Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Well... I got a little ahead of myself on one of the blades I was working on recently.

Everything was going great.... profile was done, blade grinds were coming out good, got it all prepped for heat treat.... or so I thought.

Right about the time the glowing blade hit my quenching oil, I realized I forgot one minor step:
I didn't drill the pin holes or the lanyard tube hole.

about 4 cobalt drill bits, 2 black oxide, 1 carbide tipped masonry bit and 4 titanium bits later, I have ONE pin hole completely drilled, one pin hole partially drilled (I made it through enough to get a 5/32" bit through, going for 7/32", and I got my 1/4" lanyard tube hole about half way through.

This stuff is HARD!! I tried to center punch the stuff with a pretty large punch and about a 2 lb. hammer and I didn't even make a dent.

I had no idea 1095 could get this hard... hahah.


Well-Known Member
That does suck, but at least you didn't epoxy the scales on BEFORE HT!!! Yeah, I did that yesterday! :52:

Not sure what type of blade you're working with, but when I've done that before with a full tang I've wrapped the blade portion in a wet towel and SLOWLY applied heat with my torch to the areas that needed the holes to anneal a bit. Still a PITA to drill, but doesn't burn up as many bits... :52:



Diamond abrasive drill bits or burrs with lots of oil and very gentle pressure will get you through without issue



"The Montana Bladesmith"
One more reason to differentially heat treat (on those steels that allow it).....makes final assembly less troublesome, and when you "forget" a hole, you don't have to burn up all your drill bits trying to fix it.

The other option is to standardize your pin/thong hole material sizes, and keep carbide or "Hi-Roc" drill bits of those sizes on hand......even though I do a lot of differential heat treating, I keep Hi-Roc bits of the appropriate sizes around for those "oops" moments.

Michael Kemp

Well-Known Member
Andrew - I did that too - ONCE with 5160. I gave up after a few bits of various sorts and used some welder's insulating gel @ ricasso and brought the tang back to spring steel.
Page - diamond and light touch - that's one to file away for next time...

Steven Janik

A carbide burr in your dremel will get the hole started and then it can be enlarged with dremel chainsaw grinders and they are cheap.


Well-Known Member
I fell your pain I'm changing the scales out on a factory knife for my doughter she ask me to add a tang hole, guess I got lucky it only took two bit.
God Bless

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Been there, done that (does it seem that there is a theme building here). I stuck the blade of the knife in a can of wet sand as a heat sink and heated the tang with a propane torch to soften it.


Rob Nelson

Well-Known Member
As a newbie, I appreciate this thread ... takes some of the pressure off. I drool over the magnificent work you folks do - all the knives posted here are beautiful. I'm not even through my first one and I almost threw in the towel ... but didn't thanks to all the great encouragement in the pack!

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Chapnelson, if your first knife is something only a mother would love, you did well. Though you might want to worry if you can say the same about you're 100th knife.


Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the advice thus far guys. I ended up using a chainsaw sharpening bit in my black&decker "dremel tool" and enlarged the existing pin hole. I still need to finish drilling the lanyard tube hole, but at least I got the important holes done... ;)