View Full Version : Mil Build W.I.P. thread

James Terrio
01-22-2012, 08:02 AM
I thought it might be fun for everyone to show where they're at on this cool project. I'll start... everybody jump in any time, this isn't about "me"!

Yesterday I spent some time in the shop and got all three of my blanks beveled. As you can see the plunges and profiles still need to be cleaned up. I was feelin' kinda squirrely so I decided to make each one a little different... one with my usual nearly-full flat grind, one with a stout full-convex, and (drum roll please, this is a first for me)... a chisel grind.

I must say this steel grinds very nicely! It's clean as whistle, too. And the WJ-cut blanks are crisp and clean.:35:

HHH Knives
01-22-2012, 08:11 AM
Cool, Nice looking grinds!

Rudy Joly
01-22-2012, 08:38 AM
Looking good James.
you jumped right into action !

Now I have to rethink my whole operation:les:.....you took all the nice grinds.:glare: I'll have to muddle through somehow:31:.


James Terrio
01-22-2012, 09:15 AM
Now I have to rethink my whole operation:les:.....you took all the nice grinds.:glare: I'll have to muddle through somehow:31:

I have to get right on top of any new project, otherwise it tends to get lost in the haze... It's not like they're copyrighted or anything! I'm sure you'll come up with something :D

Bill T
01-22-2012, 01:19 PM
Go Get'em James !!! Lookin' good !

01-22-2012, 08:00 PM
Looks good James- I'd leave a pic of mine laying untouched on the bench but...
Had a couple questions as this is my first military build. It may be that we have full creative lisence on these but I want to do the best job possible:
1. blade finish- I would assume nothing shinier that 320G and that a coating would be better. I was considering parkerizing as Brownell's has a $17 bottle that would work.
2. I was going to add a cord tube somewhere unless there is some reason not to.
3. Sheath- I am going to make kydex's - what is best attachment system for soldiers today- tec loc, Molle, etc? (had a soldier tell me he would design one that allowed him to keep a rifle shouldered with one hand and pull knife from a sheath in chest webbing with other hand)
4. I was going to add some kind of makers mark but not my name which is normally in my logo, unless there is some reason not to add a makers mark.
5. I was wondering if Randy's design intent of this knife included a top ground swage typical to fighters- this may be maker's discretion but thought would ask.
Any input appreciated- thanks this is fun.

Bill T
01-22-2012, 09:05 PM
Hey Ausbrooks , good questions ..
What I've been doing on some of my 52100 is a Horseradish Mustard finish . Dab it , on let it dry , scrape off when dry , rub a little oil - good to go . Nice and easy to maintain . I do that after a Scotchbrited 400 grit finish .
A cord tube is great ..
Mark your finished knife anyway you like , but I would use your name so your Soldier can Brag on ya' :42:.
Grinds are subjective , we all have a different vision - follow yours :biggrin: that's part of what makes this fun ..

James Terrio
01-22-2012, 09:15 PM
Excellent questions, Ausbrooks. I'm thinking of a bead-blasted finish followed by a light etch, to keep glare to a minimum. I haven't decided on thong tubes yet, not sure if a soldier/Marine would have use for that or not. I was planning to use my normal mark; if these knives should be kept "sterile" I'm fine with that, too. As for swedges/false edges, I'm under the impression that it's up to each of us to grind the blade however we think it will be most useful to a grunt who will use it for... whatever comes up in the line of duty. I chose to grind mine pretty stout, leaving the tips fairly thick for rough use.

What do the rest of you think about these topics?

Rudy Joly
01-22-2012, 09:38 PM
Like Bill said, it's subjecteve.
In the first build, I was pretty amazed at the different grinds and styles that came about even though everyone used the same blanks to start with. As with the last build, I'm already tweaking the design a little.(no offense intented Randy) As long as you keep the intented purpose in mind....it's a good chance to experiment a little.


01-22-2012, 09:39 PM
Good topic! these are some questions I have been thinking about too. For the finish, I will stone wash the blade, but not sure if i will darken it yet. My main concern is the edge. I typically put a convex edge on with my belt grinder. I am concerned that in the field, this style may not be the easiest to maintain. Maybe a straight 20 degree bevel whould be better? what are your thoughts?

Rudy Joly
01-22-2012, 10:01 PM
I don't know how in depth the military knife sharpening classes are UncleBill, but I can envision at least one person using a rock,:what!: brick:what!::what!: or sidewalk:what!::what!::what!: at some point while in service. I'd go with the profile that gets the quickest edge without damaging the entire edge or point. (Extreme examples lol.)


01-23-2012, 05:46 AM
I just finished working with a Marine Gunny Sgt on a design. The Marines like a thong tube with a lanyard. Their knife is their hammer, rope cutter, fighting equipment, pry bar, every day cutter, spoon and even shovel if need be. Most of them operate with gloves on, so remember that on your handle finish. The more grip the better. I like the fact that these builds are subjective to the makers interpretation of what the knife ends up as a finished product. The last build had a plethora of grinds, finishes, even handle designs. I can't wait to see what comes out on this one.

HHH Knives
01-23-2012, 06:04 AM
Hey guys, Great dialog on this thread. I cant wait to get started on these! I know I had FUN making the last batch and Im sure we will enjoy making this batch!

Steven Janik
01-23-2012, 05:53 PM
Hey Bill,
I may have stolen this name, then again, maybe not. But it wasn't from the knife industry.

I'd like to nickname this project as "METAL OF HONOR"


HHH Knives
01-23-2012, 05:59 PM
Thats super cool! and very fitting for this and all future Military builds!

If I may, I second Steve's nomination/

Rudy Joly
01-23-2012, 08:02 PM
That Janik's always thinking....
Pretty ingenious Steven. It would make a nice logo.



Bill T
01-23-2012, 08:32 PM
What? Nobody likes Hometown Heroes anymore?

James Terrio
01-23-2012, 09:40 PM
What? Nobody likes Hometown Heroes anymore?
Why not both? "Hometown Heroes - Metal of Honor" has a certain ring to it. Don't really matter to me, whatever you call it I'm proud to be a small part of this project.

Their knife is their hammer, rope cutter, fighting equipment, pry bar, every day cutter, spoon and even shovel if need be. Most of them operate with gloves on, so remember that on your handle finish. The more grip the better.

That matches almost word-for-word what the many combat vets and current servicemembers I've asked have told me. I have refrained from my usual mantra of "Thin is In, Light is Right" and my typical desire to taper the tangs, grind the blades as keen as possible, etc... these knives will be "abused".

Size/weight is also an issue; one supply NCO with a couple tours in Iraq told me he once ordered a boatload of M9 bayonets for his guys, and they all stayed in the warehouse... no one wanted or needed to carry a knife that big and heavy. Another Iraq vet told me, "Rambo never went to war, he just went to the movies. We need a simple stout knife we can beat the snot out of." The design you all have come up with addresses all of those points. :35:

Steven Janik
01-24-2012, 06:47 AM
It was just a nickname Bill. Kinda like your nickname of "Snookums".
Didn't mean to hijack your thread.


Bill T
01-24-2012, 08:15 AM
You said you weren't gonna tell

Justin King
01-24-2012, 06:04 PM
Lookin' good, James!

I don't imagine that there would be an issue with the name/maker's mark, there is no requirement for sterile equipment in regular units, that I know of. If anyone knows different then by all means, speak up!

A lot of guys do appreciate a non-reflective finish but a satin finish would probably work fine as well. I don't think it is expected of anyone to invest $ to buy a parkerizing setup, or anything like that. I will most likely do an acid washed/stone washed finish on mine but a plain acid wash (etch) would serve the same purpose. This can be done on the cheap with white vinegar, a bottle of ferric chloride can be found at Radio shack for fairly cheap also. Ceracote or Gun Kote are also good alternatives but may be cost prohibitive to some of us. Bead blasting is also an option for some but keep in mind that the blades are not stainless and a textured finish is likely to promote rust.

A lanyard tube is always a good idea IMO, I personally never use them but having the tube there can't hurt, and always offers the opportunity to change my mind

Swedges/false edges are a subjective feature. I have never had much use for one and with my preferred style of grind (high flat or full flat), they tend to thin the tip out too much for my liking, and they also preclude using the back edge as a user interface for applying off-hand pressure or batoning. Not worth the tradeoff IMO, but they are prevalent on tactical type knives so I won't say that they don't belong.

Sheath attachments are also subjective and not everybody likes the same thing. Molle Loks work well for attaching to webgear but most guys don't wear webgear all of the time, and for some guys a Tek Lok might be more versatile, allowing them to carry the knife more easily when not carrying full kit. I have had quite a few military customers in the past year or so and I would guess that 1 in 4 or less have chosen Molle Loks for the sheath attachment.

01-24-2012, 06:21 PM
Thanks for answering my questions everyone.
Justin, on the sheaths, you say only 1 in 4 wanted a Tek Lok, so 3 in 4 wanted just a basic belt loop set up?

Justin King
01-25-2012, 06:56 AM
Thanks for answering my questions everyone.
Justin, on the sheaths, you say only 1 in 4 wanted a Tek Lok, so 3 in 4 wanted just a basic belt loop set up?

I typo'd-Only 1 in 4 wanted the Molle Loks. The Tek Loks have been more popular among my mil customers to date.

Indian George
01-25-2012, 08:02 AM
Done Good J. Turkey.:s11798:

James Terrio
01-25-2012, 08:11 PM
Thanks IG :)

Bead blasting is also an option for some but keep in mind that the blades are not stainless and a textured finish is likely to promote rust.

You're right, I wasn't thinking of that. I'll probably just go with a hand-satin finish and light etch.

Justin King
01-25-2012, 09:04 PM
Thanks IG :)

You're right, I wasn't thinking of that. I'll probably just go with a hand-satin finish and light etch.

It is less of an issue for those of us who can choose when to go hiking:)
The biggest issue I have seen with bead blasted carbon steel is when it gets left in a wet sheath, which can produce rust in an astonishing hurry. Most of us can probably avoid that problem easily enough, but soldiers don't always get to choose the weather they go out in, which is worth considering.

James Terrio
01-25-2012, 09:33 PM
I'll probably just use white vinegar or lemon juice. I haven't worked with 52100 before, but I've had good success with both those on 1095, CarbonV and other carbon steels. The patina they leave does protect against rust to a fair degree. It's not terribly resistant to being scratched off, but then again you can touch it up with, well, basically any mild acid.

01-26-2012, 07:37 AM
Yeah James, blood does an awesome patina job. Can't wait to get mine done and out the door. I appreciate the info shared on this thread. We have tough standards to meet for some of our toughest.

James Terrio
02-02-2012, 06:09 PM
All three blades are cleaned up to 400 grit. I still need to size and chamfer the holes before they're ready for HT.

I'm beginning to wonder why I waited so long to try a chisel grind, I'm starting to like it. I may just need to make another one for personal testing purposes :)

02-18-2012, 09:12 PM
Finally got a start on my blades - Wow does 52100 grind nice after all that D7! Was able to grind out and HT 2 today so felt pretty good. After 2 hr temper they came out at 58 and 60 RC, about right. Pretty good design and Kudos to Randy.




James Terrio
02-20-2012, 05:09 AM
Looking good!

02-23-2012, 09:32 AM
Good looking blades ausbrooks.
How aboute you james any further? they looked pretty good, i posted mine on the other one (updates) dont want to do twice lol

James Terrio
02-23-2012, 06:40 PM
Mine are all sanded to 400 grit. Still need to chamfer the holes but they're basically ready for HT. I'll be sending a whole batch of various blades to Peters' in the next week or two, so I'll just include these with them.

02-29-2012, 06:38 PM
Ready for Kydex...had to make one from scratch of D2 as I fumbled the oil quench :sad:on one (I'm used to my plate quench) and after a reheat to get the RC up it cracked in temper oven. SO that is why one is not blue.
Replaced first picture 3-3 after touched up forward groove scale on blue knife that I decided was not effect I wanted.

LR Harner
03-01-2012, 06:15 AM
nice work guys i really need to get on the ball and get mine worked on

03-01-2012, 12:20 PM
Looks great ausbrooks, i heard d-2 takes a good dark etch once from art aka yoda! to bad on first one but the second is sweet.

03-01-2012, 09:01 PM
Thanks Franklin- I know D2 doesn't cold blue at all! I'll have to find out how that etch works from Art.

03-02-2012, 06:01 AM
i believe he said it was a acid etch with the stuff you get from radio shack, i have some d-2 i will give a soak and tell you how she goes, or i will just call art lol. Here is the etch on mine arts was much darker then this!

03-02-2012, 07:24 AM
Nice looking work guys...looks like I should get started on mine.

03-02-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks Lagrange....I like the 'no deadline' Bill gave but had to knock these out first....

Franklin, yes let me know how the D2 comes out- I need to buy some ferric chloride and try some etching as I have some D2 tacticals lined up next and a good etch is something I want to learn- thanks.

03-04-2012, 03:25 PM
Made a Kydex press based on Tracy's tutorial and had to try it out so looks like I'm done. These are first Kydex sheaths and thought didn't turn out too bad for first stab. Had to reheat throats and push wrapped knives into them a couple times to get fit right, and had to figure out the Tek-loc mounting but other than that the stuff is pretty easy to work with IMHO. I wanted to come up with a sharpener that could be fit or attached into sheath but thought I'd be pressing luck on first attempt so plan on shipping each knife with a diamond sharpener and soldier can store it or toss it or whatever. These are first true tacticals I've done and was a good intro and learning for me.

03-04-2012, 06:26 PM
They look great Ausbrooks. Great Idea with the diamond sharpener.

04-10-2012, 03:06 PM
wow ausbrooks i missed this those are rocken,sheaths came out great!!!!

04-10-2012, 07:45 PM
Thanks Franklin- not bad for a novice...I think I can make a better Kydex sheath now-I spoke to KRob and he straightened me out on couple things....

James Terrio
06-29-2012, 06:00 PM
Got my MilBuild blades back from Peters' today... thank you Brad!


Due to the recent move, it will be a couple weeks before I get these finished up and sent out for kydex... but I'm on board. Thanks again to all who've helped make this project feasible! I consider myself blessed to be a small part of this important project.

07-05-2012, 01:15 PM
those are some fine looking knives!