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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Hunting Knives and Crafters » Handles and fittings, the low tech way. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
Doug Campbell
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Not trying to be a sa David but beyond a doubt the best way is a hot fire, hammer and anvil...

Darcy, you ever use a mirror to confirm alignment of everything?

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Life is wonderful in Montana!!
"BEING CHALLENGED IN LIFE IS INEVITABLE. BEING DEFEATED IS OPTIONAL."
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NittanyRider
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug Campbell:
Not trying to be a sa David but beyond a doubt the best way is a hot fire, hammer and anvil...

I know, I know. That's what I plan to work towards, but I've got to start somewhere! [Smile] I got a weekend pass to go to the Mid America hammer-in (late August), so we'll see what happens after that… who knows, maybe I'll come home with an anvil and forge! [bigsmyl]
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killinstuff
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Darcy has artistic freedom on this knife and so far so good! The only thing I did was describe the blade profile I am looking for and emailed a ROUGH drawing of the handle shape I wanted. I truly appreciate all the hand, not machine, work on the knife. Makes things more personal. Changing raw steel to functional art is amazing to us who can't do it. Thanks Darcy.

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lll

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Bladepeek
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It would be nice to have a mill and the skills to make each piece to +- 1/10,000, right to plan. A lot of us don't have a mill and are not machinists.

For me, it's like this build-along. File; check the fit. File; check the fit, until you get that nice, light-tight fit.

I'll bet this knife is going to be a real knockout and I'm looking forward to seeing it take shape.

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Darcy.

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62" Blacktail Snakebit LH 38@28
60" Bear Super K 40#@28
66" Sparrow hawk LH 42@28
54" Java Man Elk Heart LH 43@28
62" Lost Creek Judge RH 44@28
52" Bear KMag LH 45@28
62"/58" RER LXR LH 46/43@28

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Sockrsblur
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I have to admit Darcy I am a little shocked at the simple tools. I know your hands are skilled and experienced but still this is rather enlightening... Thank you for taking the time to post, this is great stuff. [campfire]

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TGMM Family of the Bow
"Hunt Hard!" Uncle Bud
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just_a_hunter
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This is sure an awesome build we get to sit in on. What you can teach yourself in decades of work can be learned in a day.

Todd

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"Before you get down on yourself because you don't have the things you want, think of all the things you DON'T want that you don't have."

You'll notice the "luckiest" elk hunters have worn out boots.

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D.Ellis
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quote:
Originally posted by NittanyRider:
quote:
Originally posted by Doug Campbell:
Not trying to be a sa David but beyond a doubt the best way is a hot fire, hammer and anvil...

I know, I know. That's what I plan to work towards, but I've got to start somewhere! [Smile] I got a weekend pass to go to the Mid America hammer-in (late August), so we'll see what happens after that… who knows, maybe I'll come home with an anvil and forge! [bigsmyl]
Funny Doug, that's almost word for word what I was going to say as well. [Big Grin] That said, with a hacksaw and files you can do a lot even if you can't have a forge. Like if you happen to live in a 4th floor apartment or something like that. A decent bench vise clamped to a sturdy table and some hand tools and you can still make a knife.

Thanks Karl for the added tips.


OK, today was a pretty long day, but not a huge amount of new info to add........
Started on the spacer. I chose copper for this. Basically just a repeat of the guard work, with the difference being I file the slot without the taper. It doesn't matter if there is a slight gap at the front of the spacer since it will be hidden behind the guard. I also do not make it fit quite as tightly. The goal is tight enough to have zero play when it is resting against the guard, but not so snug that I have to drift it on.

A few photo's of the process.

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I skipped ahead further than I thought without taking pics, but like I said, it's just like we did on the guard, but not as tapered of slot.

Here it is home up against the guard. I scribe around the guard not because the spacer will be shaped like that, but just to give me some lines for reference when I file it to shape. I know I can giver with the files till I get to there, and then I have to slow down and think about it.
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Filed to shape.....I will probably tweak the guard profile a bit. The spacer needed to be this width to fit the ivory properly, so things will change as we go along.

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60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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D.Ellis
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Now it's time to give Murphy his first opportunity (on this project) to really cost me some heartache(and money)..........it's time to fit the ivory. I am pretty careful to lay out exactly where the center hole needs to go. There is no second chance here.

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Also outlined where the edge of the handle needs to be to work around a few obstacles. The very center of the tusk has a gap around it, as well, there is a crack that needed to be taken into consideration. It will be gone in the final shaping.
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I will be drilling half way thru from each end and hope to meet in the middle. Using the center lines to line up the drill bit. If you are using a hand drill, everything is the same except a bit more difficult to accomplish with accuracy. Practice on cheaper handle materials(or scrap) first to get the hang of it.

Take a deep breath and plunge that sucker in there(after triple checking for alignment)

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I don't try to drill this too far in one plunge or it will heat up, which is a bad deal with ivory, so I back the bit out and clear the chips several times to get to the halfway point. Actually I went about 2/3 of the way thru from this end. then flipped it over, lined up with my marks again, and drilled until I met the first hole. Here's the result. Almost perfectly aligned........WHEW! [Big Grin] I am holding the block at a bit of an angle to the lens, there is a tiny step over where the holes met that might be .010" at the most. It'll be gone by the time I scrape this out for the tang to fit.
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60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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D.Ellis
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Here're the tools I use to open this up. A home made broach(scraper) and a coarse file.

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The broach really makes this job go faster, but I have done it all with files and a small wood working chisel in the past, and it works fine, just takes longer.
The goal is to have the handle block fit snug with no play just as it seats against the spacer. Once the tang starts to fit inside the hole, it's just a matter of looking there to see where the tang is rubbing tight and remove a bit of material where you see the contact is being made. I had no luck taking photo's of this, but if you look at the inside of the hole, and also on the tang you should be able to see where it is too tight. Sometimes coloring the tang with felt pen will help to highlight exactly where things are snug.
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Progress.

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I got to here and realized I wanted to add to the spacer or the handle was going to end up just a bit too short. I should have figured this out earlier, but............ [Roll Eyes]

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So I decided to add another 1/4 inch copper spacer with a thin nickel silver spacer in between. I pinned these all together with 1/16 inch pins......I'll show a pic of that later as I was getting tired and neglected to take pics of that.
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And after shaping them together.

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--------------------
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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D.Ellis
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quote:
Originally posted by killinstuff:
Darcy has artistic freedom on this knife and so far so good! The only thing I did was describe the blade profile I am looking for and emailed a ROUGH drawing of the handle shape I wanted. I truly appreciate all the hand, not machine, work on the knife. Makes things more personal. Changing raw steel to functional art is amazing to us who can't do it. Thanks Darcy.

Thanks for checking in CJ, not too many more days now.

Thanks everyone for following along.

Darcy [campfire]

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60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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D.Ellis
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug Campbell:

Darcy, you ever use a mirror to confirm alignment of everything?

I have not tried that yet, but I have heard about it. Do you use that method? I am not 100% sure how to go about it, just have a rough idea.
Darcy [campfire]

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60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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Doug Campbell
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A mirror is one of the handiest tools in my shop for checking alignment and straightness Darcy. I'll try and get a couple pics up in the next day or two.

I've found it helpful when drilling a handle to scribe the tang profile on the outside of the handle stock also. Just another way to visually check things out.

Great job on the tutorial by the way.

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Life is wonderful in Montana!!
"BEING CHALLENGED IN LIFE IS INEVITABLE. BEING DEFEATED IS OPTIONAL."
ABS Journeyman Knifesmith
Doug's Photo Album,

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Lin Rhea
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This is a very nice "fit up" tutorial. I especially like the planning you explain in locating the hole. All flaws, cracks, etc. have to be considered. In fact every situation could be so different that the maker has to take each case as a new experience. You have to be flexible to work with these natural materials.

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"We dont rent pigs." Augustus McCrae
ABS Master Bladesmith
TGMM Family of the Bow
Dwyer Dauntless longbow 50 @ 28
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tomsm44
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This is looking good. I'm picking up some good tips too. I personally am glad the ivory was too short. I love the look of contrasting metals stacked to make a spacer. I saw a dog bone bowie a while back that had a very similar gaurd/spacer setup, just with different materials. It was a SS gaurd and two 3/16-1/4" blued spacers with maybe .03" SS stacked between. Looked great on the dog bone and should look great with a coffin handle.

Matt

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Matt Toms

Flatwoods Custom R/D: 64", 47@28
'66 Kodiak: 60", 55@28
Redwing Hunter: 58", 53@28
Ben Pearson Hunter: 58", 42@28
Hoots Recurve: 56", 42@28

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gables
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Greatness! Thanks for doing such a great job at showing us your craft on both threads.

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"Art is thoughtful workmanship." W.R. Lethaby

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