9-4-06 Whew...long time away from the in progress pages.. I’ll have to do a better job keeping up here. I’ll post a few images in no order and then get back to doing a proper job with this area.

I found these 2 pictures in the camera from some time ago. These are the only 2 I have in progress of the carved fighter. The blade has not yet been heat treated. The carving was done using a combination of fiber cut off discs and various craytex wheels. After the basic carving was done, it took a lot of hand sanding to get a decent finish. David Broadwell’s video can show you in detail how to to do this.

Here is the final result of the carving.

9-1-06 I took the summer off from knife making but was in and out of the shop doing little things. The problem is I left every thing where it was and didn’t clean a thing all summer so I came back to this when I started back again. It took me half a day to clean things and just to find the top of the bench. To the right is my work bench. Underneath is the engraving and etching bench. Both are absolutely covered in junk...

Here you can see from left to right starting up close is the: table saw with the chop saw on top. Along the back bench is the buffer, mini-mill, 2 bench drill presses and the large standing drill press. I use cheap box fans for air filters by taping a premium 20”x20 furnace filter to the intake side.

I pestered a Norton Abrasives rep for Norax 9” discs until he made me some proto-types to try out. These are so slick it’s amazing. I am working on becoming a Norton abrasives distributor just so I can get access to these discs.

9-4-06 a little more current now. Here are the fish knives I just finished up. Here, I have the bug knives I made last fall as a reference, the fish knife patterns and the patterns laid out on the 154CM steel.

The fish have been heat treated here.

For planning, I made a paper copy of each fish. Each scale pattern was drawn on the paper for planning and then followed during the actual construction. The more time I take to plan a knife on paper, the better it always turns out.

I called this knife Nemo just to keep track of it. There will be 3 scales attached to this. The top and bottom fins will be box eldor burl and the middle body will be dyed giraffe bone. Here the top and bottom scales have been drilled and profiled to size. Now I need to cut the giraffe bone to the proper size so it fits in between them snugly. Here’s how I did it.

I slipped a piece of paper between the blade and the two scales. I then drew the outline of the giraffe bone scale by tracing around the inside of the other two scales pinned in place. Once it’s drawn, remove the paper and cut it to the outline.

I glued the paper pattern to the back of the giraffe bone and then trimmed it to the outline. Simple. Once this basic outline is done, then it is a simple matter of trial and error to get a nice snug fit.

The scales have to be completely finished before they can be attached. Sanding these after they have been attached won’t work. These will be glued in place and then the giraffe bone will be dyed. Finally all of the scales will be sealed with Deft Wood finish for a deep luster.

The giraffe bone is dyed using leather dye. I’ve taped off the wood scales so I don’t get any dye on them. I used 5 different colors of dye to get the colors I wanted.

Below you can see the finished product.

Here I have some Mother Of Pearl I want to attach to one of the fish knives. I used the 5 minute version of JBWeld to fill in the hollow of the small shells. First one side is filled in and the blade is laid into the goop. It set up in a few minutes. Then I drilled the hole for the pins through the back side through the shell. I sharpened a drill bit before drilling and it went right through the shell with ease. Then I filled in the second shell and attached it to the blade. Once that had set up, I drilled through the second shell by going through the first set of holes I drilled. I also enlarged the hole by a few thousands so the pins don’t crack later from stress.

9-4-06 The long brown looking deal is a piece of Mammoth Ivory tusk. Just under it is a fish knife that has a piece of this tusk cleaned up, polished and attached. The stuff looks like a hard piece of dirt but cleans up to an amazingly beautiful piece of ivory.

I got a new ultra compact camera I had to fool around with.

When you drill holes in a scale for the pins, you normally have a flat scale which allows you to drill through the tang first, then through the scale and get a hole that is square (hah!) to the tang. When the scale is round, like this stag scale, you have to find a way to drill the hole straight. Using a 3” square pipe, I notched out an inch or so and have several large holes to drill through. Clamp the tang to the underside of the notched out area and drill away.

Four more fish are done in this quick shot.

9-5-06 This is Nemo2. The scales are cut and pinned here. Notice that some of the edges are finished and some aren’t. Before you glue the scales to the tang you have to finish the ‘leading edge’ of the scales entirely since you won’t be able to after it’s all glued up. Now I’ll glue these up and finish shaping the scales and sand the tops and outside edges to finish this one off.


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Mickley Custom Knives