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My first not-so-crappy blade

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Chris Leahy, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    So I finally have a blade nearing completion thats OK. No awards will be won, but I'm not ashamed to say its mine and thats a big step forward :)

    Still have to make a guard/bolster and a handle, of course, but the blade is largely done and I'm pretty satisfied. I should have drilled for the pin a little farther down the tang, but it'll still look OK I think

    Still have a question about finishing this. Ive seen a few people talk about how they get a satin finish and I think I'm close but I'm not 100% satisfied. This is sanded to 800 and then I took it back with scotchbright.

    I think its close. I might have to go back to the 800 and do a better job with the final strokes. I think maybe there were some not-so-parallel sanding marks...

    What are your processes for a satin finish?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Excellent blade.

    What makes a blade like that win or loose is the hardware and handle. Look at a lot of photos, make sketches, and don't be afraid to set a guard or handle aside and make a different one if you don't like what it looks like.
     
    Chris Leahy likes this.
  3. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    From here it looks like the lines and edges are softened/ rounded

    If it breaks, it might be at the pin hole
     
  4. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    I got a nice piece of amboyna burl for the handle, so im gonna do a couple test runs with cheaper wood before I go for it. I'm extremely confident in my wood carving skills, but want to dial in a more precise shape before I use the more expensive piece of wood :)
     
    Wyo Coyote likes this.
  5. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    I have the tang tempered back pretty good, so hopefully that is a non-issue
     
  6. Eddie Pollock

    Eddie Pollock

    14
    Aug 5, 2019
    Looks nice! A lot better than my first blade :)
     
  7. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    thank you

    Its not actually my first blade. Its just my first "not crappy" blade :)

    I've made a couple crappy ones before this, and even made one thats in several pieces :)
     
  8. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Looks pretty good. Just try really hard to preserve the crisp lines and edges in this area. This area really draws the focus of your eyes and if it gets rounded over from sanding it looks unappealing. So on your next one try and stay away from the edge on the plunge cut and use steel backed sanding sticks. This also goes for the top of the edge bevel. There should be a nice crisp line at the transition from the top of the edge bevel to the flats. The rounding that you have on this blade is usually from not using a hard backer when sanding. Also don't run the paper off the recaso and onto the edge bevel.
    [​IMG]

    People always say practice make perfect but I find that perfect practice makes perfect.
     
    12345678910 likes this.
  9. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    Thank you for the tips!

    Do you have a source for the sanding sticks? Tried googling it and got things that didnt seem like they would do the job...

    I started out using a block of MDF, but switched to a firm (but not hard) foam pad once I went to wet sanding because the MDF wouldnt have
    lasted long wet.

    In the case of this knife, that transition line from the edge bevel to the flat wasnt dead straight, so softening it actually improved the appearance.
    Just need more practice to get my grinding technique up to snuff to avoid that issue...
     
  10. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    The sanding stick is just a strip of steel that’s thick enough to not flex or bend when you push on it. We might be offering some hardened steel sanding sticks later. We have a bunch of hardened bars of D2 that we have been trying to figure out what to do with.
     
    Wyo Coyote likes this.
  11. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    Ahh! Curse me for being an idiot :)

    I guess I could just make some myself. I just didnt know if they had some fancy design or function :)

    Thanks!
     
  12. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    On the topic of hand sanding, check out Nick Wheeler’s YouTube series “hand sanding 101”. It’s awesome.

    Good looking blade!!
     
    hawkhead and Chris Leahy like this.
  13. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    thanks! I'm checking it out right now!
     
  14. KOTJMF

    KOTJMF

    14
    May 4, 2011
    You can make your own sanding blocks. Here's a video where Aaron Gough shows how to build a sanding block. Jeremy from Simple Little Life makes and sells an aluminum version on his website here, if you'd prefer to buy one. These are just one style of sanding block, there are many others, and Nick shows some of his own style in the videos A McPherson mentioned.
     
    hawkhead and Chris Leahy like this.
  15. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    Thanks!
     
    KOTJMF likes this.
  16. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    The biggest quality jump in my handsanding was using WD40 with the final sandpaper
     
  17. Chris Leahy

    Chris Leahy Basic Member Basic Member

    55
    Jul 9, 2019
    Thats a good tip. Thank you, I'll give it a shot :)
     
  18. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    Hard rubber under sanding stick works best for me for final sandpaper.I would add this too .............it is not wise to use fresh sandpaper for final sanding ......actually I learn to not use fresh sandpaper in grit > of 200...There is always some grit which will protruding from rest and you will chase the tail many hours wondering from where come that new big scratches..........used , slightly worn sandpaper is better choice and less chance for new deep scratches ..
     
    Wyo Coyote and Chris Leahy like this.
  19. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Yes, WD40 as lube, hard hubber on your sanding stick and single pulls from the ricasso to the point.
    I start with fresh sandpaper only I use it longer then normal for the last few pulls
     
    hawkhead and Natlek like this.
  20. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    My sanding block is simply a 3/4"x3.5"x1/4" piece of G10. I cut sandpaper in strips and hold it against the block in a pinch grip with both hands. Lots of control, and very fast to shift the long paper strip down the block for fresh paper.

    That's a good looking blade. Pin hole is a little large and close, as mentioned. If it's too big and impinging on the bolster position, you can go with a smaller pin through the handle, set against the bottom of the tang hole (lots of epoxy as filler). Depends how much you expect to beat on it.

    :thumbsup:
     
    hawkhead likes this.

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