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Author Topic: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.  (Read 12942 times)

Offline just_a_hunter

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2014, 09:29:00 PM »
This is sure an awesome build we get to sit in on. What you can teach yourself in decades of work can be learned in a day.

Todd
"Before you get down on yourself  because you don't have the things you want, think of all the things you DON'T want that you don't have."

You'll notice the "luckiest" elk hunters have worn out boots.

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2014, 12:36:00 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by NittanyRider:
 
Quote
Originally posted by Doug Campbell:
Not trying to be a sa David but beyond a doubt the best way is a hot fire, hammer and anvil...
 
I know, I know.  That's what I plan to work towards, but I've got to start somewhere!      :)     I got a weekend pass to go to the Mid America hammer-in (late August), so we'll see what happens after that… who knows, maybe I'll come home with an anvil and forge!      :bigsmyl:  [/b]
Funny Doug, that's almost word for word what I was going to say as well.   :D   That said, with a hacksaw and files you can do a lot even if you can't have a forge. Like if you happen to live in a 4th floor apartment or something like that. A decent bench vise clamped to a sturdy table and some hand tools and you can still make a knife.

Thanks Karl for the added tips.


OK, today was a pretty long day, but not a huge amount of new info to add........
Started on the spacer. I chose copper for this. Basically just a repeat of the guard work, with the difference being I file the slot without the taper. It doesn't matter if there is a slight gap at the front of the spacer since it will be hidden behind the guard. I also do not make it fit quite as tightly. The goal is tight enough to have zero play when it is resting against the guard, but not so snug that I have to drift it on.

A few photo's of the process.

 

I skipped ahead further than I thought without taking pics, but like I said, it's just like we did on the guard, but not as tapered of slot.

Here it is home up against the guard. I scribe around the guard not because the spacer will be shaped like that, but just to give me some lines for reference when I file it to shape. I know I can giver with the files till I get to there, and then I have to slow down and think about it.
 

Filed to shape.....I will probably tweak the guard profile a bit. The spacer needed to be this width to fit the ivory properly, so things will change as we go along.

 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2014, 12:58:00 AM »
Now it's time to give Murphy his first opportunity (on this project) to really cost me some heartache(and money)..........it's time to fit the ivory. I am pretty careful to lay out exactly where the center hole needs to go. There is no second chance here.

 

Also outlined where the edge of the handle needs to be to work around a few obstacles. The very center of the tusk has a gap around it, as well, there is a crack that needed to be taken into consideration. It will be gone in the final shaping.
 

I will be drilling half way thru from each end and hope to meet in the middle. Using the center lines to line up the drill bit. If you are using a hand drill, everything is the same except a bit more difficult to accomplish with accuracy. Practice on cheaper handle materials(or scrap) first to get the hang of it.

Take a deep breath and plunge that sucker in there(after triple checking for alignment)

 

I don't try to drill this too far in one plunge or it will heat up, which is a bad deal with ivory, so I back the bit out and clear the chips several times to get to the halfway point. Actually I went about 2/3 of the way thru from this end. then flipped it over, lined up with my marks again, and drilled until I met the first hole. Here's the result. Almost perfectly aligned........WHEW!   :D  I am holding the block at a bit of an angle to the lens, there is a tiny step over where the holes met that might be .010" at the most. It'll be gone by the time I scrape this out for the tang to fit.
 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2014, 01:19:00 AM »
Here're the tools I use to open this up. A home made broach(scraper) and a coarse file.

 
The broach really makes this job go faster, but I have done it all with files and a small wood working chisel in the past, and it works fine, just takes longer.
The goal is to have the handle block fit snug with no play just as it seats against the spacer. Once the tang starts to fit inside the hole, it's just a matter of looking there to see where the tang is rubbing tight and remove a bit of material where you see the contact is being made. I had no luck taking photo's of this, but if you look at the inside of the hole, and also on the tang you should be able to see where it is too tight. Sometimes coloring the tang with felt pen will help to highlight exactly where things are snug.
 

Progress.

 

I got to here and realized I wanted to add to the spacer or the handle was going to end up just a bit too short. I should have figured this out earlier, but............   :rolleyes:    

 

So I decided to add another 1/4 inch copper spacer with a thin nickel silver spacer in between. I pinned these all together with 1/16 inch pins......I'll show a pic of that later as I was getting tired and neglected to take pics of that.
 

And after shaping them together.

 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2014, 01:26:00 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by killinstuff:
Darcy has artistic freedom on this knife and so far so good! The only thing I did was describe the blade profile I am looking for and emailed a ROUGH drawing of the handle shape I wanted.  I truly appreciate all the hand, not machine,  work on the knife. Makes things more personal. Changing raw steel to functional art is amazing to us who can't do it. Thanks Darcy.
Thanks for checking in CJ, not too many more days now.  

Thanks everyone for following along.

   Darcy     :campfire:
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2014, 01:38:00 AM »
Quote
Originally posted by Doug Campbell:

Darcy, you ever use a mirror to confirm alignment of everything?
I have not tried that yet, but I have heard about it. Do you use that method? I am not 100% sure how to go about it, just have a rough idea.
Darcy   :campfire:
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline Doug Campbell

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2014, 08:06:00 AM »
A mirror is one of the handiest tools in my shop for checking alignment and straightness Darcy. I'll try and get a couple pics up in the next day or two.

I've found it helpful when drilling a handle to scribe the tang profile on the outside of the handle stock also. Just another way to visually check things out.

Great job on the tutorial by the way.
Life is wonderful in Montana!!
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Offline Lin Rhea

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2014, 08:11:00 AM »
This is a very nice "fit up" tutorial. I especially like the planning you explain in locating the hole. All flaws, cracks, etc. have to be considered. In fact every situation could be so different that the maker has to take each case as a new experience. You have to be flexible to work with these natural materials.
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Offline tomsm44

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2014, 08:35:00 AM »
This is looking good.  I'm picking up some good tips too.  I personally am glad the ivory was too short.  I love the look of contrasting metals stacked to make a spacer.  I saw a dog bone bowie a while back that had a very similar gaurd/spacer setup, just with different materials.  It was a SS gaurd and two 3/16-1/4" blued spacers with maybe .03" SS stacked between.  Looked great on the dog bone and should look great with a coffin handle.

Matt
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Offline gables

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2014, 10:26:00 PM »
Greatness! Thanks for doing such a great job at showing us your craft on both threads.
"Art is thoughtful workmanship." W.R. Lethaby

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2014, 11:20:00 PM »
Thanks guys.
Last pics until Monday most likely.
Here's the one showing the alignment pins keeping the pieces of the spacer together.......self explanatory I think.
Definitely need to put that guard on a diet before this is all done.
   

Here's a shot of the pommel nut. Still rough from the lathe, but ready to hold things tight for assembly. There'll probably be a copper spacer/washer around it later.
You can also see the pencil mark where I need to take some ivory off to balance out the sides.

 

I use a hoof rasp(the fine side) to take the ivory down to the line.
 

Mostly trued up.

 

Now I make a cardboard stencil to mark out the profile of the coffin. Only half of the handle, so when you flip it over to do the other half they match exactly.

 

Roughed out with the rasp and hacksaw.......

 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2014, 11:51:00 PM »
I was going to do some engraving on the spacer, but couldn't make up my mind what to cut that would look right, so decided to flute the copper............
 

and coin edge the nickel silver. That's a 32 lines per inch metal checkering file if memory serves me.
Yes, there is one extra hole in the copper that I didn't need. Broke a 1/16" drill bit. Tip of the day. When drilling copper with small bits, use a cutting fluid.   :banghead:  

 

Back together again, still rough, but I think it'll look OK.

 

Did a bit more filing on the ivory, and then ran out of steam. Here's a peek at where I am now(notice my feet are up.   :D   I still need to narrow the waist on the coffin and lots of refining of the shape, but I just didn't have the energy to do any more. At this stage of the build, I need to have full concentration or I'll goof something up for sure, so further work needs to wait till I am fresh.
Sorry for being so brief in the last few pics, but it was really just mundane filing and shaping, so not much to see anyway. Next installment I'll make sure to take more photo's as we'll be doing the final handle contouring and polish, and then checkering, final finish on the fittings, and sooner or later, final assembly.


 

See you soon.   :campfire:
Darcy
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Online Sockrsblur

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2014, 05:03:00 AM »
Wow! Very nice Darcy!     :campfire:
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Offline Lin Rhea

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2014, 07:41:00 AM »
Excellent.

Guys, I see Darcy's maturity as a maker in this tutorial. He is not afraid of the mundane, boring parts of the project like using a rasp to remove the ivory or a file to shape the guard. He's allowing material for removal to the next stage of finishing. He is being patient and resting before a critical stage that will take concentration and steady hand.

This speaks of an individual that is confident in his abilities yet aware of his limitations. Combined with good materials and a little time, he can take a craft to a higher level.

As I see it these are things that are not taught in classes specifically, but are learned from practicing such things in all areas of life.
"We dont rent pigs." Augustus McCrae
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Offline gudspelr

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2014, 08:10:00 PM »
This is fantastic. Thanks VERY much for taking all of the time to bring this to us. I especially identify with waiting until you have the energy to focus. I've been there and "pushed through" when I should've walked away. Thankfully, it wasn't anything like ivory ruined  ;) . I have several of those rasps, but had no idea they were so effective on ivory, as well.

Learning a lot as you go, sir.

   :campfire:


Jeremy
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Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2014, 09:26:00 PM »
Thanks very much for the kind words guys.
Jeremy, the fine side of a farriers rasp is good for quickly removing everything up to about the hardness of copper. It can also snag and tear and destroy a good piece of material much faster than ordinary files, but used judiciously, it's a great tool to speed up hand work.
I spent today helping my brother with a welding project for his motorbike and visiting with my 93 year old Grandmother........and I'm going bear stalking(as an observer) with a bowhunting buddy later this evening. He hasn't quite given up the wheels yet, but sooner or later   :D  
I should be relaxed and raring to go on this build again tomorrow.
Darcy   :campfire:
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline gudspelr

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2014, 10:14:00 PM »
You sound like a guy I wish I lived closer to    :thumbsup: . Looking forward to more and good luck with the bear hunting.


Jeremy
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- William Morris

Craftsmen strive to make their products both.

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2014, 12:03:00 AM »
I got in pretty late last night, actually pretty early this morning.......2:30 am when I got home. My buddy arrowed a 6 foot 2 blackie and it took a while to get things dealt with. I can't post a pic since he uses the wrong kind of bow.   :D  Fun watching him make the stalk.......got to within 30 yards before he shot......had all kinds of time to shoot from 50, and he can make that shot all day long, but chose to get closer to make things more sure. One of these days I'll talk him into taking his longbow out.   :thumbsup:  

Anyway, moving on to todays progress.

I laid out some more lines to get the handle finish shaped. Because this is a coffin handle and supposed to be symmetrical, it's important for me to dial in the main angles. One of the nice things about the human eye is we can see small differences between two halves of a symmetrical object. SO it's fairly easy to tell if it's not right. One of the bad things is the human eye can see small differences between the two halves of a symmetrical object.........so if it's not right, everybody will be able to tell   :rolleyes:    :D    

 

And then just a bunch more filing to get it shaped. Lots of stops to check it over from all angles.
 

 

 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2014, 12:10:00 AM »
The coffin I make is a bit different from some. I like the sides to be nicely domed, especially if I plan, like in this case, to do any checkering. It is a comfortable and secure grip shape, and to my eye, is reminiscent of some of the early bowies shapes.

So, I got the handle filed as close as I wanted to take it with files. Then decided the guard was due for some attention........you may recall I vowed to put it on a weight loss program. Here I am marking around the spacer so I know how much to remove from the guard when I file it slimmer.
   

I then neglected to take any more pics of the guard slimming due to my sleep deprived state.    :rolleyes:    


 

But I did slim it up, as you can see here. And then I moved on to getting some of the file marks out of the handle.

 
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Offline D.Ellis

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Re: Handles and fittings, the low tech way.
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2014, 12:24:00 AM »
I like to use a scraper to remove the file marks before going on to sandpaper.......it is much faster, and way less dusty, you can use almost any sharp edged object to scrape......pocketknife, cabinet scraper etc. If the scraper starts to chatter try working in the other direction, or angle the scraper, and lighten the pressure........once the chatter starts it will just get worse, like washboard on a gravel road, so you have to deal with it before it gets too bad, or you'll have to sand it out.
 

   

you can see the nice long shavings being removed and the file marks right along with them.


After I got that done, I decided to finish the spacer and guard and leave the handle sanding to wait for a bit.
I sanded the copper spacers and then brushed them with a wire cup brush in the drill press.


 


And then did some heat coloring. End results vary depending on how hot you get it, and if you cool it in water or air cool etc.

   
60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

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