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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2011, 09:28 AM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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Guard advise

Hey everyone, I was commissioned to do a "custom replica" of the buck skinning knife (http://www.freewebs.com/skinning-knife/buckskinner.jpg). I'm not sure what is custom about replicating a knife but I wasn't in the position to refuse the man. Anyways the first picture is what I have so far. He wants a full tang but the guard would fit over similar to a stick tang. My dilemma is that while I have a file guide, it's crappy but will work for just this one project, I'm not 100% confident I can slot the steel guard for this guys knife. I've never done it before and while I want to learn, I don't want my learning piece to be this guy's knife. So I was thinking what if I went with bolsters and a deeper first finger groove? I want it to be functional and not worry about slipping a hand on the blade. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:05 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I think that I understand what you are wanting to do but I'm not sure that you can make it work the way that you have the tang profiled. Have you condidered a single branch guard where the arm of the guard only extends past the ricasso on the edge side of the blade?

T make it, lay out the profile of the guard on an appropriate bar of metal with the center line of the slot marked on it. The finished slot will be open to the back. Make this slot a little deaper than you need it to be. The guard will be evened up with the spine then you finish the guard. Also leave the bar that your're making the guard from long enough to handle while fitting the slot and cut it to length after the slot has been prepared.

To make the slot, drill a line of holes on the center line on the guard that are smaller in diameter than the finished width of the slot. Connect these holes and open up he slot with hacksaw blade and files. A set of jeweler's files are not all that expensive. As you get near the width of the slot that you need, slow down and check often. You will want as close of a fit as you can get. If you widen the slot a tad too much you can tap it in a bit with a hammer. You will also have to have a flat section below the ricasso to seat the guard against. Some also make a slight notch in the tang that the guard will slip into but that is not an absolute necessity.

After you have the slot cut then you can cut the material to length and finish the profile of the guard. You and soulder the guard in place or you can "cold soulder" it with JB Weld. If you don't like the guard at any point you can always start over.

Another option would be to make that finger grove just below the ricasso a little deeper. That would also help prevent the fingers slipping forward over the edge, which I think is an over rated danger. Unless the blade is used to stab into something where something hard, like bone, might be encountered there's really not much of a danger of it happening. If your buyer is really worried about it and wants a guard, the single branch guard would do the job. A double branch guard is not necessary.

Doug


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Old 07-28-2011, 10:22 AM
DaveL DaveL is offline
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I think a bolster is a great idea. To slightly deepen the groove would just add to it. However I am just an opinion but I agree with the bolster for sure.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:26 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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First off, let me just say it looks like you've let yourself in for a world of trouble. Full tang knives with stick tang type of guards? Nasty. But, that's just me (I really don't like full tangs).

About the only thing less desirable to me than a full tang is bolsters. Try to find another way. If your customer is expecting a guard similar to the Buck he may not be happy with bolsters.

You're concerned about being able to slot the guard and experimenting on this guy's knife. Don't be. Go ahead and slot a guard and try fit it. If it doesn't meet your expectations, slot another one. The bad news is, after you get the fit you want you still have to attach it to the blade and, in this case, that probably means pins through the side. With a stick tang this is a none issue but this type of guard on a full tang is a beatch. You could slot a guard and slip it up from the bottom ( a U guard) but you still need to pin it.

I assume (and we all know what that does) that the 'custom' part of this knife is the fact it is full tang whereas the Buck is a stick tang. If it was me, I'd tell the customer that if he wants full tang in this design you'll put some scales on it and be done (no guard, no bolsters). Or, I'd cut the handle into a stick tang and make it the same way the Buck is made but with some nice 'custom' handle material. Always listen to what the customer wants and deliver as much as you can but don't let them force you into building a knife with methods that fall too far outside your comfort zone. You'll never deliver your best work that way ....


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Old 07-28-2011, 10:27 AM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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Thanks for the help Doug! I forgot about the single shoulder guards. Double shoulder was only on the table because thats what the Buck is. But I like that idea, I think I'll give it a go. I should have the equiptment to make that work. I do like to put a little bit of glue on my bolsters and such, but am mostly a fan of pins. I feel much better about this now. I'll keep you guys updated on my progress (it will happen soon, as I want to make one trip to the post office, and this needs to go to TKS for HT, KITH knife is waiting too and a box to my momma. pressure!!)
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:30 PM
son_of_bluegras son_of_bluegras is offline
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If you've been commissioned to do a specific piece, before you start to make any changes, talk to the client. You may have to refuse the commission if he wants something you don't feel you can do well enough.

ron


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Old 07-29-2011, 07:58 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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I have talked to him and he is fine with it. I've started a U guard. I was REALLY smart to try and use 304 for my first one. At least I don't have to worry about it going too fast. It's coming along so far, just need to be patient. I may have work hardened it by accident which sucks because I havent drilled the pin holes in the guard yet but I will try and anneal it.

Just so that I am straight on this, I have read that to anneal 304 you heat to a bright red and quench in water? Sounds counter-intuitive.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:22 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Not all metals act like martensetic steel, follow the instruction but double check if you feel unsure.

Doug


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Old 07-29-2011, 09:29 PM
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ranger1 ranger1 is offline
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just to let you know you can purchase slotted guards from Texas Knife makers supply.Here's the link.
http://www.texasknife.com/vcom/index.php?cPath=52_887
I notch the blade where the guard will go and slide the guard into the notch. This interlocks the blade to the guard. then pin and peen the pin


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Old 07-31-2011, 02:52 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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So I've decided to solder the guard. So far the fit is pretty tight, but tapers thin inwards the guard so will have to bring that out. Will see if Thunderbird Supply has any acid-free flux. Is there any preferred brand?
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:24 PM
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ranger1 ranger1 is offline
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I use Stay-Bright.


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