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I Forge Iron

I need some suggestions for the pros..


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So I forged my second blade ever the other night. It's cablemascus. Kind of a small caping style with a blade that's only 1 1/2" long or so. Full tang, and pretty short maybe 4 - 4 1/2" oal. I was thinking about putting a small brass guard on it, then put stag scales on. Only problem is, I don't know what the muriatic acid is going to do to the brass. Also on any pattern welded steel knife, what is the procedure for properly shaping the scales to meet the blad exactly since you have to etch it? Here's what I had figured...

- braze rough shaped piece of brass on for guard.
-drill tang and scales for rivet. Insert rivets (or screws the same diameter maybe with nuts). grind sand so that scales and tang are flush. Remove scales.
-heat treat blade (kind of sucks that I already did this and sanded, but I can do it over again I guess)
-glue up and rivet scales
-grind / sand guard to be flush with sides of scales and finish profile guard and polish.

Does this sound about right? I'm thinking for a pattern welded blade I should have done a half tang or whatever you call it where you epoxy the tang into a hole in the handle? Still would've had an issue with the guard I guess.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

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Jens, I do consider you a pro from the quality of work you've posted. I think I'm in a pinch with this blade (lack of forethought, actually the whole thing was an afterthough after welding up a cable billet just because...) because I think the only option for attaching the brass is to braze it on. Or I guess I could solder it also. but then I'd still have the problem of "erasing" the etch on the edges of the tang when I sand the handle scales to fit nice.I guess It's actually not too late to go to a half tang or whatever you call it. I could grind the tang down in width, then push a brass piece up to the shoulder I just ground, then drill a hole in a piece of elk antler and epoxy the whole mess together. It may not be worth doing any more work to the thing and just chalking it up to experience, but I was real happy with how well the cable welded up for me and thought it'd be nice to make something out of it since it didn't work out for it's original purpose (a completely different project).

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It's kinda "cute", not real sure if it's useful, but I like the way it came out. It's tiny. That's my cell phone in the background, the blade's about 1 1/4" long, the handle is about three inches long. I ended up going with a brass guard. I used the tip off an elk antler that a buddy brought back from Glacier Nat. Park this summer when he went up there on a wildfire assignment. I basically whittled the tang down to about 1 1/2" long by 1/8 by 1/4, then milled a slot that size in the guard and then drilled a 1/4" hole 1 1/2" deep in the antler. then I "nicked" the tang with a slitter wheel to give a mechanical lock in addition to the adhesive and then filled the hole with epoxy and crammed it all together. Then once it was cured I ground the guard to be flush with the antler on my 1x42 belt grinder. Let me know what y'all think. One issue I found is that it's not easy to get the shoulders on the backside of the blade exactly even, so there's a tiny gap top and bottom between the blade and guard/bolster. Also, the area I left for the partial tang was somewhat tapered so if you look at the knife end on, you can see a small gap on each side of the blade. I wish I'd have read Rich's suggestion before I got to this point, JB would've been just the think to hide that. Oh well, it is what it is. My second knife and a vast improvement over the first one. Now back to other endeavors. Sorry for the poor pic quality. No good light in the house at night.



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