Mil Build W.I.P. thread

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
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:


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Looking good James.
you jumped right into action !

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

Now I have to rethink my whole 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
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.
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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 ..​
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?
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's a good chance to experiment a little.

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?
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.)

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.
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!
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"

Thats super cool! and very fitting for this and all future Military builds!

If I may, I second Steve's nomination/
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:
It was just a nickname Bill. Kinda like your nickname of "Snookums".
Didn't mean to hijack your thread.