WIP - Harpoon Bowie

Erin Burke

Well-Known Member
Time to put this thing together. If I've done everything else well, this should come together nicely... no fuss. :51:


PHOTO #111

Here the blade is taped and clamped in a position where I can drive/set the guard.

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Comments/Things to Notice
  • You'll notice that I have cut several shallow grooves along the edge of the tang. This will allow the tang to bed securely in the epoxy. Remember that the temper on the tang was drawn WAY BACK earlier, so it's fairly soft.
  • The tang and guard shoulders still need to be cleaned THOROUGHLY. All oils and dirt should be remove so the epoxy can bind. I especially don't want any gunk getting trapped between the tang shoulders and the face of the guard, as this can leave gaps or ugly lines. I do a first pass with a toothbrush, then wipe down with acetone and alcohol.
  • I use JB Weld for the metal/metal joint between the blade/guard/ferrule. Epoxy will be used for the handle.




PHOTO #112

All the necessary items to mix epoxy.
-Acraglas epoxy resin and hardener.
-plastic cup
-wood stirring stick
-scale
-calculator

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The Acraglas instructions outline mixing by volume; however, in small quantities I find it is much easier to mix by weight. Unfortunately, the resin and hardener are not of identical weight/volume. I actually use 0.263 as much hardener as resin (by weight). You'll notice this number written on the hardener label.

This is how I normally mix up Acraglass:
  • Set scale to read in grains. This seems to give me the finest resolution.
  • Tare the scale with the plastic cup in place. These cups normally weigh in at 24gn.
  • Add hardener first. Since there will be less hardener than epoxy, I find it is easier to get the exact correct ratio if I add epoxy to hardener.
  • Perform the calcs to figure out what the final weight should be after adding epoxy. If "A" is the weight of the hardener, then the final weight should be 4.802A.
  • Add epoxy until the correct weight.
  • Mix thoroughly.



PHOTO #113

Handle/tang cavity is nearly filled with epoxy. I like to let the epoxy settle for a bit (and prod with a stirring stick) to make sure there are no large bubbles. I know that, as soon as I push the tang in there, there is going to be epoxy everywhere.

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Epoxy is no fun to have on your hands. I always wear those funky blue nitrile gloves when working with the stuff.
Two by two. Hands of blue... dudes.




PHOTO #114

This is a Rube Goldberg clamping contraption for holding handle in place while epoxy dries.

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I have since (on my more recent projects) started experimenting with using rubber bands (lots of them) for this step. It seems promising. Did I mention that I wear nitrile gloves while doing this work because epoxy ends up everywhere. It is good to keep paper towels, q-tips and toothpicks on-hand to facilitate clean-up.


Now we wait a day (or two) for the epoxy to cure.


PHOTO #115

Here I begin with cleaning up the handle profile on the KMG. I'm using an old 36-grit belt on the flat platen.

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You'll also note that I've wrapped a protective layer of black electrical tape around the guard and ferrule. I'm also using a wood block to lift the handle off the grinder's tool-rest, as the large guard wouldn't allow it to lay flat by itself.




PHOTO #116

Drilling the pin hole. This is easier to do when the handle is still square on the faces and still shows the traced tang outline. I drill with a #31 and follow up with a 1/8" reamer.

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The soft tang drills really easily.



And now we start shaping. The first thing I do (and this is not shown in the photos unfortunately) is use my height guage to re-establish a center-line for the wood block. This can be a bit tricky because (as mentioned earlier) I do not have a flat ricasso to use as a baseline. But what I do know, is the blade is symmetrical to itself, so I have developed a method for finding the centerline of the block based on that. I'll have to remember to get some photos of this in a future WIP.


PHOTO #117

The first thing to notice in the photo below is that I have glued another template to the butt of the knife. It is lined-up using the centerline that I established in the (un-photographed) step above. My first pass at the handle is to take sides of the handle down close to the ferrule using a combination of the flat platen on my KMG and 80-grit paper on the disc grinder. I then take a rough pass at the corners using an 8" wheel (or 1-1/4" small-wheel) on the KMG. It ends up looking something like this when done.

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The knife is clamped in my "knife vise" :shush::biggrin: as I proceed with further hand-shaping.




PHOTO #118

Here I am continuing the rough-shaping of the handle by draw-filing with a half-round @@@@@@@ file.

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It's important to have good lighting, and to pay attention at all times to what you are doing with file. I do not want to damage my guard or ferrule in a moment of carelessness.




PHOTO #119

Here I've gone from draw-filing to sanding. I'm using one of my aluminum sanding sticks (from earlier) with sandpaper cut-offs from making 9" disks. I'm currently at P120. Note the drops of CA to fill a few small voids.

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I'm sanding closer and closer to the lines of my template, as well as my taped ferrule. I want the wood handle to be slightly proud of the ferrule, so I work my sanding down until there is approximately one thickness of black tape... and it is just barely getting scuffed by my sanding. I'm being very careful. By that time, I'll probably be sanding at about 400-grit.

Note: Down below, in the blurry background of this photo, you can see my KBAC-27D VFD that drives my KMG and my 2hp disc grinder. To the left of it is a box with a toggle that switches the output of the VFD between the two machines.




PHOTO #120

CATASTROPHE!!! WHYYYYYYYY?!?!

Stupidity happens... and the consequences are often harsh.

You'll note, back in PHOTO #118, how my "knife vise" really constists of me clamping my "taped" bladed between two blocks of wood (using C-clamps), then clamping this assembly in my big vise. The photo below illustrates what happens when a tiny bit of the blade is peeking out past the wood blocks, and accidentally gets clamped against the gnurled vise jaws. :35: Bravo Monsieur Idiot. :49:

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PHOTO #121

What was the fix? Here you go... simple and surprisingly effective.

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The blue line shows the fix. Not rocket science, but also tricky to pull off on a polished and mounted knife. Fortunately I'm talented, awesome and humble... :s12137:




PHOTO #122

And here we are at the end.
Final weigh-in: 459g or 1.01lbs
Balance point is 0.44" in front of the seppa.

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Last edited:

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
One of my favorite WIP very entertaining and a great looking knife. Thanks for doing it. I also picked up some little tips.
 

Dan Pierson

Well-Known Member
No, thank YOU for hanging in there and going to the huge amount of work to post one of the
best WIPs I've ever seen.

Awesome knife too :)
 

Erin Burke

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys.

Funny thing. I just noticed that, in the description for PHOTO #118, the forum software automatically replaced "b*a*s*t*a*r*d" with a bunch of @ symbols. Now I feel like a bad person. :noway: :9:
 

Brad Lilly

Moderator and Awards Boss
:thumbup:

Excellent job on knife and WIP. I thought I was the only guy who screws up finished blades like that.
 

slatroni

Well-Known Member
Fortunately I'm talented, awesome and humble...
..


I would have to agree with you! Outstanding WIP! I had allot of fun following you through the build. And, I can not wait for the next one!
 

arock

Well-Known Member
This was a great WIP to follow it turned out great your one liners kept it very fun to come back to see what you were going to say next! Hope you do another one soon it's a lot more interesting than cable tv!
 

Erin Burke

Well-Known Member
I thought I was the only guy who screws up finished blades like that.

Not even close Brad. Why I just mangled a little tanto on Monday. It was rough-ground and heat-treated... still in good shape. But then, I decided to do some finish grinding when I wasn't really feeling the vibe, and destroyed it in no time flat. I can wreck a blade with the best of 'em.


Outstanding WIP! I had allot of fun following you through the build. And, I can not wait for the next one!
This was a great WIP to follow it turned out great your one liners kept it very fun to come back to see what you were going to say next! Hope you do another one soon it's a lot more interesting than cable tv!

Thanks Slat and Arock. I don't have any plans for another real WIP in the near future, but I DID take a few photos of my last knife build. They were shot on my iphone, and all Instagrammified, since my non-knifey friends appreciate the process more if it seems artsy. :les:

Awe... who am I kidding... My name is Erin, and I'm addicted to blurry, overprocessed, iPhone photography. :35:

Most of the pictures were taken during the guard fit-up stage. You can check them out HERE if interested.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Erin,
Superb looking Bowie and a Superb WIP as well! I do have one very important correction for you.
There is absolutely NO dog kicking allowed here on KDs!:9:
 

J.Higgins

Well-Known Member
I wonderful WIP, I must say. That knife is gorgeous. I'm happy to see someone who designs and executes their work straight from the heart. Its good to see something that doesn't look like a rerun of someone else's work.
 

Erin Burke

Well-Known Member
You've introduced a new concept for me.
Knife making can be fun!

I'm sorry if, at any point during this thread, I misled you into believing that knifemaking is fun. That was not my intent, and I apologize if I caused any confusion.

As I'm sure you already know, knifemaking is dirty and gritty... sometimes even smelly. Knifemaking will scar up your hands and remove hair from your arms. It may even burn your eyebrows. Knifemaking will make a church deacon cuss like a sailor... no lie. :sailor:

Knifemaking is a nasty addiction -- much like heroin or coconut gelato. The rewards of knifemaking are transient at best: a few "oohs" and "ahhs", a couple minutes of pride and self-satisfaction, maybe a few Benjamins (that's slang for money, foo') which is promptly spent on more tools and materials... all this followed by an irrational hunger to make a sketch and start the process all over again.

But, you knew this already. :3: :9:
 

slatroni

Well-Known Member
Knifemaking is a nasty addiction -- much like heroin or coconut gelato. The rewards of knifemaking are transient at best: a few "oohs" and "ahhs", a couple minutes of pride and self-satisfaction, maybe a few Benjamins (that's slang for money, foo') which is promptly spent on more tools and materials... all this followed by an irrational hunger to make a sketch and start the process all over again.

But, you knew this already.

Well said Erin! My wife laughs her tail off when I come in from the garage after a knife making marathon, a clean outline from my dust mask and steel/brass/wood dust every where else.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Well said Erin! My wife laughs her tail off when I come in from the garage after a knife making marathon, a clean outline from my dust mask and steel/brass/wood dust every where else.

You have married a great one if she laughs when she see's you dirty from being with those other women. Your knives i'm talkin about!
 
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