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Knife scales

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Project by McLeanVA posted 05-26-2015 01:54 PM 1392 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to make knife scales for years. Just one of those “that’d be a cool thing to try” nags that has been in the back of my mind. I finally took the plunge and bought a knife blank and got to work.

The steel blank was purchased from Woodcraft (on sale). I tossed the screws that came with the blank away and decided to purchase 3/16” brass rod which I cut down into pins. A little bit of wood, some epoxy, a file, and spindle sander, sand paper, a simple finish and a beall buffing wheel, it boom.

Really simple weekend project and they make great gifts. Glad I tried it and I hope it inspires you to try as well. Thanks for looking. Fire away if you have any questions. I’m no expert, but learned a lot over the weekend.

Scales made from walnut, with maple/walnut veneer stripes.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.





10 comments so far

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#1 posted 05-26-2015 03:21 PM

Looks good, I’ve been wanting to try making handles for a knife as well, just haven’t got around to it.

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

488 posts in 2899 days


#2 posted 05-26-2015 03:25 PM

@Gixxerjoe04 – Now’s your chance. Woodcraft has the blanks on sale this week for $9.99. Worth picking one up and giving it a whirl. As I mentioned, you can either use the screws that come with the blank, or pick up some 3/16” brass (or even steel) rod. If you do try it, make sure you wrap the blade with lots of painters tape, it comes pretty sharp out of the box. Keep the painters tape on the entire time and unwrap it as the last step before presentation.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#3 posted 05-26-2015 04:07 PM

Know of any good tutorials online? Afraid I’d mess up having to deal with the pens in it.

View Hooligan's profile

Hooligan

28 posts in 958 days


#4 posted 05-26-2015 04:10 PM

Looks great, I really like the Maple/Walnut veneer and the addition of the brass pins. I have been very tempted by the Woodcraft sale of these blanks.

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

488 posts in 2899 days


#5 posted 05-26-2015 04:48 PM

@Gixxerjoe04 there are plenty of videos on YouTube that explain the basic process. Can’t really point to any specific one as I have learned a lot of tricks and steps from many of them.

Basic steps that I followed…

1. Start with solid block of wood 3/4” – 1” thick. Oversized for your knife blank.
2. Tape (securely) the knife blank to the top of the wood piece.
3. Drill your hole through the pin openings in the knife blank down through your wood. This must be precise. After I drill one hole, I place a spare drill bit of same diameter in first hole and move to the second. Same for second to third.
4. After all holes are drilled I remove the drill bits and the knife blank from the wood.
5. I then cut the wood blank in two on the bandsaw (resaw)
6. I then shape the front of the wood blanks that will sit closest to the blade. This will be impossible once it’s epoxied without damaging the blade surface.
7. I coat both sides of the knife blank with 2-part 30min epoxy.
8. Place the scales (handles) onto the knife blank and drive the 3 brass pins through, and clamp tight to set.
9. After this dries, it’s all up to you. Grind/sand off ends of pins and shape to your desire.
10. Sand through to 400 grit.
11. Finish as desired.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

3800 posts in 3059 days


#6 posted 05-26-2015 06:15 PM

Nice!! Definitely on my bucket list

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View RootandBranch's profile

RootandBranch

241 posts in 569 days


#7 posted 05-26-2015 08:30 PM

Thank you for posting this. Really great looking knife and a timely posting. I was given a knife kit sometime back and recently picked up some scales but everything has been sitting on the bench. The stripes really make it stand out and great job with the shaping.

-- Don, https://www.etsy.com/shop/RootandBranchGifts - http://facebook.com/rootandbranchgifts

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

488 posts in 2899 days


#8 posted 05-26-2015 08:51 PM

Thanks Don. The spindle sander became my best friend over the weekend. After you epoxy the scales and the pins to the knife blank, you can profile it (using spindle sander) right up to the steel of the knife blank. All of the scratches will go away after you progress through your sandpaper (by hand). Also, if you want/need to change the profile of the knife blank, you can sand it along with the wood and change the shape. I didn’t like the top/back of the original blank and thought it would look nicer with a slight curve, so I just winged it and it made for a nicer shape.

In order to get the stripes to work, you should tape the scales together and run them through a bandsaw. Just try and keep a nice arc without any abrupt turns while cutting. Then just wood glue and veneer and clamp it all back together to set up. I hope you have fun trying it out. Pretty cool little project.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#9 posted 05-27-2015 12:57 AM

Thanks for the tips, of course I was at woodcraft twice over the weekend, would need to make it back over there before the sale ends in a couple days.

View Roger's profile

Roger

19878 posts in 2269 days


#10 posted 05-31-2015 01:39 AM

Mighty fine. Those strings running threw really gives it an extra pop.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

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