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Knife Making Class Log 112: Guards and Metals


Dodge

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10:00 PM
Rich Hale
Thanks also to all the regulars here for letting us take over the room for this hour  WE have covered how to make and install a couple of styles of guards in past sessions. WE did a hidden tang with a slid on guard,  And a pair of bolsters last week,  Remember that all of the lessons are posted in the forum under knife making.   you can view them and pose questions in those  threads.   Tonight we will talk about slotted
guards, To prepare for this type of guard the full tang blade has to have a slot cut before heat treat about the fuzzy pic I did not look close at it
till today and the scales are on that knife now

IMG

Several things to see in this fuzzy pic The bottom of the blade is notched before heat treat I did this on my mill. you could
also drill a hole there and hacksaw and ffil to proper size In this case I am using a 3/8" thick guard and that notch has to
fit that thickness  The guard is also milled. and in this case I use a 5/32" mill cutter and that cuts the correct size for
this thickness of blade .  Note that I have smacked the end of the guard, then I tapered the inside of that slot at the open end so it would start on the blade and then be tapped in place and not move, Now that all is fitted I polish the flat sides of the blade to final finish,,,,and that includes the little area on the bottom of the ricasso between the hollow grind and the guard  Also the front of the guard,  When we solder this in place we cannot get to those places Then I take a dremel with a disk  And I clean out the inside of the blade notch, all partd of i I take a round needle file and remove the square corners in the notch, to eliminate stress risers

Now I recheck all surfaces in bright light and polish if needed Then I tap the guard in place and make sure it is square with the blade it
cannot b e twised or out of plumb

IMG

I solder this spot on the scales side of the guard, If I do not when I finish the backs side of he guard there will be a visible
line,  I have left the guard long enough to extend over the spine of the blade a little bit

IMG

I solder the area where the slots on guard touch the spine of the blade Again to eliminate and lines when finished  Then I solder the area on both sides of the point where guard and ricasso meet   I use 430 no lead plumbing solder and the flux that comes with it.

A flux brush helps as if I lay on too much solder i can brush it away so clean up takes less times  It will take you a few times to get the solder right,,,it is not unusual to take the guard back off,, re-clean and polish and do again.  That is a readers digest sort of lesson is how to do this style guard

Now what to use for guards,,,or at least what I use and why For this knife which is a 440 C stainless blade I use 416 ss material for guard, The same as we did last week on the bolsters, I use this 416 as it is also ss and is a perfect color match for the blade.  I sometimes use pure nickel for these kinds of guards, It is not as good a color match, In a short time it darkens just a touch,,,oxidation. Then to me it looks great Warm and nice,  For the knife chat knife we did early in the series I used mild steel for the guard and slit and drifted the hole. I use gun browning
for that blade and guard,  Lots of folks use brass for guards buttcaps and pins.  I have done the same but rarely anymore Like the lady on tv says,, here's why if you go to gun shows that have knives or knife shows,  You will see a wide range of knives displayed for sale Not always, but often, the lower ends knives will have brass fittings When mirror polished brass looks really nice! That goes way fairly soon  It is not easier to work than nickel,,,however nickel is pricy.  I think brass has a lot of good things for new makers,,it is a little easier to work,,,looks really good when done right and lets you complete a knife in less time than if you use SS or even mild steel.  I used lost wax casting once and cast a brass guard so nice it needed almost no fitting or finishing....really slick......however I can drill file and fit a brass guard in less time.  But then I have a brass guard!  Many levels of fit and finish to work through as you learn and progress.  The better materials and the nicer fit and finish is makes the price go up.

Any questions?

Steve could not be with us this eve, I expect him back next week  So let me take time to address a couple of things. I look at the information we have put into these lessons and there is A Ton,  I try to think if I was just beginning how would I find anything useful in there.  This would work for me:

Start at the beginning Seek what level you can work at.  If you are new then start at 101. If you are already forging blades then maybe move right onto finishing blades,,,,or move ahead to heat treat So on and on.

Find what is in there that suits how you work and are comfortable with.  If you try and do a item in one of the advanced lessons it will likely
not help  And the worst ting that can happen is you will get discouraged  We at one point jumped ahead to the 200 series That was geared for those already good with the 100 series lessons andwanting more advanced items  We will do more of that.  But we also want to keep starting
and more advanced folks moving forward

 

Any questions? Comments?
garey
you ever drill & pin through the blade and guard near the spine for strength ? and is it worth the extra trouble ?

 

Rich Hale
i don’t Garey but some folks do. I have never had a guard move with this method. I have seen in knife catalogs, knife kits tha use that pin. If fit nice and the pin peined like we did last week on the bolsters I think the look could be good without solder.  However, my shop motto is this: "good is the enemy of excellence"  One other item to cover and We will open for wotever.  Steve and I spend a lot of time preparing for these classes.   We have had our salaries doubled for this amount of work Keep in mind double nothing is still nothing!  With that in mind,,If you ask either of us a qustion in the chat room or in forum about something we covered in a lesson we will not likely either retype it all in here or look up a link for you,  Not being rude, just that the info is here, a lot of info, I am not aware of any other site offering this much info for free.

So its not personal, just if you want to know read it, dont expect us to give you priovate class if you cant read what we jave already done.  We
will answer any questions in here or in forums about anything we posted that you would like help with.  Anything i can answer here now?


mike-hr
Does the slotted guard, end at the spine? You left it a bit proud in the picture


Rodney Skinner
do you have a recommended depth for the blade notch

 

Rich Hale
I ground it off even with spine after dinner tonight,,I want to finish that area and make sure all is right before I put ivory on.

No I thin it is about an eighth inch or a wee more Before I glue scales I could re-solder if needed  Remember to neutralize acid from flux soon after soldering I scrub with a tooth brush and Windex, WAter wash and air or towel dry after with whatever you use

mike-hr
Rich, I noticed you use the 440 ss a lot. does this have comparable edge holding, and RC, as say, 1095?

garey
Do you do your own HT on the 440 S/S Rich or send it off ?

Rich Hale
I used a ss for two field tests in fall and one 0-1 I like the 440C, I send it to the place in K and G catalog for heat treat He uses a commercial heat treat place,,folks from all over sent him blades,, he bundles up and send them and bets them back.  They have a batch price, If you take one blade to them they put in the same machines and take the same 24 hours to do. as if they do a couple of hundred

 

garey
that is why i use carbon steel for my stuff. can HT in the shop. and i am cheap to.
 

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  • Glenn locked this topic
  • Steve Sells unlocked this topic
  • 5 years later...

I've forged a knife blank, full tang, that I want to install a brass finger guard on. Both the blade and the butt-end are too big for it to slip over and then fit correctly. So do I do a two-piece guard, a slotted guard, or what other options do I have? I thought about changing the material too soft steel and then welding it after putting it on. But I really want to go with brass for artistic reasons. So if I use brass I thought about making a two-piece guard slip the top piece on, then the bottom piece and then rivet them together. Or comment welcome thanks Happy New Year

PXL_20220102_212054028.jpg

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I'm curious a to where you're heading with that design.  I would slit a piece of brass and solder it in place, but I'm a keep it simple type of guy.  How rough are you planning on being with this blade?

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Once this knife is finished it will probably just hang on the wall in my collection. I don't do a lot of ninja fighting here on the West Coast. That said I want it to be a sturdy knife in case somebody did you use it for some reason. It's not an original design I'm trying to simulate the knife shown here below,,,,,,, although the knife in the example appears to be a hidden ratailScreenshot_20220104-083239.thumb.png.c6661e962f315de0b2a113472ac903b3.png

Tang I wanted to go Full Tang. Just to make things harder for me I guess LOL

Thanks for your help and I guess I'll look at how to solder brass that's why I like forging I have a lot to learn keeps me busy.

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Grouser.  There are several ways techniques to make a frame handle. Not enought space here to adequately describe. lt takes  time.  An internet  search will give you some good videos. You might try a pinned  hidden tang technique. That would allow you get get a similar handle shape and the S guard . 

Just remember that if you get it anywhere close  to Doug's design to give him credit for basic design. 

 

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Grouser. FYI. Guard style/shape must be considered during the initial design of any blade. Guards like Doug's design limit you to through tang, hidden or frame handles. If you are  not set on the S guard you could do a pinned split guard with short tailing guard towards rear. 

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On 1/4/2022 at 10:03 PM, swedefiddle said:

Put your locale in your Avatar.

But No ,,,,,

if someone were to ask me politely where I was from I would make the decision to share that information on an individual basis. I understand knowing where I'm at might help others trying to help me, that will be determined at that time, and shared via private message. I'm not like most people willing to give out personal information freely on the world web. You haven't figured it out you don't know who's watching and keeping track of things. My family's security precludes the world knowing any more than it needs,,,,, big tech and Mark Zuckerberg are not your friends.

Good day sir. 

 

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Grouser, your call, of course, but over the years and many postings I have never had any kind of a problem.  The trick, IMO, is to hit a balance between paranoia and trust.  We all have our own balance point.  I will say that you are the first person I have seen on IFI who flat refused to put even a state in the US as a location.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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And every picture you've ever taken with that cell phone contains data that tell pics exact location  time etc. AND it tracks ur every movement AND  the internet knows exactly where you sign on from every site you visit. Ever notice getting ads from sites you visited. Its called targeted

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I dunno guys l live in peavine Oklahoma population 10000…cows and maybe a couple hundred people? It’s nearly impossible to find someone around here! 

you actually got to pull into a feed store and ask a name!

Then an hour and a half later after everyone in there gets done telling you about the weather, fish, kinfolk, hunting, chickens, dogs and whatever else the daily subjects are, 

then they will probably give you an address, phone number, next of kin and where they live an work, and then they’ll probably Even give you directions! 

it will go along the lines of….. turn left where bobs barn blew down twenty years ago and then take a right at the orange gate just past the cattle guard two miles, then cross peavine creek and go up to high top, hang left at mikes chicken farm and he will be the last house on the right after you pass bobcat point! 

easy peasy! :lol:

3 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

where you are posting from

Steve, Surely IP address data loaded pictures can’t tell you I’m just north of Stilwell Oklahoma!!! Im appalled! Even terrified! Lol, 

im not sure if any of you guys are spying on me or trying to locate were I’m at, but your welcome to swing by the shop anytime for a visit!

Peavine Oklahoma is the most interesting place in the world! I promise! It won’t be a waste of your time or gas money to come see what we do around here! I’ll even see about catching a barn cat for you to take home as a souvenir! 
 

also how do you know mark Zuckerberg isn’t my friend? He might have just swung in for a cold brew yesterday evening for all you know! Unless… your spying on me? 

okay I’m done now, sorry for my nonsense y’all I couldn’t help myself, 

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Can be a bit harder than that; I once was going to visit my college housemate's "home place".  Nobody would talk to me at the general store till one finally said "You must be Joe's college friend!"  then they put the banjo's down  and called for a native guide to show me the way...Joe's parent's house was framed with black walnut; cut off the farm...

I'd have repaid the favor the same way; but nobody in our area would admit to knowing me...

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Good Morning Mr. Grouser,

On 1/4/2022 at 10:03 PM, swedefiddle said:

Put your locale in your Avatar.

But No ,,,,,

if someone were to ask me politely where I was from I would make the decision

 No rudeness intended. The problem with a keyboard, it is impossible to see the inflection part of a conversation. There are people here from all walks of life, from many parts of the round World. Having a conversation with someone, it is kind of nice to see what part of the rock they are making a shadow. Quite often there is somebody fairly close, so you can get a hands on answer for your question.

Enjoy the Journey, there is nothing to fight over.

Neil

 

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On 1/3/2022 at 6:37 PM, Grouser said:

I've forged a knife blank, full tang, that I want to install a brass finger guard on. Both the blade and the butt-end are too big for it to slip over and then fit correctly. So do I do a two-piece guard, a slotted guard, or what other options do I have? I thought about changing the material too soft steel and then welding it after putting it on. But I really want to go with brass for artistic reasons. So if I use brass I thought about making a two-piece guard slip the top piece on, then the bottom piece and then rivet them together. Or comment welcome thanks Happy New Year

As long as you do this before your heat treat, you can braze a brass guard using acetylene. Almost all my early knives were done this way. Some brazed on both sides, and some just brazed on the handle side so it wouldn't show. So far, I don't know if you could call them bullet proof, but they have certainly been purple bullet proof! Here is one I made for a horseman from a farrier's rasp (the loop on the back is for clearing hooves). I start with 1/4" brazing rod, bend it around the tang section, braze it all up, grind it down and there you go.

Horseman1.jpg

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That's a nice blade! Thanks for posting. Brazing maybe a good solution, but it raises yet another question for me. I can't fit the guard until the knife is at its final dimensions. I always Forge a blank and then go to the grinder and take it down close to final shape while it is soft. But not all the way to finished dimensions, because I thought it was unwise to heat treat a finished blade in the Forge because it was too thin. Have I got that wrong?

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Keep in mind that I'm no professional, just a retired chem e. who enjoys pounding metal. Caveat emptor! 

When I first started making knives I didn't have an oven. I used a coal forge  or acetylene torch to edge-quench, that is, only heat the edges to a little better than cherry red ( and when I say "edges" I mean at least a quarter to a half inch of the edge) and quench in oil. I would take off all the gunk and put a rough polish on the blade. Then I would (again using the coal forge or the torch) slowly heat the center or the spine of the blade and watch the oxidation colors. When the straw color reached the edge I would quench again. Then go for the final polish.

I never had a warp using that method. But it might be good to think about what CAN cause a warp. Again, I'm no expert, but warpage in heat treating can occur from two main reasons; uneven heating or uneven cooling. This can be because of the geometry of the blade, If one part of the blade has more mass it will give up it's heat to the quench slower, the thinner will cool quicker and shrink accordingly, pulling the still hot and slightly plastic thicker steel out of shape. The above method works because the spine never becomes plastic and holds the shape while the stresses are being built into the edge section. 

Not being a professional, or ever having sold a knife, I'm not concerned with delivering a blade of x rockwell. I'm blessing someone with a tool fit for purpose. So far I haven't had any complaints of blades breaking or not holding an edge.

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