Discussion in 'Blades' started by mage2, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Ok so I have some Micarta handle material. I have so far never used it so I would like to know common finishing used on it. Do you try to polish it, or jsut sand it information like that.
  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Here's my 2 cents.... other guys will have their own opinions...

    Shape with files or 50 - 220 grit on a grinder... go slow on the grinder and be careful... it "burns" if you push to hard and get it too hot....

    Bead Blast or....

    600 - 1200 hand sand

    Buff with a clean buff and white compound.... or green... but it gets into things worse than white IMHO....

    Some guys use WD 40 to clean it up and get out all the crud for the final finish... wipe it down afterward to get off the WD 40... I've never tried this....

    Depends on the texture you want.... stop when it gets to the level of grip or smoothness you want....

    Make sure you wear a respirator in a very well ventilated area... chem rated ... not just particulate.... Safety First!

    Hope that helps.... [beer]
  3. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Most of the time I shape it on the grinder with 220 grit then get to hand sanding - what a pain! I usually take it to 400 and then buff it with no compound on the wheel. That's for stuff like green canvas micarta which really looks good when polished.

    On my fighters I use this brown micarta and I've been sandblasting it to make it grippy and it turns out tan. If I sand it down to 400 and polish it then it comes out a much darker brown.

    Oh yea I always use WD 40 after buffing - it makes the color POP!
  4. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Im working with black canvas micarta. Ill post pics. I have glued up the handle with a red liner. I think it will look nice.kinda modern..
  5. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    With that I'd take it to at least 400 grit and buff - black micarta looks sweet when buffed! With a red liner it should look really nice.

    Here's the last one I did with that combo:

  6. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    whats the idea with the WD 40 ? is it just wipe it down after the buff?
  7. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yep. The problem I have is it's really hard to get all the scratches out - I'll initially grind it to shape with 50 grit then go to 220. I've started buffing after 220 now because it shows all the scratches you missed - too many times I've sanded at 400 or 800 only to find 50 grit scratches still in there. So I hit it on the buffer in between grits and hitting it with WD-40 might do the same because every imperfection will just jump out at you.
  8. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    What did i learn from this knife.
    I learned that like Valkman said. this stuff scratches and hides them well.
    I learned that using a dremel tool is BAD. BAD BAD BAD.
    I learned that buffing trick the Valkman talked about.
    I learned that I need much more sandpaper.
    I learned that Micarta is a really nice looking material once its done, but its a total $@#$ to work with.
    I learned to take my time more. And that I really need to get that resperator if I am going to keep this up.
    I learned that Dremel tools are BAD. Did i say that already.

    All that said. I think I ended up with a pretty good end product.
    Its a stainless blade that I purchased and I finished the blade and put the handle on.
    anyway here are the pics
    comments , good or bad are welcome
    knife1. knife2.
  9. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Also ,
    Any good, bad, or otherwise ideas for a sheath?
  10. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    LOL! Hey that's a great looking knife! The finish on the handle looks awesome!

    You have to wear a respirator or a mask when cutting and grinding micarta or G10 - that stuff will kill you, as will lots of other stuff we use. Micarta also burns easily.

    I buy sandpaper by the box from www.trugrit.com - it's not cheap but I use a lot of it. I buy grinding belts from them also. I use WAY more 100 grit and 220 grit than anything else.

    Dremels suck for knife work and throw the shit right in your face. You might try a 1"x30" grinder from Harbor Freight for $25 or $30. I have one for finishing work and Tru Grit has belts for those also.

    Nice job!
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Now that is a nice knife!

    The handle is well done and looks comfortable in the hand...

    Well balanced and good looking knife....

    Great size for just about 99% of the chores most folks would use a knife for....

    Tell us about the blade, steel etc... beautiful mirror finish....

    The handle also looks like it would "lock" kydex or leather very well...

    I like to work with kydex and prefer "pouch" type sheaths in leather....

    Great work!

    Another knifemaker to add to the "Monkey"!

  12. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    The reason I used the dremel was for the top fingergroove. I still have some finishing issues that are related to that. What do you all use to sand inside that little area, to clean up the damage from the dremel I used a dowel and wrapped sandpaper around it. As you can see that worked pretty well, there is still some polishing to be done on the spine.

    its 440C steel, this one has the handle shape that I have seen called "coke bottle"
    I wanted to try to show the layers of the handle material.

    My next is going to be one of the blades you sent me Bear. We will see how it turns out.

    Where is a good place to get nickel silver?
    Valkman you said the 1x 30 grinder from HF is decent, im assuming thats with good belts.

    Right now im using mostly woodworking tools to do my work, meaning 4 inch wide sanders and such.
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  14. RobertRogers

    RobertRogers Monkey+++

    Very good info guys, thanks. Nice knife too!
  15. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    so what would be a good grinder to get, now remember im not some pro. so i dotn have a pro budget
  16. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I started with this Grizzly grinder - $469 delivered:


    I still have it and it's great to learn on but after a while you'll need somethnig with variable speed. The Grizzly runs 100% speed all the time and on my Bader B3 I never ever use 100%. But the big nice grinders start at about $1800.
  17. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Thats a nice looking tool there, might have to add that to my bday list. :)

    I see its a single phase motor, so couldnt you connect it to a speed controller? Im a electronics geek so I am pretty sure I could build a speed controller for 1 HP, I would just have to make sure the parts are rated at the current that the motor could draw(or else let the magic smoke out of the parts). 14 amps isnt too bad.

    thats something for me to research.

    Bear, Valkman,
    How do you grind inside finger grooves?
  18. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    With my Bader grinder you have all kinds of options and things you can do - one of those things is a small wheel attachment. I have a spare tool arm with the attachment on it and put in the wheel I want, normally a 1". I use that for finger choils and grooves in handles, and have a smaller wheel if I need it.

    Here's a forum on Knifeforums about modifying the Grizzly:

    Lots and lots of great info to get started here:
  19. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Bear, Valkman,
    Who would be a good person to go to in order to have a kydex sheath made for my latest blade?
    I have never touched the stuff so dont even know where to start.
    (searching for tutorials now)
  20. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I don't know many kydex makers as I have leather made for my knives. The one guy I do know is David Brown in Tuscon but it'll probably run you $40 or more to get a sheath from him.

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