Hand sanding techniques

Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Messages
267
I was pretty "pissed" yesterday when I tried to sand the guard and the blade's spine and ricasso .

I'm currently using sandpaper backed with an eraser for the guards and different round ss and brass stock and Micarta pieces for the spine and ricasso.

Since I only have quality paper from 400 grit upward, I always had to get quite high in gritsize (at least 240) on the grinder.
I just don't want to go that way anymore because i messed big time on several occasiones, with both using the platen and slack belt.
Those mistakes were not properly correctable.
Especially on the wood - metal transitions (like the guard area on this knife) it really sucks because very often the belt even on fine grits such as 400, eats uncontrolable into the different materials.

Sanding the guard extra on a fine slack belt rounds up all clear transitions that I want to remain crisp and clean and also takes of material where it's not supposed to.

So what tools and techniques and steps of grit sizes would you recommand (for both wood-metal transitions and metal only) in case I stop with a fine file (in german: Hieb 3) or a 60 grit belt?


The last pic on the ricasso shows such a case where I just can't help it with my posibilities so far. The spine and ricasso area although are fairly easy to sand, but for me it really gets complicated on guards and such stuff with all the clean curves and crisp edges, where i don't want to round or mess anything with sanding. If I had a deep scratch from a file or rough belt that I couldn't get out by hand with the fine paper, the only thing left to do for me, was using a fine belt and slack sand it out, but that just messed it up even more :(.

So here the pics:

attachment.php

attachment.php

attachment.php

attachment.php


I hope I could express my problems in an understandable way. It was even complicated doing it in my own language :D.

I'm looking forward to your tips and help.

Marcus
 
Joined
Dec 10, 1998
Messages
4,859
Are you sanding the ricasso and other hard to reach places when the knife is assembled or in seperate pieces?

I would fully finish the blade and face of the guard so you don't have to touch them while finishing the handle. This saves a lot of time.
Chuck
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Messages
267
I finish the blades seperately. This one also is just roughly finished (400 grit).

I just put everything together to shape the guard and handle.

The guard is Damascus and will be etched before final assembly.

Marcus
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,442
I defefinately feel you about the grinder removing handle material too fast. I do almost all of my shaping on my handles with a cylinder burr on a dremmel, then touch up what I can on a 120 belt, then sand the hell out of it. On convex curves it is nearly impossible to round anything smoothly even with a slack belt, so I just get it in the vicinity of where I want it and then the high spots off with 220 grit. I bring my blades to 320 on the grinder (I don't touch my handles with anything higher than that or they'll burn) and then hand rub everything starting with 220. I go through 220, 320, 400, and 600 before I buff the handles, and I leave the blades at a 600 or 1500 satin finish. Don't try to go from 240 or certainly not 60 (!) directly to 400 grit - you'll want to shoot yourself in the foot before the end of it. For blades, start with sand paper at or just below what you ended with on the belt (I've found that the belt cuts deeper than the same grit with sand paper). For handle material, even 60 will transition reasonably well to 220, or so, as wet-dry paper eats wood right up (but, luckily, at your own pace).
I hope I answered the right questions. I'd hate to try to tell you something you already know.

- Chris
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
849
I do near all my handle work on the Burr King. I design my handles so I can do it this way for the most part. I start with a 36g belt and going down through the grits to 400 or finer, I slow down the grinder to where it is controllable, sometimes very slow and use the slack belt when needed. I finish the knife after it has been put together.
Gib
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
4,591
REALLY nice looking knife to be. Probably already stated above but finish your steel to smooth (machine marks are out) before heat treating. That sure helps a lot if finishing by hand.

I like the looks of that knife.

RL
 
Top