The Beginning of a Jaguar
Every time that I finish building a knife, I can't wait to get started on the next one. The Shard knife that I completed last week turned out absolutely great, so I'm ridding the wave of good fortune. My next adventure into knife making will be another custom order for a new client. This client has requested a Jaguar knife with quite a few items that will personalize it to his particular tastes. If it turns out half as great as I picture it in my mind, this one will be something special. Let's get started.
Here's the basic pattern that this knife will be built on with a few modifications. This knife will have front bolsters only, a lanyard hole at the back corner, and thumb studs on both sides of the blade for ambidextrous opening. The details will be kept simple, i.e. no filework or anodizing of the components. The components will stand alone and the final finishes and fit of the knife will be the true features.
Here is the CPM154 blade after it has been profiled and drilled/reamed for the pivot and thumb studs. It's ready to go through heat treatment to be hardened and tempered. After getting wrapped in this tool foil, it goes into my heat treat oven through a hardening cycle. Once it has been heated, it gets plate quenched, cryo treated, and double tempered.
The raw materials are rough cut and ready for refining. The liners are 6AL4V titanium, the bolsters and spacer are copper, and the scales will be book-matched padauk wood. I think this combination is going to look really nice.
I find that sourcing copper in the thickness that I need it to be a real challenge. The 1/8" thick bars that I can get from my suppliers are undersized by about 1/32" which is just too thin for a knife of this size. My only other "economical" choice is to buy a 3/8" thick bar, which presents another challenge. It wouldn't be a big deal if I had a mill, but I don't. Using my band saw and splitting it down the center isn't a good choice either since it's really not set up to cut through something so thick. So, the best way I have come up with is to use my surface grinder to thin it out. Since my surface grinder has a magnetic table, and copper is not magnetic, I super glue the part to a scrap piece of steel which will stick to the magnetic table. After that, it's lots and lots of grinding.
I know it's not much to look at right now, but here are most of the major parts. The blade has been heat treated, the spacer and bolsters have been thinned down, and the parts are all ready to be profiled. I had so much going on this weekend that this is all I was able to get done. By the end of next week, these parts should be looking much more like a knife.
I hope you will follow along with me on this new build. It should be a fun project.
- Brandant Robinson