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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

Progress on the Shard Knife

The Shard knife is coming along nicely. I was able to get the major parts all roughed out and almost ready for a first assembly.

The major parts are all laid out on their respective stock. The liners will be made from 6AL4V titanium, the bolsters and spacer from 416 stainless, and the scales will be made from these really cool pieces of mammoth ivory. It still amazes me that these hunks of raw material will soon become a knife. I truly find enjoy the whole creative process.

It looks like I missed taking a photo of the pieces after being roughed out on the band saw and grinder, but there's not much to see at that point anyway. Here I am measuring the thickness of the blade plus the two bronze washers with my micrometer. I need to know this thickness in order to get the back spacer surface ground down to the right thickness in order to keep things tight.

Here's the back spacer being surface ground to the proper thickness. I love this attachment. I really don't know why I did without it for so long. It's pretty darn accurate too.

The location of all of the screw holes gets marked with a center punch onto the first liner by using the paper template.

The liner is then drilled with pilot holes in all the right locations. This liner is then used as a template to drill the second liner so that all holes line up perfectly.

Here's the first liner clamped to the second, ready for drilling.

The bolsters get clamped in place on the liners and the screw holes will be drilled through the bolsters.

Once the holes are drilled through the bolsters and counter sunk for the screw heads, I fasten them together with a couple of drill bits and grind the back edges flush with each other. This way the two bolsters will be exact mirror images of each other once they are assembled. There's nothing that looks worse than bolsters that don't line up properly.

Once the bolsters are matched up, the back side gets ground at 30 degrees for a dovetail fit with the scale material. I do this at the disk sander with the table set at the appropriate angle.

Now that the holes are all lined up, it time for a whole lot of thread tapping.

Working with natural material can be a bit tricky. I sand the back sides of the mammoth scales absolutely flat with the grinder and I follow that by hand sanding on the surface plate. With these scales I only have one flat side which happens to be the bottom. I built this tool rest so that it will rotate downward which allows me to grind off the top of the scale at 30 degrees so that it mates up properly with the dovetailed bolster.

Here I'm checking the fit. No daylight at the dovetail joint, and no daylight between the scale and liner. Excellent!

Again, it's tricky to work with this mammoth as I have to drill the screw holes through the bottom of the scales. I use this little jig to accomplish this task which is no more than a piece of square tubing with a large hole drilled in it. I clamp the liner to the scale, slide the assembly into the jig so the mammoth is upside down, clamp it in place, and drill the hole. Kind of a primitive set up, but it works pretty dang good.

Here's the final pic of the handles in their roughed out state. All the screws have been inserted and tightened down for a test fit. Looking good!

More to come next week, so be sure to stop back. Thanks for following along with me on this new build. I hope you enjoy the journey.

- Brandant Robinson

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