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I Forge Iron

Camp knife -- 80CrV2, Ipe, and brass -- criticism welcome

J.P. Hall

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A couple of firsts on this one:

-80CrV2: hardened well in canola oil, though the reputation for a thick decarb layer is true. The edge is thickest at the heel and tip, but all sections shave after chopping through 8" of 1" pine and should be like new with some stropping.

-Broaching: made one from a screwdriver and it worked really well for getting a precise fit.

-Threaded tang: decided to give it a go for simplifying glue-up, but the fit was good enough that I left it without epoxy. There was a couple thousandths of movement between the bolster and handle, so I think I'll go back and bed the tang with epoxy to be safe.

-Sculpted handle: I don't think I quite nailed it, but it's way better than I expected. Shaped entirely on the grinder up to 220, hand sanded at 400, and buffed with beeswax.


I think the brass end cap is pretty tacky, but the female bolt(?) doesn't have a through-hole so I needed a spacer. I'll most likely replace it with some different hardware. The 600 grit satin finish looked really nice until I scratched it right up with the chopping test. The plunges also got pretty washed out, but overall this was a big improvement for me. I'm keeping it for myself for R&D purposes.






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Just a suggestion.

You can make the butt cap less thick by grinding it. You can hog off a lot of the thickness And leave the facets with a rough surface look, to contrast with the shiny and esthetic blade of the knife.

You can sand the wood up to a 400 grit wet sandpaper and then buff it with a chrome oxide green compound buffing compound.  That combination saves a lot of time and the results, (when I use it),  look terrific.

Generally, I think your knife is a beautiful design and very well crafted. Something to be proud of.

What type of wood is the handle made from?



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Thanks guys. 

Slag, the thickness was necessary because the hole on the female bolt doesn't extend close enough to the head. I'm going to find or make something that will give proper clearance.

I have a hard time buffing wood with compound. I may be using too much, but it usually seems to smear some residue. I've tried using less, but it doesn't seem to be enough to really do anything.

I'm fairly certain the wood is Ipe. It's a tropical hardwood used in similar applications as teak. Got it from the scrap bin at a local stair company.

I did notice a small crack in the handle near the bolster, probably from the chop test. If the end cap isn't really cranked down, there is a small bit of vertical play at the bolster. It's also expanded slightly hirizontally just enough to feel relative to the bolster. There isn't a visible step at all but it irks me. I've since bedded the tang, and will most likely do a full-on epoxy job for the next one.

excessive spacing removed

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