My shop time this last weekend was very productive. I was able to get the Guardian knife practically finished. In fact, it's done except for the finish on the pocket clip. Here are a few progress photos of the knife build.
The bolsters on my Guardian design are quite large, creating a nice canvas for creativity. I decided to add a stipple texture to them to break up that plain surface. I added the texture using my rotary tool with a fine-tipped diamond bur. It takes a long time to make thousands of dots, but the finished product is worth the extra time and aching wrist at the end. Only three more to go. . . I will also texture the spine of the blade and the spacer to punch up the wow factor. By the way, if you make knives and don't have any of these little Kant Twist clamps, do yourself a big favor and pick up a handful. They are terrific!
With the bolsters finished up it was time to move on to the blade. I know the photo is a little fuzzy (darn cheep cell phone), but you can still make out my maker's mark etched into the blade.
This is my set up for anodizing titanium. It's really a simple system made up of a DC power supply, a set of negative and positive power leads, a plastic bath filled with an electrolytic solution, and a piece of steel to act as a sacrificial anode. If you haven't seen titanium being anodized, it's really an amazing process. I'll have to take some video in the future of the process and post it here for you to see.
Here are the liners after a short dip at about 25 volts. This is one of my favorite colors for titanium and it should look really nice up against those carbon fiber scales. You may notice that I have also jeweled the insides of the liners. I took some pics of that process too, but somehow the photos got lost. I think I have gremlins in my shop.
Sometimes a titanium lock rubbing up against a steel blade tang can get a little "sticky" or hard to disengage. To eliminate this problem I like to carbidize the lock face. This adds a thin layer of hard carbide on the lock which all but does away with sticky locks.
I have a small piece of 416 stainless rod chucked up in my lathe. This little piece of steel will become the thumb stud for this knife. Some day I hope to buy a metal lathe, but this old gal gets the job done.
My phone takes terrible closeups, so I didn't bother snapping any pics of the turning process, but these are the tools that I use to get the job done. I use mostly hand files to turn the thumb stud to shape and polish it up with some sandpaper. I also drill and tap a hole in the bottom to receive a screw for attachment to the blade.
Here's the last progress photo for the Guardian knife. The only thing left to do is finish off the pocket clip and the whole build will be complete. I should be able to find some time over the next few days to get that done, and once I do, I'll snap some higher quality pics of the finished knife before it moves over to the available knives page. I'll send out an email to my subscribers when the knife becomes available for purchase.
I must admit that I enjoyed this build immensely. This is one of my favorite knife designs, kind of a gentleman's tactical knife if you know what I mean. It also feels really great in the hand. It will be hard to let this one go, but I'm sure it will find a new home very soon.
Thanks for following along with me on this build. Now I have to decided what to build next. The problem is not the lack of ideas, it's trying to pick just one!
- Brandant Robinson