Thursday, June 11, 2009
It feels like a very long time ago that I emailed SBW asking if he wanted to review a knife. We had a great deal of emails go back and forth, nutting out the details of the design and materials to use, and most of the time having a good chat too.
This was a huge learning curve for me. Firstly, I had to make something to somebody's specifications - everything I've made so far has been my design and I've been able to allow the blades to evolve as I either make mistakes or change my mind. So this time around, every time I did something wrong my shed would be filled with colourful language as I tossed aside something I'd broken, bent, burned, gouged, melted, chipped, or just generally been unsatisfied with, and then started making it again.
This was the first knife I've made out of a file, and I quickly found that annealing it with a blowtorch just isn't enough. This required annealing several times before I could get it to a workable hardness (or softness).
G-10 is an incredibly unforgiving material. Try shaping it with anything other than a brand new belt and it turns black and starts smoking before your very eyes. I used an entire block of material before I managed to figure out the right pressure when grinding.
The welded buttcap was the last straw - even with the welder on it's lowest setting, I managed to melt part of the tang into a small V indent (which is still there) and simply couldn't fix without risking more damage. This was after the first welding attempt saw the buttcap fall off after it was welded on, shaped, and sanded back to a smooth finish. I actually consider myself to be a fairly passable welder, but arc welding something so small is pretty tricky stuff.
Still, it's all experience and I can finally say that the knife is finished. I just hope SBW finds it to his liking.