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letinsh
09-16-2014, 17:16
My best friend got married on Friday and I got the crazy idea that I should make him a knife as my gift to him. Put some ideas down on paper, drawing extensively from my Yarborough, John Horrigan's Fighter (www.eliteknives.com), and the sheath that Aaron Gough makes for his knives (www.goughcustom.com).

After some consideration, I decided to go with O-1 tool steel. I sketched my idea out on paper, then traced it to 1/8" plexiglass and cut it out to get a feel for form and fit. I made some changes to the handle then transferred the pattern to the steel. I started with 3/16"x2"x36" bar stock.

Using a hacksaw, I rough cut the profile from the bar, then cleaned it up with a bench grinder.
I then built a little jig to bevel the blade, by hand, with a file :eek:
After getting the bevels cut, I took the blade down to 220grit.
I then cut the thumb grip with a dremel.
Using West Systems 105 epoxy, I coated alternating black and green strips of canvas, then compressed them and let them dry.

letinsh
09-16-2014, 17:23
I took the blade over to John Horrigan's to get some wisdom from the master, and he differentially heat treated the knife for me :lifter
After tempering the blade, I sanded it down to 600grit.
I then rough cut my handle scales from the "micarta" I had made, drilled the pin holes, and finished the front of each scale, since you can't get at it once it's glued on the blade.
I then acid etched the blade for corrosion resistance (plus, it looks pretty tight).
I cut the pins and lanyard tube from stainless steel and glued everything together.
Next, it was time to contour the handle.

letinsh
09-16-2014, 17:28
I took the handle down to 400grit, shined up the pins, and touched up the acid etch.
For size, next to the Yarborough.
On to the sheath.
Scored some Kydex. Took inspiration from Aaron's sheathes and off to the races.
Using a Lansky sharpening system, I gave it the best edge I've ever given a knife.

And there you go.
It was a lot more fun than I anticipated...might turn into a little side gig! :D

By hand, this thing took about 20hrs, start to finish.

Agoge2
09-16-2014, 17:33
Are you sure that was your first time to make a knife? :D;) If so, I can only imagine what your follow-on knives would look like.

That is an awesome present that will last a lifetime and will always be appreciated for the time, thought, and effort that was put into possibly even more than its usefulness.

Outstanding job!

Javadrinker
09-16-2014, 17:39
Outstanding job, and a great present.

mugwump
09-16-2014, 20:15
Nice job.

TCT_Knives
09-16-2014, 20:55
Bravo Letinish!
Outstanding job for your first knife. Heck, even if that was your 20th. I know for a fact you spent days on that and you should be proud. Having John nearby to help would make any new knife maker jealous. Keep up the good work and absorb as much as you can from him, he's one of a few Master Smiths that's at a level beyond comprehension.

Rob_Frey
09-16-2014, 21:18
Nice work building the jig to file the bevel. The end result is very nice.

Peregrino
09-16-2014, 22:00
Very nice! And a lot of work. Looks like the only "cheat" you used was John Horrigan. (Stacks right up there with living next to Harsey! :p) I'm sure your friend will treasure it in the spirit you intended.

Sdiver
09-16-2014, 22:00
Note to self:

When getting married, invite Letinsh to the wedding.

Maybe I too can score a thing of beauty .... :lifter

BryanK
09-17-2014, 06:25
Fantastic work! :lifter

I'm just a little curious, how long did it take to manually hacksaw that sucker?

Barbarian
09-17-2014, 09:18
Bravo! I hope you keep making knives, you've got a knack for it. Good job!

letinsh
09-17-2014, 09:29
Fantastic work! :lifter

I'm just a little curious, how long did it take to manually hacksaw that sucker?

Actually, it wasn't that bad. With the steel in an annealed state, I want to say that it was under an hour. Like I said, I just roughed in the shape - the grinding wheel did the hard work.
I've gotta give much credit to Aaron Gough - dude has some killer videos on his website that basically walk you through the whole process. He made it "letinsh-proof." And he returns emails with solid answers :D

In the last few weeks, I've picked up a 2"x42" belt grinder and a band saw, which will cut down the time needed, substantially. Only things left to pick up are a shop vac and a drill press (but I've got one I can borrow).

Bill Harsey
09-17-2014, 09:40
Good start.

letinsh
09-17-2014, 10:03
Good start.

Thank you, sir!

DJ Urbanovsky
09-17-2014, 11:17
What Bill said. Keep it up, bud!

mcarey
09-18-2014, 07:59
Go for it! Be careful, you may end up with more friends that want knives than time to make knives.

Debo
10-17-2014, 14:09
Strong work brother. It turned out great.



D.