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 Guards by Rob Brown
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Image 1
Once the heat treatment of your knife is complete, your first step in finishing it should be to sand the flats up to 1200 grit on your disc sander (at 1000 r.p.m. max) in preparation for the final blade finish.

NOTE: The ricasso is now ready to make the guard. The tapered tang should be lightly ground on a 50 grit disc to ensure it is warpage free and that the run-out is in line with the back of the guard.
 
Image 2
On the rear side of the guard mark out the centre line and width and depth of the slot to be machined. Bandsaw out the slot as shown, ensuring you remain within the scribed lines.
 
Image 3
Set up the guard in your mill with the cutter centred on the scribed centre line, and the table to stop at the end of the cut. Use an end mill ± 0.5mm smaller than the required width, run at ±1800 r.p.m. and set to cut .75mm deep with each pass.

When complete, start from the top again and adjust to cut equal amounts from both sides of the slot (for the required width) to fit the ricasso. Stop cutting the moment your cutter reaches the bottom (i.e. the front face), as the cutter diameter wears at the tip it actually aids in creating a tight fit on the front face, hence you work from the rear.
 
Image 4
Clean up the front face on a 220 grit disc, fit and correctly position the guard for drilling the rivet hole, obviously already drilled in the tang prior to hardening.
 
Image 5
If you don't have a mill don't despair - two 10mm square lathe cutting tools, a few hand files and a tube of super glue can do an equally, if not better, job.

On your disc grinder, round one of the edges on each lathe tool to serve as the leading edge of your file guide. Glue the first tool to the guard on the scribed line with the leading edge facing you.
 
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Copyright © 2001 - Rob Brown
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