As you approach the finished size you are
looking for, slowly lower the grinder using more and more of the
disk surface. Ease back on the pressure because this builds heat
very quickly. Final flattening you do with the disk very
nearly flat. As much contact with the wheel as you can control.
Very light touch now and lots of quenching. I keep a bucket of
water and a cotton rag to quench the work so I don't have to
keep removing and replacing it in the vise just to cool it off.
OK enough from the grinding. For this
knife, one I intend to keep and use forever, clenched over
tangs, while certainly viable for much work, tend to loosen as
time goes on.
All you need to do is examine any number of
drawknives and you will find loose handles in a substantial
percentage of them. A common old knifemaker's trick for
better grades of work, is to thread the tangs and use some kind
of bolt to hold the handles. This way, you can draw the handle
on with much greater pressure in the first place. And when the inevitable loosening though time
and work and shrinkage occurs, its just a matter tightening them
back up again.
My tangs had been taper forged long and thin,
and there wasn't enough material to thread them. So instead I
cut threads off a couple of long 1/4" bolts, cut the tangs back
to the appropriate length, and welded them on.
It was a little tricky getting them straight, so
I used a scrap of angle iron to hold both the tang and bolt
inline with each other for welding.
Its common in
drawknife practice to use a thin cupped washer over the ends of
the handles. This is better than plain wood for sure. But its
not that strong if you intend to reel down on a bolt to tighten
a handle back up again.
I used full 1/8" thick brass sheet stock. No
lightweight here! I would have rather used a holesaw to
cut the disks. But I didn't have one. I had to use a fly cutter.
These are rather awful but they work. Do 1/2 the depth at a
time, then flip the work over to finish.
Rule number one, clamp down the work!! You don't
want any part of your body anywhere near this thing!!! Next was making 1/8" thick flat
disks into domes. To the anvil, Robin!
I got my largest dome punch and set
the largest cavity in my block on top. A 2 pound sledge was
employed with gusto.
These are not wimpy washers.
I needed nuts. Similar to saw handle nuts. Some
1/2" brass bar stock was turned down and threaded.
Cutting the slot on top was a matter of hacksaw and
Now it was finally time for
handles. I had a piece of delicious old growth black
walnut. This will darken very rich with time. Its not pale
now, but nothing like a few years will make it.
In my experience there is no stain,
no dye, there is nothing that can duplicate the look and color
of high grade wood that is well aged. You just have choose
the best stock you can, do your best work, and wait.
I know its hard. I know you want it
rich and beautiful straight off the tool. I know the
temptation to use something chemical or pigmented to help the
color is very strong. But if you do, you can never have
the genuine article.