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  • Writer's pictureBrandant Robinson

Fully Assembly & Handle Finishing

Greetings, my fellow knife enthusiasts. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Personally, I enjoyed some quiet time with family and a few more quiet hours out in the shop. Here are a few pics of the progress on the Jaguar and Virtue knives that I'm currently working on.

The first order of business was to grind the spacers to their final thickness. This is done on my surface grinder attachment. This little shop-built tool is pretty darn accurate (0.0005" over about 4"). That not bad at all!

The spacer gets clamped to the liner and the holes are spotted and drilled through the spacer. The liner then gets counter bored in order to recess the screw heads. The backside liner then gets threads tapped to accept the 0-80 screws.

Here is the Jaguar knife with the spacer screwed in place. The long screws get trimmed off and ground flat on the back side using my shop-built disk grinder.

In the construction of most of my knives, the spacer becomes the positive blade stop for the open position. In order to get the position set correctly, I black out the tip of the spacer with a Sharpie, set the blade in the correct position and then scratch a line with an X-Acto knife. The tip of the spacer is then ground down to the line. Simple and effective.

Both knives are assembled to check their open blade positions. Looks good.

As you can see from this pic, the spacers are slightly proud of the liners. This is by design so that I can grind the profile down until everything is just right.

After several hours at the grinder, the handles are profiled, contoured, and shaped to their final dimensions. I took both of them up to 2000 grit and then hit them with some pink buffing compound on the buffer. I wasn't really sure how the Micarta handle of the Virtue knife was going to look, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, especially that no hardware is visible. If you recall, the Jaguar bolsters are Damasteel, so now that they are nice and polished, they can be heat treated so that they will take a good etch.

At the request of the client, the spine of the Virtue knife gets treated to some file work. I wanted something that would compliment the sleek look of the knife, so I chose to use a twisted ribbon pattern to keep things smooth and flowing.

The spine filework is complete and the blades are ready for heat treat.

These two knives are coming together well. After seeing them assembled, I'm really looking forward to seeing them finished. They should both be beautiful knives in their own right. More to come next week. Thanks for following along with me on this knife-making adventure.

- Brandant Robinson

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