The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
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.
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.
It sure is looking good! Thanks for the heads up on the diamond stone. I like johns idea and it may well help keep a good stone flat
I've decided to go with a hidden tang design,
I can certainly attest .. this D2 is tempered as hard as Jantz stated,
To insure the temper remained unaffected .. It was a slow & arduous process.
Bathed in a continuous bath of coolant.
I'll be drilling a more centrally located pin hole once the scales are firrnly epoxied in place.
The intent tomorrow will be documenting the fabrication of the very simple mosaic pin for this,
It is looking good and I cannot wait to see the mosaic pin process. I am extremely interested in this as the cost of buying them can be insane!
I would bet it was a job to drill through D2 Dale , that stuff is kind of tough !
Finally got some time to get back on this project. I decided to turn this into a hidden tang design. I did leave one hole in the tang & it will be implemented to “internally “ pin the scales to the tang.
I used a pin vise and an appropriate size drill bit to manually & precisely as possible drill a hole about 0.063” (1/16”) deep into each scale.
The tang thickness is 0.125” (1/8”) Add another 0.063” (1/16”) into both scales & I’ll need an overall length of 0.250” (1/4”) for the internal pin. Note: one of the holes in the scale material got drilled a bit deeper than the intended 0.063” (1/16”) ..SO0o.. I found the pin dimension of 0.254 to fit up just fine.
I machined a cavity for the hidden tang into each scale to a depth of half the thickness of the tang .. 0.063” (1/16”). I actually machined the cavities a little deeper .. 0.070” .. to allow for some tolerances.
I’ll add an ample quantity of 2-part epoxy .. line everything up properly .. secure it in a vise ..&.. allow it to cure overnight.
I will also add a very simple mosaic pin matching that in the bolster about halfway along the length of the handle. There will be one small difference with this pin .. from that in the bolster. I will be using Osage Orange wood dust to dye the 2-part epoxy. This should cause the very center of this pin to have a brownish tinge ..as opposed to the black in the center of the pin in the bolster.
Then, I can begin forming the final handle shape.
There’s still a ways to go ..but.. I am getting there !!!
It’s beginning to take the shape recognizable as a knife. The scales have been epoxied in place & forming of the handle has begun.
I used a 30MM (1.181”) dia cutter to form the first finger groove & the initial shaping of the bolster.
I used a 25mm (0.984”) dia cutter to begin forming the bolster @ the spine edge of the knife. I used a standard end mill to begin removing the excess Osage Orange wood that I started with. I’ve always found it easier to remove excess material as opposed to adding material when I remove too much. SO0o .. I always start out with an excess of scale material and work down from there.
It is not so evident given the wonderful lighting I have when taking these pics ..however.. the brass-copper-brass arrangement of the simple mosaic pins & the washers between the handle & the micarta bolster do go well with the orange-ish brown of the wood.
It’s beginning to take shape & becoming recognizable as a knife.
My goodness, it certainly is becoming recognizable! Click on the pic and blow it up, it is looking FINE!
looking good. I like the look of the octagonal grip, wil it stay that way or are you going to round it off?
Michael .. I too like the octagonal shape. Long term .. likely just the bolster / guard ..&.. the butt / pommel will retain the octagonal shape. For comfort during extended use ..say, dressing out a deer.. I believe a more rounded shape will provide less hand fatigue. And .. it truly just feels better in the hand.
As you stated .. I also like the octagonal shape. And again .. I'll likely retain it for the bolster & pommel.
Thanks for your comment, Michael. And .. thanks much for following the discussion.
Michael Squier said:
looking good. I like the look of the octagonal grip, wil it stay that way or are you going to round it off?
A little more progress to report. Note: As I do this strictly as a hobby .. these projects can get strung out over time. And .. generally speaking .. I’ve more than one project happening @ a time. Anyway .. a bit more progress to document.
While there exists an internal hidden pin through the tang & into the wood .. the intent has always been to also have an exposed visible pin going through all .. the wooden scales & the hidden tang of the knife blade. The blade blank is already in a tempered state. JANTZ specs the pattern 33 in D2 (and all their “pattern” series in D2) to be tempered to a 60 +/- 1 HRC. Having performed the machining steps required to get to this point .. I can & do personally attest to the honesty of JANTZ’s specification. It is most certainly tempered to the hardness they state. As such .. a carbide drill bit was required to drill the tang hole.
I used a slow drill speed. Approximately 600 RPM .. I state approximate because it’s simply the reading off of a speed control dial that is NOT calibrated ..but.. it will get you in the ballpark. I also used a slow feed rate. I let the carbide do the work, i.e. I used very little downward force during the drilling process. I chose to drill this hole AFTER the wood scales were in place for a couple reasons. Alignment through all the parts ..ea half of the handle scales & the hidden tang is assured .. as it’s essentially one solid piece at the point of drilling. Also .. it helps minimize the chance of breaking the very hard but “brittle” carbide drill bit. I’ve simply had better luck when the carbide drill bit is encompassed in the wood prior to making contact with the metal ..than.. when I’ve tried to drill just the metal. My experience has been .. when just drilling the metal alone .. the slightest abrupt change in the feed rate is enough to snap the carbide drill bit. Also .. when the bit first makes contact with the steel .. it seems to have a tendency to “catch” as it begins to bite in ..&.. will catch & snap just that quick.
Carbide drill bits are quite brittle & can be far from inexpensive. If sourced stateside ..(MSC, Grainger, drillbitwarehouse).. a single 1/8” carbide drill bit will run $17 ~ $22. I source mine directly from overseas. I’ve broken 2 of them to date. However .. at under $1.oo a piece .. a mistake is a bit more affordable. As far as quality goes .. I’ve proven through actual use .. that the required quality is there i.e. I just drilled an 1/8” hole in tempered D2 steel. And .. this is not the first time I’ve proven their quality through actual use ..again.. by successfully drilling through tempered blade steel.
My point being .. most of us work on a limited budget .. I certainly do. When presenting these projects .. I also attempt to show how they can be performed within a limited budget.
I further formed the handle by cutting some finger notches.
I used a 30mm diamond coated hole saw to accomplish this. I used a faster speed of approximately 1600 RPM for the hole saw. The original design purpose of the hole saw is cutting ceramic or glass. As such .. it had no problem with the Osage Orange wood.
30 mm is 1.18” and of the available sizes I have .. it seemed like the best choice for the finger notches. I’ll also be sanding / radiusing the abrupt edges that are currently present at this stage.
I do not have a (very desirable) 2” X 72” belt sander with a variety of wheel diameters ..nor.. do most of us. I certainly wish I did ..but.. must make do with what I have in its absence. As such .. the diamond coated hole saws provided an affordable method of obtaining the repeatable equal size radiused cut-outs I desired as a starting point for the finger notches. I cut a total of 4 finger notches.
Again .. I will be radiusing the rather abrupt edges that are currently present at this stage of the forming of the handle. However .. this provides a very good starting point for those finger notches. I was able to cut them to uniform depths with exact same radiuses.
I’ll be making the last simple mosaic pin for the handle & epoxying it in place soon. Then ..of course.. further forming of the handle itself.
Thanks for looking.
I’ll be posting more ..when.. there’s further progress to post.