The Making Of My Second "Carter" Knife

Working in Gil Hibben's shop and under his instruction, I made my second knife. This one will be a medium sized boot knife. Below is a photo-history of the process.

 A design is drawn onto a piece of  1/4"  Surgical steel.
The shape is rough-cut on a band saw. The blade is then painted with blue machinist dye so that grinding guide lines can be scratched into the dye.
The final shape is ground using grinding belts and then the blade is surface-gound to make is smooth smooth and flat.
Now we are ready to grind the edge. The blue dye helps to mark the grind lines and see where you have, and have not, ground.
The cutting edges are ground and holes drilled for the pins that will later attach the handle material. The blade is now ready for heat treating to make it hard.
After heat treating, I polished the blade and wraped it in tape to protect it. I then "worked" the back of the knife with a file to give it a little pizazz.
I chose a matched pair of African Ironwood "scales" for the handle and cut a brass guard that will fit into a notch in the blade.
The guard is soldered into place and a couple of nylon spacers are sandwiched between the blade and the handles. The handles are epoxied and clamped to set.
The assembled knife, prior to finishing. Holes are drilled into the wooden handles to match the holes previously drilled in the steel so that pins can be fitted later.
You can see the finger grooves that were cut into the steel. The handles will be ground down to match.
The pins are inserted and ground flush with the handles.
I begin shaping the handle on a belt grinder.
Grinding the handle to match the finger grooves in the steel.
Shaping the brass guard.
Final contour and touch-up.
Yeah, that feels pretty good!
"Whatcha think, Gil?"
Time to polish the handle and guard.
The finished product.
The finished product.
The finished product.
Many thanks to Gil Hibben for his expert guidance, the use of his shop, and most of all, his friendship.

Special thanks to my dear friend Rhonda for taking some of the pictures.

 

 

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