Hunter, Desert Ironwood

Discussion in 'Knife Picture Gallery' started by MikeL, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. MikeL


    Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Thought I would post my last knife. Since I am new at this I am very slow at knife making. This took me way too long and much of that time was trying to get this 800 grit satin finish looking OK. So easy to put on a stray scratch on the blade after I thought I was done. Had to do the satin finish about three times. But enjoy the process (most of it). Its about 9 " long with 4 3/4" blade of 1084. Desert ironwood handle with orange G10 liner. Happy new year.

  2. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

    You did a great job putting it all together. Just remember, it does not matter how long it takes to finish the knife. It only matters what it looks like when it is finished.
  3. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    ^ this.

    It can be extremely frustrating fighting those errant scratches and blemishes. It's so easy to get caught up in the next step that you hastily set the knife down to grab something, then you wonder where those marks came from. Yet other times you can go chop down a tree and the knife doesn't get a mark on it. The thing to remember is that a knifemaker's workshop is filled with abrasives and abrasive dust. Anything that touches your knife in the shop can potentially transfer abrasive grit onto it. So while you think you're handling the knife with caution, that little grit is just sitting there waiting to be rubbed with a paper towel. That leather in your vice is full of grit. I used to stick tape to each side of the blade after hand sanding and I still got scratches. It was only then that I realized almost every veteran maker wraps a paper towel around the blade and then wraps that with electrical tape. Once I began doing that those errant scratches went away by about 99%

    You did extremely well on this knife. It is beautiful.
  4. MikeL


    Thanks for the compliments and advice. It is often a mystery where the scratches come from because, like what was said, I thought I was careful. Excellent advice on wrapping. I will immediately start using shop paper towels and electrical tape to protect. I just got one of those knife vices that swivel with the rubber inserts that clamp on the blade. Hope that too will help.
  5. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    One other 'gotcha' that kicked my butt for a long time during hand sanding: change your paper towel whenever you change grits. I don't know how anyone else does it, but I wipe the blade just about every time I toss a worn piece of sandpaper. I like to wipe off the oil and swarf to see where my scratches remain. Of course that paper towel is full of say 320 grit. When I'd go to 600 grit I'd keep wiping with my same paper towel. Well, duh! There isn't much point in sanding to 600 if you're just going to rub loose 320 grime across the the blade again. Of course you never see the scratches until you're up around 1500 grit and wondering where you went wrong.

    The other thing I learned to do above 600 grit is to shoot the blade with windex before wiping. When you are looking for that nice even finish, wiping your grit down the blade with a paper towel causes those crazy lines. Think about how hard it is to get all of those intentional scratch lines to flow in the same direction for that even pattern, trying to drag draw your sandpaper in the straightest line possible. Then you grab that shop towel and wipe it... all that residue and invisible grit still stuck on the surface or in the towel gets wiped willy nilly down the perfect finish you just created. doh! Shooting the blade with windex first helps to lift that grit-infused residue off the surface and then a careful wipe removes it.
  6. MikeL


    Thanks for shortening my learning curve because I am guilty of using the same paper towel through several grits to wipe down the blade. Thanks for sharing some techniques. Mike
  7. wall e

    wall e Well-Known Member

    Thats a beauty of a blade.
    My infamous oops is setting my sanding block on the blade and it scuffs crosswise when Im samding straight.
    The windex tip I did not know about.
  8. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    the windex thing has been a lifesaver for me. Individual abrasive grit at 600 or above is practically invisible. I hand sand with Mobil 1 Synthetic, and the stuff works like a champ. It works like a champ because it clings to the metal like Aunt Jemima syrup and puts all that metal and abrasive in suspension. That's why it's such good motor oil. Wiping it doesn't really remove it all. A good spritz of windex and a count of 3 does the trick for lifting and releasing that oily film/grit suspension off the blade before you wipe.
  9. wall e

    wall e Well-Known Member

    Ok, I have been using mineral oil for sanding and it is doing a great job of creating a slurry, it appears to wipe off ok w a little acetone help. Am going to get some windex this week since I have another blade to hand sand friday.
  10. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    That looks real nice. Good combination of materials. Hand sanding is one of my favorite parts of knife making. The finish looks so much better than a belt finish. You pulled it off well.
  11. BrandantR

    BrandantR Well-Known Member

    That's a great looking knife, MikeL. Iron wood looks great next to a satin finish. Listen to what John said! I made all these same mistakes as I was starting out. Sure wish someone had given me these pointers in the beginning, or maybe they did and I just wasn't listening LOL.
  12. MikeL


    Yep, I am soaking up all this great information. I did a ton of reading before ever attempting my first knife. Took a knife class as well. But there is nothing like posting a knife, exposing your weakness, and then getting excellent specific tricks of the trade addressing the weakness. I have plenty to learn and am thankful for this information!
  13. bnlw1126

    bnlw1126 Member

    wow beautiful knife...such a clean finish. how long exactly did it take? I actually want to see the workshop that finished this XD good job!
  14. MikeL


    If your asking how long it took for the satin finish on the blade ( I do work slow, rookie slow) I would say three hours but then had to retouch twice so make it a total of approximately five hours ( just a guess). It is a hollow grind and I feel finishing a hollow grind would be slower than on a flat grind.
    Thanks for the compliment.

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