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  #11  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:07 PM
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From the belt sander, it's time for more hand sanding. I start with 150 grit and work my way up to 400. Its important to pay attention to the edges of the tang and take the metal back up to a proper finish, in addition to smoothing the wood out.

This may seem tedious but it is what sets your work apart. Don't be skimpy when you go buy sandpaper
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Last edited by Matt Shade; 02-18-2019 at 02:47 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:10 PM
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For a wood handle I usually seal them with an oil finish. I have used a lot of danish oil in the past but for this one I used birchwood casey's Tru Oil. The wood was sanded up to 400 grit and then the oil was put on, and I wet sanded it with more 400 grit to fill any small pores left in the grain. After that dried, it got rubbed down and oiled 2 more times.
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Last edited by Matt Shade; 02-18-2019 at 02:47 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:16 PM
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A belt knife needs a sheath, so that was next in the process.

Unfortunately I lost some pictures of the beginning of the process when I laid it out.

First picture shows the body of the sheath tooled and glued up for stitching.

The 2nd picture shows the edge of the sheath. You can see there is a middle layer. This is called the welt and will protect the stitches from the blade when you slide the knife into the sheath. It's important that this layer is in there and is of sufficient thickness and quality leather.

Once the edge has been sanded up smooth, I lay out the stitch lines, and groove them. Then lay out the stitches with a pattern wheel, and finally punch the holes with an awl.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:24 PM
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I use a double needle saddle stitch for everything. It would be nice to have a sewing machine,but you can't beat the durability of hand stitching. Each stitch is somewhat of an overhand knot. You can cut a stitch and the rest won't unravel in the slightest unlike a lock stitch done on a machine.

The process is to start with a needle on each end of the same piece of thread and push the first needle through the hole, and pull it through 6-8 inches. Then put the 2nd needle through the same hole going the opposite direction. At this point there is a chance you ran the 2nd needle through the thread of the first needle which would prevent you from being able to pull the stitch up, so you pull the first thread backwards about the length of a needle to make sure it is clear, then you pull both needles up simultaneously. Repeat this process for every stitch, and be sure to back stitch 2 holes at the end.

Now you can see the final stitches. If you are good the stitches look the same on the backside as the front. These ones aren't bad, but far from perfect.

The sheath is wet in these pics as it was time to form it to the knife.
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:29 PM
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The sheath needs a belt loop added or its of little value. This shows my process for laying that out. I cut up a lot of manila folders for projects like this. I was hoping to show the entire layout for the sheath but those pics disappeared.

There is a lot of tracing, measuring and trimming but I end up here. Both parts get their final coat of dye, before the final assembly.
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  #16  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:33 PM
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After dye, the parts were assembled using copper harness rivets.

The whole sheath was given about a half dozen coats of saddle oil, and then a final finish was done using Fiebings tan kote.
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  #17  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:36 PM
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I swore I took pics of the sharpening process but I can't find them. I will have to look into that.

It was sharpened by hand using stones. I started with a soft old soap stone that I'm not even sure where I got it, and when the edge was roughed in I switched to a 1000 grit Japanese water stone. The final edge was done with a spyderco brand fine grit ceramic bench stone,and then a strop loaded with green compound. It will easily shave arm hair, and can filet the lines off of notebook paper without cutting clear through.

If I find the other pics I will post them, but otherwise that is it for this knife. Thanks for following along
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2019, 03:01 PM
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Thank you, Matt. The shape makes me just want to hold it. Just hold it, that's all.
As usual, I won't ask.
But that does look like a lot of work.
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2019, 03:32 PM
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Nice work and write up again Matt.

And I know about the little abrasive slitting saws, we use them to add grooves into ejector pins sometimes to help hold the plastic part as a tool opens up.

It’s really fun when the pin is sometimes able to rotate.


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  #20  
Old 02-18-2019, 04:00 PM
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I really like the feel or Tru Oil on the skin. Really nice work.
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