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Tips on making my first folder bolsters?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by mt_hangglider, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. mt_hangglider

    mt_hangglider

    311
    Jan 19, 2009
    I'm still pretty new at knifemaking and have to rely on other people for blades, liners, hardware, mosaic pins, etc. I have been using blade blanks and folder kits to make various knives - just as a disclosure. Anyway, I wanted your opinion on something...I have been making these folder "kit" knives using damascus blades I have made for me, fileworking the liners, making a backspacer and making and finishing the handle. This is a picture of my latest and I am pretty pleased with it:

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I don't really like the rough, cast metal bolsters that come with the knife as they are pretty plain and have many inclusions from the casting process. I am beginning to get more ambitious and am going to attempt to make my first set of bolsters using Chad Nichols or Doug Ponzio mosaic damascus:
    [​IMG]

    The pieces being offered are approximately 1-1/4 x 1-1/8 x 1/8 - pretty much perfect to replace my kit bolsters. This will be for a new knife, not the one shown above. My plan is to take my "kit" liners and drill holes in the appropriate places on the bolster pieces then countersink for the screw heads (something I have gotten good at making these folder kit handles). Once they are drilled and countersunk, my plan it to attach them to the liner and then grind/sand the excess down to match the liner. From there I will make the handles, attach them and go through the rest of the finishing process as normal. The final step will be to re-etch the bolsters (which I've found a couple of good online tutorials for.) My question to you guys who make these (I'm sure most of you from scratch), do you have any suggestions or things I should pay attention to while doing this? Is my methodology good or would you do it differently? Thanks for your input! Below is a little ironwood fixed blade I made this weekend. Hadn't done one in a while and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. -Chad

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Had my friend with a laser engraver add the Wyoming "Bucking Bronc" to the handle as well:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  2. Mike Fennessy

    Mike Fennessy

    325
    Dec 19, 2005
    Yeah, since they're screw on bolsters that you're replacing it shouldn't be much different then attaching handle material except for taking longer to grind. The inside will have to be absolutely flat, but looks like you don't have any problems getting the wood flat. That's some beautiful wood by the way.
     

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