View Full Version : Sub Hilt Video Questions

05-02-2007, 12:26 PM
I just got your video on the sub hilt fighters and have a couple of questions. First off the video was great and I learned a lot and also found out that I was doing a lot of things the same way you do them without ever seeing this video first. I was wondering where you get the red fiber material that is thin enough to fold? The stuff I have in the shop is way too stiff to fold as you did in the video. Second question is what kind of glue was that you used to attach the handles with? You may have answered these questions in the video but I missed it. Thanks ahead of time for the information. The video is much appreciated.

05-06-2007, 01:20 AM
Thank you and I'm happy that the DVD was of some help.

It looks like POP Knife Supply has thin spacers:

I use Super Glue from Knife and Gun Supply, any of the suppliers have it, I'm sure. Get the "Super Thin" type.

John T Wylie Jr
05-06-2007, 06:57 PM
I was over at a friends house Friday night , we were during our normal grind and BS Friday night marathon gigs.... after we were winding down , he busted out the new DVD he just got , yup... your DVD set.

We watched it and learned quite a bit. Great DVD.

only thing I didnt enjoy was the background music ;) rather hear the belt on the steel.

05-07-2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks, John. I'e gotten three comments on the music: "Great!" and "Where can I get that music?" and "I didn't enjoy the background music."

Thanks you for spending all that time watching. Any suggestions are appreciated.

05-07-2007, 12:09 PM
I liked the video from start to finish and I wouldn't change a thing if it were mine.

05-13-2007, 10:20 AM
First I'm glad you liked the video and learned from it, that is what these videos are about to begin with.:gossip:
Blade Magazine mentioned the music in this video too.:eek:

I alone, am responsible for the music:lol
After spending a hundred hours of editing this one, I felt the grinder became a annoyance and chose an alternative destraction to pass the time, yet show the details of the work.

We want to make all our videos informative and entertaining.(focussed on the informative)
Steve has done a wonderful job on this video, but had little to do with the music score.
I will take responsibility for the background music and how it was used.:o

Just remember it is the information we are selling, not the frills...Hollywood we are not.:smokin

Thanks and be blessed,

05-17-2007, 07:10 PM
Geno, i too have the video and enjoyed every bit of it. imho, i think this was the most informative of all the videos yet. i have them all by the way,and the music did not detract from the information at all. Steve did awonderful job. keep up the great work

05-17-2007, 09:14 PM
Thank you, Trav and everyone. Of course some will like this and some will like that and some won't like something, hope the information was helpful. Maybe we should offer a "background music" version and another "raw" version? We all have our opinions, all are appreciated, by me, for sure. I just want to thank anyone who purchased the DVD. Hopefully we can put together another one on the hunting knife sometime.

John T Wylie Jr
06-01-2007, 06:00 PM
the information on the DVD is priceless !!

06-01-2007, 06:51 PM
Great to hear, John. Send me all your money so that I can hopes of retiring someday. No rush though, on the retiring, will take all your money anytime!

Matthew Gregory
06-22-2007, 03:18 PM
If I can chime in, I have a question and an observation or two for you, Mr. Johnson...

I thought the dvd was done perfectly, the multiple angle camera techniques were immensely helpful, and I've gone back and referenced certain parts numerous times to make sure I 'got' something... the scene selections were very helpful. Although the music may have gotten a pinch repetitive, it was certainly not distracting enough to bother me in any way -- and it has to be a bear to come up with something like that to fill over 2 hours!!! Great job all around, and certainly the best knifemaking dvd I own!!!

My question is a simple one for me to ask, but I'm guessing a tricky one to answer...

How the heck do you jump from a 60 grit belt to 400 grit, and then to a stripped cork belt loaded with chrome rouge and get the mirror finish you do!?!?!?!?!! I watched it happen on the dvd and I'm still perplexed! Is there some part of the technique that I'm missing?

06-23-2007, 03:52 PM
Thanks, Mr. P., for the kind remarks. I'm glad the DVD is being helpful.

A new 400x belt will just "wipe" those 60x scratches off. Then use it on 3-4 blades and go over the first one, or two again, to smooth out the brand new 400x scratches.

A stripped 400 and 600x cork belt is not "stripped," it is just broken in. (Did I outline the break-in process on the DVD? I think we did.) Follow the directions on the DVD and on the various threads on this forum and it will work. Promise!

All the cork belt threads are here:

This one has some photos:

Matthew Gregory
06-24-2007, 07:37 AM
Thank you for responding so quickly, Mr. Johnson! I've read all of the threads you've provided, and now I'm worried that I have, in fact, stripped the belt I'm trying to use. There are lots of peaks and valleys, per se, but I'm pretty sure there isn't anything one could call 'grit' left on there. It looks exactly like the belt you're using in the dvd, so I thought I was maybe doing something wrong, technique-wise.

I'll try leaning into it a little harder, and maybe that's my problem.

I have no doubt in your technique,btw... I'm merely struggling to duplicate it. Not that you need to hear it from me, but your work is above reproach... if I manage to come of sounding as if I'm 'questioning' your claims, I assure you it's simply me struggling with the appropriate language!

06-25-2007, 09:17 AM
Matt, It ay take some practice, but it's actually kind of hard to strip the cork and abrasive off of the belt. If it's still black, it's probably still OK. Can you send a photo? That might tell me something.

If no one asked questions, etc. there'd be no need for forums such as this.

06-26-2007, 01:41 AM

when you are talking about grits do you mean american or euorpean ("P") standards

Thank you

06-26-2007, 10:19 AM
American. I'm not familiar with how they compare with the "P" ratings.

08-10-2007, 10:32 PM
Dear Steve, I too bought the DVD of your "fighter",, I think the audio is better on this one then on some of the older ones, It bugs the heck out of me when dust collector motors can be heard over the voice of the guy I am trying to learn from!
Here are some of my questions: You use a wheel with sand paper stuck to it, it does not appear to turn very fast, what is the motor RPM and the size of your pulleys? It appeared that with slightly heavy pressure, you could stop the wheel. Also, the wheel appears to be made of wood-(?) What is the O.D. of the wheel? After watching you, I think a set up like that would help me out! I am planning to attend the PKA Knife show in Denver next weekend,, will you be there? If so, I hope to meet you in person! ......Thanks alot!! Jon Moore

08-11-2007, 05:48 PM
The drive motor is 1/3 h.p. @ 1725 rpm. There is a 3" pulley on the arbor and an adjustable pulley on the motor that is set at about 2". It's not a big motor, so a lot of pressure will stop it, but I don't find that a lot of pressure is called for, at least with what I do. It's a matter of preference and what you want/need the disc sander to do.

The aluminum disc, was put in a lathe and the face machined flat while attached to the arbor, the 3/8" piece o f particle board was glued to it and a piece of Formica? attached to that with laminate adhesive. Some use a rubber disc face, which seems to work well.

OD of the dixc is 9".

Sorry, but I can't get to Denver this year. You'll have a great time and meet a lot of great folks, I promise.

08-14-2007, 11:52 PM
Dear Steve, as I am going to the Denver show in a few days, where do you buy "green chrome rouge"? I have green rouge, but it is quite abrasive, this cannot be the same stuff! Would Jim Poplin have it? He is usually at the Denver show. Thanks! --Jon

08-15-2007, 12:15 PM
I don't think POP carries RCH compounds, but you can find his web site here. It says that he will be in Denver, but will be on the road from Aug. 15-25.

Knife and Gun Supply carries the green and the white, which I'm using exclusively now, since the green can get into wood and horn pores and be hard to remove:
This is what they told me this morning:
"Our AB80 is RCH 6SS306 (green) and the AB300 is RCH SS300 (White).
Hope this helps.
Knife & Gun Finishing Supplies
Customer Service 928-537-8877

cliff fendley
03-06-2008, 06:53 PM
Well, I'm laid up right now recovering from back surgery and Gil Hibben popped in last Sunday with Steve's sub hilt video and said "here watch this while your laying around".

Steve, just wanted to let you know that Gil and I enjoyed the video and wanted to recommend it to all knifemakers. Its a lot of great info for the experienced knifemaker and a must for the beginner. Your never too old to learn new tricks and all of us learn little things that help us over time and its great to share those little things.

Anyone new to knifemaking needs to get the video, it'll save you years of learning on your own.

Great job Steve! You make it look easy.

BTW, I didn't mind the music, I've went to bed at night hearing grinders too many times.:)

03-07-2008, 10:39 AM
I'm sorry to hear of you being laid up and hope that you can get back to work soon. I appreciate the kind words and recommendation re: the DVD on Sub-hilt making. Hey, even liked the music! You made my day! Take care, be well and give my best to Gil, OK? Thanks again.

Josh O Mason
06-01-2008, 06:02 PM
I'm just starting, and it was great to see the processes in this video. I also wondered how you could jump from a 50 grit belt to such a fine belt and have that kind of a finish. I always thought you had to go through various finer grits.

Also with the glue up. Before seeing your video, I saw tutorials and other videos where guys are basically pouring and painting thick goopy epoxy all over everything. I never understood the need for all that goo, but being new at all this, I thought that's what you were supposed to do. I kept waiting for you to start mixing a 2 part epoxy into a big red cup or something, but a few drops of super glue was all you used. Is all that epoxy needed for some handle styles, or will super glue and a mechanical pin or rivet do the job most of the time? Do some makers overcomplicate this step?

Also, what was the grease used on the disc sander? I'm familiar with a product called "lubar" from the supply catalogs. Is that it? Why does the grease give a finer finish?

Anyway, thank you for this video Steve. it has taught me a whole lot. I didn't mind the music, i was too busy trying to pay attention, and having googly eyes over your grinds :eek: :D

06-01-2008, 07:07 PM
Josh - I'm not Steve, but I'll take a crack at some of your comments/questions.

The thing with the glue has to do with the fasteners and fit. I don't know if I'd trust super glue all by itself, but Steve is using corby bolts, which basically won't come off once they are in place and ground, especially not if they are loc-tite'd. Some folks are just using pins and not even peening them, so they compensate with extra glue. Others are using it to add more strength instead of just sealing. Some folks are using epoxy because it will fill a bit and you don't have to have that perfectly flat fit that you need with CA.

I'm not sure where Steve sits with the sealing vs fastening argument with glue, but my experience is that CA and poly glues hold really well, and are more than adequate when combined with a mechanical fastener.

I think the grease is used to hold the grit on the paper longer and allow it to break down into finer grit. I don't know that much about it, however.

I've begun using Steve's technique with belts and find that going from 60 or 80 grit to 400 grit is not bad at all. Just use a new, sharp 400 grit belt. If you're using aluminum oxide 400's like me, you might find that you need one belt for each side, but that's not too bad a deal since you get to skip three belts between.

I'm sure Steve will come in and correct me, but that's how I see things ;)

Steve - it was great meeting you at the show this weekend, I'm glad I got to sit down and talk with you.

Josh O Mason
06-02-2008, 01:27 AM
That video makes me want to get the wheels rolling like nothing else. It has given me alot more confidence.

Oh and thank you for the reply. I plan on using the corby fasteners for my own knives because they seem easy to use, they're strong and they look good. Cant go wrong with that!

Does CA hold differently to different materials? Say micarta versus wood. Or even different types of wood. Some are more oily or pourous etc.

06-03-2008, 11:00 AM
I use CA on every handle, except a stick-tang, or narrow-tang, then I use epoxy. Peen the pins a little if you are concerned, but I've never had a "pinned" handle come back for repair, that's all I can attest to. I will either grind, or saw, or clip (with wire cutters) little cuts into the pins in the area that will be inside the tang and handle to give the glue something to "grip" when it is set up. I also will drill the hole a little bit oversize to allow the glue to travel throughout the length of the pin and hole when I install the pins. If you don't do this, the pin can get stuck half way through the hole, if the glue is applied before the pin is placed into position. One thousandth oversize will not show up on the finished product and will allow space for the glue to travel if applied after the pin is in place. I use super glue on my handle bolts, also, after the slabs are glued on, one-at-a-time.

I'm sure any glue will hold differently to various handle materials, but again, I use it on everything and have had good results. I've seen ivory curl up and away from the tang, using CA and using epoxy. I don't know how to stop natural materials from pulling
away, if they are so inclined. Maybe dovetailing, but then, if it's going to do it, it can just buckle.

The grease is in a tube and is available form most of the knife suppliers, just ask for a belt grease stick. The grease on a sandpaper makes it cut smoother, cooler and longer, it basically just lubricates the cutting surface. You can get more out of a belt or sandpaper if you use grease. It will enliven worn belts/sandpaper to an extent. It also, however, makes a fine grit belt softer, or makes the back less stiff, so you need to consider that. This can be good if slack belting, or not so good if polishing a blade, if you want the edge of the belt to be a bit stiffer. The grease really makes the edge soft. If I didn't answer something adequately, please let me know, OK?

I can get at least three blades out of an alox belt, perhaps more, depending on the size.

Great to meet and visit with you, Cap. Hope you had a nice trip home. Mine was a nightmare, but it's a long story......

06-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Nice as an 8 hour drive can be, but no complaints. Hope everything got back in one piece for you.

In your video, you're using a pin press on the bolsters, so I'd assumed you also use them on handles. I'm guessing you're only using pins on hidden/stub tang knives. On those, I usually put some grooves inside the handle materials and cut some slots in the tang so that the epoxy will fill in/around and make a solid piece larger than the hole it went in.

What aluminum oxide belts are you using? I've found that the 3m belts will last a bit longer, but the last batch of cheapo 400 grits I bought get dull half way through a knife. Either way, I don't know if I'd get three knives out of one. Andy Sharpe on here swears by the Klingspore belts. I might be inclined to order some from Pop if they'd last that long.

This is my second try at a post, hope it goes.

06-03-2008, 11:13 PM
It took us two days to get home, you're lucky!

I don't use the pin press on the handle pins, if that's what you're asking.

I use 3M, Klingspore and Hermes, all with about the same results. Can't recommend one over the other, but, perhaps 3M has the edge, IMO.

06-04-2008, 03:42 PM
Sorry Steve, when I re-wrote the post I messed up, I meant to say that I'd assumed you peened your pins. I'm thinking a pin press would probably be bad for the handle materials ;)

Two days is unlucky, kind of defeated the purpose of leaving a day early.

Josh O Mason
06-06-2008, 12:24 AM
Watching the DVD for the second time now! :D Thanks Steve for your reply. I'm learning a whole lot watching you.

06-06-2008, 11:11 AM
That's why we made the DVD Josh. It's great to know that it's being helpful.
Thanks, too, for purchasing it.

Marcel Morin
06-14-2008, 07:32 PM
It's by far the best knifemaking video that I own. You really did a fine job and regardless what anyone says, the music was actually nice instead of the machine noises. Thanks.

Marcel J. B. Morin

06-15-2008, 09:02 AM
Thanks Marcel.
I think this video will be remembered as one of the best ever informational videos, plus the music is now abailable on soundtrack:rockon:
I'm glad the videos help too, God bless.

06-16-2008, 12:08 PM
Thank you, Marcel. I'm very happy that you found the DVD to be helpful.