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How I build a balisong

nivejuncky May 22, 2011

  1. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    How I build a balisong

    I thought it would be nice to show what it takes for me to build a balisong. So everyone can enjoy and understand the sadomasochistic nature of a knifemaker, lol.

    I start off by coloring all the raw stock will toolmakers die. This shows a nice contrast between the stock and scribe lines.

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    I scribe out the length, plus some extra and cut to length on a 4x6 portable bandsaw.

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    I debur the ends so they stack up well with one another.

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    I stack them up and mill the ends square and to their proper length.

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    I debur them again and mill the sides square and to their proper width with a face mill.

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    Debur
    Now we are ready to start laying out the hole placements. I use a set of dial calipers and a height gage on a granite surface plate for this.

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    Now it's time to ping all the cross hairs. This lets the pilot drill easily find the intersecting crosshair.

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    I change the mill over to a keyless chuck to drill all the pilot holes and start drilling. It is the same for every hole....drill, debur, drill, debur. There are a total of fifty holes in the handles.

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    I drill the holes close to their final dimension and then ream them to their final dimension. More of the same drill, debur......

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
    garrim and feenxfire like this.
  2. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    A pic of some of the hardware.

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    Checking that all the holes still line up like they should.

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    Grinding away all surface blemishes on the inside of handles. Hand lapping the handles.

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    Ready to counterbore the pivot, spacer holes and the race for the bearings. I set up a dial caliper on the mill so I can gage my depth. I check everything with dial calipers afterwards just to make sure.

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    Mill the recess for the pocket clip and checking the fit.

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    Drill, debur, ream, debur, mill, lap spacers

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    Fit barrels to the handles than mill taper with face mill.

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    deburing the tapers

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    One last trial fit with handles, pocket clip, and spacers

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    Set the handles to the side for now to work on the blade. Laying out blade.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
    XamaX likes this.
  3. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    Pinging the crosshairs, milling, drilling, deburring, reaming, deburing

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    Rough profile on the bandsaw. Grinding profile on belt grinder. I start with and 80 grit belt and work up to a 400 grit.

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    Cleaning up the profile by hand.

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    Checking part against my drawing.

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    A couple of real nice pics of my magnetic chuck and surface grinder. I hand lap these afterwards.

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    I reblue the blade to mark it for it's bevels.

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    Marking the edge of the blade to leave 0.015" in the center.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
  4. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    Clamping blade to grinding jig and grinding primary bevels.

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    And after the secondary bevels have been ground.

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    Buffing all the edges and corners to "soften" them up. I read somewhere that "there should only be one sharp part to any knife"

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    I wash the blade down with acetone to remove any buffing residue and wash it down 2 or 3 times with dishwashing soap. Now it's time to get ready for heat treating.

    I wrap the blade in stainless steel foil and double fold all the seams. I repeat this process once. It's important to try to get as much air out of the packet as possible. You have to be careful with this stuff. It cuts like a razor blade.

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    I place it in a digital heat treating oven and let it come up to temp. I hold it at 1900 degrees f. for thirty minutes. Then hold the packet with the knife edge facing a fan running at top speed until it cools down.

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    time to open this thing up. You want to do this before it completely cools down. You have a very narrow window of opportunity to straighten the blade if it has warped. Some of the foil has welded itself to the blade. This is the first time this has happened to me. I place the blade back in the oven for two tempering cycles with a cool down between cycles.

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    Hand lapping the flats and refinishing the bevels. I also clean up all the edges by hand.

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    Here's my setup for pressing in the tang pins. I sandwich the blade in between two micarta pieces and press the pins in with a small arbor press.

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    Milling in the tang pockets and latch pin recesses. Easy does it here. A few thousandths can make a big difference here.

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    Countersinking the skeleton holes. The last few turns are done with the machine turned off and the spindle is turned by hand.

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    I ground some bevels on the ends of safe handles where it will receive the latch.

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    lap the inside of the handles one more time and softly break all the sharp edges and corners with 600 grit sandpaper. I have domed the handles at this point. Sorry, forgot to get pics. I'll try to update this when I make the next one.

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    I clean out all the nooks and crannies with acetone and q-tips.

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    Applying a little grease to the bearing races with a q-tip. I use that q-tip to pick up and insert the bearings. The grease is there for lube and it holds the bearings in place for assembly.

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    Applying loctite to all the fasteners and we are ready for assembly.

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    This is always the last thing I do on every knife: sharpening. I use an old 220 grit belt for this. I make a pass on one side and then the other until there is a bur raised all along the edge.

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    I strop the blade on a piece of leather with polishing compound rubbed into it to remove the bur. It is now shaving sharp.

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    and this is how it turned out: http://www.jerzeedevil.com/forums/showthread.php?97863-My-latest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2011
    InfinityShade likes this.
  5. supersuby

    supersuby OG TRIPLE OG

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    Awesome WIP thread bro thanks for sharing it. Keep making those badass balis:thumbsup:
     
  6. RoadFish

    RoadFish Cathar Knight

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    Uh,oh. Now I can't see any pics!! Maybe linking to another forum? Doesn't work?

    Well, I logged in to the other forum and now can see them. Do you have the photos loaded there, or are they on an image server that you could link to.

    BTW The WIP is really great. You have a lot of skill, Sir.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2011
  7. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    They were directly uploaded to the other site.

    I will start uploading images directly here tomorrow night. I finally figured it out, lol.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2011
  8. nivejuncky

    nivejuncky Little member

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    Everything has been updated.
     
  9. rscheppmann

    rscheppmann Diabolus ex Occasus Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Great WIP!
     
  10. Dwane Oliver

    Dwane Oliver knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    THats really cool , thanks for posting it.
    Must be nice using all those machines and jigs , makes a nice knife.
     
  11. cardoso5fr

    cardoso5fr knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Very cooool work. I enjoy the step by step. Thank you for taking the time to take picture.
     
  12. knifezoid

    knifezoid Bladerunners Systems -=BRS=- Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Wow, that is tremendous effort and care into making a knife. It
    certainly shows in your work. Amazing how you craft such a great
    bali from the raw materials shown. I think sometimes we take it
    for granted as flippers/knife enthusiasts, the time and patience it
    takes to crank out a proper hand made knife.
     
  13. xxpacexx

    xxpacexx Little member

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    I only have 2 things to say. 1) Beautiful knife. 2) I'm sure as hell glad I didn't have to make it!
     
  14. Ceahorse

    Ceahorse Little member

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    Weight

    What's the final weight on this? This is a very nice thread. Well shared!
     
  15. wcjohn

    wcjohn Sum Quod Sum JDBA Official Member

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    Wow. What a great WIP. I'd love to have access to all those shop tools. Very informative and a good bump on an oldish thread. :thumbsup:
     
  16. TheBombGamerTag

    TheBombGamerTag BrokenBlades

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    If you'd done a little more looking around (like clicking the link he shared with us) then you would have found out that this Bali is 7oz.

    Great WIP though. I enjoyed reading everything. You do a fine job man. I like that blade style too!
     
  17. Nozh

    Nozh Little member

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    Nice work

    Do you have all these machines at home or you do that at work? I am learning Polymechanic (Not sure if you say it like this in English.) so I have all the CNC machines and the 3d programs but I don’t know if my teacher would be ok with me making knives a school… :manganr:

    Anyway pretty cool knife man! :thumbsup:
     
    THEONEANDONLY likes this.
  18. Andy T

    Andy T Gentle Giant JDBA Official Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to post all those pics. Very, very cool.
     
  19. feenxfire

    feenxfire JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    You make it look so easy!

    This makes me wanna start trying to make balisong again! :thumbsup:
     
  20. EOD13

    EOD13 Balisong Addict JDBA Official Member

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    Just stumbled on this :devilzeek
     

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