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I was recently humbled to receive Member of the Year award for 2016.


I can recall when Jan first joined. JJ Smith III was my first official "iKC friend" back in early 2010. I've been around here for awhile & it was simply amazing to be honored in this way.

Thank you .. all.


I also received a Jantz gift certificate .. which I quickly put to good use. I ordered a Jantz pattern # 33 blade blank in D2 tempered to 60 +/- 1 HRC in a peened (sandblasted) finish ..&.. a 0.375” X 1.5” X 10.0” piece of black paper micarta. The blade blank is a measured 0.125" thick & has three tang holes ..  measuring ~ 0.144" diameter on one side & ~ 0.138" diameter on the other side .. there's a minor burr present on the small side. Not an issue ..since.. they're holes clearanced for common 0.125" (1/8") pin material.

The remainder of the requirements .. pins, scale material, adhesive, etc .. I'll use what's already available in-house.

I’m looking at Brazilian Brownheart for the wood. Brass & copper washers. Black paper micarta as the bolster.

On the blade blank .. I removed the rear step (originally meant to capture the bolster) from the blade blank. It turns out .. the width of the blade blank @ the intended point of the bolster .. 0.560” .. is @ or within a few thousands of the widest point of the remainder of the tang .. once the step is removed. I machined a 0.125” X 0.560” slot in the micarta to accept the blade blank. I also sanded a few thousands from the lower part of the tang .. insuring that the bolster spot was the widest point of the tang.

To do washers .. I’ll need about a 1” square of material. The smallest amount of copper material I could find @ the hardware store was 0.062” X 4” X 10” for just under $ 8.oo. I went to the plumbing section & picked up a copper 3/4” dia splice fitting for $ 1.49 + tax. I’ll need to cut a slot in it .. anneal it .. flatten it .. blank out a ~1" square ..&.. machine a 0.125 X 0.560 slot into it. I already have brass flat stock in a couple of thicknesses that I can use. I intend to do some combination of alternating brass & copper washers between the black micarta bolster & the Brazilian Heartwood scales.

I used a 0.125” end mill to machine the slot in the micarta. SO0o .. the ends of the slot were round. I used a 6” file to square the corners of the slot & for final fit to the blade blank. I .. somewhat tediously .. fit the micarta to the tang until the micarta could just be forced onto the bolster area of the tang. It is a tight press fit at the moment.

I did some quick research on annealing copper. It has to be heated to about 500 deg F & then allowed to air cool. If you're short on patience .. a water quench will apparently obtain workable results. Copper is also a metal that work hardens. SO0o .. I may need to anneal it more than once during the flattening & blanking process.

The 3/4" copper splice is slit lengthwise & I’ve began the annealing process. I heated the splice fitting with a propane torch as hot as I could get it & held it there for 1~2 minutes. It is now air cooling. It turns out .. it’s a rather large chuck of copper to be annealing with a propane torch. Copper conducts heat very well, i.e. it’s a great heat sink. I may have to cut out the smaller 1” X 1” square & anneal just that .. I’ll see.


This is the current point in the process. I'll post further progress pics .. as I progress .. in the comments section.



D ale

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The copper annealed just fine & I was able to open the tube easily with just my hands.

I used a wooden mallet (gently) & a thick flat board to get it usably flat.

I then clamped it in a vice & got it really flat.

The result is a piece that measures 0.044" X 1.608" X 2.842" .. easily enough for 2 usable blanks.

The small pinch mark is where I clamped it with a pair of needle nose vice grips during heating / cooling.

I'm happy with the results.


It's sitting on a Brazilian Brownheart sheath I assembled for a small dagger in the lower pic.

Which .. is not finished out yet.

Great project, ill be watching. 

That copper did anneal and flatten very well.  I like the layering idea and am anxious to see how it looks when done

Meager progress.

Decided on some Osage Orange over the Brazilian Brownheart.

The Osage just ages SO0o well.

I've found .. a combination of brass & copper really compliment the Osage.

I slit a 1" X 1" X 5.5" piece .. corner to corner.

Got me a matched set of scales.


Need to machine tang slots in the brass & copper & then blank to ~ 1" sq.

Getting closer.



D ale

Hey hey .. more progress today.

Blanked out the micarta bolster and the brass & copper washers.

The blade blank was set up for a 1/4" thick bolster.

I'm using 3/8" thick micarta .. which I'm pinning in place.

To center the pin in the 3/8 thick micarta .. I needed to inset the blade blank tang stop 1/8" into the micarta.

I machined the required area .. 0.050" L & .125" D .. then broke the tip of my utility knife squaring up the slot.


minor problem .. already rectified


I left 2 of the washers just blanked & with the machined slot .. rounded on either end.

The two installed washers .. I easily squared up the corners with a Nicholson 6" mill bastard file.


I'll be doing mosaic pins for the bolster & scales.

There's a slightly tapered 1/8" brass rod in there @ the moment.



D ale

Looking good, waiting to see how you shape the bolster and washers. 

I am also excited to see this one coming together.  The unique mix of materials has me smiling every time I see the next step happening!  Be careful with the osage, I am a big fan of it also but it is not a great product to be breathing in

Made some progress today .. was forced to take a brief hiatus .. life.

Anyway .. got the black paper micarta (part of the future bolster) pinned & epoxied in place.

Placement of the washers will be next.

I formed a very simple mosaic pin for the micarta.

I used a dark grey 2-part epoxy ..hence.. the dark dot in the middle.

Next will be epoxying & clamping the brass & copper washers in place.

Then I'll be ready to attach the scales.

I'll use a clear epoxy for that.

I'll be making similar pins ..however.. I'll be mixing Osage Orange dust in the epoxy for those pins.

Which should result in a brownish dot in the center.


Slow ..but.. sure.



D ale

I epoxied the washers in place tonight.

I made sure the surfaces were relatively flat & the edges were free of burrs.

I wanted them to mate up with uniform surface contact ..so.. they needed to be flat.

To enhance adhesion .. I "ruffed up" the surfaces to be epoxied.

I used a metal scribe & the pictured diamond whetstone.

Attn: JJ .. I finally found a use for the "patchwork" diamond whetstone. You were absolutely right about ONLY going with those having a solid abrasive surface.

For everyone else .. save your money. I cannot & will not recommend one of these. All my other diamond whetstones offer a solid abrasive surface. These are just .. BAD NEWS !! The sales literature hyped some story about them reducing the loading up of abraded material. Let me tell you what I found. The edges of the "patches" of diamond abrasive caught the edge being sharpened & promptly dulled it .. OUCH. To the point which elicited profanity. Seriously .. do not waste your money !!!

I mixed the 2-part epoxy using a bamboo barbecue skewer on a paper plate.

I then covered the surface of the paper micarta that was to mate with the brass washer.

I added the brass washer ..&.. then coated it's surface that was intended to mate with the copper washer.

I then added the copper washer to the stack ..&.. repeated the process.

I then added the final brass washer ..&.. did NOT coat its outer surface with epoxy.

I then added the 3 clamps in such a manner as to try to obtain uniform compression all around.

I used 60 minute epoxy. I'm going to let it set overnight.

Everything should be firmly help in place in the morning.



D ale

Looking good, Dale, though I bet you'll be working on it again before morning.

Just an idea Dale but that diamond , don't know the size of course, looks as though it would do a good job of flattening sharpening stones .  I have found flattening sharpening stones to be helpful in knife sharpening and essential with razors .

Great job with the knife , as I would have expected of course .

Good idea , John. Very good idea.

A couple of the whetstones for my recently acquired "fixed angle sharpening fixture" are beginning to form a slight valley.

While I've NOT noticed a detrimental effect upon the final result .. a FLAT surface is most desirable. I will say this .. the resulting valley does identify the area of most ..or.. actual use. i.e. the center of the length ..not.. the extreme ends.

The size of the pictured diamond whetstone measures 151.44mm Long X 63.01mm Wide X 1.02mm Thick. The given thickness requires a rigid flat supporting structure .. as do all of my current diamond whetstones. The overall surface area is enough to work for the purpose you suggest. Given .. the original investment was $4.54 .. I consider it an inexpensive lesson. That said .. every actual application I can find for it helps.
Excellent suggestion.

!! . Thank you . !!


Initial results of yesterdays work can be seen below.

NOTE: The Osage Orange scale material is simply setting in place.

The paper micarta & metal washers are in place on a more permanent basis.

I'm alright with this so far.

I will try to do a more detailed description when constructing the mosaic pins for the handle.

While the ones I'm doing are quite simple in design .. the process is the same for more complicated patterns.

Albeit .. more patience may be required.



D ale


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