Rob Brown Custom Knives
Tapering Tangs
Rob discusses his technique.
Fitting Guards
Rob reveals the secret to a clean fit.
Fitting Bolsters
Rob discusses the method used for his curved bolster design.
Mirror Finishing
Rob has become known for his mirror polish - here's how it is done.
Fitting Bolsters by Rob Brown
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Ensure the design of your knife takes into account the placement of bolsters, handle material and the positioning of rivets to secure these. All this must be completed before grinding commences. Bolster shaping and taper must also be decided on before-hand, as this dictates the handle shaping.

After hardening your blade the procedure should be to complete the bolsters as far as possible, then finish the blade and rivet the bolsters in place.
Image 1
Prepare the bolster material (in this case grade 303 stainless) to the required thickness cut slightly oversize, and mill the front and back faces parallel.
Image 2
This simple jig (50 x 50 x 70mm) can be held at any desired angle in your milling vice and used to mill the front chafer - with the front and back face parallel; set-up time for milling is very quick. A similar jig can be made for grinding this chamber.
Image 3
This ricasso is then clamped in your parallels on the front line of the bolster, in this case the rivet holes are drilled 6mm back from this line, hence the two drill bits and Perspex spacer.
Image 4
Superglue the bolster in place - clamp up and allow to dry.

NOTE: The tapered tang shown stops just short of the front of the bolster - it can also stop at the back of the bolster if in a straight line - or the taper on 3mm steel can be taken over the full width of the ricasso.
Image 5
At the drill dress - insert a drill/rivet into a tang rivet hole (tight fit required) and resting the knife on a flat rectangular block of wood held in the vice adjust the angle of this "drill block" until the two drill bits are parallel - tighten the vice. Drill all the rivet holes - remember to remove the burrs etc. after each hole.
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Copyright © 2001 - Rob Brown
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