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Full tang chef's knife

Discussion in 'How I Made It: Tutorials' started by dancom, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    The forum has been kind of slow lately, so I thought I would post some pics of what I am working on. It's an 8" chef's knife, styled more Japanese than western. Made from Uddeholm AEB-L 0.130" and shaped on the KN11 pattern (which is available for download at my blog if you want to hack it).

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    I've used a little geometry in laying out the handle and that may be of interest to members.The pin is 10-1/2" above the spine. Setup at 90° then swing the ruler over to mark the rear bolster area. This should look pretty cool on the finished knife.

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    Popped some extra holes to lighten up the back end.

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    Coming out of the fire...

    This is my copper plate quench setup. Two 1/2" x 4" x 13" copper bus bars in the carpenter's vise.
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    And then into the "tempering oven".
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    That's as far as I got up to now. I'll post some more as I go.

    Happy knifemaking!

    Dan
     
  2. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    Excellent "work in progress" project, Dan. Keep the posts coming!

    Jim T
     
  3. MarkJeffrey

    MarkJeffrey Member

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    Nice! I'm watching!
     
  4. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Sorry mates, I've been super busy lately. I did manage to get the garage warmed up and got a little more done...

    While the knife is still scungy from heat treat, I like to cut the secondary bevel so it's 'almost sharp'. It's easy to see as the is a contrast between the primary and secondary bevels.

    After a scrub with some sandpaper and a 320 grit finish I prepped for the mark.
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    This is a stencil from Ernie. I made my own AC/DC etching power supply from surplus parts.

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    I use electrolyte and do a 10 seconds ON with 5 seconds OFF. Repeting about 5 times on "ETCH" and 4 times on "MARK". I guess everyone has their own schedule/technique that works with their power supply.

    A clean with Windex and protect the blade (and me).
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    For the bolster pieces I am using 304 stainless steel. I mark and cut the old fashioned way. Hacksaw.
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    Need to true up the surfaces.
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    Also need to re-layout the angles for the bolster pieces. This is why it's important to record your measurements. In this case, the 10-1/2" from the pin to the spine when swinging the ruler.
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    In a hidden pin construction, I cannot drill all the way through the bolster pieces to ensure they are properly aligned. I sharpie line on both sides of the tang are all I have to go on.

    To help solve the problem, I made a simple guide clamp. This will act as a stop that will be the same on both sides of the tang.
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    Here is the guide clamp in action...
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    That's as far as I could get this morning. I'll be doing the drilling and hidden pin thing next.

    Dan
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Finally got a chance to get some work done. I Chinook is blowing in and it's only -3°C today.


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    I clamped and drilled the bolster pieces. The holes are 9/64" at a depth of 3/16".
    After a light deburr, I tapered the insides of the holes with a Dremel bit to enlarge the bottom of the hole, but not the opening.
    The pins are cut from an 8-32 stainless steel machine screw. I cut them at 9/16" long, the touched up the ends with the grinder.


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    Thread the pins half way through the tang.


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    Lightly pressed first, then I applied some 5 minute epoxy as a sealant. The purpose of the epoxy is to fill any voids and prevent moisture from getting in.


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    Now on to the press for a good squeeze. The pins expand into the holes and make like a rivet as the holes are slightly tapered from the Dremel.


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    Looks like this out of the press. Wipe off the excess epoxy. A little acetone works well for this.


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    Once the epoxy has set well, I took to the belt grinder and started shaping the rear bolster.
    I can thin the bolster pieces down, but no less than around 1/4" thick or risk exposing a pin. Remember the pin holes we drilled 3/16" deep.

    I have to say, these things are on there solid. I am confident it will be able to take a lot of abuse over the course of its life.

    Repeat the process for the front bolster. The front and back faces of each front piece have to be perfected before pinning.

    I'll catch you up more as I go.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  6. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Loving it Dan! I will be giving it a try on my next knife. Unfortunately not much shop time lately because I had to make a mantel for the fireplace but this weekend i am making benches/ organizing my laundry room. Hopefully next week.
     
  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Got a little more done this AM.

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    Slight change of plans... instead of using the two pieces for the the front bolster I cut and ground a new single piece of 304 so the dimensions will match when I cut this into two.


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    Using the to align the front bolster pieces. The holes are 9/64" at 3/16" deep, the same as the rear bolster.


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    The pins are the same as the rear, 8-32 stainless.


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    Epoxy as a sealer and press!

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    Ugly hunks of steel, but on there good.

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    Starting the shaping. Water bucket handy as this stuff gets warm when chewing on it.
    Just have to be careful not to go too far and hit a hidden pin.

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    Shaping almost done. The finer finish will come when the scales are on.


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    Going to use some African Blackwood that's been sitting on the shelf nagging me to be used.
    This stuff is hard, oily and has a peculiar odor when working it.

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    This fitting is different as the angle of the rear bolster allows the scale to be "wedged" in. Slide up until it's tight.
    Just got to get the lines straight.

    Next is to drill for pinning and mix up the goop.

    Cheers!

    Dan
     
  8. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Looking good. I've used African black wood once before and really like it.
     
  9. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    "Got a little more done this AM." ??? Good grief, Dan, when do you get up in the morning? Do you actually sleep? Thoses bolsters are looking great! The whole knife promises to be another beauty. Keep posting!

    Jim T
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Thanks for your comments.

    Jim. I do sleep, but the coffee pot is programmed to fire up at 4:50AM and this old rooster is programmed to wake up at the same time.

    :)

    Dan
     
  11. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    Yikes, you're one of those early morning guys. I'm a morning guy myself, just not that early. I do tend to go to bed a little late though, usually around midnight. I find it peaceful and often quite productive once the wife, kids and dogs turn in for the night.

    Jim T
     
  12. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    I am not a morning guy at all. I don't think I could function getting up before five. Quite often, I'm just getting to sleep around then.
     
  13. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Got the scales on and handle rough shaped. This is where the fun begins.

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    The scales are drilled out on the drill press. In this case I used a #30 bit for the 1/8" pins and an F bit for the 1/4".
    The holes are slightly oversized, but Acraglas is great at filling.


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    I cut the pins about 1/8" longer than needed and chamfer a tiny bit.
    (Note the middle pin is not chamfered yet. I took this photo for demonstration elsewhere.)
    The chamfer allows the pin to press through and not snag or tear out the wood.


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    I mix up 5ml of Acraglas using a syringe to measure. 4ml base + 1 ml hardener into a paper cup.
    Stir (don't whip) for exactly 4 minutes and apply with a stir stick.
    Coating the tang, scales and pin holes is important. Normally there isn't too much left over when this is done properly.
    My dollar-store vise-grip knock-offs with my patented leather pads and perfect for giving a wee squeeze and holding everything down while the epoxy sets.


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    The next day it's fully set. Some tape on the bolsters in case we get sloppy with the saw when cutting the scales back.


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    Normally I'd take to the band saw and trim the scales back, but this wood is so dense and oily it starts to smoke right away.
    Yes, my bandsaw is for wood and thus the blade travels by very fast. So, the hacksaw it is.
    Once trimmed back close to the tang, I'll get over to the grinder with a 60 belt and get the shape close.
    I've got more photos, but they haven't synced from my computer to the cloud.

    For me this is the magical time. Something that's looking quite ugly becomes beautiful. The shape, the feel in the hand becoming defined, the polishing, the beauty of the wood coming out.

    More to come!

    Dan
     
  14. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Got some more photos to show this morning. Sync was successful.

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    Bringing the tops and bottoms back to the tang.

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    As oily woods clog the belt quickly I like to use a belt cleaner. These are inexpensive blocks of rubber that can extend the life of a belt significantly.


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    The tops and bottoms are close to flush with the top and bottom of the tang. Still looking kinda ugly at this stage.



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    This is where it gets really fun. Starting to shape the roundness of the scales. This takes time.
    If I haven't mentioned you will be using your respirator when sanding this or you'll suffer some nasty brown lung.


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    At this stage it's still quite crude, but the basic form is taking shape.
    This is where you get to grip it and feel what it's like in your hand, check the balance and revel in your accomplishment (a little).
    I like to move up to a 120 grit belt at this point and start levelling out the humps and hollows.


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    This is after some 120 grit work. As this knife has both front and rear bolsters, I'll use a long sanding block and bridge them working lengthwise.
    This way none of the scale material lower than the bolsters gets removed.

    As you may have guessed, the next images will be finer sanding, 320/400 etc. followed by polishing on the cotton wheel. I hope to get around to that in the next few days.

    Thanks for looking.

    Dan
     
  15. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    Looks like it's coming along beautifully. Keep the posts coming, Dan!

    Jim T
     
  16. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Thanks Jim! It's neat to see how it goes from ugly duckling to swan in a short time.
     
  17. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Great build-along, Dan. I'm liking the way that rear bolster looks.
     
  18. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Sorry for the delay but I have been extremely busy lately.

    After the coarse sanding on the handle, I worked with a Norax belt slowed way down on the grinder.
    Then went to hand sanding with 320 and 400 followed by green compound and then the cotton wheel.

    This morning I cracked out the lightbox this morning and took a few pics after polishing the handle up.
    I think it turned out okay. I certainly learned a lot and pushed the limits of my skills with this one and there are some things I will do different/better next time.
    Any craft is about improving and this was a great exercise for me. The only thing left to do is sharpen it and make the certificate. (Hope you like it Mom!)

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    I hope that you have enjoyed the walk-through as much as I have.

    Comment and constructive criticisms always appreciated.

    Dan
     
  19. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Dan, this is great build-along/tutorial! I really enjoyed watching the progress.
    It's always fun to watch people working you know... ;)
     
  20. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    Man, that knife turned out beautifully! I'm sure your mom is going to be thrilled with it. Great build-along. Thanks for letting us watch over your shoulder, Dan.

    Jim T
     

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