Groomsmen Knives WIP

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by FullyTorque, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    Hey Guys,
    I've been only been making knives for a few months now and this is my first WIP. I'm getting married in a couple of weeks and I wanted to make some knives for my bestman and groomsman. We already have other groomsmen gifts lined up if the knives aren't finished in time or if they're complete disasters. I thought posting a WIP thread here might help keep me working on 'em.
    I decided to make the groomsmen small pocket fixed blades after making this one for my fiance's dad.
    [​IMG]
    It is 1084 with homemade heavy-linen laminate scales. I learned a good bit making it and there were things I wanted to change. For one the narrow ricasso really bugged me and I wasn't happy with how the scales came out. But I gave it to him to use until I can make a better one.
    I really liked the size and general shape of that knife so I played with it a bit and made these drawings.
    [​IMG]
    I then cut the designs out from cardboard. I did each one to test not just the feel of the handle but also to get an idea of what each blade shape would be like.
    I staple the drawing to a piece of thick stiff cardboard and then cut with a razor. Using scissors will crush/bend the cardboard.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I decided I really like this handle shape over the original rounded design. I liked both the sheepsfoot and drop point but decided to go with the sheepsfoot.
    I also decided to redraw the design in CAD. I downloaded LibraCad for free on my linux computer, but it's also available for Win and Mac. I used AutoCAD in college, so it took some time to figure out the new program. I did this mosly because I want to be able to get my pins more symetrical, but also I might have access to a cutting table in the future. I did make a few small tweaks to the design in Cad.
    I then printed, cut out, and glued the drawing to my bar stock. I'm just using a Elmers glue stick and it holds up suprisingly well.
    [​IMG]
    I then drilled out the profile to make rough cutting easier. This wastes a little bit more metal over a clean cut line but I think it's worth it. I use a HF drill press.
    [​IMG]
    I did make one mistake while drilling. There is one hole between the front bottom two pin locations (purple dots) that was too close. Thankfully it wasn't much and I was able to get the bottom of the tang smooth after filing and grinding.
    After drilling I rough cut the blade using a hack saw and Dremel cutting wheels.
    [​IMG]
    I did file and grind the profile to shape last night but didn't snap a picture of that.

    I'm still not 100% sure about the grind. I drew the plunge line into the choil with the thought of having the thickness gradually decrease from there down to the edge. I believe this will require a more sweeping plunge.
    I'm also debating doing a chisel grind. I haven't done one before and I've only ever had one knive, a tanto, with a chisel grind. What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  2. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86

    Jan 15, 2012
    I like the overall shape of the knife other than the pin layout. Personally I think there are too many pins, and they are far too close to the edge, to the point they will look weird once the handle is contoured. If it was me I would simply go with two even spaced pins in the handle and avoid the large cutout. If it's for weight reduction I would just drill some holes through the tang to remove steel.
     
  3. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    I wasn't sure if I was going to do the large cut out in the middle for these. I put that in the with the thought of having this design cut out on a cnc table in the future. It drops weight and makes it easy to a do really nice looking paracord wrap. For these knives I was thinking of just drilling a few large holes.
    Right now I'm planing on using 1/4" G10 for the scales. I wasn't going to do a lot of contouring on them. I was thinking leaving them mostly flat and breaking the edges.
    But I will look at moving them in more or playing it safe and going to centered pins. Thanks
     
  4. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    I managed to get a good bit of work done on the knives this weekend.
    Here's where I left it off on my last post. I finished the profiling with files, a cheap 60grit belt on my 1x30, and a couple of barrel sanders on my dremel and drill press to get into the curve.
    [​IMG]

    I decided to keep the pin layout but I did move them in just a tad. I also decided to do the cut-out but just made it a bit smaller.
    [​IMG]

    The dremel cut-off wheels made this much easier than I expected. I used files, sandpaper, and a small conical grinding stone to clean up the cutout. The grinding stone also worked great to chamfer the pin holes.
    [​IMG]

    Here's my meager grinding set up. The file guide is a homemade job from hardened 1084 scraps. I drilled and tapped one side and drilled and counter sunk the other so that the bolts sit flush. That's just a scrap aluminum block that I have to keep the blade perpendicular to the work rest. I tilt the work rest up to a steep starting angle and carefully bump it down as needed to bring the bevel up to the spine. It's a crutch but I haven't been able to get good results freehanding yet.
    [​IMG]
    You might notice from this angle that my "workshop" is literally a utility closet. It opens out to the carport though so I usually take my grinder out there to work, especially when working wood or micarta.
    So the first blade was coming along great. I had an awesome sweeping plunge line for a while then, as usual, I managed to bugger it up.
    [​IMG]
    The red line is about where I wanted the bevel to stop and I got close but then brought it back to far. I had my file guide to far forward at first and instead of moving it back I just removed it. Big mistake.
    I was able to flat sand the blade on a ceramic plate with some 150grit paper. This fixed my mistake fairly well (no picture yet) but I might just end up doing a paracord wrap and keeping it for myself.

    On the second blade I repeated all of the above steps but was more careful setting my file guide and the bevel was much nicer, though more slanted than sweeping. (I'll post a pic of it next time.)

    I'm really glad I took the extra time to do the tang cut-outs. It really lightened up the whole knife and put the balance, without handle right at the start of the edge. I think once the bevel is fully ground and the scales are attached the balance point will be right in the choil. It's not that big of a deal on a knife this size but it is something that I try to be mindful of.
     
  5. 65steve65

    65steve65

    654
    Dec 9, 2012
    wow! I am impressed with simply the cut out and how clean the whole thing looks with the tools you used. NICE!
     
  6. Omega Leather Works

    Omega Leather Works

    Jun 13, 2007
    Very nice man. I love it. The cut-out is a really nice touch. Might need to be smaller overall, but some g10 scales that were punched out and beveled to match the tang would make a sweet neck knife.

    I also dig the pin placement. It's unique and appears to be a reoccurring theme on your designs. I like that.
     
  7. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    Thanks for the kind words. The plan is to make some simple leather (horsehide) leather sheaths with clips for pocket carry but I will make kydex neck sheaths if the guys want 'em.
    I've been home the last couple of days due to frozen roads but the cold and a long list of wedding related chores kept me from making much progress.
    However, I did try heat treating the first knife last night. I did several things differently last night, which is not a good idea. It's always best to only make one change at a time. I built a new forge, the ID is about 2in diameter and about 10in long. It's about an 1.5" of Kaowool with a thin layer of sand and plaster of paris to coat. I upgraded from a cheap propane hand torch to a MAP gas version. I put some of the sand/plaster on the blade just to see if i could get a hamon... I fully expected it to just fall off. I also tried using a a tempstick (1480F) to check the heat.
    Well the MAP gas is a HUGE improvement over the propane, it gets way hotter than the propane... maybe too hot.
    The plaster stuck suprisingly well and had to be scaped off after the quench. And I don't think I used the tempstick correctly. I brought the blade out from the forge and pressed it to the stick expecting to see the stick melt when the blade was hot enough. I never really saw the stick melt and I'm worried I might have overheated the blade.
    [​IMG]
    Anybody seen 1095 steel do this before? I couldn't find anything similar online. Is this decarb? Grain Growth? The edge was harder than I've ever seen. My file not only skated but didn't dig in under pressure. You can see where it barely scraped the edge. I wasn't sure about it but I went ahead and put it in the oven to temper at 400F for an hour.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  8. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    Well the best I can tell from searching around this seems to be decarb. I left the edge really thick on this to prevent warpage with the asymetrical grind so it's all going to be ground down anyway. I wasn't going to grind on the left flat side but I can surface sand it on my ceramic tile... or I might just leave the texture on that side, it's kinda cool looking.
    I wonder if the the switch to MAPP or the larger forge contributed to the decarb.
     
  9. silver_pilate

    silver_pilate

    Oct 30, 2002
    I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't get that one too hot. A forge without temperature control is tough to nail heat treatment, especially on something like 1095. A muffle can help to evenly distribute the heat, as direct contact with flame can cause hot spots. I would suggest sharpening it and trying a brass rod test and other chopping/cutting tasks. It won't tell you a whole lot, but if you see edge chipping, you can suspect it was over heated causing grain growth embrittlement. If so, don't despair. You can still normalize it and re heat treat it after blunting the edge.

    --nathan
     
  10. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    407
    Jun 3, 2013
    Well things didn't go as I planned with this WIP. I was able to get one knife together and finished. However it had flaws that I wasn't willing to accept. There also just wasn't enough time to finish the second knife and redo the first. I've had a bunch of other wedding related projects that were not optional so the knives just had to be put off. I will finish these knives but it will have to be after we get back from the honeymoon.
    Here's how the first knife came out
    [​IMG]
    As you can see it's quite serviceable but has some glaring flaws that I can't bear to pass on to someone else. I'll either keeep this one and/or redo it at some point. The scales are natural G10 and I used G10 pins. However, I did not have the right size drill bit to get the right fit. I first tried them in a 1/16" hole but that was too small. The next largest bit I had was 3/32" which ended up being too large. The pins have glaring halos and a couple of them ended up with voids around the pins. I'll have to order a 5/64" bit to try on the next one. The heat treat seems to have come out pretty well. I put a crazy sharp edge on it and have been using it around the house. It is a little bit on the brittle side as I have put one tiny chip in it but I'm not sure when that happened. It flexed on a rod and went back to straight when I first checked it.

    Also here's a pic of my forge. I was able to heat treat the second blade, along with another blade that needed to be re-treated.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. phorizt

    phorizt

    358
    Aug 26, 2013
    Thanks for sharing this. I've got a very similar setup to you and was able to pick up some useful tips. The knives look great imo. I've given up on grinding on the 1x30 and just do it by hand with a file on a jig I built from Gough's YouTube video which works much better for me
     

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