So how did I cut
the high speed steel? I used a die grinder with a thin abrasive
cutting wheel mounted on a die grinder. I am fortunate in that I
own both electric and air powered die grinders, and both are
industrial quality. But you can do this with a Dremel tool as
well. It is just a little slower.
I have some desert ironwood that I thought would make nice
handles, so that is what I used. I ripped a piece of 3/4” square
stock, 5” long, in half to make the 2 scales. I used a chisel to
cut a shallow groove for the blade to fit into, then epoxied the
The angle of the blade will depend on how small you want to cut
your dovetails. I made my blades 3/8” wide.
Next is one of the 2 knives, roughly shaped and epoxied
I used files and sandpaper to finish the handles.
I considered turning fancy handles, but I decided that round
handles were probably not correct for this purpose. I chose
function over form this time. I considered using some L/N knife
rivets, but I haven’t decided whether they need any
ornamentation. Rivets would definitely look cool here. After thinking about it, I decided to go with rivets. It needs
that little touch to look right.
Make the handles to fit your hand. My hands are pretty big, so
the handles are sized proportionately.
James D. Thompson
Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson