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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

Etching & Blade Grinding

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. I always love spending time with my family. I managed to make some progress in the shop, so here are a few pics of the work I accomplished.

If you recall, the bolsters for the Bobcat are made out of Damasteel, which is a pattern welded steel (Damascus). In order to bring out the beautiful patterns in the steel, it must be chemically etched. Here is my little jar filled with Muriatic acid. The bolsters are each suspended by a thin wire and allowed to etch in the acid.

While the bolsters were etching I started applying the finish to the Bobcat handle scales. For this stabilized maple burl I like to use an oil-based finish. Tru-Oil is one of the best finishes of this type around. I apply a liberal amount, allow to sit for a few minutes, and then wipe off the excess. The scales are then allowed to dry for several hours and then the process is repeated several more times (usually 5-6 on small scales) until the desired finish is achieved.

The bolsters were taken out of the acid and neutralized in some baking soda and water. Man, these turned out nice!!! One of the best etches I've achieved. They should look fantastic on the finished knife.

It's time to start working on the blades and turn these KSO's (knife-shaped objects) into real working tools of beauty. Here are the two blades with the layout fluid drying.

Here we are grinding the hollow-ground bevels on the Bobcat blade on a 12 inch wheel. I think this is at about 220 grit. We'll go up to 400 on the grinder and then shift over to hand sanding up to 600 grit for a nice satin finish.

And here's the finished Bobcat blade. I love a nice satin finish. I looks even better in person. Next week I hope to get the Pride blade finished and the locks set. Then, it will only be filework and a couple other details and these knives will be finished. My clients have been more than patient, so I'd like to deliver these soon.

Thanks for following along. Have a great week.

- Brandant Robinson

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