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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Can you share a link with me D ale. Donnie wants me to go ahead and order some

A bit more progress to document.


I chamfered the washers between the micarta bolster & the handle wood to a 10mm (0.394”) dia using the 10mm diamond hole cutter to a depth of 0.040". I centered the cut on the transition line between the wood & the adjacent brass washer.

I then milled the facets of the Osage Orange handle down to the level of the smallest washer .. the one next to the wood.

I cut a thumb notch using the 22mm (0.866”) hole cutter. I did not mill that surface flush ..as.. I want my thumb to readily find this notch.

I also radiused the 4th notch .. the little finger notch .. to a larger radius using my 1 X 30 belt sander. While the first 3 notches fit my fingers quite well .. the last notch just didn't fit my little finger the way it should have & this allows my finger to "float" & I'm finding it's a far more comfortable fit when in hand.

I still need make the pin for the handle & secure it in place. I can then start to seriously finish out the handle.


So far .. I pretty happy with the way it’s turning out. With the D2 blade steel .. I do believe I’ll end up with a very good straight knife. And .. something I can take some pride in .. having done it myself.


As usual .. I’ll post more .. when .. there’s more to post.


D ale

As I do this strictly as a hobby .. these "projects" can literally string out over months.


The changes which occur over the time of the build are small & occur over a lengthy enough time that it is not always easy for me to "see" the overall change. It's nice to do this once in awhile .. just to keep perspective.





I love how this one turned out! The finger grips are a great touch

I've still a simple mosaic pin in the handle to install.


JJ & I have been sourcing some "HOBO nickels" from offshore


This one fits to a tee on the butt end,

If I can make it work .. will make a unique butt / pommel as I finish it up.

I’ve been seeing these HOBO nickels out there for awhile & decided one would make a good pommel for this project. It turns out they are just ever so slightly larger than the current butt end of the handle. I used the one on the right as a "proof of concept" & I'll actually be implementing the one on the left as the pommel.

However .. just “glueing” it on to the butt end of the knife is not acceptable. While a quality 2-part epoxy can perform wonders in numerous applications .. the resulting bond does not hold up well to shear forces. e.g. if the knife were to drop & the edge of the "coin" were to be the first part to contact the floor .. there exists a fair chance it would simply pop off.

… SO0o …

I decided to institute an anchor. However .. I did not want top deface the surface I intend to leave exposed. These “coins” are ~ 0.075” thick. I initially drilled a hole to a depth of ~ ½ the thickness of the coin & then finished to a depth of 0.050” with a sharp bit & a pin vise.

I implemented a hardened set screw. I sanded the “cup” end off such that the threads are coincident with the bottom edge of the set screw. Further, the set screw is hard enough that with some patience .. I managed to cut some threads into the hole using just the set screw itself. I did not sand the cup end off the "proof of concept" unit ..&.. one can see the marks from the cup end @ the bottom of the hole. I’ll also introduce some 2-part epoxy to firmly hold this “anchor” in place. Then I’ll drill an appropriately sized & centered hole into the butt of the handle.

Then .. I’ll “glue” everything in place with some J B Weld.


I’ll finish it off by machining the outer edges of the “coin” coincident with the current facets of the handle. It should make a unique pommel.



D ale

Unique and very cool actually.  I have to say I am always surprised when you post something like this, your creative side is showing :)

Well .. I managed it this far .. 'tis epoxied in place.

I did NOT get it perfectly centered ..but.. used 60 minute 2-part epoxy that I initially "mixed" @ 8:40 AM this morning. It is where it is @ this point. I both threaded & epoxied the set screw into the coin & then let cure for a few days.


I drilled a 1/4" hole to a depth of about 1/4" in the butt end of the Osage Orange handle & filled with 2-part epoxy. I also coated the butt end of the Osage Orange with epoxy. The protruding portion of the set screw was set into the hole drilled into the wood & should anchor the pommel in place. I'll see just how securely when I start the machining & sanding for the smooth transition between the two.

I'll eventually take the overlap down to match .. on both the coin medallion & the Osage Orange. It should "appear" more centered after that. At least .. there will be a smooth transition between the mating parts.


If the bond holds up .. I should get a rather unique result. I'm pretty happy with this one so far. JANTZ's D2 is truly tempered to their stated 60 +/- 1 HRC ..so.. it'll hold an edge.

Thanks for looking.



D ale

That is going to be truly unique and I love it!

And the winner in "The best use of a hobo nickel, in knife design" goes to, drumbroll please...


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