After spending so long making the kitchen knife set for my sweet wife, it felt so good to be working on a folder again. I made some very good progress on the Guardian over the last couple of days, so I thought that I would share.
Here is the blade fresh out of a heat treat cycle. CPM154 is my favorite steel to work with and it makes for a great performing blade. Admittedly, this is the second blade that I have made for this knife. The first one now resides in my drawer of shame after botching up the grind. Thankfully I don't mess up too many blades these days, but every now and then. . .
Here's an action shot of the grinding process. I have my 10 inch wheel with a small work rest mounted on my grinder. I use a shop-made guide that attaches to the blade tang for establishing my plunge lines.
Once the blade is ground, it's off to the vise for a lot of hand finishing.
Here's the finished blade with a 600 grit satin finish. I will likely need to do a final sanding after the knife is practically done since keeping things unscratched in a shop is nearly impossible. You can see the carnage of sandpaper and paper towels on the bench behind. It's a whole lot of work!
I didn't take any photos of the pivot assembly. I got caught up in the build and forgot about snapping pics. This is the first assembly of the whole knife. From here I will true up the profile and fit everything together tightly.
I don't usually put a pocket clip on my knives. I personally don't like them since they are the reason so many knives are lost, but I decided to add one on this knife since it's kind of a gentleman's tactical knife and many folks like the clip. Here is the titanium clip being formed by heating with the torch and bending in the vise.
Here is my setup for cutting the lockbar into the liner. I use a thin rotary cutter disk mounted in my drill press. I clamp the liner in my drill press vise and hand feed the assembly into the cutter. I go very slowly and it takes two or three disks to get the job done.
This is what the knife looks like at the time I knocked off for the weekend. I've rounded off and contoured the handle. The bolsters will get textured, so I didn't bother taking them up any higher than 120 grit. The lightning strike carbon fiber scales on the other hand were taken up to 2000 grit and buffed with pink scratch-less compound until nice and shiny. The cell pics don't show the carbon fiber very well, but trust me, they are absolutely beautiful. I'm definitely using this stuff again.
Here's the backside of the knife with the clip attached. I have a lot of finish work to do on the clip, and I may add a third screw to the clip just to make sure it doesn't come loose.
And a final pic showing the lockup of the knife. It's nice and early and rock solid. I still have a lot of finish and detail work left to go before this one will be finished. Be sure to sign up for my email list to receive a message when this one is available if you're interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for following along with me on this build.
- Brandant Robinson