1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Week 25 of the BladeForums.com Year of Giveaways is live! Enter to win a Spyderco Manix 2

    Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Spyderco Manix 2 , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!
    Be sure to read the rules before entering, and help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread!

    Entries will close at 11:59PM Saturday, June 22 ; winners will be drawn on Sunday @ 5pm on our Youtube Channel: TheRealBladeForums. Bonus prizes will be given during the livestream!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here
  3. Week 24 drawing for the BladeForums.com 20th Anniversary Year of Giveaways live stream going on from 5-6PM eastern!!
    Tune in to our YouTube Channel, http://www.youtube.com/TheRealBladeforums, we'll be drawing winners for BladeForums.com merchandise & the grand prize:
    a Benchmade 535 Bugout, along with BladeForums branded gear!

    Additional prize(s) will be awarded to people in the livestream chat, so watch for your chance to win bonus prize(s)

Peening and making it flush ?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by SMMottershead, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. SMMottershead


    Feb 7, 2018
    Hello all,

    I very new to this and looking for as much information as I can find on peening. I need to work with wood, ivory, bone, horn, Mother of pearl etc.

    I understand the process of peening and you need to take you time and practice a LOT.

    Q1: How did they get it flush with scales ?
    Q2: Recommend any tools apart from the hammer ?
  2. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    The items you mention are fragile , take care and don't expect to do more then a very slight expansion of the rivet head. I' found that sometimes it really needs a softer rivet so I would anneal it quickly with a torch. Start by cutting the length to prevent you from temptation to over peen Then file close with a fine file then a board with fine abrasive
  3. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
  4. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I don't do peened but domed pinns (a head laying on top of the material)
    I've managed a 2mm head from 1mm roundstock.
    I've made a few punches with confex faces and hit them with a hammer.
    Or better, tap with a hammer.
    The punches give much better control where you hit then using a hammer directly.

    Don't hit hard, tap often
  5. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    I peen, then sand flat. However I dome "some" just depends. Then I use a convex burr I get from Stuller. When peening, you need to relieve the hole just a little w/a flame shaped burr which produces a slight "flare" of about 25/1000 deep at about 50o . I peened these for instance:

    [​IMG]IMG_20180930_114058_543 by rynegold, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_20180930_133340_016 by rynegold, on Flickr
  6. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    i would be scared to peen most of the things you mentioned. i would use a domed head. to make a flat sanded pin peened enough to function, there would have to be a flare, and that flare would have to be filled by the pin expanding, which could lead to cracking.
    J. Doyle likes this.
  7. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    John... that's how I "don't" crack mine. ;) Would a little video help?
  8. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    wether the hole is flared or not there is still a risk of cracking, especially with pearl and ivory. if the video shows otherwise, then yes, i could learn from it.
    J. Doyle likes this.
  9. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Bladesmith/Knifemaker

    Feb 17, 2008
    I think peening pearl and ivory is asking for problems. The number of old AND new knives that I can recall seeing with cracked ivory and pearl scales from peening is too high to count.

    Its extremely difficult to recall any that weren't cracked.
  10. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Hard to put it into words , but maybe STOP BEFORE YOU THINK IT'S ENOUGH would be a good way
    Natlek likes this.
  11. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    I peen alot of copper rivets into reindeer horn with slight countersink. Usually ordinary 14 or 12 awg copper.
    Horn has some resilence, so not extremely critical to not over do it, of course try not anyway.
    Biggest problem is missed strikes. Further underscores need for light touch, sometimes dents cant be removed during final sanding.
  12. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    That's why I prefer punches
  13. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Whether you dome the head or flush rivet, the head flares. The only way to avoid that is to peen the head before installing the rivet, and cut the shaft into the head-removing any taper. You would basically be making a nail.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  14. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    Well they didn't leave Sheffield that way! No sir... The "Little Meisters" of Sheffield peened ANYTHING and did it right. If you see a 150 year old knife w/cracked handle material... you can point a finger at the user; not the maker. That said, here's an album (hopefully you can all see it) of some peening I did today on a "nessmuk" w/ palate oak scales:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157672297631327#

    How pins look before peening...

    [​IMG]the pin de-burred and ready to peen. by rynegold, on Flickr

    How properly "peened" pins look before sanding:

    [​IMG]How a "peened" pin looks when it's right. Note the hole/bevel is "filled". by rynegold, on Flickr

    The finished product ready to sand then stain.
    [​IMG]20181013_151944 by rynegold, on Flickr

    It takes practice.. thats why Sheffield had "Meisters", and apprentices. ;-)

    I will/can peen anything. Be not afraid. (of MOP!) as for ivory, I find it at least as tough as wood.

    just say'n

    Tinbasher likes this.
  15. J. Doyle

    J. Doyle Bladesmith/Knifemaker

    Feb 17, 2008
    All due respect....but I don't really buy that. There is no way to measure how much pressure your putting on those scales with a peened pin, no matter how good one thinks he is.

    All it takes is a weird or sudden change in climate, or a little unexpected moisture or a wild hair and those brittle materials try to buck that rigid pin......the pin wins....every time.

    Just sayin'. But if you're comfortable peening anything and everything, more power to you Sir. And if other's aren't, that's cool too, for equally valid reasons.
    Josh Rider, DevinT and Night Rider like this.
  16. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    Do you really believe that knives shipped in the 1860s and 70s from Sheffield with mother of pearl and ivory scales were shipped with cracked scales? The answer is of course - no. So that means someone peened them doesn't it? simple as that. Now they did have way more practice than any of us; they made hundreds of knives not dozens. In fact several dozen would be a regular order in the way of Bowie knives in the mid-nineteenth. In any event I suppose we all do what we do, I'll give you that.
  17. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    Back to the OP's original post... I would add to that that list, "antler", and omit pearl and ivory for obvious reasons since you apparently have yet to begin peening anyting. The practice part you certainly have right. Back in the Heyday of Sheffield, that's what made for perfect. I don't suppose any of you have copies of "The Bowie Knife Book" by Bill Adams? If not I will post some pictures of the Sheffield craft. Including uncracked examples of Ivory and mother of pearl. ;) These people were professionals... poor quality work of any sort would never have been tolerated: in fact you would have been dismissed from The Guild.
  18. anvilring


    Nov 29, 2000
    Picture yourself working here... Now this would be practice....


    "The finest work is polished by hand, and in
    this slavery I saw the delicate hands of the superior sex solely
    employed. The payment is trifling; but I was told that the hand of woman
    is the softest, most pliable, and most accommodating tool which has yet
    been discovered for conferring the finest polish on the refractory
    substance of steel."

    I showed this to my wife, and I showed her what hand sanding a blade requires... She told me to stuff it.
  19. F Niz

    F Niz

    Jun 12, 2018
    I’m new so maybe my perspective will be helpful for another new knife maker (I’m on my fifth knife only).

    You can find a ton of good info from others here and from YouTube on making handles, but here is one thing that I’ve learned from blemishing a couple knives myself, which you’ll later see was good advice:

    Make sure you have things fitted closely enough, before final construction, to where you don’t have to grind down the pins too much. This is particularly true on bolsters, because they show any small imperfection in this regard. You will end up grinding past your peen, and even if the fit is very tight, this will give you a noticeable gap and the pins will be visible. If you can shape and grind stuff before it’s all put together, that’s always a plus. In some ways you can’t do this, but anywhere you can, do it.

    I did this the first time on a knife, and you can see the pins. I thought, “damn I shouldn’t have opened up those holes with the hand drill to let the pins slide in easier, next time I’ll make it tighter”. Ok well next time I end up making the fit very tight on my brass bolster. I had to hammer it all together (it was a pain because I couldn’t just slide them in nicely, so also a negative in terms of time/effort). I ended up having to grind the bolster down to size, naturally, and I ground past my peened area and it shows a gap (a smaller gap mind you, but a gap).

    So for doing pins in a bolster, make sure your holes aren’t too sloppy (yet you can have enough room to slide the pins in without being the Hulk), but most importantly make sure the thickness of the bolster is near its final state, because when you grind them it will show otherwise.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  20. allenkey

    allenkey Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2018
    Interesting - maybe I have been doing it wrong all along. Haha.

    I tend to use a ballpeen and mushroom the pin over until it looks like a sloppy domed pin - then I sand them down. No wonder I just split a walnut scale last weekend. Duly noted. So glad I found this place

Share This Page