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A Destruction Test Knife WIP

P. McKinley Sep 20, 2011

  1. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Thanks Soupy!!

    I got some work done this morning and thought I would post some progress photos while I have some lunch.

    Fist - I should introduce my most valuable, and likely the most accurate, jig my the shop. A collaborative, albeit unknowing, effort between K&G Stabilizing, Aldo Bruno, Sharpie, Scotch Tape and myself, this is a jig Nick Wheeler would truly be proud of.... indeed he was the inspiration for it. When I saw(read) Nick do this with decidedly nicer tools and immeasurably more skill, this become standard procedure to confirm everything is still in alignment. Someday I'll get some fancy stuff, but for now this works.

    I have a bar of precision ground 1" square, O1 steel, and a 7/8" block of stabilized Box Elder burl atop a clean slab of polished granite. I tape the top of the steel bar to protect the blade, press the ricasso down firmly and proceed to run the pen from blade tip to the handle butt - on both sides. On knives with a significant taper, the pen tip doesn't make it all the way to the tip, but it will at least indicate any problem by about half blade. When I want to check the blade tip I tape a sewing needle or drill bit to the block and check by eye. If any of this showed something was drastically off, then I screwed up somewhere.... something's not flat or square. I was pretty confident in the alignment before I glued it up anyway, but its a great post glue-up check and a good way to extend layout lines onto the handle block.
    [​IMG]

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    The conflicting pencil lines seen on the block were drawn last night when I showed the process to a friend. At that time the ricasso was still well wrapped with paper towel and tape which translated to falsely drawn lines.
    [​IMG]

    After layout I could give the blade a good cleaning and wrapping, and tape on two protective strips of wood to the sides of the blade. I'll also wrap the guard a bit later. Now I can drill the pin holes. Check for square:
    [​IMG]

    Two 3/16" pin holes.
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    The holes are plugged with a wood dowel:
    [​IMG]

    Trimmed and ready for handle shaping:
    [​IMG]

    The block is sanded down to my layout lines and is now ready for shaping. I use a new 50 grit belt for this and go cautiously to prevent heat generation. I don't want to screw up my epoxy bond:
    [​IMG]

    The template lines are re-drawn:
    [​IMG]

    Stock is removed:
    [​IMG]

    The shape is refined with a new 50 grit belt:
    [​IMG]

    The curves are refined on my drill press with a variety of wheel sizes. I'll attend to the very front edge later on, but the handle is now shaped and ready for contouring.
    [​IMG]

    That's all for now.
     
  2. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The handle is roughed out.
    I love working with cherry. I build and repair canoes and carve a lot of canoe paddles. Likely 80% of my paddles are cherry so I've become quite familiar with it. Although not from a paddle, this piece is an off-cut of 5/4's flat sawn that was destined for a mirror frame I built a while back. Nice solid stuff and I like the look.

    I started by drawing some reference lines by eye:
    [​IMG]

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    I begin with a depression on the middle line:
    [​IMG]

    The belt sander wheel does a good job with this task:
    [​IMG]

    This is feathered into a smooth U-shape:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I then take it to the vice(s) to remove the rest of the bulk with files and a Microplane 1/2-round rasp. I use this tool a lot when carving canoe paddles and it makes for quick going with remarkably fine control.
    [​IMG]

    Done with the rasp:
    [​IMG]

    I rough-shaped the butt end. Now I need to taper from the guard to the middle of the handle - creating the palm swell. So back to the belt sander for a bit of careful, tentative sanding:
    [​IMG]

    I've spent an hour or so shaping this thing with large files. I still need to fine tune with smaller files and, of course, sand paper, especially around the guard.This is where I leave the handle to have some dinner. The next step is to get the copper pins in before I finish the handle.
    [​IMG]

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    .......back with more later..............
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2011
  3. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The pins are in.

    I have some copper wire that I thought was the right diameter, but turned out to be just over size. I had my hopes up for a moment.
    [​IMG]

    I'm using 3'16th" stainless steel brick ties.
    [​IMG]

    To prepare, I'm sanding on fresh 400 grit paper, a clean piece scrap cherry wood from the handle block. I'll mix this wood dust with the epoxy to use in the pin holes. As good as I am at drilling a nice clean hole.... I'm not very good at it and my drill press sucks, so it doesn't always happen. So, this blends any slop quite well, especially if very fine wood dust is used and a lot of it is used to make a thick paste.
    [​IMG]

    The pins have been lightly sanded with 180 grit and cleaned with acetone. The pin holes in the block have been cleaned and run threw with an acetone-soaked Q-tip to raise the wood grain. I'm using standard 2-hr epoxy for this chore. Ready to put these in:
    [​IMG]

    The pins went in nice and smooth with a light hammer tap. The holes were packed with epoxy and I'll let this cure over night. Tomorrow I'll saw off the extra length and file to flush. The pins on the other side are nearly flush.
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow I'll hopefully get this knife finished and put and edge on it.
     
  4. 50calmike

    50calmike 50 caliber Devil

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    That looks fantastic! Damn shame you have to destroy it.
    As far as the soft back draw, Wayne Goddard has a little gizmo made similar to your rest that he uses a little differently, he heats the gizmo and sets the spine inside.
    How do you seal the wood to keep it from cracking?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2011
  5. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Mike -
    I think the best thing I can do to prevent cracking is to choose a good piece of wood to begin with. The proverbial - "Can't make chicken soup.... with chicken shit" idea.

    Beyond that, for sealing Cherry, I'll dry sand to 320, then wet sand with 400 and 600 using Watco danish oil. It'll get two more coats of danish oil then buffed. I may or may not also do a paste wax finish - depending on "the look" I'm going for. I'll see when I get there.
     
  6. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The handle has been sanded and oiled. I now have to leave it for the afternoon to dry. This evening I'll do some detail work on the guard, get the handle buffed and polished, and put a sharp edge on the blade.

    To start, the pins are sawn off and filed flush:
    [​IMG]

    Good enough for now:
    [​IMG]

    Its time to fine tune around the guard and spacer:
    [​IMG]

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    Getting there:
    [​IMG]

    I need to round off those flat surfaces on the handle:
    [​IMG]

    Working with a file, the front is done and I'm starting the butt end:
    [​IMG]

    An old 120 grit belt will help fair in the handle contours:
    [​IMG]

    On to 220 grit:
    [​IMG]

    Fine tune the curved butt:
    [​IMG]

    The handle and copper spacer have been sanded with 400 grit. I'll give a final sanding with 800 using Watco Danish oil. I'm careful working around the steel pins so I don't work any black steel dust into the wood grain. This will then be wiped down very well and given a good, sloppy coat to soak in for an hour or so:
    [​IMG]

    I'll leave this to dry before buffing. I still need to detail the guard and spacer and give the blade an edge
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2011
  7. Clydetz

    Clydetz Forever straight and true Brigade Member

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    Frickin' Fantastic WIP! Thank you for taking the time for great photos and explainations.
     
  8. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Thank you sir!!
     
    Winter likes this.
  9. firebolt

    firebolt Hollandse Duivel Brigade Member

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    very nice WIP indeed

    i'm still a little shocked with the title off this thread... Destruction test

    most off the time there quick and ruff for the destruction test.
    you put in alot off efford, good for you:yuna:
     
  10. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    I didn't have a lot of time today as I had errands in town and a lawn in need of mowing. I also didn't take a lot of photos today. But, the knife is pretty much done. The handle has been buffed and the blade sharpened and this evening I'll peen on the copper tag which is all prepped and ready to go.

    This is my buffer. I have several different wheels, but for this I'll a sewn and a loose cotton wheel.
    [​IMG]

    I won't need the Tripoli for this. I'll just give a light buffing with White Diamond and then carnauba wax:
    [​IMG]

    I beveled the edges of the copper tag:
    [​IMG]

    Then polished to 1500 grit:
    [​IMG]

    Time for sharpening.
    I'll create an edge with a warn 320 grit belt then refine it with a 20 micron belt. Then its on to wet stones Later, I can polish the edge with a leather belt if needed.
    [​IMG]

    I hate putting in all the work to achieve a nice hand rubbed finish on the blade only to have it ruined with a halo of teeny scratches from sharpening on a belt sander. The blade is taped completely then trimmed carefully. I'll sharpen right through the tape to prevent those scratches:
    [​IMG]

    This is my pre-sharpening edge:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More in a little while. When I come back maybe I'll explain this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2011
  11. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    The final steps......

    I'll begin by backtracking and show my sharpening process.

    This is directly off the grinder with the edge established using a warn 320 grit belt.
    [​IMG]

    The 1" wide contact surface of my belt grinder is poor for maintaining a perfectly straight edge. So, I'll refine the edge on a fine wet stone( I can't remember what grit).
    [​IMG]

    Working the edge:
    [​IMG]

    Then its on to an 8000 grit wet stone to work up a consistent wire edge:
    [​IMG]

    Finally I hone the edge on a strop filled with green compound. I'll do this for 100 or so strokes - slice into the wood table to remove the wire, then another 50 or so more strokes.
    [​IMG]

    I'll continue checking the edge by shaving hair. My eyes are getting a bit worse these days so I have trouble see a REALLY fine wire edge. So I'm constantly scraping the edge over my fingernail feeling for that edge to "catch". When the entire length of the blade shaves hair and freely cuts paper....... I call it "good enough".
    [​IMG]

    Good enough!
    I removed the tape and gave the blade a thorough cleaning with acetone. Then I gave it a coat of Conservator's wax and buffed with an old tee-shirt:
    [​IMG]

    Ready to peen on the copper tag. I gave the pins and tag a good cleaning with acetone. I also gave the underside of the tag a coating of Conservator's wax: (sorry for the crappy photo)
    [​IMG]

    First pin cut and ready to peen:
    [​IMG]

    Second pin ready to peen:
    [​IMG]

    Done!:
    [​IMG]

    One is a bit sloppy, but that's only consistent with the rough-finish look of the whole knife:
    [​IMG]

    The knife is done, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer to see what this is:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2011
  12. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    So, without further a due, I offer up for your scrutiny......

    .... a knife I have named:

    INTRINSIC MOTIVATION w/ custom MMS

    Blade: Aldo's 1084FG, 8 1/2" of sharp edge, 1 7/8" at its widest, 3/16" at the ricasso with forged distal taper and bevels and semi-brute de forge finish. Hand rubbed to 1000 grit finish with a peened copper maker's mark tag. Sharp as hell!

    Handle: 5 1/4" American Wild Black Cherry, stainless steel pins and buffed Watco Danish Oil finish. Forged and etched 1/4" mild steel S-guard w/ gun blued faces and high-polished edges

    MMS: (Motivational Management System)
    This is made using wet formed and custom fitted Wickett and Craig veg tanned leather with hand-cut lacing and hand-made copper beads(turned on my drill press). The handle "cuff" is heavily contoured on the inner face then wet-formed to create a true custom fit with taught, smooth edges. All leather parts have a lightly buffed Bear Grease finish.
    NOTE:
    This, one of a kind and yet to be tested, knife retention device is something I was drawing up in my brain from day-one of the build. Lately I've watched countless videos of chopping contests and I've seen several versions of both fore and aft mounted lanyards. This is my version.... to me it makes sense. I wanted something that was functional, adjustable, removable, and not cumbersome, but I also wanted something that looked purposeful and as if it belonged. I went through three versions of the handle piece and settled on this one, but I also made a more versatile version that could fitted to other knife designs.

    The photos:
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2011
    Soup_Monger likes this.
  13. Soup_Monger

    Soup_Monger Should be a custom title here

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    Superb thread, Peter.

    Nice photos too.

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    It's a damn shame you have to JS test that knife... but I hope it passes.

    :thumbsup:
     
  14. firebolt

    firebolt Hollandse Duivel Brigade Member

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    incredeble... very nice knife

    good formed handle, a lot off time spend in details and finish.

    the leather lanyard.. i have my doughts,.. seen to many ( paracord .550 ones break, after while trough rubbing marks from the twisting )
    and leather is not that strong, and to ruff on your hand when you twist to adjust to size, some guys get rope burn from the lanyard while cutting ( blade sports )

    but don't let me talk you down..
    like i said kudos for the effort, very nice knife
    and a shame you need to bend it 90 deg.

    please keep us posted when tested
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2011
  15. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Thanks guys.

    I've added some finished knife shots to the above post.

    Some of you may have detected why I'm using THIS blade and THIS knife for a destruction test.......

    I forged and shaped this blade as an intended gift for my neighbor who has become a great friend. He's a hunting guide. It was to be a start-of-hunting-season present. I drew up a design I thought he'd be happy with and actually use. The blade forged out just fine and the shaping and grinding went well. I was starting to like the blade. I began to clean it up a bit an play with the layout. That's when I drilled the holes for the peened copper plate. One hole was off.... wayyyy off, making the copper tag oddly askew and I couldn't figure out how to fix it.

    That's when this became a destructive test knife.

    It was to have a much thicker wrought iron guard, much like I made for "Thorn", and a Figured Oak handle with copper accents.

    If I had to pick one defining feature/sequence of this build, it would be the S-guard. By choosing to use it, I limited the dimensions I could make the handle. As it is, The bottom line of the handle does not line up with the bottom of the ricasso. Its a fraction to short because That's all the flat space I had to work with on the guard. I probably could have spent more time modifying the guard to that end, but its a somewhat fruitless process. The guard was made several weeks ago as a practice piece for another knife I did. The shape fit the original design I drew for this knife. So, its not meant for this knife, but I went with it. That decision dictated everything that followed... to a degree.

    The blade is hard, straight and sharp. The knife is well balanced, solid in the hand and lighter than I thought it would be. I think its fairly well built. We'll see.

    Now I just need to make another one of these knives- and hopefully my neighbor will have it in time. But first, I off to find some rope and 2x4's. I'll revisit this thread when I'm ready for the testing.

    Thank you all for following along with this thread. I've enjoyed the process of detailing this in near-real time, and I will benefit from the tips and constructive criticism. Please continue to offer up any advice that I can use to make my knives better.

    Thank You,

    Peter
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2011
  16. captainblowhole

    captainblowhole Captain Coconut

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    I noticed the tag was askew before I saw this last post and Im glad I didnt say anything haha! The knife and handle is a beauty! Sorry it has to be destroyed too. I like the temper line too.
     
  17. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Just an update. No, I'm not wimping out on this, I'm just arranging for some testing to be done.

    I managed to find a force gauge to show the amount of force needed to bend the blade to 90 degrees. Also, tomorrow I go to the Cape Breton University - Metallurgical Sciences Lab to get the blade hardness tested. I'll post the results. After the destruction test is completed, I'll be bringing the knife back to the lab where the blade's grain structure will be analyzed(if it chips or breaks).

    I will be doing the test this weekend.
     
  18. 50calmike

    50calmike 50 caliber Devil

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    Good luck Peter!
     
  19. LX_Emergency

    LX_Emergency Huge member

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    Thank you for doing this WIP. This inspired me to try and build my own first bowie. No forging yet as I just want to practice getting the build right. But your WIP has been so informational that I finally got started on making one myself which I've been wanting to do for a long time.
     
  20. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley knifemaker formerly known as "Dacks" Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Oh hell yeah!! That's AWESOME!
    Good luck with the build, and if there are any question you have..... ask away.... I'll try help.
     

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