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Thread: The LRK+ Mod Discussion and Pic Thread

  1. #1

    Smile The LRK+ Mod Discussion and Pic Thread


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    Hey all, in anticipation of John shipping out his new LRK+ to all of us, I thought I would make a thread where we can post pics of our mods, ask any questions, etc. It seems like a lot of us are going to do some experimenting on this platform, so I figured why not! With the wealth of knowledge around here between John and the rest of you guys, any question regarding knife mods would be well covered. I'm sure this thread will quickly descend to the bottom because the knives are a good month away (plus any time to take modding), but I will bump it back up occasionally with questions, pics, etc, and hopefully you guys will too with anything relevant.

    I have some questions regarding handles for you all:
    1) do you HAVE to peen the pins, or is it not a necessary step if you won't be beating on the knife?
    2) what's the best way to get the HT scale off the handle if you must do it before putting scales on? If using a dremel will it affect the HT of the blade?
    3) When it comes to roughing up the underside surface of the scales for the epoxy, what is the best method for this? cross hatching with a blade, slight depression drill indentations, etc?
    4) If only using hand tools to sand the scales once the pins are in and everything is epoxied, how do I ensure that the ss pin sands flush with the wood without taking off much more wood around it (ie the ss is much harder than the wood)?
    5) would titaniuim pins be a huge PITA to use as far as sanding, cutting, etc goes?

    Any help with the above would be INCREDIBLY appreciated. Already have some Australian york gum burl that I'm saving for this!!! Thanks all, can't wait to see some pics of everyone's work in a few weeks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmbspyder View Post
    Hey all, in anticipation of John shipping out his new LRK+ to all of us, I thought I would make a thread where we can post pics of our mods, ask any questions, etc. It seems like a lot of us are going to do some experimenting on this platform, so I figured why not! With the wealth of knowledge around here between John and the rest of you guys, any question regarding knife mods would be well covered. I'm sure this thread will quickly descend to the bottom because the knives are a good month away (plus any time to take modding), but I will bump it back up occasionally with questions, pics, etc, and hopefully you guys will too with anything relevant.

    I have some questions regarding handles for you all:
    1) do you HAVE to peen the pins, or is it not a necessary step if you won't be beating on the knife? I don`t peen the pins
    2) what's the best way to get the HT scale off the handle if you must do it before putting scales on? If using a dremel will it affect the HT of the blade? Coarse sandpaper, then steel wool
    3) When it comes to roughing up the underside surface of the scales for the epoxy, what is the best method for this? cross hatching with a blade, slight depression drill indentations, etc? I do slight depressions using a drill, then rough it up with sandpaper
    4) If only using hand tools to sand the scales once the pins are in and everything is epoxied, how do I ensure that the ss pin sands flush with the wood without taking off much more wood around it (ie the ss is much harder than the wood)?
    5) would titaniuim pins be a huge PITA to use as far as sanding, cutting, etc goes? Yes, use aluminum instead

    Any help with the above would be INCREDIBLY appreciated. Already have some Australian york gum burl that I'm saving for this!!! Thanks all, can't wait to see some pics of everyone's work in a few weeks!
    Actually, the first one is shipping next week, with more each week.


    My avatar is my Grandaughter, Hanna, who is battling leukemia.

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  3. #3
    I'm thinking I'll try my hand at making micarta at home... wish me luck

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info John! I'm really excited to try on this project. I had no idea they would be shipping so fast! I think I was pretty high up on the sign up list so I'll make sure to send you out a check soon!

    PG- what kind of micarta are you thinking? Blue jean? I was goin to try that as well, but I have no wood handled knives so I thought I take it in that direction.

  5. #5
    Might try blue jeans or canvas. I have some burlap sacks left over from a deep sea fishing trip so I may try that as well. I'll be making them this coming weekend.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by PGeo00 View Post
    Might try blue jeans or canvas. I have some burlap sacks left over from a deep sea fishing trip so I may try that as well. I'll be making them this coming weekend.
    Cool! Post up some pics when you're done if you wouldn't mind!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmbspyder View Post
    Hey all, in anticipation of John shipping out his new LRK+ to all of us, I thought I would make a thread where we can post pics of our mods, ask any questions, etc. It seems like a lot of us are going to do some experimenting on this platform, so I figured why not! With the wealth of knowledge around here between John and the rest of you guys, any question regarding knife mods would be well covered. I'm sure this thread will quickly descend to the bottom because the knives are a good month away (plus any time to take modding), but I will bump it back up occasionally with questions, pics, etc, and hopefully you guys will too with anything relevant.

    I have some questions regarding handles for you all:
    1) do you HAVE to peen the pins, or is it not a necessary step if you won't be beating on the knife?
    2) what's the best way to get the HT scale off the handle if you must do it before putting scales on? If using a dremel will it affect the HT of the blade?
    3) When it comes to roughing up the underside surface of the scales for the epoxy, what is the best method for this? cross hatching with a blade, slight depression drill indentations, etc?
    4) If only using hand tools to sand the scales once the pins are in and everything is epoxied, how do I ensure that the ss pin sands flush with the wood without taking off much more wood around it (ie the ss is much harder than the wood)?
    5) would titaniuim pins be a huge PITA to use as far as sanding, cutting, etc goes?

    Any help with the above would be INCREDIBLY appreciated. Already have some Australian york gum burl that I'm saving for this!!! Thanks all, can't wait to see some pics of everyone's work in a few weeks!
    great idea pmbspyder. i don't have much to offer as far as advice. i am actually in the process of making a knife with a local VT maker (Wulf). fully forged. we glued the handle together last trip out. and, am heading out tomorrow to finish 'er up. pretty excited.

    i will tell you what we did for a couple of the points above.
    2) used just sandpaper on a marble (i.e. flat) surface. made sure to keep it as flat as possible (obviously)...and if you want to keep some HT finish on the blade, be wary of that, as well. but literally, that was it....sandpaper. i forget the grit, but if i'm forced to guess, i would say 600 (with some WD40 applied).
    3) as you mentioned, we ground a depression into the handle steel. also drilled a lot of smaller holes into it.

    now, i'm sure there are many ways to go about this, but just letting you know what we did.

    Might try blue jeans or canvas. I have some burlap sacks left over from a deep sea fishing trip so I may try that as well. I'll be making them this coming weekend.
    and that makes two of us. i would love to see how this turns on PG. good luck.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the info tpvt! I'm getting all antsy waiting to start this project now! Please share pics of your finished forged knife when you're done, I bet it will turn out amazing!

  9. #9
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    Now this is a great idea, I'm always full of stupid questions and yet have so few outlets for them

    question 1) what sandpaper do you start with for a wood handle, is around 100 grit too rough?
    question 2) does a pin, or screw have to be as wide as the hole in the knife or can/is it okay to make it fit snug in the handle material and as long as it fits through the hole i the knife it's fine?

    thanks in advance for any help and the advice already given which has already stopped me making some serious mistakes, , and please try your best not to et the fact i'm the first one on the list in any way make you jealous, it's only because I'm better...i mean lucky... (it's late)
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by KYenglish View Post
    Now this is a great idea, I'm always full of stupid questions and yet have so few outlets for them

    question 1) what sandpaper do you start with for a wood handle, is around 100 grit too rough?
    question 2) does a pin, or screw have to be as wide as the hole in the knife or can/is it okay to make it fit snug in the handle material and as long as it fits through the hole i the knife it's fine?

    thanks in advance for any help and the advice already given which has already stopped me making some serious mistakes, , and please try your best not to et the fact i'm the first one on the list in any way make you jealous, it's only because I'm better...i mean lucky... (it's late)
    Lol your posts always crack me up man! Not sure about your first question, but from what I've read, the drill bit should be slightly bigger than the pin you're going to be using. I know, for instance, that if I'm using 1/8" pins I need to drill the holes using a #30 bit (slightly bigger). I've also been told when using pins to taper the ends or they will be a bear to get through the knife. Sorry I'm not too helpful, this is my first rodeo too!

  11. #11
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    I use used 60 grit belts cut up to rough the steel. Tapering the ends of the pins is how I do it. As for the holes, I find that chucking the pins in a drill and using sandpaper to very slightly reduce the diameter works well.


    My avatar is my Grandaughter, Hanna, who is battling leukemia.

    R.I.P udtjim - One Of The Good Guys

    Visit My Web Store
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    Visit My Forum In The Makers Section
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmbspyder View Post
    Lol your posts always crack me up man! Not sure about your first question, but from what I've read, the drill bit should be slightly bigger than the pin you're going to be using. I know, for instance, that if I'm using 1/8" pins I need to drill the holes using a #30 bit (slightly bigger). I've also been told when using pins to taper the ends or they will be a bear to get through the knife. Sorry I'm not too helpful, this is my first rodeo too!
    ha hey, glad someone likes 'em, thanks for the advice, I'll take it and then some,

    Quote Originally Posted by JK Knives View Post
    I use used 60 grit belts cut up to rough the steel. Tapering the ends of the pins is how I do it. As for the holes, I find that chucking the pins in a drill and using sandpaper to very slightly reduce the diameter works well.
    thanks, got to love advice from the professional to e%$#bay!
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  13. #13
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    What dremel?

    I've used a lot of sandpaper i my time and thought might make life easier on myself, but looking over the models (I've got a few half hour here) and trying to figure but which one could sand wood like this has been anything but simple. They all seem to be high priced or are reviewed to be no better then using your cat to lick the wood away. Think I might stick to sand paper.
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  14. #14
    I bought mine on amazon a year or so ago for like $60. The utility of the tool is amazing! I wouldn't do the finer sanding with it, but it is great for 99% of the stuff I do...

  15. #15
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    so, i just finished up that knife i mentioned last night. i.e. did the handle. we did hit it on the belt sander first. but really, most of the work was done with files. and, as strange is this might sound, i loved it. it was like getting sucked into a time warp. i might have blacked out a time or two. but, it was very peaceful. perhaps even cathartic.

    anyway... we did belt sander, files then polished with sandpaper (220, 400, 600 progression). i think i would have been ok with just the files and sandpaper.

  16. #16
    Cool, thanks for the info! I'm gonna have to pick up some sand paper, files and some tung oil or boiled linseed at the hardware store soon! I also got my scales the other day so I will post up a pic of those too!! Post one up of your finished knife man!

  17. #17
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    i should have mentioned. i said i would have been ok with the files and sandpaper, and that is probably true. but, as you said spyder, could do that rough work with the dremel and then do files and sandpaper. oh, and further detail....we wrapped/taped the blade, put a strip of leather around it to protect the blade....and then clamped it tight into the bench vise so we could file/sand it. i really enjoyed it and am definitely looking forward to the LRK+ project.

  18. #18
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    thanks for the infor TPVT, I might look at files harder, don't have any good rasps right now, also ( i don't know links are allowed so let me kow if i'm breaking any rules) but I foudn this useful don't kow I'd follow it to the letter but had some points i found usefl.

    http://www.castbullet.com/makeit/scale.htm

    Scales have been ordered, screws (and pins, not sure which wold work better yet) on there way, just working out the tool set, oh, ad the knife
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  19. #19
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    I do most of my handles at work on fridays(my day off,but some of the work during working hrs.too...shhh.)
    We have 3) 4x36 belt sanders with 36 & 80 grit belts only.I do the rough shaping on the BSs then clamp the blade in a vise between 2 pieces of wood with the blade covered in masking tape & use the shoeshine method of sanding for finer shaping,then hand sanding.I sand the spine & as much of the underside as I can on a hard surface.(steel bench top or a board)For the radiuses on the underside( finger groves) I use the edge of a 2x4 & a sanding drum in a drill press.If I don't have the right size drum I'll tape a strip of sp around a piece of round stock,usually 3/8", give or take a quarter inch as needed.
    I've used John's method of chucking the pins in a drill & pinching them with the sandpaper as they turn in the drill,works great & easy to control how much you take off for a good lose,but not sloppy fit.
    And slightly taper the ends of the pins too.
    I also will file groves around the center of the pins(solid pins) & just rough up the tubes real good.
    Drilling very shallow holes in the mating surfaces of the scales is a good idea too.If there are extra holes in the tang & corresponding divots in the scales then the dried epoxy acts as hidden pins for more strength.

    DON'T FORGET TO SHAPE THE FRONT OF THE SCALES BEFORE GLUING THEM ONTO THE KNIFE OR YOU RUN THE VERY PROBABLE RISK OF GETTING SANDING/SAW MARKS IN THE RICASSO WHICH ARE A PAIN TO HAND SAND OUT!!Ask me how I know. LOL

    All sanding on the tang & the mating surfaces of the scales need to be done on a hard,flat surface to prevent gaps showing up between the scales & tang.
    You need as strong a clamp as possible,preferably c clamps when clamping the scales to the tang after applying the epoxy.2 clamps preferably.
    Of course you have to allow for the protruding pins so one clamp might be all you can get on,but try for one on each end.
    Don't forget to totally cover all mating surfaces & the pins with epoxy.

    I've learned what I have from the makers forums here,shop talk & youtube vids.

    Hope that helps & good luck to everyone that decides to tackle a LRK+ handling.
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  20. #20
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    Got wood?

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