Rice 2020 WIP

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
Thanks Smalls - I think that I am discovering that you are correct sir...

So my correct sized drills came in for the pins I decided to use. Drilled them and some balancing/epoxy holes. Question - is there a preferred 'balance point' on a blade such as Ol' Hillbilly's here?

3 pins - one piece handle

Hand filing the curves:

Also, thanks to @Randy Lucius for the tip on gluing slabs to lumber to shave off scales on my miter saw (no band saw :( yet :))
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
Thanks Smalls - I think that I am discovering that you are correct sir...

So my correct sized drills came in for the pins I decided to use. Drilled them and some balancing/epoxy holes. Question - is there a preferred 'balance point' on a blade such as Ol' Hillbilly's here?

3 pins - one piece handle

Hand filing the curves:

Also, thanks to @Randy Lucius for the tip on gluing slabs to lumber to shave off scales on my miter saw (no band saw :( yet :))
To my way if thinkin (or NOT thinkin !) the balance point should be at the ricasso. But, wadda i know1
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
Here is a rudimentary drawing about how I place pins. This is a knife with a bolster. You need to adjust if you do not use a bolster. I place two pins in the bolster in the center of the knife. I use a caliper to find the center and scratch indication lines on blue dykem. On the scales I measure the length of the scales and attempt to keep the pins evenly spaced apart. Again caliper/blue dykem. From the outside edge I come in .200 to .300. I use 3/32 pins, usually. Larger pins necessitate coming in farther from the outside edge. If you want, you can run the pins down center of the blade. Pin placement should be pleasing to the eyes...

When I make your knife, you get two pins. And I’m being generous.
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
Real difficult to balance full tang knives under 4 1/2" blade length or so. You'll need a distal tapered tang and lighter weight handle material, like natural wood. JMO.
That was my thought T = I dunno about 'balance' on a 10" knife....
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
....then when you get out at about 7" blade the problem flips the other way...nose heavy.
Yessir - it felt 'nose heavy' - but I am thinking that is just a perception or preference - any 'empirical' data on 'nose heavy' or 'balance' of a knife? I think it is just 'blade smith speak' Something sop the old timers can 'gig' the noobs with
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
On pins, I literally draw (sharpie or silver streak) the top of my scales and pin holes on the tang until I like the way the placement looks. Then I drill it. As far as balance goes, in a handmade blade it is an important feature because to a large extent you can control it and it can make a blade (especially a big blade) feel light in the hand. I am no expert and I am sure there are better ways but I control my balance point using the tang and handle material. I do not worry a lot about balance until I have completed my blade (all the way through hand sanding). At that point I know the blade end is not going to get any lighter (or heavier) so I can plan my handle from there. If it is handle heavy, I will move my balance point forward (toward the ricasso) by grinding (or filing) a taper into my tang. If the knife is blade heavy I will attempt to move the balance Toward the handle with my handle construction. In this case I do not taper my tang and I may choose a heavier handle material like stabilized wood or micarta. Maybe I will add a brass bolster etc. I used to taper every full tang knife I made because I like the looks of it but I found that in the end, I may well get a handle heavy knife for my troubles.
In short, when I start my handles, I like my knife to blade heavy by exactly the amount I guess-timate my finished handle will weigh. That way my balance point almost always ends up right around the ricasso/top of scale area.

Visual balance of the knife is another story. I do all of that by what looks right to my eye. Pin placement, handle size/length compared to blade size length...all visual.
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
On pins, I literally draw (sharpie or silver streak) the top of my scales and pin holes on the tang until I like the way the placement looks. Then I drill it. As far as balance goes, in a handmade blade it is an important feature because to a large extent you can control it and it can make a blade (especially a big blade) feel light in the hand. I am no expert and I am sure there are better ways but I control my balance point using the tang and handle material. I do not worry a lot about balance until I have completed my blade (all the way through hand sanding). At that point I know the blade end is not going to get any lighter (or heavier) so I can plan my handle from there. If it is handle heavy, I will move my balance point forward (toward the ricasso) by grinding (or filing) a taper into my tang. If the knife is blade heavy I will attempt to move the balance Toward the handle with my handle construction. In this case I do not taper my tang and I may choose a heavier handle material like stabilized wood or micarta. Maybe I will add a brass bolster etc. I used to taper every full tang knife I made because I like the looks of it but I found that in the end, I may well get a handle heavy knife for my troubles.
In short, when I start my handles, I like my knife to blade heavy by exactly the amount I guess-timate my finished handle will weigh. That way my balance point almost always ends up right around the ricasso/top of scale area.

Visual balance of the knife is another story. I do all of that by what looks right to my eye. Pin placement, handle size/length compared to blade size length...all visual.
Thanks Chris. You provided some excellent information right there that I can really use. I appreciate that sir.

I am discovering that this knife making is 1/2 science & precision, 1/2 artistic ‘eye’ and 1/2 the smith’s problem solving ability to combine the 2 into something that someone will buy or be proud of. Metal worker, wood worker and leather crafter - kinda like multiple personalities... I am liking it - a lot
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
Welp - there went my backup blade. Some of you tried to tell me that curved bevel would be too difficult. Stubborn I am - but I learn a lot that way... I'd show you a pic of it but it %^$% me off and I cut it up into itty bitty pieces with my angle grinder turned chop saw.. :mad: I will make one of those curved bevel and all. period. I dunno when - but I will...
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
Welp - there went my backup blade. Some of you tried to tell me that curved bevel would be too difficult. Stubborn I am - but I learn a lot that way... I'd show you a pic of it but it %^$% me off and I cut it up into itty bitty pieces with my angle grinder turned chop saw.. :mad: I will make one of those curved bevel and all. period. I dunno when - but I will...
You go, girl ! I'm in no hurry !
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
Thanks Chris. You provided some excellent information right there that I can really use. I appreciate that sir.

I am discovering that this knife making is 1/2 science & precision, 1/2 artistic ‘eye’ and 1/2 the smith’s problem solving ability to combine the 2 into something that someone will buy or be proud of. Metal worker, wood worker and leather crafter - kinda like multiple personalities... I am liking it - a lot
That's how I see it. It pulls together from many disciplines. And requires a certain amount of discipline as well while allowing artistic freedom. Over the years I've messed with photography, guns, metal detecting and so far this has kept my interest far longer than anything else. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you finish a knife.
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
That's how I see it. It pulls together from many disciplines. And requires a certain amount of discipline as well while allowing artistic freedom. Over the years I've messed with photography, guns, metal detecting and so far this has kept my interest far longer than anything else. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you finish a knife.
You sound like me - my wife says 'Hobby of the month'
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
So re-did my jig a bit so I could use my file guide (just cut a slot in an old tv stand door) drilled some holes and attached that piece of brass ol' HillBilly sent me - ( Thanks Bruce!) so's I could try and keep my file clean.

Observation: This steel that I ordered up - it doesn't create near as much chunks of scat as those old files do - maybe because they had been hardened 50 years ago - and then annealed by an amateur like me?

Finally - after all this time - I am starting to file the bevel in ol' hillbilly's knife - and starting to covet some of all ya'alls' (all ya'all's is plural-possessive for ya'all) grinder skills...


Did some preliminary shaping on the Texas Ebony handles before beginning the bevels - still have work to do.

 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
So re-did my jig a bit so I could use my file guide (just cut a slot in an old tv stand door) drilled some holes and attached that piece of brass ol' HillBilly sent me - ( Thanks Bruce!) so's I could try and keep my file clean.

Observation: This steel that I ordered up - it doesn't create near as much chunks of scat as those old files do - maybe because they had been hardened 50 years ago - and then annealed by an amateur like me?

Finally - after all this time - I am starting to file the bevel in ol' hillbilly's knife - and starting to covet some of all ya'alls' (all ya'all's is plural-possessive for ya'all) grinder skills...


Did some preliminary shaping on the Texas Ebony handles before beginning the bevels - still have work to do.

lookin mighty fine, amigo, mighty fine
 

Greg Rice

Well-Known Member
Thanks Bruce! I am trying hard

How are you and the Mrs? They lifted your mandatory evac order - right? (like you would leave anyway...)

Stay safe my friend!
 
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