Finishing a Heat Treated blank


October 13, 2013, 07:22 PM
I'm wondering if anyone wants a shot at a knife I made and never finished. I did the finishing after heat treat so all it needs is to be buffed up and add whatever scales you'd like. It is for sale in the Accessories section under "Unfinished Custom Knife by DLKnives".

This thread is to talk about what is involved in putting the scales on. I will provide 1/4" stainless pins and thong hole tubing so all you need is the handle material itself.

First, clean up the blade and tape it off with blue painter's tape. Sand or roughen up the handle area with sandblasting so the scales will adhere better, then use a drill press or drill to drill the holes. I used a drill at first when I first got going and mine had a level in the end that told me when I was drilling straight up and down. This is important! I used a "G" bit that is slightly bigger than 1/4" so the pins will easily fit. A drill press is easier for sure but hold one scale or tape it on for stability and drill one pin hole. Then insert a pin in that hole and drill the second pin hole. Put a second pin in that hole and drill the thong tube hole. Done! Repeat for 2nd side, then put the scales on the knife with the pins holding it together and mark how you want the front of the scales to be shaped.

Mark the shape then take the scales off of the knife and use the pins to hold them together (I also used some tape) and grind away the front of the scales to the line you drew. Very important - now finish the front of the scales to the final finish as you cannot do it once the scales are on the knife! Sand them to the finish you want then go to fixing them to the knife.

Sand or rough up (if needed) the inside of the handle scales, then mix up some Devcon waterproof epoxy available at Wal-Mart. Coat the inside of one scale lightly and put it on the knife. Put epoxy on each pin and insert them through the scale and knife. Epoxy the thong hole tube and put it in, then epoxy the second scale and put it on the pins. Clamp the scales to the knife with whatever clamps you have and - very important - wipe off all epoxy that leaks out. Especially clean the front of the scales because when the epoxy dries you'll have no way of removing it. Make sure the pins are in equally and not sticking out one side too far. I let this setup dry overnight.

Now I take the clamps off and get to grinding the excess material off of the scales, and grind away thickness if needed. I had a certain shape I formed the scales too - go slow and try the fit in your hand as you go. When you get the shape right and the edges fit with the knife you are ready to finish sand.

Finish the scales and pins to whatever fineness you want. Maybe it's sandblasted like I did with Micarta or a 1600-grit finish with some woods.

Now take the tape off the blade and rebuff if necessary and sharpen. You really some kind of grinder for this as the edge is too big for most sharpeners like the Sharpmaker to handle. I have a Wicked Edge that would do it but it'd be a lot of work! Grind the edge from front to back, keeping it cool while you do so. Once you get the edge thin enough you can finish on a sharpener or go ahead and grind the egde to completion and use finer grits to make it sharper.

Now you have a knife! I know it sounds like a lot to do but it would take a knifemaker about 20 minutes to get the scales ready and clamp them, then about 1/2 hour to grind everything down to finish and sharpen.

I know there are other ways to do all this - maybe others like RC will chime in with how they did it. Let me know if I missed anything!

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October 14, 2013, 12:01 AM
That should make for a nice project for someone.

Fred Fuller
October 15, 2013, 08:34 PM
Link -


October 15, 2013, 09:46 PM
Thanks man. I didn't want to push it that much but if it's ok.... :D

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