A start to finish WIP
I took this project on a while ago, and have it all but wrapped up. I got the OK from the new owner to let the cat out of the bag as it were, so bear with me, this is a start to finish WIP.
The design specs for this one were fairly loose, with a lot of free reign being handed to me. All was required was a 300mm Wa sujihiki, sanmai construction, carbon steel core.
I started with 1084, and 15N20 and began the welding process...
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Next was the clean up, to the billet stage...
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After the billet was formed, I wanted to be sure there was some patterning in the billet...
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Now the moment of truth, I selected the "edge side" and started with the profile, and the blade faces, to ensure the core was centered, and the pattern was acceptable...
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The next step was heat treating, then to grind and true up the blade faces, and work in the distal taper, the whole while, trying not to reveal too much of the core, or remove too much cladding, yet not leaving thing to thick.
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During the process, I did several test etches to ensure things were going as planned...
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Here is where I sent a couple pics to its new owner for approval! Nervous times!
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With things a go, the next thing to do was a handle. Now over the process of doing the blade, him and I chatted several times about handle materials, colors etc., and it was during one of these exchanges I mentioned a material that gained a little excitement. I never worked with this material except in folder scales or inserts, but wanted to give it a try here. Black lip Mother of Pearl was ordered for the spacer, and the birth of the "Black Pearl" was official, and in future conversations, he refered to his knife this way. (funny how things get named!)
I/we selected a nice, should I say very nice piece of black dyed stabilized birds eye maple burl from Mark at Burl Source, I also got some black honey roll buffalo horn, and some spacer material for the handle construction.
I started drilling the spacers, and getting all my materialls ready, and drilling into the handle block. Then I squared things up and got ready to glue up.
I had a step in here that I had a hard time deciding how to approach, the building of a MOP spacer. The material is only 2 to 2 1/2 mm thick, so to inlay it on a 8 sided spacer, then have enough to shape and polish, I needed to be sure I was near finished dimensions on the spacer, but then I would need to remove it to add the pearl. I used a couple drops of CA to hold things for the time being.
Once together, I squared all the spacers, and ground in the other four bevels...
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Now for the fun part, the MOP! I selected the bet pieces I had, and started cutting them, and mortising them to fit around the G10 spacer I had now ground to accept them. Piece by piece wer cut and fitted to creat the spacer...
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Now the handle pieces will be glued up in their final position, and the MOP ground and polished to match the handle facets...
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After finish sanding, it gets its first of severl coats of oil...
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To finish the handle we were thinking of just adding an insert of MOP to the but, in the black endcap, but why stop there. I mentioned I had a few Ammonite stones available, and this peeked interest! I built a bezel out of 3/8" thick nickel/silver, and fitted the stone. Now I didn't get pics of this part, but after assembly, here is the butt!
This build took quite a while, and my customer, now friend, was nothing but patient, and offered guidance whenever he could. As well, showed genuine excitement at darned near every stage. It's builds like this, something different that keeps the fire in it for me, wanting to push things, try new materials and techniques to add something "else" the my craft. Some of you will understand why, some won't really care why, but thank you for taking the time to go through this post, this process with me. I hope you can glean a little about what myself and other makers go through to build custom knives, and see why we do it.
To my customer, thank you for your patience, input, and excitement!
There is one more thing to accompany the knife to its new home. "He" doesn't know what it is either, just a surprise, something else I don't think has found its way to the kitchen yet! Once its done, I'll add the photos!
For now, here is the finished piece. It hasn't been glued up yet, so ignore the wee gap at the front of the handle! Enjoy!
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Wow! Your ability to bring the bling does not fail to impress. This is, again, kitchen jewelry.
Cool idea with the stone in the buttcap, blingy knife, thumbs up!