1/3/04 Here are three of the knives partially ground. The flats have been satin finished and the grind line will be raised and flattened just a bit more. The blades will then be taken to a 5x micron finish which is around 1800 grit. After grinding, they will be buffed to take the last scratches out. Once they are ground, they will be drilled and sent off to heat treat which takes about 2 weeks. The heat treater is Paul Bos, who is head of Buck Knives heat treating.
1/19/04 Here are the knives back from Paul Bos, the heat treat guy. They are heated to around 1900 degrees, cooled to room temperature, tempered and then cyro cooled to -300 degrees for 6 hours. Once all that is done, they are tempered to lower the hardness back to Rockwell 59 where they belong. They come back with a thin black, splotchy oxide coating layer that has to be ground off. Then the blades have to be re-polished to make them shine again. The top two knives have extra holes in the handle to shave some weight off. It moved the balance point only 1/4” forward and took off less than an ounce. I didn’t do any more after that. The bottom two knives on the left are the ones that will be sent to Joe for engraving. The knife at the lower right is a custom order and design for client Robert M and will also be engraved by Joe.
1/29/04 These are most of the parts. The blade has been re-polished. The 416ss bolsters have been cut along with the pin material, thong tube and amboyna handle material. I didn’t get the red liner in the picture, but that will also be in there. Next I’ll drill the bolster material and grind it to shape. After that it will get dovetails. Finally a nice mirror shine before they are pinned to the knife.
1/29/04 Just to be clear, there are really four knives in progress here. To save machine set up time, I usually work on two or three at the same time. The one above is a custom order. There are three others in the box to the right. Eventually these three are also going to Joe but the custom order bumped these a bit. Now it’s time to start making decisions that I’ve been putting off. To the far right are two mammoth ivory tusks and next to that a giraffe leg bone. I need to decide what handle material I will use for these knives. In the box I had originally picked out some spalted maple burl (top), redwood burl (bottom) and box eldor burl (hiding in the middle) . I like them all so it will be a hard choice. Any suggestions? Incidentally, I bought the ivory and giraffe bone off eBay. Crazy isn’t it?
Mickley Custom Knives