What a long journey to get these two completed, but I think they are both well worth the wait. I sure hope my clients think so too. They both represent my best work to date as far as fit, finish, and design are concerned. I'm very proud of both of them. Here are a few photos of the final steps and some completed pics to enjoy.
I fired up the anodizer and added some color to the titanium parts. The liners and pocket clip for the Bobcat get anodized a nice eggplant purple. The liners and pivot collars for the Pride get anodized an icy blue and the pivot screws a deep bronze. I'm always amazed at how adding a little bit of color to a knife really bumps up the wow factor.
It's time to etch the Damascus parts. I don't want to etch certain parts of the blades such as the pivot hole and pivot area, or the lock ramp or detent track. In order to protect these areas from the acid, I paint them with enamel which will resist the acid.
Into the acid it goes. I dip the parts for about 5 minute at a time, take them out and rub off the oxides and repeat the process until I'm happy with the etch.
The blades and the Bobcat's spacer are all etched. I let the oxides set up for a couple of hours and then polish up the high, shiny spots with some worn out 2000 grit paper.
Next, I'll turn a couple of thumb studs on the lathe. The Pride gets a zirconium stud and the Bobcat gets a titanium stud. I use a combination of lathe tools and hand files to get the shapes that I want.
Tiny little things. Here are the two thumb studs all turned, polished and colored. The zirconium stud gets heat colored to a nice charcoal black and the titanium one gets anodized purple to match the other hardware.
Here I am etching my maker's mark into the blades. I etch Damascus blades the same way I do other blade steels, the etch just looks a little more subtle.
Two blades etched, marked, polished and sharpened. They are ready for final assembly.
The lock faces get a layer of carbide welded to them. This helps to mitigate lock stick between the lock bar and the blade tang. It's certainly worth the extra effort to me.
As a final detail, I heat color all of the exposed screw heads for both knives a nice bronze color. On these knives, which have such a dark color tone to them, the bright stainless steel color is too overwhelming. This small touch helps them fade into the background and do their job virtually unnoticed.
Here are some photos and video of the finished knives for your viewing pleasure.
Thank you so much for following along with me on these builds. I hope you like the finished knives. As a side note, I've decided to take some time off from custom orders, at least for a while. I have so many projects going on at home that compete for my free time, and I don't like making clients wait as their builds time gets pushed back or strung out because of personal pursuits. Hopefully, by the end of summer, I will get my home projects done and feel like I can get back to custom orders. I'll still slip out to my shop now and then and work on a few personal projects and will post those builds here on the Blog. Again, thank you for following along with me on my knife-making adventures.
- Brandant Robinson