2-19-05 This project is a tough one. Symmetrical blades are a nightmare to grind, especially to a pattern. I knew that going into this project but it’s gotten a bit more complicated still. Basically, this knife blank is done except for drilling some holes. The blade flats have been taken to 600 grit, the hollow grinds have been taken to X5 microns (something close to 1800 grit). Now here is where we run into some problems that may be a deal breaker for this client. I don’t know yet. The client wants an 8” hollow grind, a strong tip and the grind lines shown above in his Autocad drawing. The problem is I can’t give him exactly what he wants as he has specified. The 8” wheel - or my grinding ability - just won’t allow it. Look at point “A”, it’s hard to see in the blade but the upward curve is there, it’s just not as aggressive as the drawing shows. Not a huge difference. Point “B” is where it really gets away from me. See how long the flat area is between the grinds in the drawing and in the blade? I could only manage to get half the length of that flat area. The client will have to decide to take the grind as it is or call it off. I’ll let you know what he decides. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker but I’m not the client either. The reason for this is the top swedge has to be some what thin or the it takes away from the balance of the knife as you look down on it from the top. Also the swedge wouldn’t be very deep from the sides of the knife if that much flat area was left between the top and bottom grind. Note the pictures below show the curved grind line much better than the picture above.
Now lets look at point “C”. Right now it looks a bit sharp as compared to the drawing. This will round out after the bolsters are attached and ground to shape. No problem. Now look at point “D”, the handle has just a slight detail there that isn’t in the blade yet. I left it that way on purpose and will do that after the scales are attached.
Just above the drawing is the practice piece. It didn’t start out as a practice piece, but it sure ended up that way. I normally cut and grind two blanks for every commission order. That way, if I screw one up, I have the other I can fall back on and the client isn’t made to wait. In this case I knew it was going to be tough so I cut out three blanks and sure enough, I messed up the first one trying to learn how to do this curved grind line. I’ll go ahead and grind out the third blank and hold it in reserve -- just in case. If all goes as planned, I’l finish off the third one differently from the custom job and sell it on spec.
Holding this knife is interesting. It fits in the palm of your hand right along your life line. It will have a very snug fit in your hand when it gets some scales on it. To get to this level of finish took 9 different grit belts and 3 different disk sander sheets.