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Handling a Spyderco Mule W.I.P.

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by Brian Avila, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. dtoad

    dtoad

    255
    Dec 23, 2013
    Amazing work Brian. Can't wait to see this one finished as well.
     
  2. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Removed...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. mrdeus

    mrdeus

    909
    Mar 6, 2012
    Looking good so far! I'm still thinking about what holes to use for the pins/bolts. I'm thinking of putting the lanyard tube in the smaller hole above the one you used. I would like to use the small holes for the pins, but the large ones are placed "better". It feels like the first small hole is too close to the blade and the second is too far back.
     
  4. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    that is how I felt. You can go multiple pins or hidden pins. It also depends on how you want it to look.
     
  5. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    So here goes the rest of the handling of this mule.... We left off with the Epoxy drying. I let it cure for 24 hours and then this morning I took it back to the shop.

    Did not seem to have any problems with the epoxy running out because I watched it closely and I wiped any that leaked out onto the ricasso with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. Clean just the way we want it.

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    So I want to work on the handle but I want to make sure if I do slip a little that I will not be getting the ricasso or the blade. So I will add the point protector back and then cover it with a paper towel and use electric tape to protect the blade.

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    Now it is time to take the excess bolt and lanyard tube off. I could use my grinder to do this the entire way but I wont. Let me tell you why.

    The grinder still gets the metal and even the handle materials hot. Sometimes really hot if you don't pay attention and you are not careful. If you get it to hot, you can discolor and burn your handle materials. So I use a hack so to get most of it off and then use my grinder.

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  6. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Next I put on a 36 grit belt to take the handle scales down closer to the tang. I don't want to touch the tang with the 36 grit belt though, it makes really big rough scratches that sometimes if you mess up, are hard to get out.

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    I got a little to close, but that is ok.

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    But the rest of the knife looks like this close but not touching, yet.

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    I then switch out to an 80 grit belt and go along the profile again, this time I touch every now and then just because I want to get even closer.

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    Once both the top and bottom of the tang are close with the 80 grit I change out to the 120 grit and get closer. Hit the entire top part.

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    Now the bottom part of the handle is concave are really hard to get nice and smooth on a flat platen. I don't have a KMG with a small wheel so I use a drill press and a sanding barrel to even out the inside curve. I DO NOT have to press hard at all, use new barrels and start at 50grit, then 80 grit, and then 120 grit.

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    I pretty much leave the bottom part at 120 till I hand sand because I don't have anything higher than the 120 grit for the drums.
     
  7. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    I now go to a 240 belt and then a 600 grit belt to do the top of the handle. I makes it easier to hand sand when I want to stop at 500 grit hand sanding to go just a little bit higher on the belts. All the belt scratches are perpendicular to the tang, but the final finish will per parallel and even.

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    And here is what it looks like all even...

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    I can now go to the grinder and start using a mixture of the flat platen and a slack belt to get the results I want. But first I need to draw on some guide lines. I want the handle to be rounded and even but where do I want to take my work to? Here is how I gauge it...

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    After that I start grinding away. If you are not careful you will have lots of straight lines and that makes it hard to blend everything together with hand sanding. So I break the 90 degree angle of the scales and I grind straight and follow the contour of the handle in steps.

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    I then do the other side and start to add smaller little blending steps to get them as even as possible.

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    I do this to both the top and the bottom. You just have to go slow and even and do small even passes and steps. Following the contour of the handle will eventually meet to all my lines top and bottom.

    I then go to a slack belt.

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    The slack belt just help blend everything a little bit more before I hand sand.

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    And then it is to the HAND SANDING!!!!!!
     
  8. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Hand sanding.... Over the course of my time I have talked to many people about making knives and doing different things. I got a hold of a guy that traded me this little hand sanding fixture for some stabilized wood I had. It allows me to have the knife held while I sand on it with both hands.

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    I start with the spine and the bottom of the tang and I use some wooden dowels and some metal rod to wrap my sand paper around. I am going to start at 220 and then end at 500 grit.

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    I also use this really really advanced tool that I discovered the other day, I think they call it a "PoP-Sickle stick". :D

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    I sand both the top and bottom spines and then I ended up taking it out of my hand sanding fixture and just holding the knife and hand sanding with my thumb.

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    Like sanding the front of the scales. You have to watch for the rough spots and even the rough grind lines that the belts put there.

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    Even everything out and then wash with soap and water to see if you have gotten everything...

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    Here it is at 500 grit..

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    And here are some pics to show you guys, what I was looking for when hand sanding. I want it to be even and flow from the spine, length wise, width wise, everything. You have to look at it at lots of different directions.

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  9. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    But we are not done!!!

    Soap and water and some WD40 will give you this, where it has not been blasted yet...

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    Hand sanded to 500 grit, g10. Now some of you would say that looks great and I would agree with you. But that was not the plan. I want to have a handle that is rough and grippy so I am going to blast it with 120 grit media.

    I don't want to blast the blade so I tape it off similar to what I did when I was grinding on the handle.

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    Both sides.... And then paper towel and tape like when I was grinding on the handle.

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    Then I take it into my buddies gun smith shop and put it into his blasting cabinet that he is so kindly letting me use.

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    Take it back to my shop and touch up the spine and tang parts.

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    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  10. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Here are the final pictures. After I washed it with soap and water and then used WD40. It has an awesome texture and the grip is great. I might have to add this in on the knives that I make.

    Special note: I dont' photoshop anything. All the pics of this knife and of the other knives that I have made, go from my camera, to the photobucket website and then posted on the forum.

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  11. blgoode

    blgoode

    Oct 3, 2003
    Looks good to me buddy!!!
     
  12. harronek

    harronek

    Nov 29, 2013
    That is " Super Cool "


    Ken
     
  13. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    I haven't seen you on the forums in like forever!!!!!
     
  14. A Justice

    A Justice

    763
    Oct 29, 2013
    You did an excellent job on this one. Very nice - I especially like the contouring, and the transition at the ricasso. It would be hard for anybody to get better results.

    What thickness was the G10 you used?

    I don't think you'll have any problems trading this for an Elmax Mule without handles - and it looks more tan after you sanded on it.
     
  15. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Thanks A Justice - I used 1/4" thick scales. It's thin but I have small hands.
     
  16. Bruceter

    Bruceter Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2000
    That's a cool looking mule, I like the color of the G10 you used.

    Bruceter
     
  17. Brian Avila

    Brian Avila

    Jan 2, 2011
    Thanks guys.

    Bruceter - Yeah the color grew on me.
     
  18. therealmrjones

    therealmrjones

    301
    Jun 23, 2011
    Absolutely awesome, man.
     
  19. charlie2times

    charlie2times

    Aug 11, 2013
    Excellent craftsmanship and thank you for taking the time to do a WIP. She came out pristine.
     
  20. facablade

    facablade

    468
    May 23, 2009
    Beautiful
     

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