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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Independence knife!

I have a curious relationship with knifemaking, I might do 15 minutes here and there, sometimes weeks apart, and then get a sudden rush of inspiration and can't stop for anything until I've seen the job completed. Today was one of those days.

There were a couple of useful tips that cropped up in the process, so I thought I share them. The first is using one of these great little cylindrical cork sanding blocks (above) that come with a free bottle of wine. The cork supports the abrasive giving evenly distributed pressure, you can also roll it slightly as you are working to find a fresh bit of grit without having to reposition the paper.

A problem that I came across when shaping the handle with rasps was how to get close enough to the liners and the tang without scratching them. Even using 3M Frecut sanding would still take a while, unless I used really coarse grits and then you are back to the problem of scratches. Instead I tried using a cabinet scraper which proved to be fast, controlled and didn't scratch up the metal anywhere near as badly.

The blade for this knife was made by Chris Grant, a long standing friend and very accomplished bladesmith. It was made from our laminated white paper steel using the stock removal method and then given one of his awesome heat treatments. I won't give away Chris's secrets but he can make steel do wonderful things. You could literally shave with this thing!

As this is going to be more of a working knife than Amelie I went for a slightly blockier handle shape, one bit that turned out really well was a tiny almost imperceptible thumb depression on the top of the blade, this gives a really nice grip for controlled woodworking cuts.

Well I guess that's about it, but I do have one last special surprise for Chris....

.....Tartan Wood!

Beautiful tools, great prices, friendly service!