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Thread: Bolsters, as done my way

  1. #1

    Bolsters, as done my way

    Well, I'm sure if you ask 10 knife makers out there, you'll get 15 different replies. That's what makes the world go around. I'm always learning new things, so if someone knows of a better, more efficient way, let me know. This is just how I've come to do them.

    So, here we have a small fixed blade ready for bolsters. The steel I like is 416SS with matching pins. That is very important. Even if your pins are stainless, yet another variety, you will be able to see them even after they are peened. Ask me how I know. Always match your pin material with your bolster material.


    Here are two pieces of stainless rough cut and flat on both sides. None of my steel comes flat unless it's from Also.


    Next up is drilling out the 416SS. Not a very sexy shot, but you get the idea.


    Here we have a couple of dummy pins that help to keep things aligned while shaping stuff.


    And I always like to finish off the front of the bolsters before assembly because once they're on, you really can't get in too closely on the tang without screwing up the finish.


    I've had this machine for what seems like forever. The disc on the side still helps with letting me square up stuff. In this case, the back of the bolsters.


    Now is about time to get to peening. Peening is basically the spreading of a pin material which will cause it to swell and make for a secure bond to the knife.


    HAMMER TIME! I've heard some guys who like to use a tapered reamer on the bolsters holes, but I prefer a tighter fit. DO clean your pin material with acetone before just so all your surfaces are free of crap. I start with a small ball peen hammer and move up to a larger one.


    If the pin material swells like it's supposed to, you won't see any voids around the pins. I've seen lots of nice knives that show the pins. I've done one with 303 pins on 416 bolsters by accident and it wasn't that bad. But live and learn. What you don't want are gaps.


    So, what next? Grab your handle material of choice and get to grinding.


    After a little bit of sanding and work and pulling your hair out, you have satin finished bolsters.


    If this helps illustrate my process, great. If not, blame LaBella.

    Daigle
    Last edited by Chris Daigle; 12-11-2010 at 04:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Knife Junkie cornnutt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Damn thats cool, thanks for showing that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linos View Post
    ...we are doing something wrong...he stayed calm and did not threw a tantrum.....
    Quote Originally Posted by yingzhaoquan View Post
    sweet blade. bet it cuts like a wild monkey wielding a razor blade
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cornnutt View Post
    Damn thats cool, thanks for showing that.
    +1

    Those pins really disappear. Nice knife too.

  4. #4
    Little member Lost Hawaiian's Avatar
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    As some one who likes knives, but has no idea how to make one, I really appreciate you sharing this.

    How long did it take to cover the process you showed?

    It does look like the effort was well worth it. That knife is a beauty.
    -Rich, aka "Arizona"


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Daigle View Post
    Here are two pieces of stainless rough cut and flat on both sides. None of my steel comes flat unless it's from Also.
    Daigle
    I think you meant to say Aldo.

  6. #6
    ◄◄◄◄◄◄ Admin ►►►►►► Soup_Monger's Avatar
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    Beautiful work, Chris.

    I'm off to check out your website.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Hawaiian View Post
    As some one who likes knives, but has no idea how to make one, I really appreciate you sharing this.

    How long did it take to cover the process you showed?

    It does look like the effort was well worth it. That knife is a beauty.
    Thanks Rich! That was kind of my point. It can look like just two simple pieces of metal stuck to the sides. But there are a few steps that some might not be used to seeing.

    As for the time, most of it for me is about the prep work. If everything turns out flat, maybe the better part of a day. The good thing is you don't have to wait for something like epoxy to dry and cure.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbob68 View Post
    I think you meant to say Aldo.
    Oh, but did I???

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup_Monger View Post
    Beautiful work, Chris.

    I'm off to check out your website.
    Thanks Soup. Most of what I've done can be found here in my forum.

    If the step by step and work in progress threads are what people like, I'll post more.

    Daigle

  8. #8
    Knife Junkie cornnutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Daigle View Post

    If the step by step and work in progress threads are what people like, I'll post more.

    Daigle
    That would be AWESOME
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linos View Post
    ...we are doing something wrong...he stayed calm and did not threw a tantrum.....
    Quote Originally Posted by yingzhaoquan View Post
    sweet blade. bet it cuts like a wild monkey wielding a razor blade
    DFFD DMMCU ...R.I.P...DaBird...SUGARSKUll...infobound1..."In order to appreciate the light, One must spend time in darkness"-Prozak
    "WAKE UP!, Your Bleeedin'" -Kurger
    1. You might be a badass, but have you ever had your ass whipped by an old guy in a cow suit? Quote Kyakjax
    I'm sotally tober!

  9. #9
    Former Village People Roadie Parker's Avatar
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    Dude. That is a righteously pretty little blade.

    All it needs are some unfinished hammer marks

    Makes me wanna buy a cute little fixed blade and smoke a few cigars.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Parker View Post
    All it needs are some unfinished hammer marks
    And that made me laugh!

  11. #11
    ◄◄◄◄◄◄ Admin ►►►►►► Soup_Monger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Daigle View Post

    Thanks Soup. Most of what I've done can be found here in my forum.

    If the step by step and work in progress threads are what people like, I'll post more.

    Daigle
    Oh... we loves them... so please do post more.

  12. #12
    That is a very nice knive, that is what I like.
    Knives are a part of my soul.

  13. #13
    ←The № 1 Devil→ Mr.LaBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soup_Monger View Post
    Oh... we loves them... so please do post more.
    Yes! Excellent show Old Bean. Pip pip, cheerio!


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  14. #14
    knifemaker Paul Mathews's Avatar
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    Perfect timing for this thread, Chris. I'll be attempting my first bolsters soon. Whatever "soon" means in part-time knifemaker speak!

  15. #15
    Awesome Paul. Thanks. One thing I have to keep checking for during the peening process is if the bolsters are laying flat or not on the suface of the tang. If there's a small gap, pull it together using your vice. Just don't let it too ahead of you or you might not be able to close the gap. After you're satisfied that the pins are peened over and you have a tight fit, that is when you can move up to a bigger hammer.
    Last edited by Chris Daigle; 12-13-2010 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Cause I duh

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