Well, the journey of making the Shard knife came to its end last weekend. I must say, it turned out even better than I had imagined. I sure hope that the client who commissioned this piece is as pleased with it as I am. This is the 41st folding knife that has come out of my shop. Last night, I was looking at the first few knives that I had made, comparing them to this latest. I have come a long ways in the last couple of years and it was fun to see the progress in my skills. Here are the final photos of build #41, the Shard.
We left off last week at the beginning of the hand sanding process. The knife is fastened to my sanding jig. This is my hand sander that I use to finish out my blades. I keep tweaking the sander and I'm almost, but not quite, satisfied with it. Anyway, I start with 220 grit and work up to a 600 grit finish.
And here's the blade with its 600 grit, hand-rubbed satin finish. Pretty!
I get the question all of the time about how I get my mark onto my blades. Here's how it's done. I have a screen print stencil with my mark. I tape it onto the blade and use my shop-built electroetcher to eat away a layer of metal and to deposit a layer of black oxide in the bottom of the mark.
And here's the blade with the final mark. Looks good, doesn't it?
With the blade done, it's time to finish up the rest of the knife. I like to add some jeweling to the inside of my liners. It's a very subtle detail, but I think it's worth the time. I use a Kratex cylinder mounted in my drill press for making the little swirl marks. There are better ways to do this that produce a more uniform pattern, but this process works fine for me.
With the liners jeweled, I can move on to cutting in and fitting the lock bar. I blacken the area in with a Sharpie and put the spacer and blade in place. I use a thin razor blade to mark a line on the liner at the back of the blade tang.
Once the location of the lock bar has been determined, I cut the lock bar out using a thin cutoff disk mounted in my drill press. I manually feed the part into the cutter in order to make the cut. I cut the face of the lock bar on the long side so I can fit it tightly to the blade in the next step.
I use some cloth-backed sandpaper to clean up the liner around the lock bar cut.
This is how I fit the lock bar to the tang. I assemble the knife and file away the face of the lock bar until it locks up with the tang in the right position.
Perfect full lock up!
This photo is a little blurry, but I am setting the ceramic detent ball into the lock bar. I use a 0.015 washer as a spacer to get the perfect set depth on the detent ball. The blade gets a corresponding hole drilled into it so that when the blade is in the closed position, the detent ball falls into the hole and holds the blade closed.
I didn't take any pics of the anodizing process, but you can go back to a previous post to see how that is done. I chose a nice bronze color which will nicely compliment the mammoth scales.
It's time for some final details. Here is the back spacer mounted in my vise. I am giving it a stipple texture by using a Dremel tool with a diamond tipped flame bit. It takes lots and lots of dots to give the wanted texture to the part. I will continue this pattern all the way around the spacer.
The bolsters get the same texture as the spacer. Thousands and thousands of dots!
Once my wrist cramps up, I know the texture is about done. Here are the parts in their final state. I knock them down with some 600 grit paper to polish off any sharp edges caused by the stippling.
This is what it looks like when you knock a glass bottle of enamel paint off the top shelf and it lands on your anvil. This was a bear to clean up. I still finished off my soda, though it had a funny wang to it.
The completed Shard knife.
Spine view. Told you those bronze liners looked good with the ivory.
And a final view of the back of the knife in the closed position.
I sure hope that my client likes his new knife. I truly enjoyed the whole process. I'll be adding this design to my standard patterns for future clients to consider. Now it's time to get started on the next knife. It will be a Jaguar pattern for another custom order. It will be a little different from the knives I usually make, so I hope you will follow along. Thanks for stopping by the Robinson Edge.
- Brandant Robinson