Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Homemade Micarta and Cheap Knives Project Part 3

Here is the more or less finished Enlan M025. I wasn't happy with the way the first batch of Micarta looked with the acid washed steel so I made some more and this time I used dark brown t-shirt and light khaki pants. The Bondo brand resin is kind of a nasty brown color so really light khaki didn't end up being all that light. Probably going to move on to a different brand for the next run. I learned a lot about working with the scales and the acid washing, but even if this isn't my finest work I am pretty happy with the results. Clean, bright steel goes a long way toward making a nice even grey finish and I really need some way to thin the Micarta, but do it evenly and, you know, within my lifetime. I got lucky when I made the first batch the right thickness, but not so much this time. Even though I needed to remove nothing more than a big 32nd of material, it was painstaking, time consuming and on one side, didn't happen. On the other side I got lazy and in a few places you will see in the images, doesn't sit perfectly flush with the liners. Even with a drill press, getting the holes in the right places is harder than it seems like it should be. There are several reasons for this. With the pivot hole there is a flat spot so that the pivot itself doesn't turn when opening and closing the blade. This means you can't just take your Micarta and the liner, clamp them together and start drilling holes. You can use the old scales, and that is the best route. But somehow, even though it worked out in the end, it wasn't perfect. I have been trying to convince myself that perfect might not be as necessary as I had originally assumed. Now that I have the finished product in hand, and I've learned a few good lessons the hard way, I feel pretty confident for the next one and I am proud of what I've accomplished so far.

The specs on the blade are from bubbles in the nail polish used to protect the area I wanted left shiny. Another lesson learned.

The bevel I put in the spine of the blade. It's subtle but I like it. Here you can see that I got a little sloppy on the fit of the Micarta to the liner on the pocket clip side.

I think the acid washed grey finish is awesome.

The Micarta does some things I didn't expect. I guess oils from my hands kind of affects the color but you can see where the pocket clip is protecting it the color is lighter. I dunno.

I added this to get better access to the thumb stud. It only kinda works. My thumb actually starts a little further back but it looks right and I guess this whole project has been about looks.

Somehow this knife is the opposite of flashy, yet satisfies my need for something unique. It has a sort of simplicity and different enough materials that it almost doesn't look like a knife, especially closed.

The grey steel and brown Micarta just seem to work.

Personally, the more knives I get with 8Cr13Mov steel, the more I like it. It's so easy to sharpen that I feel it makes for a good light use blade like this that does regular EDC tasks. I reworked the edge a little and it's wicked sharp.

This image probably captures the final result the best.