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Stainless keyhole bolster w/amboyna burl

Discussion in 'How I Made It: Tutorials' started by dancom, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Ok guys I had given this some thought, but never actually done this before, so I am winging it. It's a little bit complex for a newbie like me, so once I got some results I wanted to share.

    Please shout out if you have a better way. Thanks!

    For the bolster pieces I am using 1/4" 304 stainless. It's a little harder to work than 416, but the toughness and corrosion resistance are what I am going for.

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    I cut the bar into pieces, clamped them together and trued them with the belt grinder. Then roughly shaped them to the belly of the handle, marked them L & R etc.

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    Using a fine marker I traced the pin holes from the blade and guesstimated what the keyhole was going to look like.

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    I punched and drilled both keyholes at the same time. 3/8" was the choice for the hole.

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    After the keyholes are drilled, I carefully aligned and clamped one bolster piece to the knife.

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    Once nice and secured, I drilled with a #30 bit.

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    After the pin holes are in one bolster piece, I pushed in some temporary pins to hold it in place. Now I can release the clamp, alight the second bolster piece and re-clamp.

    Then I pulled the pins and drilled right through where the pins where. This process worked to keep everything in line.

    [​IMG]
    I ended up with the pieces looking like this. So far, so good!

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    I used a protractor to work up some arbitrary angle. Ended up being 60° or so. Marked with marker and cut with hacksaw in the vise.

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    These are rough and needed some TLC from a file.

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    I temporarily pinned the two bolster pieces back together and filed them to shape in the vise.

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    After filing the keyhole, I shaped and sanded the bolster front a little.

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    With the bolster pieces separate, I could start on the scale layout.

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    I tried some different positions and chose to put the burly piece at the butt.
    Traced with mechanical pencil and then went outside the line with a fine tip marker.


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    Now over to the scroll saw and rough notched it out.

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    I clamped the scale down and worked it patiently with files and needle files...

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    When I got closer to the line, I test fitted a few times. I found it helped to slightly angle the file inwards so as to create a taper. This make the fit get tighter as the pieces are pressed together.

    [​IMG]

    So that's the idea. Of course I have to do the same for the other side and finish it up.

    Thanks for looking. Comments appreciated.

    Dan
     
  2. donnymac250

    donnymac250 Member

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    wow . good on you dan for trying that . gonna look nice when done im sure. i dont think i would ever atempt that .
     
  3. Alexander13

    Alexander13 Member

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    That's pretty challenging, looking good so far!

    Joel
     
  4. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Well done, Dan. Great work and great tutorial. Very straight forward.

    Can't wait to see the finished handle.
     
  5. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    It's looking great, Dan! Nice and precise using only hand tools. You're a patient man.

    Jim T
     
  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Ok gang...

    Holiday Monday and I got a chance to get back to work this morning. This is where I landed. About 95% of what I was hoping for. Pretty good for a first attempt at anything complex. Most the work was in polishing the 304 SS bolsters. I tapered the holes and peened the pins, but they didn't disappear like I'd hoped. I may do a wee bit of work under the belly and some overall 400 & 600 grit work on the handle.


    Comments and constructive criticism appreciated!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    I'll post some final pics when I can! Thanks for watching,

    Cheers!

    Dan
     
  7. shadman

    shadman Member

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    beautiful knife-was just reading about keyholes the other day-wow
     
  8. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    That turned out awesome Dan.
     
  9. donnymac250

    donnymac250 Member

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    holy smokes dan . great job .if that pin in the bolster bothers you , then i guess your gonna have to take on a new challenge , do a hidden pin type of bolster .i know you like a challenge old fella . i still think it looks great any how !
     
  10. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    It came out beautifully, Dan. The pins can be a real PITA. Some folks only use pins made from the same batch of steel, because of the slight differences between runs. Others say you can make them disappear by peening again (and again...) which of course means a whole lot more sanding.
     
  11. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    One time I accidentally used NS pins on ss bolsters. It actually turned out pretty cool. I will probably do it again but on purpose next time. Lol.
     
  12. Grouch

    Grouch Active Member

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    Nice knife Dan Great job
     

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