Jump to content

Djinn's Studio & Workshop 2018

Recommended Posts

Ugh. It's almost the end of February. But January was... hectic, balancing jury duty, work deadlines, family airport trips, the flu, and life in general. But things seem to be calming down again, actually got some mini painting done a few days ago.


This thread isn't for that though.


Starting work on another knife, I guess I haven't done WIP shots of my knives before. Base blade here is a Morakniv 106, a 3" laminated steel blade intended for woodcarving duties.




You can see the metal layers in the light. Subtle, but me likey. Also, as all Moras are, razor sharp. As in actually able to shave with. Being careless with these blades is a one-way ticket to wondering when your hands got covered in blood; you won't feel the nicks and cuts at all.


My idea for this knife eventually settled on a short, sharply tapering handle. Which meant that the little tang extension on the end had to come off. A few seconds work with a rotary tool and cutoff wheel.




Decided only to start documenting halfway; thus a bunch of the components (really, most of the hard work) are already done. The bolster is a first for me, instead of being just a single sheet of brass, it's a sheet of brass laminated to some mild steel. Figuring out how to make that join is actually trickier than it looks, I ended up using Loctite 648, an industrial grade metal adhesive. Also I should really get a mill; filing slots for the blade tang to pass through is neither a fun nor productive use of my time. The pin is some 304? stainless steel, in 6mm since i finally figured out that Sweden is a metric-using country and therefore the pin notch in their blades is likely to be metric.


The wood is Katalox, an extremely hard (more than triple that of oak) wood from Mexico. I like at least the pretense of sustainability, and recently the ENTIRE GENUS of rosewood trees has been put under CITES Appendix II protection. So, Katalox instead of more popular (and overused) handle woods like cocobolo or bubinga. You'll notice the handle construction is odd... instead of two pieces with long notches routed for the tang, I'm thinking of trying this semi monocoque approach time around. Some light colored wood, when I decide on one, will be glued into the slot and hold the tang in place against the pin. Haven't decided if i'm going to cap it with another piece of wood yet... I do have some Verawood still lying around.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooohhh!  Nice. 


What kind of mill are you thinking about getting?  I haven't ever done any machining (using a drill press doesn't count, so I'm told ::(:), but those machines are really fun and relaxing to watch.  I swear, I could spend hours watching my friend Chirpy's fully rebuilt and restored hypno-shaper clacking away, turning his raw DIY castings into precision steam engine parts. 


I'm thinking about trying to cast/build some (hobbyist quality) small machine tools in the future using David Gingery's plans, mainly just for a fun series of projects to keep me busy and so I can teach myself the rudiments of machining.


Looking forward to more of this, the handle design and the wood you picked are gonna look great!  Good luck keeping all your digits



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been looking at the Taig micro mill, probably in manual form. Need to think carefully about it though, I've been told that a mill is only 30-50% of the startup cost, and that I'll quickly buy the mill's cost again in tooling ::o:.


The other contender for a new machine, is of course, a metal lathe. I keep on going back and forth on which one I'd want first...


Anyways, so it's been a week. Honestly I could have powered through this project in a day. But there's a unique characteristic to water-based wood glues, and it's that being water-based, they swell the wood where they're in contact. If you saw or sand through the next day, all the glued joints will open up and look terrible in about a week. So I have to wait a week between gluing and shaping. Also, I needed a new belt for my sander / grinder.




Gratifyingly, though there was a gap at the edge, sawing into the blank revealed a nice flush glued joint. The cutoff I used to test finishes. Will probably go with shellac. Whilst lacquer is more durable, it's trickier to apply and can't be repaired easily.




Waited on a 60 grit belt for my belt grinder because 120 grit was getting me nowhere. I say belt grinder, in reality it's only a light duty knife and tool sharpener. But the final bolster looks nice, and I dipped it in lacquer to maintain that nice shine. Also because while brass corroding looks antique and nice, steel corroding is a tetanus hazard.




Decided to go with cebil / curupay for the end cap. Not the best clamping arrangement, but it works. Time to wait another week for glue to dry fully though. I can think on the sheath in the meantime. Wood, leather, or both? Choices choices...




Oh yeah, I've also done a bit of art. Nothing finished recently, but one a few months back I neglected to post. Urban arcana!



Edited by djizomdjinn
Oh yeah I did art too.
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



My "belt sander". Work starts at the frontmost part of the handle, because that needs to match the bolster. I sand that to fit, and then work my way back, following the curves I've established.




Handle fully shaped. That gap between the bolster and handle is intentional...




... because it needs to fit a flexible spacer. This is the system I've been using for pretty much all my knife handle projects; the leather spacer puts tension on a bolster or guard, which sits on a shoulder in the blade, which pulls it forwards and puts tension on the pin, keeping it from walking off as the wood changes. However, since I work with pre-sharpened blades, there's no real way to push the blade into the handle without putting a ridiculous amount of force on the tip, which might snap it. So I grind an angle on the pin and use it to cam the blade back into the handle as I drive it in.

Probably could have set the handle front back a bit more. If you look carefully there's so much tension on the blade it's actually kicked the front wood piece out a bit. That was flush before I did this...




Trimmed the leather (using my chisel knife Mora, incidentally), sawed off the pin with a hacksaw, made some attempts at peening I don't think worked, sanded everything flush again, and there we go. Pretty much done except for finish. I like the leather, it's a lovely, cheery red color. I actually have a bunch of scrap leather cutoffs in different colors, including blue, green, yellow, and sparkly gold (...I shudder to think what furniture or clothing was made out of that...)


Now I need to make a sheath or scabbard before I cut myself with it.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work, that handle looks really comfortable!


At least your sander/grinder actually says "Blade grinding attachment" on it - I had to use my belt sander that's clearly designed for woodworking to grind the bronze axes I made...  Yours looks WAY sharper. 


...(But I bet mine can cut down trees faster ::D:)...



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now