View Full Version : My first coffin handle WIP.

07-23-2010, 10:03 PM
I finally got off the procrastination kick and knuckled down to meet the deadline. A few design changes and some other ideas, and this is what popped out.

Started out as a bit of leaf spring that I had to sand and file almost to half the original thickness.


Then to the files to refine the shape. This was done before I built my grinder, and I learned a lot about filing and such. I'm soooo glad I have a grinder!

At this point, it's down about a sixteenth in thickness from the original quarter-inch. There was a lot of rust pitting to get out, and some waves that didn't get flattened when I pounded it straight.


A big lightening hole. It's still a bit handle-heavy, but comfortably so.


Mounted in my brand-new knifemaker's vise! I was so tired of trying to make do with the jerry-rigged vise that I took a couple days off and wound up with this. Works like a charm.

Here you can see the plunge cuts have been placed and the bevels started. Lots of hours to get to this point, but it was fun to watch it come out of the blank I started with.


Now, I'm installing the handles to check for fit before sending the blade off for heat-treat. I chose black canvas micarta for the scales as I wanted this to be a durable EDC type knife..... and that's what I had laying around.


I just got the blade back from HT and decided to get it all together. I wasn't sure about the grip texture, so I thought to play a bit with my Small Wheel Attachment and ended up with a flint-knapped look that was incredibly easy to do and provides a very sure grip.




Fairly happy with the results. The blade is just under 4" so it should be legal in most areas of the country, and the handle is just a hair shorter than the blade to aid in daily carry. It's a very positive grip no matter how you wield the knife. Should be great for hunting or GP around the homestead.

Hope ya'll've enjoyed the walkthrough. If you'll excuse me, though, I really need to get started on the next blade....

07-23-2010, 11:27 PM
Very nicely done. I like it.

I have a bunch of leaf spring that I may go back to after seeing your efforts. I gave up on the springs I had because they were so thick.

Good job.

07-24-2010, 06:41 AM
I must agree. Very nicely done. Looks great. Thank you for sharing the experience with us.

07-24-2010, 06:42 AM
Thank you.

Working with leaf springs is a bit of a challenge and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that doesn't have a side-angle grinder.

Ernie Swanson
07-24-2010, 07:22 AM
I like how it turned out!!

Good job2thumbs

James Terrio
07-24-2010, 07:36 AM
Filing that down from a leaf-spring definitely counts as paying your dues! It came out very nice 2thumbs

LR Adkins
07-24-2010, 07:52 AM
Looks like all that hard work payed off, nice looking knife.


Keith Willis
07-24-2010, 09:48 AM
Filing that down from a leaf-spring definitely counts as paying your dues! It came out very nice 2thumbs

No way would I want to start gringing a leafspring:eek:

Awesome job2thumbs

God bless,Keith

07-24-2010, 09:55 AM
Thank you gentlemen.

One day, it's my sincere hope that I won't have to use lighting and angles to hide the flaws in my work! I'm a long long way from pink lunchbox status, but I'm trying.

07-24-2010, 07:01 PM
Thank you gentlemen.

One day, it's my sincere hope that I won't have to use lighting and angles to hide the flaws in my work! I'm a long long way from pink lunchbox status, but I'm trying.

Now that was just funny IMO!!! :D

Great looking knife and great way to get started!

My first real job was working for a welding company. First thing the boss did was put me on a grinder. He said if you can't do the hard part of the job you'll never be a welder... You have proven you can do the hard part!


Bennie Lovejoy
07-25-2010, 05:55 AM
I really love the way it turned out. The next time I use micarta I'm gonna give that texture a try. I really like how that turned out. Thanks for sharing.

07-25-2010, 10:00 AM
Thanks, Benny. The handle was actually the easiest part to make. Doing that texture took all of ten minutes using a 2" wheel and a .500" wheel, and a 220g belt. I wasn't sure how to do it, so I did it just like I was knapping stone.

The larger wheel first gave me the typical reducing flakes that thin the handle down and move all the way into the center. These are at a shallower angle than the smaller flakes. How far you press into the micarta dictates how wide/flat the flake is, but you can't go too deep at the center. You can rotate the handle as you grind if you need to maintain thickness at the center so you don't grind through the corby.

The .500" wheel was used just like a pressure-flaker to "sharpen" the edge. These are at a steeper angle and give the scales a bit more rounded cross-section.

I really didn't need the .500" wheel as simply changing the angle of attack with the 2" wheel seemed to do a decent job of rounding the scale for a comfortable grip.

Because I used such a coarse grit, the micarta has a bit of a greyish cast to it. To remedy this, I've since coated it with black leather dye to bring it back to black.

07-25-2010, 10:20 AM
Nice job. I really like the texturing, and the dye is a good idea too. I've got a grey formica handle that I'm gonna try the dye on thanks to your post here.

07-27-2010, 04:24 PM
So, there I was using my new sharpening system that has diamond-coated plates instead of arkansas stones. One small slip for man, one giant gouge for the blade! :mad:

For future reference: Diamond is harder that knife blades and will scratch them really good, really quick!

07-28-2010, 08:12 PM
very nice. just need to hit with some rem oil. I would carry it.