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Bolsters, as done my way

Chris Daigle Dec 11, 2010

  1. Chris Daigle

    Chris Daigle Half fast

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    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.
    [​IMG]

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

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

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

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

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

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

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

    Daigle
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2010
  2. cornnutt

    cornnutt Knife Junkie Brigade Member

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    Damn thats cool, thanks for showing that.:devil1:
     
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  3. snufferoo

    snufferoo snuffaluffagus devil

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    +1

    Those pins really disappear. Nice knife too.
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  4. Lost Hawaiian

    Lost Hawaiian Little member

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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. :devilzeek
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  5. bigbob68

    bigbob68 non poseur

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    I think you meant to say Aldo. :shockedevil:
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  6. Soup_Monger

    Soup_Monger Should be a custom title here

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    Beautiful work, Chris.

    I'm off to check out your website.
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  7. Chris Daigle

    Chris Daigle Half fast

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    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    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.

    Oh, but did I??? :deviltard:

    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. cornnutt

    cornnutt Knife Junkie Brigade Member

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    That would be AWESOME:ross::thumbsup:
     
  9. Parker

    Parker Former Village People Roadie Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Dude. That is a righteously pretty little blade.

    All it needs are some unfinished hammer marks :devil1:

    Makes me wanna buy a cute little fixed blade and smoke a few cigars.
     
  10. Chris Daigle

    Chris Daigle Half fast

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    And that made me laugh!
     
  11. Soup_Monger

    Soup_Monger Should be a custom title here

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    Oh... we loves them... so please do post more.
     
  12. knifetofke

    knifetofke Huge member

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    That is a very nice knive, that is what I like.
     
  13. Mr.LaBella

    Mr.LaBella ←The № 1 Devil→ Administrator

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    Yes! Excellent show Old Bean. Pip pip, cheerio! :sherlock:
     
  14. Paul Mathews

    Paul Mathews knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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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! :devilzeek
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  15. Chris Daigle

    Chris Daigle Half fast

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    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 a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  16. Clint

    Clint Advocatus Diaboli

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    DA-UM!

    That's cool!

    I really like seeing how that was done.

    The knife is SUPER SWEET!
     
    Chris Daigle likes this.
  17. Chris Daigle

    Chris Daigle Half fast

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    Thanks Clint. I guess I'll be taking more pics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  18. csshih

    csshih Illumination Supply 2 Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Good Stuff sir, I approve! :P
     
  19. craythegray

    craythegray Better than gold or platinum

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    One of the major aspects of JDz that has kept me here so long...BESIDES all of the great folks.

    IS THIS!

    Folks pulling back the curtains to there shops and letting us NON-KNIFE makers get a peek at what we love to collect.

    Thanks so much for posting this! IT was the highlight of the night.
     
  20. Tinysd

    Tinysd Skull Cracker Brigade Member

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    I love these threads! Thanks for taking the time and that is a great knife.
     

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