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Found 1 result

  1. Our quartermaster onboard asked me if I would help her make a knife. I told her that I'd be happy to help her, and I suggested that instead of the wooden handles that people have made so far, we could try to make a leather handle. The blade is a store bought kind of discount blade. No name but a decent size for an everyday knife. I had brought some veg tan and some black leather with me (don't know much about it save for that it can be polished on its edges), and I instructed her to first cut out a bunch of small rectangles. We soaked those in water for about an hour or so then put them in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator over the night. The next day we cut some holes in the small pieces so that they would fit on the tang of the knife. The tang is kind of wedge shaped, so the upper pieces got 4 holes and the lower pieces got 2 holes. All the pieces were put in order on a jig to prevent them from sliding around while being pressed. Once mounted on the jig, it was compressed using the machinist vise in the engine room. We managed to compress the handle with almost 25 % in length. After roughly 20 hours in the vise the raw handle was removed and mounted on the tang. Anna (the quartermaster) started shaping the handle using a chisel, (we have to make do with what we have got out here). When she was satisfied with the overall contours and look of the handle she switched to some sandpaper, and finally after polishing and installing the guard and the pommel - the handle was polished using water and some canvas. For sake of clarity, I didn't do all the hard work, I just supervised and helped with stuff like silversoldering the pommel and turning the retention nut on the lathe. So Anna did the bulk of the work herself. But since she is not on LWN, I thought that I'd show off the knife for her. Tomorrow she wants to make a sheath for the knife.
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