My method of inlaying shields

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
As I was getting ready to inlay this shield it occurred to me I might show my method.
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I draw a center line on the scale, then a line across that so I have some references when I clamp the template on the scale. If I'm using bone or stag, I use masking tape and draw the lines on that.
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Then I clamp the template on the scale with my shop made clamping fixture. There are better ones available from USA Knifemaker but this one works.
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Next I set up my Dremel as a router with a 1/16" HSS cutter and since the shield is .040 thick, I use .040 shims under the base and set the cutter so it just rests on the scale.
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Take out the shims and cut out the pocket for the shield. The template is hardened so the cutter won't bite into it. Instead of a Dremel, this can be done with a milling machne.
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Next I drill a #52 hole all the way through the scale and liner to pin on the shield.
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The shield in place after a little careful fitting.
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Next I set up a stop on the milling machine so I can drill .020 into the .040 shield through the scale and liner.
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The shield is in the pocket on the bottom side and I forgot to take a photo of it but only the tip of the drill cuts into it.
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Time to solder a piece of pin stock into the depression on the back side of the shield. This is nickel silver, stainless works too. I use a dab of all in one flux/silver solder, the shield is resting on a piece of soft firebrick, the pin is held in the mill chuck.
The solder melts at 1205F so I turn down the lights and heat to dark red.
http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Silver-Paste-Solder-560-Extra-Easy/103099
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Scrape off any excess flux, straighten the pin and it's ready to install.
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Cut off the excess pin and pein in place
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And sand flush. I did chamfer the hole before installing.
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I applied thin super glue around the edge of the shield to fill anything that might need filling and after it dried I ground the shield down flush with the scale. Using this method there can never be a pin showing in the shield like you sometimes see on old knives. I learned this from David Taber who learned it from Enrique Pena. Thanks for looking, I'll be happy to answer questions.
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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
very nice work.

I have a bit of a dumb question, though. I searched the web, but couldn't find an answer. What is the purpose of the shield? Is it purely tradition and is it something that is expected by buyers?
 

BrandantR

Well-Known Member
Great information, Keith. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share it with us. I'm going to have to try that some day soon.
 

K R Johnson

Well-Known Member
very nice work.

I have a bit of a dumb question, though. I searched the web, but couldn't find an answer. What is the purpose of the shield? Is it purely tradition and is it something that is expected by buyers?

Yes, it's tradition and buyers enjoy choosing the shield.
The purpose is the same as the inlays one would see on a fine old Kentucky rifle. It's a sign of quality and it adds interest.
 

stezann

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the tutorial.
I would like to start placing shields in my slipjoints...they definitely add visual interest to the piece. I think it would be better starting with simple designs without too many intricacies, more in line with my skill level now, but even a simple oval should be nice if done correctly.
 

Frank Niro

KNIFE MAKER
One day I just may try this with what you have been good enough to give. I only make liner locks but some are in the shape of old time slip joints without thumb studs. Thanks , Keith.
Frank
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
I hate to drum up a 7 year old thread, but I had a question. Where did you get the template and shield or did you make it?
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I hate to drum up a 7 year old thread, but I had a question. Where did you get the template and shield or did you make it?
Doesn't look like he's been active in a while.

So I'll say most likely from our very own sponsor USAKnifemaker. Here's a Link
 

Absinthe

Well-Known Member
I strongly doubt that. They seem to have only 2 and they are huge like 1-1/2"

I found a place. But they are $3 each with a 12 item minimum and the parsing plates are $15. I am also looking at a possibility of building a duplicator for use with my Dremel. I don't think there is a 2 leg parser drill available for either my mill or dp :) and I am definitely not investing in a pantomill :)
 
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