Monday, November 15, 2010

Further progress on bushcraft knife

Got the guard pretty much fitted today. It's copper, an electrical bus bar, actually. I ended up using a different bus bar than what is in the first picture.

If you look under the knife, sitting on top of the bus bar, there's a chisel-looking thing. That's a piece of leaf spring cutoff that I made into a blunt-ended punch slightly smaller than the tang/blade transition on the knife.

Using my hydraulic forging press, I cold-punched the slot for the tang. This was the first time I'd used my press and done it cold. Worked pretty well. Then I sawed it off of the main bar.

I hot-fit my guards. I clamp the blade in the vise with a piece of leather wrapped around, heat the guard, and drive it down with what in blacksmithing circles is called a "monkey tool". In this case, a piece of pipe flattened into an oval cross section on one end. Usually I use the piece of bicycle frame in this picture, but I found the tang was too wide on this one, so I quickly made one a bit larger. Driving the guard down is done with a hammer, but having only two hands, I couldn't show that part. I just pantomimed it, then fired up the torch and did it for reals.

And after it is down all the way:

At this point I hold the guard against the anvil with the tang still in it and hammer from the sides to close up any gap. Then I knock the guard off and straighten it. Now it's ready to do the main cleanup. I actually use a couple of progressions of sandpaper flapwheels on my angle grinder first, then move to the drill-held flapwheel as shown.

After that, I re-fitted it and went to the belt grinder to get the rough profile of the guard done before putting any wood on the handle. I try to minimimze the amount of guard shaping done when the handle is epoxied on since copper especially heats very quickly and can make the epoxy bubble out.

That's it for today.

No comments:

Post a Comment