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Djinn's Studio & Workshop 2018

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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.

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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



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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.
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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.

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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:)...



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Nah, you didn't miss anything– unless you missed that GW announced plastic Sisters coming sometime in 2019.


I just like the idea of Sisters of Battle having the occasional odd suit of Terminator armor. Maybe that sister got it as part of service in an Inquisitor's warband, or perhaps an Order has managed to win the respect of a local Mechanicus cult, or...


I mean, there are Inquisitors known to have Terminator armor, so I imagine at least one Terminator Sister is out there, somewhere.

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I don't know. As a member of the order of the blazing agony I am well aware of recent  developments in the ecclesiarchy. 


I just cannot cope with the idea of a sister having terminator armour. At least when its not me.


Still. There Is this odd feeling in me that such an occasion could be the perfect opening for lethal weapon 40.000

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Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes it's like a gentle breeze, pushing you along almost wherever you to go. Other times it's like a fierce gale that is taking you someplace, right now, whether you like it or not.


This piece was very much the latter. I would have liked to sleep Saturday night, but instead I painted this until 7 o'clock in the morning.


At least I got a snazzy desktop wallpaper out of it.






New Project: What is this, a mill for ants?


Workshop side of things. I have decided to make a Dremel nano-mill (Dre-mill?). I wouldn't recommend anyone else looking for a mill to take this path; the only reason I'm doing it is a) a learning experience, and b) I have most of the parts available to me via various 3d printer builds.




So, highlights:


The compound table there at the bottom is a Proxxon KT70, purchased because it's used in their own nano-mill setup and it's the cheapest X-Y table I could find that wasn't crummy plastic. Actually feels pretty good, no perceptible play, good looking fits of parts, no rough bits.


The z-axis lead screw is a 2mm pitch T8 4-start. Broken down into layman's terms:

- Every full rotation of the screw advances the nut 2mm. I would have preferred 1mm to match the X-Y table, but this was cheapest. And now I've played with the table a bit, 1mm pitch is an awful lot of cranking.

- T8 means it fits freely through an 8mm hole, and the threads are trapezoidal instead of triangular, meaning they're stronger and wear down a bit less. Regular triangular threads are not meant to be repeatedly screwed in and out under load.

- 4 start means there are actually four helixes winding around the shaft forming the thread. Better load distribution, which means less wear.


The motor at the bottom is actually just for positioning right now. I may convert this mill to power feed, or even full CNC later in its lifetime, but for now it'll be pure manual.


The steel post was a 3' tall fence post. Or rather, an 18" tall mill z-column that came with 18" of free steel tubing. 32 tpi hacksaw made short work of it.

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Cool!  I love a good machine tool build, and I must say I did not expect to see one on these forums.  Excellent start!   

I never had a chance to use any machine tools (mill, lathe, shaper, etc.) but I love watching people build and run them.  I'll be watching closely...



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Ugh. Every spring delivers a knockout blow to me with allergies, and this year was no exception. Sick enough that I had to take a sick day from work despite being on a quadruple dose of antihistamines.


Studio-wise, nothing much other than some faint scribblings and sketches (I mean, I could show you guys if you want me to, but nothing that early looks good. Still, if you're curious...?).


Sororitas terminator, above, is now officially my most popular piece of art ever. Which is a bit depressing since it's not my IP. But I suppose fanart is a good gateway to getting noticed.




Getting some basic tools for the mill, and yep, it's every bit as expensive as people warned me, even getting the cheap Chinese stuff. My sole consolation is that most of it will be able to be reused on other machines if I get them.


But anyways, acquisitions:


A supposedly half-thou (0.0005" accurate) dial indicator, with magnetic stand. The whole package cost me 25 bucks, which means I seriously doubt it's half-thou. Good enough for what I'll be doing though. Anyone want to take bets on total runout on the mill when it's finished? I will be seriously impressed if it's under twenty thou.




A 2" grinding vise. This has largely laid to rest my concerns about minimum z-height of the spindle. Sturdy, heavy, and ground nice and flat. Some Youtube machinists I like seem to favor this kind of vise, and monkey see, monkey do.


I've actually used it already for...




...this. So, along with the vise, I bought a handwheel for the z-axis. Nice and heavy, solid steel construction, 8mm bore with a 3mm keyway slot for locking it to the shaft. The problem was, my z-axis lead screw doesn't have a keyway.


The preferred method for slotting a shaft for a key is milling it out.




I hope you understand why such an approach was not viable for me.


So, I plopped the leadscrew into my newly acquired vise, took my Dremel, and slotted it with a cutoff wheel. A bit of metal scrap from one of the bearing brackets I freehand ground into the shape of the rough slot, and squared the other sides. Dropped it in, and then hammered the key with a punch to peen the whole thing tight. Proper machinists would be aghast, but I'm not a machinist until I have a machine tool, right?




Speaking of grinding things square, I upgraded my grinder / sander with a replaceable aluminum platten, about right after I finished the carving knife IIRC. Now I can depend on hand ground parts to be flat and more or less square.


Other than that, I did some basic assembly (the bearing brackets are bolted to the z-column, and the melamine baseplate is cut down to roughly final size).

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Fanart ist always a gate-opener. Same goes for my writing. So don't worry




I really have no clue of all thoses machines and stuff you can make with them - but it looks absolutely awesome so far.




Good luck with you allergies. I am already anticipating my to kick in. Luckily winter has returned, so I still have got some time.

Edited by SisterMaryNapalm
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