1. Select materials and tools required for your custom knife. Read all instructions carefully before beginning.
2. Sand flat the side of your guard that will fit next to the handle materials to insure a good fit. Pre-shape the guard front (the side next to the blade) and polish. Now scribe a pattern in the desired shape on the front of your guard to use later in shaping and finishing the guard and han- dle material into one. This is easier to do before you solder your guard piece to the blade.
3. Slide guard onto blade checking for proper fit. It may be necessary to remove a small amount of material from each side of slot with a file to assure proper fitting. Guard should fit against blade tightly on all three sides.
4. Solder guard to blade. We recommend a low temperature silver bearing solder such as our Stay-Brite. This adheres well to the guard and blade with little clean-up. Read instructions that come with your solder kit. Sand area of blade that will be soldered with 220 grit sandpaper. This will assure a good adhesion, (be careful not to sand or scratch any area that will not be covered.) Position guard on the blade and clamp into place. Place tang of blade into vise (knife point will be straight up), allow room to work torch on bottom side of guard. Place two pieces of solder (1/4" or so in length) on each side of the top of the guard touching blade. Stay-Brite flows at 450 degrees, be careful not to overheat as this may remove some of the hardness from your blade. Keep the heat 'up' away from blade area. Using a propane torch, heat the entire guard evenly. After the flux has boiled and the solder begins to flow, move the torch to the down side of the guard. Solder flows towards heat, so heating the underside will pull the sol- der into the joint between the blade and guard. It may be necessary to move the torch from one side of the guard to the other after the first side begins to flow. When all solder has flowed into joints, remove heat and allow to air cool for several minutes allowing the solder to harden. Remove clamp and check solder. When joint looks good with solder showing on both sides, you are ready for the next step.
5. Cover sharp edge of blade with masking tape. This will protect you and the blade.
6. Mark the side of your handle material that will fit next to tang being careful to match any color patterns that your material may contain. Mark end of each piece that will fit against guard.
7. Fit handle material to guard by filing and sanding until you have a good square fit with NO GAPS or lines showing. Do both pieces.
8. Lay blade on handle material carefully making sure it lays squarely and tightly against guard. Scribe outline of blade onto handle, (you may wish to clamp first so that handle will not slip.) Repeat with second piece of handle material using opposite side of the tang.
9. Leaving slightly oversize, remove excess handle material with jewelers saw, belt sander or other means available. DO NOT OVERGRIND.
10. Using 220 grit sandpaper, sand the handle material flat on the side that will fit against tang of blade. Sand tang of blade with same paper. This will remove any foreign material and assure a good adhesion of blade to handle material.
11. Carefully attach one (1) piece of handle material to tang of blade with epoxy. Make sure the handle material is centered properly and that it fits perfectly against guard with no gaps. Clamp and allow epoxy to set. You may want to allow drying overnight.
12. Using rivet holes in blade as a template, drill these holes with a 7/32" drill bit. Be sure to drill in center of holes, drill slowly and carefully so you will not splinter handle material, (a drill press is best if available.) EXTREME CAUTION is advised when using your blade as a pattern for drilling holes. Be sure the blade and handle materials are clamped securely and the blade is protected with tape to help protect the operator from being cut or otherwise injured if the drilling operation tries to twist or grab the work out of the vise.
13. OPTIONAL THONG HOLE: If you wish to use a thong hole, drill this with a 1/4" bit, using blade hole as template.
14. Repeat step 11 using second piece of han- dle material.
15. Drill holes for rivets and thong hole (if desired) as in steps 12 & 13 using holes through handle material as guides. Holes must be drilled straight and properly centered for rivets to fit correctly.
16. Counterbore rivet holes (a rivet drill works best). Set drill depth. You will want to use a scrap piece of wood to check and set proper depth.
17. Insert rivets into handle material using two screwdrivers, screw the rivets together, adjusting as necessary to completely close the handle material against the blade. A small amount of epoxy may be wiped on the rivets prior to inserting to add to the hold. The heads of the rivets are filed or sanded away removing the screw slots when the handle is being finished.
18. You are now ready to shape your guard and handle into one. Power tools such as belt sanders and Dremel tools with sanding drums aid greatly in speeding up the shaping and roughing work. However final hand shaping and sanding produce the best results. Using a file, a half-round, second-cut works great, shape your handle and guard to desired shape, fitting to your hand. Sand with sandpapers, finishing with a 600 grit wet-dry. If a polished look is desired, buff with a muslin wheel and a white rouge.
19. Remove masking tape, clean and sharpen your knife to a keen edge.
YOUR BLADE IS READY TO USE