Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homemade Micarta and Cheap Knives Project Part 2

Check that bevel I put on the blade spine.
The Enlan folding knife mod project continues this weekend with disassembly, cleaning up the fasteners, acid washing the blade and of course, making my micarta. Just hit youtube for all the videos you need to make your own micarta. It's very easy and when making little scales like this, takes almost no time and very few materials. I used a dark grey cotton t-shirt for the main color and orange paper for the liners. I think the grey is dark enough to really compliment the acid washed steel parts and the bright fasteners should give it just the right amount of bling. I am considering making a back spacer in orange paper for this knife just to go the extra step. After a little experimenting I have found that I can probably shine it up to a high gloss. I really love the design of the M025 and I think it lends itself to a nice smooth finish. It's also very small so there is no reason to try to get extra traction from the scales. The acid wash is something else I found on youtube. All I did was take regular vinegar and boil it, then pour it into an old plastic mug and added salt (just poured until it felt right - maybe a big table spoon full). I then hung the parts into it via paper clips and left them in I would guess less than an hour total. Something I learned during this process is that it is probably worth taking a coarse Scotchbrite to the steel if you want a nice clean grey finish. You will notice on the spine of the blade where I beveled it, the finish is really clean. That is because it was freshly sanded, bare steel. Here is a link back to part one and once it is all finished I will make a list of all my posts to make them easy to get to.
I chucked up each screw in the dremel and hit them with 320 grit paper. You may also be able to see that I polished the pivot in the center. I also polished the bushing and plan to polish the matching area around the blade. We'll see how smooth this knife can really be.
There is my sheet of micarta, enough material for 4 scales in case I screw anything up. I put nail polish on the blade to get the fake hamon effect and it also demonstrates how much the acid wash did. I also re-profiled the pocket clip by taking off the strange hump from the right side and putting a flat spot in the top above the screw holes. This flat matches the handle shape and the clip feels more like it belongs on this knife. 
how to acid wash knife blade with vinegar
It was complete luck that my micarta sheet came out the right thickness. I wish now that I remembered how many strips of fabric I used because it came out exactly 1/8 inch thick and the scales are about 1/64 thinner than that. I think I used 5 or 6 strips of fabric and I know I used 4 strips of paper. This paper is light card stock weight.
I just had to see what it was going to look like so I sanded down a little section. That orange liner is going to look awesome.
As one side begins to take shape this is the bottom side.
The resin does darken the material a little but this shows the texture and that it is going to be a dark grey color. I'm pretty excited at this point.