View Full Version : A knife for Mark by Markman

Burl Source
01-22-2012, 07:30 PM
These are some photos of a knife being made for me by Erik Markman.
Some of the things I really like in a knife are:
Integral Bolsters
Interesting Patterns in the steel
Sculpted Handles
Ultra Clean overall
From what I have seen in Erik's knives, these are normal features.

Here is what Erik has sent so far;

First pic is welded, forged and profile ground.

On the second pic I have ground the bevels and the transition to the bolster.

A little more grinding and it is ready for heat treat.

Burl Source
01-24-2012, 11:02 AM
The knife as posted by the maker.

Here is the progress of yesterday evening.

After rounding the bolster to its final shape i placed the blade in my newly made clamp for grinding and filing the back of the bolster square and flat.
It has a slot on the front so I can see if the blade is in the right position and has 2 leathercoverd steel plates inside it that are pushed together by the bolts sticking through the sides. It also has a piece of allthread running through the bottom of the square tube and the plates so the don't drop out. There is a hardened steel plate on top so the file doesn't chew up the surface. It works much nicer than my old clamp wich I will show later.


Here you can see the plates clamping the blade.


After grinding away the bulk of the unneeded steel.


After filing the back of the bolster.


Here it is out of the jig, the tang is still almost half an inch thick by a little over 3/4 high, that doesn't come off easily..


I ground and filed the false edge and tomorrow evening it's time to clean up the tang and grind the blade to 400 before heat treat.


Mike Davis
01-24-2012, 04:44 PM
I will say again Mark...That is one sexy knife!!! Really anxious to see this one completed!!!

Eamon Burke
01-24-2012, 10:31 PM
Wow that is a seriously thought-out clamp for filing a bolster.

01-25-2012, 12:49 AM
No kidding, but I bet that works awesomely!! I really like that blade profile, too! Nice amount of belly and a nice tip. Can't wait to see it done!!

Burl Source
01-27-2012, 01:18 PM
Here is more progress as of yesterday

Ground to 400 and a quick etch to see where we are going.

The blade with the beautiful stabilised Redwood burl block provided by Mark.

Drilling the pilot hole.

Getting there...

Sawed off the angle for the bolster with not much fitting left to do.

Burl Source
01-30-2012, 10:37 AM
Some more progress on the knife.

The block fitted against the bolster, the contour of the handle scribed and ready to drill the pinhole.


The blades painted in antiscale compound and my HT oven heating up.


Quenchoil heating up. This is Durixol 25W wich is a professional HT oil, I have been using it for almost a year now and it is a great improvement over peanutoil in hardness and keeping things straight.


The blades as-quenched, nice and straight and free of scale. Lucky me......


Eamon Burke
01-30-2012, 04:15 PM
looking good!

01-30-2012, 05:00 PM
Liking the patterns in the steel, looks like it's going to be a super clean finish

Burl Source
01-31-2012, 05:46 PM
Here is the block ground to profile and the lines for the contour scribed.


Roughly ground to shape.


With the template I use for these knives.


The corners knocked off and roughly shaped.


I make sure i keep the centerlines on top and bottom so it is easier to keep things symetrical.


Now it is time to finish the blade. I like a flatground blade so I use a DMT diamondplate to take out scratches and high spots to get things really FLAT.
This is after a few wipes and it was almost flat already.


Burl Source
02-01-2012, 02:13 PM
Both flats finished to 600 grit.


Cleaned up the swedge with a Diafold and put some marker on it so when I sand the flats one more time I can see if I have a nice flowing line.



Cleaning up the bolster with a 600 Diafold.


Finishing the choil with an EDM stone.


Before finishsanding to 1000 grit I will put th final shape and finish on the handle because now I have the final shape of the bolster.

Burl Source
02-02-2012, 12:52 PM
To make the handle to it's final shape I like to have a small step between the handle and the bolster.
I do this by cutting a narrow strip of masking tape and wrap that around the bolster.
I grind close to the maskingtape and do the rest by hand until the fourth layer of tape starts coming off so I get a even step of three layers all around the bolster.


Cover the blade with a piece of bycicle innertube because accidentally hitting an almost finished blade with a fast moving 40 grit belt is not funny......


Getting ready to grind the handle close to the maskingtape.


I have split a 220 belt to about 3/4" to get into the tight curves of the handle.
Make sure to break the edges of the split belt so they do not dig into handle.



Handle roughly shaped.


Hand sanding to the maskingtape with 120 grit.
I will peel off the first layer of tape with 400 grit.


Burl Source
02-03-2012, 01:56 PM
Handle sanded to 400. I do not like highly polished handles so I use an oil I got from a dutch knife maker that really pops the grain and fills any voids or checks in the wood with the oil and sandingdust.
You can see the first layer of tape coming off.


Handle at 800 grit with the magic oil. It has a bit of resin in it so it hardens with time and gives a very nice satin finish.


Handle at 1000 grit.


Overall vieuw with it's little brother wich I am making for myself.
Now comes finish sanding.


I use a piece of plastic tube because it fits the transition to the bolster and it sands faster.
I do not have to readjust the paper everytime, I just turn the tube a little while sanding.
It also gives more pressure on a smaller surface wich gives the paper more bite.


Burl Source
02-03-2012, 01:59 PM
Blade sanded to 800. Logo is next.


I put a strong light under the blade so I can see where to put the stencil. It takes the guessing out of it.
Stencil from Ernie Grospitch.


I use a batterycharger and a Q-tip and a bit of salted water.


Stuff used to do the etch.
Next is sanding to 1200 and etching the blade.


Blade sanded to 1200. It looks nice as it is, not sure if I want to etch it......


02-03-2012, 06:36 PM
what kind of battery charger? love the knife. need a simple low-cost way to etch :

Burl Source
02-04-2012, 10:40 AM
what kind of battery charger? love the knife. need a simple low-cost way to etch :
I will try to ask Erik about the charger Tom.

Here is more progress on the handle.

For rounding the butt end of the handle I put a piece of tape around it as a guide.

Started sanding with the mistery oil.
Anything that is off will get corrected at this point.


Sanded to 1200 while using the oil.
Another advantage of sanding with the oil is that the paper keeps cutting even at 1200.


The handle is finished, I will keep oiling and sanding the oil in the next few days.
It has at least 15 coats of oil by now.


Eamon Burke
02-04-2012, 11:55 AM
Is it necessary to use so much oil if it's been stabilized? Or is it just part of his method for getting the belts to cut and give the finish he likes?

This is cool. Those big fighter handles always seemed the best way to show off a stunning piece of wood.

Burl Source
02-04-2012, 01:45 PM
Is it necessary to use so much oil if it's been stabilized? Or is it just part of his method for getting the belts to cut and give the finish he likes?
This is cool. Those big fighter handles always seemed the best way to show off a stunning piece of wood.

My understanding is that Erik is going with the numerous coats of oil and wet sanding to get the very best possible finish.
Some of the makers only sand to 600 grit and then apply a couple light coats of oil and call that good.
But...... like the other aspects of making the knife, the more you put into the work you do, the more you get out of it.
In my opinion Erik is a good example of a perfectionist.
Part of the reason I was so thrilled when he agreed to make this knife.

Burl Source
02-04-2012, 07:06 PM
Getting ready for etching.

A tube of ferric chloride, Vim for degreasing windex for neutralizing, WD40 for rubbing off the oxides and gunoil for protection of the etch.
Vice grips for holding the blade in the tube and not dopping it on the bottom or through the bottom.....

The Vim is the best degreaser I have found, it leaves absolutely no white streaks when you pull the blade out of the etchant to see how it's doing.


Blades etched and oiled up, tomorrow is assembly day!


02-04-2012, 07:47 PM
What are you using for the handle on the smaller kinfe? Love the 50's tv test pattern.

Eamon Burke
02-04-2012, 11:05 PM
Looks like Black and Grey g10 to me.

Burl Source
02-06-2012, 09:47 PM
Time to glue it up.
I degreased the tang, pin and front of the handle.
Normally I do this in the shop but it is far too cold there to the epoxy any good.
The clamp is not really there to press the handle and blade together but more so i can hold it to do the clean up with WD40 and a bamboo stick.


Carefully filing down the pin.


Again sanding up to 1200 using the oil.


Burl Source
02-14-2012, 05:04 PM
These are the final photos Erik took prior to shipping the knife.

*Note the wooden shoes in the last photo.

Eamon Burke
02-14-2012, 09:48 PM
Nice! That's a formidable looking knife.

02-15-2012, 03:15 AM
Looks pretty cool! Gonna make one hell of a letter opener! :D

02-15-2012, 03:20 AM
That looks really awesome!! Really like the long straight clip on that one!