My African Knives

Von Gruff

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Three Old Westerns and two Light Hunters ready for the glue up. In the clamps now till tomorrow.
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Von Gruff

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Have these ready to sharpen and ship now. Old Westerns with Maple Burl over CB Buffalo horn bolster on the 1095 blade. brass and micarta pins. Hot waxed sheaths border stamped with initials.
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Von Gruff

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Had to change the motor on the power hammer today. Was more than a simple bolt inn as the hammer was really built round the 1 hp motor but it was a 5 amp draw and was trying to draw 5.5 amps so kept shutting down. The new motor is a 2 hp unit and was/is substantially larger so it was a bit of a shoehorn effort. Had to shift the hinges mounting plate back about 3 1/2 inches and that necessitated shifting the treddle as well which was all welded i place. The hinged mounting plate was held in with 1/4 in bolst so had to drilll and tap them and the stop plate in thier new positions. I did have to cut a section out of the brace to get the motor back far enough for the belt to tighten on the pulleys from its resting place where the belt was not egaged. Have it all sorted now and just waiting on the sparky to come in and wire it up.
The bolts holding the lower end of the initial pulley bearings had to be taken out, have the heads ground down to half thier thickness to all ow for the capacitor head of the motor to go back as close as possible to the plate brace.

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You can see the stop against the mounting plate under the motor so it rests against this rather than the capacitor housing at the top of the motor
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All back ready for a belt and awire up again. When repositioning the tredle I also had to cut the old toung off, make a new one and weld it back on again.

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Von Gruff

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Had time to do the handle finishing on these two Light Hunters . One with FB black micarta bolster and liner with cream linen micaarta handles. The other has giraffe bone over CB buffalo horn bolsters
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That’s a great look, striking to my eye.
 

Von Gruff

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Have been working on a knife that will not be shown till it is delivered to the customer and while the knife is done I am waiting on something for the sheath that will make it a bit more than ordinary so that is why there has not been much posting lately so while I am waiting I started getting ready for the next project which includes a knife to with a leather stack handle so made a couple of cutters to make the leather washers. Used a length of heavy wall tube and heated it in the forge to allow for driving it down over the taper, then flattened the sides slightly and sharpen. The smaller one will cut a lightly ovalled disc that is 1 1/8 by 7/8 for the front and rear handle size and the larger one will cut 1 1/1/4 x 1 for the rest.
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ve7poi

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Now you have peaked my curiosity, will be watching for completed knife revealing. I’m sure it will be a special one.
 

Von Gruff

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The leather stack handle is something I havent done and neither have I done something with a fuller in the blade so not having a mill to do the fuller I was a bit hesitant but decided to "have a go anyway". The KA Bar is a knife with a number of firsts not only with the handle and fuller but depending on the state where it is go go to there is the question of having the clip point sharpened or not. First thing was to get a picture of the knife copied to full size according the the specs I found on line and make a pattern to cut the blades from,.
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I decided to make two with the potential of mucking up something along the way and in particular with the fuller so with the pair of blades cut out and profiled it was time to try for the fuller.
I bought a 3/8 double cut carbide round burr and set it in the drill press and clamped a couple of bars to the table with everything locked down tight. I used a caliper to measure from the stem of the burr to the bar that would be the guide for the spine of the blade and a piece of tape marked the shoulder of the tang so I could start the cut and the vice grips on the end of the tang would come up against the drill press table to mark the end of the cut. It was a tricky operation as it required about 10 passes per side on both blades and the burr wanted to, and did drag the blade and bit and so the fuller was not a pristine shape as would be the result of using a mill to do the job or one of the special guided hand scrapers which I didnt have either
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To try and get some of the "wiggles" out of the fuller, a round file ground back for a sharp end and some improvment was made.
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With the blades then preground, heat treated, finish ground and hand sanded, I decided to add them to the ones I was going to stone wash and while the fuller shows it is hand done and less than perfect, I was pleased enough with the result.
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Von Gruff

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The other blades done today was a new eating knife for when we go into the city once a week and have a meal at one of the hotel dining rooms which like many of these places has knives that are less than I have become used to so I retrieved a reject 15n20 (carbon steel) blade from the drawer and reprofiled it to my table knife pattern. Drilled new handle pin holes and ground it after the heat treat. Have a set of impala jigged buffalo horn scales epoxied and clamped to blue liners overnight for fitting tomorrow.
On the Safari Blade I wanted to try something a bit different and drilled my 3 pin makers mark right through the blade and after heat treat and finish grind, countersunk the holes and peened in brass pinstock. With it also being stone washed, I will be looking at options formthe handle matertila to complement the stone wash with brass.
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CBH Australia

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Nice, my wife threatened to use her Von Gruff Chefs knife at the table just to try it. Thats the night I cooked.
It's nice you can get out for dinner at a pub. I will be looking for a recommendation if I get to NZ,
Writing this as I'm travelling for work and sitting in a pub waiting for dinner. One I would recommend.
 

Von Gruff

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Nice, my wife threatened to use her Von Gruff Chefs knife at the table just to try it. Thats the night I cooked.
It's nice you can get out for dinner at a pub. I will be looking for a recommendation if I get to NZ,
Writing this as I'm travelling for work and sitting in a pub waiting for dinner. One I would recommend.
We go to the Law Courts in Dunedin, it is next door to the old police station and the court house.. Nothing fancy but good food at good price.
 

CBH Australia

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Good food at a good price is all I want, I do like an old style Pub atmosphere.
 

Von Gruff

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Got one of the handles underway but still have a long way to go yet.
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bruce moulds

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garry,
you never stop trying yourself.
the best way for a full life.
a friend if mine came back from vietnam with one of those, and he was very proud of it.
a bit much for skinning rabbits, but that is not what it was meant for.
bruce.
 

Von Gruff

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garry,
you never stop trying yourself.
the best way for a full life.
a friend if mine came back from vietnam with one of those, and he was very proud of it.
a bit much for skinning rabbits, but that is not what it was meant for.
bruce.
Yes indeed, different knives for differing needs. I have a friend who comes in to spend monday mornings in the shed and is quite amazed at the number of different style knives just within a single genre without the wide scope of varied use categories.
 

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Ive still got mine from the late 1980's that I bought when I first went into the army... and a more "modern" one with rubberized handles that I picked up in the early 2000's before heading over to Iraq for a while..

Great design that has stood the test of time and is very effective at what it was designed for..
 

Von Gruff

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A little further on this project. I had one of the handles done with a peened steel end cap but wasn't happy with it so ground it off, removed a few leather pieces and pinned an ebony block in its place yesterday.
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Got the shaping done and the grooves filed in today then brushed on two coats of thinned epoxy. Will do another sand off tomorrow and pay some more attention to the end cap then continue with the sheaths which I started this afternoon.
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Von Gruff

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Have this pair done now with the sheaths completed today. I did two in case I mucked up one (only one was ordered) with all the new things I had to do on this type of knife. Not as happy with the handle finish as I could or should be as I did a thinned epoxy brush coat which has given the leather a grey brown rather than a gold brown as most are with just a varnish finish, but it has hardened the leather surface which is the intent so the leather has a bit more protection in daily use I will put a couple of coats of varnish and see if it improves the colour a little.
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Von Gruff

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Some time back I got an email from a repeat customer asking if I could/would do a damascus bowie and having done a few stainless damascus display knives for him as well as carbon hard use knives I thought it was time to stretch my skill levels a bit. I was given free reign on the whole build so got an okay on costs and sugested a carbon steel damascus blade with a pattern called the Australian river so to carry on the theme which in my mind is dappled evening sunlight over the river with blackened tree stump and branch . Two slices of bronze for the sunlight, a blued S guard for the blackened branch, a wide ebony spacer for the tree stump and a beautiful piece of lacewood with a grain structure that looks like the contnuation of the river in the evening gloom. Have a piece of crocodile skin for the sheath inlay to continue the river theme and in my mind it all seems to work.
So with that said, here are the components I will be atempting to put together to bring this theme to reality.
He didn't wasnt to see anything till it was finished so while I did post it elsewhere as the build progressed (knifemaking forum) I had not shown any of it here so some of the posts will indicate a time frame that is not relevant to the poists now as the knife is finished
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