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Micarta Scales for Rat 1

Discussion in 'Ontario Knife Company' started by Connor_MacLeod, May 2, 2020.

  1. Connor_MacLeod

    Connor_MacLeod

    170
    Oct 19, 2016
    After searching around for someone selling micarta scales in micarta but coming up empty, I decided to make my own in brown canvas micarta. I was pleased with how they came out.:thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
     
    upnorth, Wilfred17, razorburn and 5 others like this.
  2. JamesofArc

    JamesofArc

    308
    Apr 19, 2016
    Those look really good. No getting that knife mixed up with others of the same model.
     
  3. FAL'ER

    FAL'ER Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Those are awesome. How thick did you cut your Micarta stock?
    What bits did you use on the holes? Brad point?
     
  4. Connor_MacLeod

    Connor_MacLeod

    170
    Oct 19, 2016
    Thanks! I was really pleased with how the scales came out. For the micarta, I ordered 1/8" brown canvas micarta from an online billiard supply store.

    For the counterbore holes, I built my own counterbore bits (used generally the same method described by the guy in the Youtube video embedded below, except that I used a Dremel cutoff wheel to modify the bits instead of a grinding stone). The counterbore bit sizes I used were 3/16" for the scale attachment screws and 5/16" for the pivot screws.

    For the through-holes, I used a 1/8" bit for the scale screws and clip screws, and a 3/16" bit for the pivot (I think...don't remember for sure on the pivot). Also, keep in mind that the pivot barrel and backspacer barrels protrude through the liners just a tad, so you will need to drill or mill out a tiny little bit of room for these on the inside of the scales to get the scales to sit flush against the liners when assembled. Additionally, the scale that goes up against the lock bar has a small milled-out area for lockbar travel during opening/closing. I used used my Dremel 565/566 cutting adapter with a tungsten carbide cutting/engraving bit to manually mill out this section by setting the depth of cutting to something like a couple of hundredths of an inch.

    The process went something like this: 1) trace an outline of each scale on the micarta sheet; 2) draw the milled-out section for lockbar travel and mill out that area as described above; 3) cut the micarta roughly to size using the outlines in #1 as a guide (I used a couple of Dremel cutting attachments for this, but I understand a band saw with wood cutting blade would have worked a lot easier); 4) use the holes in the existing scales as templates to drill out the various holes (small holes first; counterbores second); 5) once all holes were drilled and I confirmed everything fit together properly, I used a 60-grit Dremel sanding band with my Dremel Rotary Tool Sanding/Grinding Guide Attachment to sand the micarta piece flush with the steel liners, which I had attached to the micarta with the knife's hardware (that way, you know you'll end up with a perfect fit); 6) I sanded down the 90-degree edges on the micarta scales to round them off, then flat-sanded the flat sides of the scales to remove the outer polymer layer and get down into the fabric, starting with 60-grit and working down to 120-grit for both (I wanted a grippy final texture); 7) Then I spread on a couple of applications of boiled linseed oil to the finished scales to bring out the rich brown color again. The guy in the 2nd embedded video below (not my video) shows some of the process I used.

    The main tools I used were a drill press and a Dremel. Hope this helps!

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
    razorburn, MolokaiRider and FAL'ER like this.
  5. FAL'ER

    FAL'ER Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I've made a few sets of handle scales for becker fixed blades, but never anything for a folder. I sure wish I'd known about counterbore bits in 2010/2011, that would've made life easier.
    I appreciate you taking the time to talk about your process in detail like you did.
    From beginning to end how long would you say it takes you to knock out one set of these, 4, 5 hours?
     
  6. Connor_MacLeod

    Connor_MacLeod

    170
    Oct 19, 2016
    I'd say that's about right for total time spent working on them. I worked on them sporadically as I could find the spare time throughout the week. Now that I know what I'm doing, I could probably do it in half the time.
     
    FAL'ER likes this.
  7. FAL'ER

    FAL'ER Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Right on, Well those look 100 times better than anything I ever did and I bet you sell a few sets if you ever put them up for sale. Wink, Wink, burlap micarta would look very sharp.

    Nate
     
  8. Connor_MacLeod

    Connor_MacLeod

    170
    Oct 19, 2016
    I appreciate the positive feedback! Burlap would look great - I might make myself another set of those, although I don't think selling any is in the cards for me as I am already strapped for time as it is.
     
    FAL'ER likes this.
  9. Roguer

    Roguer

    Jan 5, 2015
    That's why I LOVE this Forum. People helping people with advice and knowledge and other insights.
     
  10. Connor_MacLeod

    Connor_MacLeod

    170
    Oct 19, 2016
    And the final touch: a deep carry personalized clip.
    [​IMG]
     
    upnorth, jstrange, razorburn and 2 others like this.
  11. bore

    bore

    542
    May 20, 2015
    Very nice. I understand making it yours. But how is micarta better than what's on originaly? Nice work! Fondling my model 1 D2 in tan.
     

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