As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I will be building two knives simultaneously, each with a couple of new-to-me items. The first knife will be a Glaucus with all hidden screws and caged ceramic bearings. The second will be a new design that I will call the Raven. It will be my first flipper with caged ceramic bearings, hidden stop pin, and all hidden screws.
Here are the major parts for each knife roughed out and the blades profiled and surface ground. The Glaucus will get zirconium bolsters and spacer and lightning strike carbon fiber scales. I really love the zirc/carbon fiber combo. The Raven will have 416 stainless bolsters, red Micarta scales, and instead of a spacer, it will have four custom-turned standoffs.
Here is the Raven blade getting counterbored to relieve a race for the caged bearings to ride in. I ordered a 3/8" counterbore from an online store to do the job, but the company that I ordered it from sent me a 5/16" one by mistake. I'm not a patient guy, so I improvised and cut the counterbore with a 3/8" endmill. It wasn't ideal, but I think it will work until the right tool arrives.
This was my first chance to use this new rotary table that I purchased a couple months ago with this particular knife design in mind. The hidden stop pin will ride in a crescent-shaped hole that I'm about to cut out with a 1/8" endmill. I need to find a better way of fastening my work down to this table, but for now I used a couple machine bolts and a scrap piece of Micarta to back up the through hole.
Here is a detail pic of the blade tangs after being milled. You can see the counterbored pockets in both blades and the crescent hole for the stop pin in the Raven.
This pic shows how I attached the scales to the liners with hidden screws. Tapping threads into carbon fiber or Micarta is not a very good idea. These materials just wouldn't be strong enough to support the screws without tearing out. To solve that problem, I glued in two small discs of stainless steel into the back sides of the scales. These discs were then drilled and tapped to receive 0-80 screws. This should be enough to keep the scales fastened securely, especially when the dovetailed bolsters are installed which will lock them in place even better.
Here is the Glaucus handle with the bolsters and scales attached and profiled. This is the overall look that I'm going for. I think having the screws hidden will give this knife a real sleek look. I'm still crossing my fingers that this is going to work. The big problem with hidden screws is how to drive them into place when the knife is assembled. I'll let you stew on that one for a while and show you my solution next time.
Here's the final pic of the day showing the Raven Scales after being attached to the liners. The scales will still need to be trimmed off at the front and back ends and dovetailed to mate up with the bolsters. More of that on next weeks post.
I need to finish these two knives up as custom orders are poring in. Nick Shabazz bought one of my knives and posted a pic and review on Instagram, which has really boosted my online exposure. For those of you who may not be familiar with Nick (I wasn't until he purchased one of my pieces), he does some really in-depth reviews of knifes and other gear. He has thousands of followers and his positive review has brought my work into the spotlight. He will be doing a YouTube video review of my knife in the near future which will really cause a spike to my orders. At least that's what I'm hoping for. If you're one of those who is looking to place an order soon, you might want to get your name on the books sooner rather than later as I will serve each client in the order that they contact me. The waiting time is at about three months right now and growing.
Thanks for following along with me on this build. I hope you will enjoy watching these two pieces come to life. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Have a great week.
- Brandant Robinson