Saturday, January 24, 2015

Living On The Edge

My little brother, Dan LaFong, is prospecting for the Boozefighters MC. While I was in my knife making mode, I thought I'd make one for him. I'll give it to him when he patches in, probably later this year. Rather than using a saw blade, like I did for the last little pig sticker that I made, I used an old, worn out, file. I heated it to red hot and let it cool. This annealed it. I cut out the shape with my angle grinder and shaped it with the disc and belt sander. I cut the bevel with a file, using a simple jig that I made to hold the file at the same angle as I worked across the length of the blade. It took a few hours to get it close to a cutting edge. I removed the scratches with sandpaper until most were gone. I fired up my little foundry pot and stuck the blank it. Like the first knife, I let it get red hot and quenched it in salad oil. Once it was cool,I put it in the oven at 400 degrees, for an hour to temper it. I finished polishing out the remaining scratches. I decided to etch his name on the blade. I used clear packing tape as a stencil. I cut the letters with a scalpel, exposing the metal underneath. I hooked up a battery charger and clipped the positive to the blade. The negative side was clipped to a Q Tip. It was dipped in salt water and dabbed on the area to be etched. It quickly began to smoke and black, oxidized stuff began to bubble up. I continued to dip the swab in the salt water and re apply the solution. After a few minutes, I cleaned it up an removed the tape. It left a very nice impression. I suppose I could have gone deeper, But I think It'll be fine. Next, we need to add the scales. The Boozefighters colors are green. We had some green canvas that Wifey used to make a laundry bag some time ago. I cut it into strips and soaked them in clear epoxy. I laid them on top of each other until I had a stack that was about 3/8ths of an inch thick. I clamped them between two pieces of wood and let it set up. After cutting away the wood, I had a nice piece of home brewed Micarta. I epoxied them to either side of the blade and filed and sanded them to shape. I cut some random grooves on the sides for some visual effect and a better grip. I like it. It looks dark it the pictures, but in the sun, it's a nice deep green. I have no leather working skills, so I made a sheath from walnut and some maple burl accents. I did wrap it with some leather lacing between the maple and made a leather belt loop. I sunk two rare earth magnets in the back, under the loop to hold the knife in the sheath

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cutting Edge Stuff

I was feeling artistic and creative the other day, so I went down to the shop to make some sort of small project. I decided to try to make a knife. I grabbed an old circular saw blade and a Magic Marker. I sketched out what looked good to my eye on the blade. With an angle grinder, I cut out the blank. I refined the shape with the bench grinder and a die grinder, with a stone in it. Once I had the profile that I was looking for, I ground the bevel for the edge. I used a piece of 2X4, cut to a 5 degree angle, as a jig. I clamped the blank to the 2X4 and ground both sides, with a disc sander, until I had a fairly sharp edge. Once everything was ground, I worked out the scratches with emery cloth and sand paper. Using the torch, I heated the blank to a cherry red color and quenched it in salad oil. Then I stuck it in the oven, at 400 degrees for an hour, to temper it. Back in the shop, I cut some unknown hardwood for the scales (handles). The stuff is as hard as a rock, whatever it is. I epoxied them on, with some stainless rods added for extra strength and looks. I sanded it smooth and rounded all the edges. A few coats of Danish oil on the scales and it's a done deal. It's my first attempt at a knife and I'm quite pleased.