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Thread: Knives for the Knephews

  1. #1
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    Knives for the Knephews

    This is closer to flatwork than round stuff, although a lot of Neander tools were also used. Anyway, I figure I'll post it here.

    Last year for their Christmas presents, I told my sister's three boys (all in their 20s) to each pick a knife blank from TexasKnife.com (within reason), and I'd put handles on them. Well, it only took me half a year, but I got them done recently.

    Here are the three blanks I started out with. One had the bolster already attached, but the other two I had to attach and shape the steel bolster as well as the wood grips...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The oldest nephew chose the smallest of the knives. A little 7 1/2" bullnose skinner that ended up with desert ironwood scales (some of Barry Richardson's wood)...

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    Middle son picked the big guy, a 9 3/4" drop point that now has black & white ebony scales...

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    And the youngest one chose the guthook model, about 8 1/4" long with carob scales...

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    All three boys are avid hunters and shooters, so I expect these knives to actually be used. I finished them with a few coats of BLO and 3-wheel buffing. They can renew the BLO pretty easily if needed in the future.

    Comments (good or bad) and suggestions are welcome.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    Vaughn, those are SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!! !!! The fit and finish on those knives look great. Also, from a hunter, they look more than serviceable, they look like the type of knife when used, anyone in the vicinity will say, "let me look at that knife, where did you get this knife?" Eye catchers for sure!! How were the blades themselves? Come sharp?
    I for one would appreciate you documenting one of these builds. I eventually want to build my own, would make excellent Christmas gifts for a few family members also.
    Oh, on the length of time for the build, hey it is almost deer season, perfect timing!!!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    Your talent and variety of skills continue to impress!

    Those are all priceless!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Jon. They are pretty easy to make. I meant to photograph the building of these, then I forgot to do it. I start with 5/8" thick slices of wood, stick them together with double-sided tape, trace out the rough shape and cut them on the bandsaw. Then I just epoxy them to the blade blank, and do the shaping with an oscillating belt/spindle sander, rasps and sandpaper. (That's the fun part. You can tweak the shape to make it feel good in your hand.) The metal bolsters were done much the same way, but they also have steel pins that get glued, peened, and filed/ground/sanded down. The wood handles can also be pinned, but I didn't use them for these knives. It only takes a few hours per knife, spread out over a couple days (waiting for the glue to dry). Keep in mind that I'm a hack when it comes to knife making. Some of the real nice knives out there have a lot more hours invested in them.

    I don't know if your school would frown on it, but I think they'd make pretty easy projects for students.

    The blades from Texas Knifemaker's Supply come in a condition most people would consider sharp, but in my opinion they can use a little touch-up with good steel or a leather strop. About as good as any factory edge I've seen (except for my Global kitchen knives...those things are in a class by themselves). The cryogenically-treated steel holds an edge very well. I made a brisket knife for my dad last year, and he compares the steel to his Henckels and Wusthoffs. I figure I'll let the boys put the final edges on their knives. Their granddad (my dad) has taught them well.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Nice job on the knives Vaughn all 3 of them are NICE Now what is used for sheathes? are you going to stitch some up?

  6. #6
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    Tom, the folks who make the blade blanks also sell leather sheaths specifically made for each blank. They are plain leather, ready for dying or limited tooling. (Can't get real carried away with the tooling since they're already stitched up.) Although I went over budget on these knives, I figure I'll order the sheaths and tell the boys they are an early Christmas present for this year.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    very nice vaughn they are SHARP does the epoxy hold the wood that well?? i would think that a sharp blow would seperate them? havnt had the expeiernce in epoxy that much so just being curious..all three are users for sure..you can almost feel them in your hand if your accustomed to using knife regularly.. nice fit and finish..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Mighty-mighty fine looking skinners there. Glad the youngsters are hunters and will use these well.
    Good job making them.
    Gotta admit, though, the absence of pins or screws for the handles bothers me.

  9. #9
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    I love a purity knife. Nice Job

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    ...does the epoxy hold the wood that well?? i would think that a sharp blow would seperate them? ...
    On the test pieces I made, the wood broke before the glue did. I scratch up the metal and the wood with 80 grit sandpaper before gluing them, to give the glue a bit of tooth to hold onto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...Gotta admit, though, the absence of pins or screws for the handles bothers me.
    I debated back and forth on it myself, but decided to try them pinless. I've seen enough other nice knives that weren't pinned that I figured I'd give it a try. Time will tell though.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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