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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

A Custom Guardian

I love starting a new build! The possibilities of creating something unique and original always pique my interest and get my creative juices flowing. I have in my mind a fairly clear picture of what I think this knife will be, and I'm very excited to see this idea realized in tangible metal. I hope you will take the time to follow along with me on this build and please, don't hesitate to ask questions or leave comments along the way.

This new build will be a Guardian design knife for one of my very best clients. In fact, he's the one who turned Nick Shabazz on to my work. Nick just posted a very complimentary video review of a Bobcat that he purchased from me a few weeks ago. Here's the video. If you have the time, take a look.

This Guardian is going to be something extra special. It's getting off on a little rocky start, but we'll get through the challenges.

Pictured above are the materials that will be used for the blade, bolsters and back spacer. The bolsters and spacer will be made from this copper/zirconium mokume made by Chad Nichols. It is some really attractive stuff that should pair very well with solid zirconium scales. The blade is a feather Damascus that will look really amazing when finished, that is, I hope so. Here's a little hint when trying to find the best pattern in a Damascus, wood, or any other patterned material. Make a cut out window of the part that you will be making so you can move it around until you have the best pattern for the part in view. Works great.

Here are the parts cut out to rough shape. The liners are 0.050" 6AL4V titanium and the pocket clip is zirconium. It always amazes me that somehow these chunks of metal will soon be a piece of edged art.

The cu-zr mokume is much too thick for the bolsters. I use the mini mill to put these fellers on a quick diet down to about 1/8" thick. This stuff milled really well, but was a bear to cut into individual pieces. Word to the wise. If you ever use this type of mokume, don't use a bandsaw or even a hacksaw. It will peal the layers apart. I found this out the hard way before I went to Nichols Damascus website and read the big disclaimer "This material CANNOT BE BANDSAWED!" It's stated twice, but this dummy missed it both times.

Here is the final pic of the weekend adventures in knife making. The liners have been profiled, the scales, bolsters, clip, and spacer have all been surface ground down to final thickness. The blade has also been profile and surface ground, drilled, and put through heat treatment. The heat treat results were less than ideal, so I will likely be giving that another go before I approve this part for the build.

That's it for now, folks. I hope you enjoyed this post. Check back next week for the next update. Thanks for following along with me on this new build.

- Brandant Robinson

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