starts to curl and move. Once that happens, nothing gets flat. So each pass takes only one and a half thousands off. Each pass is only 1 to 2 tenths wide so it takes a couple dozen swipes to get it flat. In this case, I trimmed the pieces way down and I only have to do the insides so it doesn’t take too long. It takes a half an hour to get a folder blade flat on both sides.
The material has been surface ground (on the inside) and it is now trial fitted to make sure it’s flat. It is so we can move on.
When I was drilling the bolsters, my bit was a little dull so I pulled out the Drill Doctor and sharpened the bit and finished the holes. Sharpening the bit perfectly took maybe 45 seconds. If you make knives, you want one of these. It will pay for it self fairly quickly and does a fantastic job of sharpening bits. It will do three kinds of points and both 118 and 135 degree angle bits. There are three models, this one is the middle one and is all I need. The bigger model handles fairly big size bits, bigger than I will ever need. Highly recommended.
While I was waiting for those blades to get back from heat treat, I cut out some Ti for the folder blades. Here you see the pattern which is hardened 1/4” 01 steel. I trace the outline on the Ti, cut it out, clamp it to the pattern, drill the holes and then tap the threads. This is my first try at using a pattern like this so we’ll see how it goes later.
4-19-05 Here you see 3 fillet knives just out of glue up. These are going to be tested with three other blades just like them. These three were heat treated by Paul Bos but were not cryo treated. The others were heat treated at the same time by Paul but did get cryo treatment. I’ll finish the handles these and then I’ll have a cutting comparison to see if cryo treatment really does improve edge holding. The three steels I will be using are D2, S30V and ATS34. I’ll be posting more pictures of this cutting test later. Lot’s going on in the shop right now. Glue test, cutting test, dagger order, folders to get done and a 2 page pictorial for a custom knife making book.
4-27-05 Here is the Singapore dagger in glue up. Nasty looking here, it came out of this just fine. I’ll get some proper pic’s of it up in a week or so.
4-27-05 The dagger is almost done. There might be a little detailing left but I can’t recall exactly when I took this picture. To the left are some of the sheath parts. The sheath will be black but in order to get a nice, deep black, you need to die the leather deep blue first, then die it black. You can see a blue piece mixed in with the black for comparison. This will be a clip on so the metal clip is there. Also, notice the Bri-Wax. I put this stuff on every knife and every sheath. Several years ago I did some rust tests using Bri-Wax, John sons Paste Wax, Renaissance wax that every one says is the best (its not) bee’s wax and candle wax. The Bri-Wax won the rust prevention test hands down. It comes from the UK and sells for around $13/lb on the internet. Great stuff. It really gives a nice luster to the steel and polish to the leather.
5-12-05 Here it is all done. You can click on the picture and see a bigger shot. S30V all mirrored and heat treated by Paul Bos. The black line spalted maple burl is too hard for me to get a decent picture of and not blow out the rest of the knife. On the back that you can’t see, is an etch showing: Design by Jorgen Wallgren. It ships to Jorgen in Singapore in the morning. Hope you like it Jorgen.
Mickley Custom Knives