Mathews Inc.
Let’s make a knife… Again.
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
Zbone 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
Scoot 15-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
xtroutx 15-Jan-24
hdaman 15-Jan-24
Straight Shooter 15-Jan-24
molsonarcher 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
Straight Shooter 15-Jan-24
hawkeye in PA 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
Catscratch 15-Jan-24
Pinwheel 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
fastflight 15-Jan-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 15-Jan-24
Wv hillbilly 15-Jan-24
Insheart 15-Jan-24
Vonfoust 16-Jan-24
t-roy 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
Catscratch 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
fastflight 16-Jan-24
buckeye 16-Jan-24
MIKE 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
Scar Finga 16-Jan-24
Knifeman 16-Jan-24
Jed Gitchel 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 16-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
xtroutx 17-Jan-24
Rhody hunter 17-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 17-Jan-24
Supernaut 17-Jan-24
JB 17-Jan-24
LUNG$HOT 18-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
Robear 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
Knifeman 20-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 20-Jan-24
Timex? 20-Jan-24
fastflight 21-Jan-24
TGbow 21-Jan-24
Knifeman 21-Jan-24
bowhunter24 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
Supernaut 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
Supernaut 21-Jan-24
Jim McNamara 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
Jim McNamara 21-Jan-24
Jim McNamara 21-Jan-24
xtroutx 21-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 21-Jan-24
xtroutx 22-Jan-24
drycreek 22-Jan-24
bowhunter24 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
Catscratch 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
Pyrannah 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 22-Jan-24
Pyrannah 23-Jan-24
Scar Finga 23-Jan-24
Timex? 23-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 24-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 25-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
fuzzy 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
molsonarcher 29-Jan-24
hunter12345 29-Jan-24
Supernaut 29-Jan-24
Pyrannah 29-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 29-Jan-24
LUNG$HOT 30-Jan-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
Vonfoust 30-Jan-24
buckeye 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
Knifeman 30-Jan-24
Scar Finga 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 30-Jan-24
Knifeman 30-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
itshot 31-Jan-24
xtroutx 31-Jan-24
skull 31-Jan-24
Bigfoot 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
fastflight 31-Jan-24
KY EyeBow 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
skull 31-Jan-24
bowhunter24 31-Jan-24
skull 31-Jan-24
RJ Hunt 31-Jan-24
Scar Finga 31-Jan-24
xtroutx 01-Feb-24
Scoot 01-Feb-24
Catscratch 01-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 01-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 01-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 01-Feb-24
rock50 01-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 01-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 02-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 03-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 03-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 03-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 03-Feb-24
Scar Finga 03-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 03-Feb-24
buckeye 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
Lewis 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
xtroutx 04-Feb-24
goyt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
Bowfinatic 04-Feb-24
Timex? 04-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 04-Feb-24
TMac 04-Feb-24
fastflight 04-Feb-24
hawkeye in PA 04-Feb-24
Gib 04-Feb-24
Scoot 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
hdaman 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
12yards 05-Feb-24
Vonfoust 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
Wv hillbilly 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
dg 05-Feb-24
Knifeman 05-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 05-Feb-24
molsonarcher 05-Feb-24
Paul@thefort 05-Feb-24
Supernaut 06-Feb-24
Matt 06-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 06-Feb-24
ND String Puller 06-Feb-24
Stick 06-Feb-24
Stick 06-Feb-24
Ironbow 07-Feb-24
solo hunter19 07-Feb-24
Catscratch 07-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 07-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 07-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 07-Feb-24
buckeye 08-Feb-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 09-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 09-Feb-24
Catscratch 10-Feb-24
swp 10-Feb-24
From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
This will be the model of knife we are making… my flagship knife the Modified Hunter
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
This will be the model of knife we are making… my flagship knife the Modified Hunter
Ok guys…. Let’s do this again but with a different knife model. We are going to make my flagship hunting knife in CPM 20cv blade steel. I will include everything from profiling the blade…. Heat treating… selecting the handle materials…. Finishing and sheath making. Follow along and we will do this in real time so will take some time to finish the thread but… I hope to make it as informative as possible. Lastly… this knife is not an order so if bowsite and the moderators allow i will put up for sale when done. These all all steps I have learned over the years and is not the only way to make a knife but is how I do it and love to share with you guys. Thanks for all the support and feel free to ask any questions as they come up.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Sorry… double post

From: Zbone
15-Jan-24
This will be good, THANKS Robert for sharing...

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
This is my shop. All work you see in this thread will be done in here. Is a modest 20’x20’ shop I work out of and am blessed to be able to support my family with.

From: Scoot
15-Jan-24
Awesome- looking forward to this!

From: Grey Ghost
15-Jan-24
I never get tired of watching your craftsmanship, Robert. Bring it!

15-Jan-24

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Man, don’t do it. I’m already drooling over the caper you showed me

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Transferring the pattern to the billet of CPM20CV. I prefer painters tape
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Transferring the pattern to the billet of CPM20CV. I prefer painters tape
Thanks guys. Appreciate all the support.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I remove most the material with my porta band saw mounted to a Swag Off road table. One of the most used tools in my shop. If you have a porta band saw you want one of these tables. Turns a ok tool into a super useful tool for the shop.

From: xtroutx
15-Jan-24
Looking forward to it again.

From: hdaman
15-Jan-24
If you don't have one of Rob's knives, now is your chance!

15-Jan-24
Love the handle looks great.

From: molsonarcher
15-Jan-24
Its about time Robert! Thanks for showing us how its done again.

Gents, if you dont have one of Roberst knives, now would be a good time to get one. They really are the top end of knives.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I then head over to my 2x72 grinder (I made this out of a treadmill motor and scrap metal when I first started) and remove the majority of the rest with a 36 grit ceramic belt and 8” roughing wheel.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here I go to another vertical wheel to clean up and square off the edges. Now later I will true everything up with a file and clean up the nooks and crannies but for now she is getting pretty close

15-Jan-24
Love the handle looks great.

15-Jan-24
Enjoyed your last tutorial and I'll be watching again. Thanks.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now the rough profile is done and the edges are pretty close I need to surface off any imperfections and thin the blade geometry down. Right now this blank is .189” and I want a working knife of about .146-.150” for better cutting performance and weight savings. I will do this on a surface grinder in my grinding room

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo

From: Catscratch
15-Jan-24
Thank God you didn't run this thread at the same time as Mike's 40yr sheep hunt thread! Pretry sure it would broken the internet!

I love your knife builds!

From: Pinwheel
15-Jan-24
Amazing work, I love the knives you have made for me.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24
Thank you guys for all the kind words and I love doing stuff like this cause it sheds light on what we do so much behind closed doors and allows all to see the amount of work that goes into a handmade knife.

From: fastflight
15-Jan-24
Read every single post of your last one and plan to do the same here. Thanks for doing another knife. First question...Do you need to worry about generating too much heat during these first few steps and damaging the steel?

15-Jan-24
Damn I can’t wait!!

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24
Fast…. I don’t worry about heat damaging the knife steel until after I heat treat it. That said I still try not to let it get too hot that I can’t handle it with bare hands.

From: RJ Hunt
15-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
We have a knife shaped item.
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
We have a knife shaped item.
Something I forgot to mention. The steel billet is in the Annealed state. That means it’s in its softest condition and I’m doing all the drilling and file work before the steel is hardened (that comes later) as would be impossible to file or drill a hardened knife blank without very expensive tooling.

15-Jan-24
Thanks for taking the time to show the process again Rob! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

From: Insheart
15-Jan-24
Following also.

From: Vonfoust
16-Jan-24
Following here as well. Love these threads. Thanks for taking us along again. Here's stupid question, how is it held on the surface grinder jig? Looks like it would just shoot off.

From: t-roy
16-Jan-24
Thoroughly enjoyed your last tutorial. Following this one as well. Maybe a dumb question, but how much waste do you end up with after cutting the knife’s profile out of the billet, and what do you do with it? I see several pieces of scrap on the ground in one of the pics. They just sold back to a scrapper or do you utilize them someway?

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24
Vonfoust…. that jig holding the knife is a magnetic chuck and holds the knife very securely…. T-Roy on the knives I profile from a billet I recycle the scraps to my metal recycler. If is a knife that I get water jetted for me there is much less scrap and those get taken back to the steel company and re melted or smelted (not sure what is the correct term). All that said… there is quite a bit of metal dust that gets swept up after a couple days work. Why to will see in pictures I am always wearing a p100 respirator when grinding.

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. So it’s a new day in the shop. As most of you guys are experiencing is cold right now. Temps outside are -6f and first things first I need to start a fire then will get some more work done. Today I will be touching up the knife with a file, adding jimping the the back of the knife and drilling pin holes in the knife tang

From: Catscratch
16-Jan-24
I'm just as impressed with your home made grinder as I am your knives. Any other tools or fixtures you've crafted yourself?

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24
Thanks for the text last night. I will be following along for sure! We leave Friday for our Coues hunt, both of my Niche Knives will be making the trip!!

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24
Thanks I have made some smaller fixtures but the grinder is about the only one I still use. I did fabricate my own oil quenching tank with a thermometer for oil hardening steels like you see on forged in fire.

Thanks bownbird… good luck on your hunt.

From: fastflight
16-Jan-24
RJ, without wasting too much time going into detail, I am wondering how you choose the steel you are using? I don't believe this year's knife is the same as last year's. How many types do you use? Pros and cons of a few? Do you use the same as the common store bought bucks, gerbers, etc, etc or something different? Reasons for that?

From: buckeye
16-Jan-24
As an aspiring knife maker, I always enjoy your build alongs Rob, keep up the good work buddy.

From: MIKE
16-Jan-24
Every once in awhile I get the urge to try to make a knife. Then I see these threads and it reminds me to leave it to the professionals. I’m amazed at the amount of work that goes into a quality knife.

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
So I have been asked “do you make one knife at a time?” To answer that yes… and no. To be profitable I do everything by hand but do in batches. The knife I’m making here is an extra of a batch of orders I currently have. Here are the knives I am working on currently. I make about 150 knives a year total and have only made 615 knives to date. Once I get all these heat treated I will finish them in batches of four to five.

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I have a separate grinding room to keep everything’s clean as possible. Here is my grinding room and I separate via a shower curtain

16-Jan-24

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo

16-Jan-24
Looking like a knife now

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now that the knife is flat and square before I heat treat I add some machinist dye to draw the handle pattern on and lay out the pin locations and lanyard tube location

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24
Also… I have been asked if I have knives for sale on my website. Currently I do not have anything available as I am blessed in the sense that when I finish a knife it sells most the time within that day. I can make to order if like. Anyhow.. back to work. Will share more soon.

16-Jan-24
An heirloom knife that will cut up two elk on one sharpening.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24
I just sent this picture to Rob yesterday, before I knew about this thread. I had just finished skinning and de-boning a deer with the knife he made. I believe that was the 5th or 6th deer I had worked on since the last sharpening. Treat the blade with a little respect around bone and hair and Rob’s knives will keep an edge for a very long time! Oh, and listen to Rob’s sharpening tips!! Can’t wait to get my hands on the Extreme Caper!

16-Jan-24
Yeah, no twisting the blade to separate the hip socket :>))

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24
Thanks gents. Yes. A knife is a purpose built tool. I have had this conversations with many. You can make a knife to take abuse but it’s cutting performance will be less and require much more effort to use and separate the hide. I’m a big game hunter and my goal is to produce a knife that will excel at a specific task for a specific end user and that’s the big game hunter.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24
ok, that is NOT the picture I sent or tried to post on here! I have never seen that in my life nor would I ever post anything political on this thread!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24
WTH? The picture is a table full of venison with my Niche knife when I look at Bowsite on my phone but when I look on my computer it's a political cartoon?!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Jan-24

BOWNBIRDHNTR's embedded Photo
BOWNBIRDHNTR's embedded Photo
One more try…

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24
Looks good jeff!

From: Scar Finga
16-Jan-24
Guys, between me and my SIL we have around 10 or 12 maybe more:) of Robs knives! Absolutely amazing craftsmanship and insanely sharp that hold an edge like no other knife I have ever owned!!!

Rob, you are the man!!!! I will never buy another custom knife unless Rob makes it!!!

From: Knifeman
16-Jan-24
Shop is way too clean, you can tell Im not working in there. Have any more pics of that surface grinder set up? Cool thread, love seeing others work.

16-Jan-24
Good thread!

From: RJ Hunt
16-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
This is the raw profiled blank of the mini camp
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
This is the raw profiled blank of the mini camp
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is the finished mini camp.
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is the finished mini camp.
So here is another model I am making with the bowsite knife. I call my Mini Camp and Has become pretty popular among some. This one is in Elmax stainless steel.

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. Back on track. Here I have drilled the pin and lanyard tube holes. Keep in mind we will be using 3/8” pins and a 5/16” lanyard tube the the pin holes will need to be drilled out to be 0.002”-0.003” bigger to allow a good fit and the structural resin to create a bond.

17-Jan-24
So you want epoxy around the pins ? Not an exact fit for the pins ?

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24
Altitude that is correct. Also the pins would slide easily through the holes in both the scales and tang before glue up so there is no residual pressure applied by the clamps when glue up is done that could cause a failure down the road. Also a small gap of a thousands or two around the pin will allow a strong bond.

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now that pins holes are done I will chamfer the edges and prep for hand file work

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Spine before file work. The blue color is machinists dye
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Spine before file work. The blue color is machinists dye
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Adding the jimping (file work)
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Adding the jimping (file work)
Here you can see the spine of the knife. That’s the back above the blade edge. I like to add some file work for a area for your thumb or finger to ride on the back of the knife when working. I do these by eye with a chainsaw file. Most have between 7-9 file cuts in the back of the blade. This also In my opinion helps with the “look” of the blade.

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I also flip the knife over and file in a proper sharpening choil. I don’t always add these but on this knife I find it necessary. My smaller capers do not have a choil
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I also flip the knife over and file in a proper sharpening choil. I don’t always add these but on this knife I find it necessary. My smaller capers do not have a choil
Here is the knife with the file work finished. There are 9 file cuts in the back of this blade

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here we are so far. The knife is still soft so working at this point will be much easier than after we heat treat it. Next step is to add our “false edge” along to top of the blade then a small pre heat treat bevel along the edge of the knife.

From: xtroutx
17-Jan-24
Enjoying this again Rj. Thanks for sharing!..

From: Rhody hunter
17-Jan-24
Looks amazing , you do some fabulous work

From: RJ Hunt
17-Jan-24
Thank you.

From: Supernaut
17-Jan-24
Great thread, very interesting.

Thanks for taking us along!

From: JB
17-Jan-24
Very cool!!

From: LUNG$HOT
18-Jan-24
Love these threads. Good work RJ.

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. Now al the file work is done the last step before heat treating the knife will be going to the grinder and cutting the false edge alone the spine of the knife and taking the corners off the edge to start setting the bevels where the edge will be. I do this as once we heat treat the knife the steel is extremely hard and wear resistant and breaking off that corner will ruin one belt per knife where I will be able to do 20 or so knives with one belt when the steel is soft. To scribe the center line I use a height gauge with a carbide scribe on a machinists plate

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Scribing the center line of the edge.

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the fine line I will grind a 45 degree bevel to prior to heat treat.

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24
Fast flight… sorry I missed your question. Yes this knife is CPM20CV and the knife I did last time was Elmax. Both are a very high end stainless and not in expensive to use or easy to heat treat properly. On steel selection I focus first on wear resistance then on toughness. The steels I use I want them to be able to take apart and process a bull elk sized animal in the field without maintenance and get you on the trail with the meat as fast as possible. I feel CPM20cv is an excellent balance of both properties and stainless enough to not rust under normal use conditions. To clarify I can use a piece of high carbon steel for this knife and would cost $5-$10 in steel while a 20cv steel would be in the $40-$55 range for the same sized piece. Both make a fine knife but with different properties. I like to use the analogy that knife steels are like pretty ladies… all are great just in their own ways. ;-)

From: Robear
20-Jan-24

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I set my work rest so I can take off an even amount of the corner on each false edge /Swedge. These need to be consistent as any deviation will be seen on the back of the knife.

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here I cut the corner off the edge. Now a little cleaning and degreasing and I will prep for heat treating

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24
Here I cut the corner off the edge. Now a little cleaning and degreasing and I will prep for heat treating

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Voila… ready for heat treating
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Voila… ready for heat treating
A little bath in acetone to remove all the dye and oils.

From: Knifeman
20-Jan-24
Interesting. I see you heat treat before grinding the blade. What is the reasoning? I rough grind the blade before heat treat. I hollow grind my blades, maybe that is the diff. Great thread thanks!

From: RJ Hunt
20-Jan-24
Knife man, On air hardening steels (Elmax, 20cv, magnacut and others) I only take the corners off as when I quench them between aluminum plates I want as much contact as possible to take the heat out. Also steels move sometimes when heat treating and I prefer to grind afterwards as my grinds are pretty thin when done and any variance will be seen in the edge. That said…. Shallow hardening or oil quenching (W2, 1095 or 52100) steels I grind much more as I like those steels to be thinner when going into the quench to make sure they come out full hardness if that makes sense and any variations or warps will get straightened or ground out after heat treat. Many don’t like to grind after heat treating as can be much more difficult, especially with CPM steels but it works for me and I feel I get a more consistent product. It works for me and my process… not saying is the only way but it’s one I have come up with and works for me.

From: Timex?
20-Jan-24
Really interesting thread, thanks...... I've always had a knack for sharpening knives...

To the point that my friends constantly pester me to sharpen theirs.

Doubt I'll ever do it cause I really enjoy my current job .....but if something were to go sideways with my current job ...

.Im fairly certain I could support myself with a knife sharpening business out of my garage.......ya either understand the edge angel to blade thickness, or ya don't. ......just that simple,,,or not....

From: fastflight
21-Jan-24
Thanks for the reply. I figured you either missed the question or it was proprietary information you didn't want to share. Enjoying the process.

From: TGbow
21-Jan-24
Nice! You got a talent for knife making Robert

From: Knifeman
21-Jan-24
RJ, makes sense, thanks for the info. Your blades really turn out precise and uniform that way. I do struggle with the edge variance hollow grinding by hand.

From: bowhunter24
21-Jan-24
Just a matter of time before I pull the trigger! As a retired machinist I really appreciate your work! Thank you for another great thread!

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24
Yes knife man. Hollow grinds tend to move more in heat treat and though I like them and don’t them easier to do than a high or full flat I don’t care for hand sanding them out.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. Is heat treat day. I don’t use a forge as these steels will need to cook/soak at temps between 1560f and 2150f for up to 30 minutes at a precise temperature so I use a computer controlled kiln to get exact results.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Before I can put the knife in the oven I need to protect it from any oxygen in the furnace. High temps, oxygen, and steel is not a good combo. I do this by placing the knife in a 309 stainless steel foil envelope and seal up so no oxygen can get to the knife blade

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Sealed and air tight

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
When the oven is pre heated to 1560f I place the knives in in groups of two to four. These knives will soak for ten minutes at 1560f then the temp will quickly raise to 2100f and soak at the temp for 30 minutes.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
The knife will be quenched between two aluminum plates while still in the foil packet. I run cold water though my plates to keep them around 35f to cool consistently and fast. Here you can see they are in the process of cooling down.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24
Let me know guys if this is all making sense or am I getting too deep in the details? Rob m

From: Supernaut
21-Jan-24
Makes sense to me so far and I'm enjoying it very much. Thanks again!

I do have a couple questions: After the heat soak in the kiln do you take them out right away and put them in the cooling plates?

How do you handle them to get them in the plates?

Thanks again!

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Super…. Thank you. I wear heat resistant welding gloves (nothing like sticking your hand in an oven at 2100f) with a 24” long set of tongs. I will post up a pic soon on the knife coming out of the oven and going into the plates.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the knife glowing though the steel foil
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the knife glowing though the steel foil
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And going into the plates to cool
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And going into the plates to cool
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is the knife just out of the plates and before going into liquid nitrogen
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is the knife just out of the plates and before going into liquid nitrogen
After the knife soaks for the 30 minutes at 2100 degrees Fahrenheit I pull out and immediately clamp between cold aluminum plates and run compressed air though. Within 20-30 seconds the knife is cool to touch. It is this rapid cooling that hardens the knife

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is my tank full of liquid nitrogen. High alloys require this step for full performance of the knife
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is my tank full of liquid nitrogen. High alloys require this step for full performance of the knife
Once the knife is cool to the touch it then goes into a liquid nitrogen bath over night at -320f to compete the hardening.

21-Jan-24
Is it high pressure air being released that provides the cooling ?

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24
Jay,

The aluminum plates clamped down that sucks the heat out mostly. I use compressed air to get anything not touching the plates directly like the foil packet and such.

From: Supernaut
21-Jan-24
Very cool, thanks for answering my questions!

From: Jim McNamara
21-Jan-24
Quality throughout. Very well done Mr Hunt. Dykem Blue, a staple of a machine shop. Been a long time since having any on my hands.

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24
Thanks Jim. I appreciate it. Funny you mention Dykem on the hands as an sitting here debating if want to acetone it off or let it wear off.

From: Jim McNamara
21-Jan-24
Yep!!:)

From: Jim McNamara
21-Jan-24
Yep!!:)

From: xtroutx
21-Jan-24
RJ, when you seal the knife blade in SS foil how do you get the air out before/while sealing the foil. I see after heat treating, the silhouette of the blade is impregnated into the SS foil but not beforehand. Looks almost like a SS pouch with edges sealed. Does the intense heat remove the oxygen inside the SS pouch? Btw this is great to follow again. Thanks

From: RJ Hunt
21-Jan-24
Xtr…. I don’t remove the existing oxygen from the foil as when it goes into the oven the foil will heat up before the knife and consume all the oxygen in the packet and when it cools it’s pretty much vac packed in the foil. I do add some talc powder to the knife to keep it from welding to the foil but be careful… must be pure talc…. Any additives will combust and swell your packet up and turn it into a baloon.

From: xtroutx
22-Jan-24
Thank you.

From: drycreek
22-Jan-24
RJ, this thread is most interesting ! Your knives are beautiful and I’m sure they are great quality to boot !

From: bowhunter24
22-Jan-24
Put Dykem on a few handles and what not to prank my buddies with! Really enjoy the more in-depth article this year compared to last. The details to make a knife of this quality are vast!

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24
Thanks guys.

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I am hanging these to allow to come to room temperature then they will go back in the oven. Some will go on at 375f and some at 1000f for up to 6 hours
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I am hanging these to allow to come to room temperature then they will go back in the oven. Some will go on at 375f and some at 1000f for up to 6 hours
So now that hardening process is done after an overnight bath in -320f liquid nitrogen so it’s time to draw back some hardness and increase the toughness by tempting the knives to a correct balance of hardness and toughness.

From: Catscratch
22-Jan-24
When I was a machinist (yes, my hands were always splotched blue) I didn't learn a lot about heat treating. If the prints called for a certain hardness we just sent it off. I wish I'd payed more attention!

Your threads are spectacular! Would love to see you do more of them.

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Thank you. When heat treating for knives we have to take fine edge stability into account. I have found I can heat treat two different ways and still get the same hardness rating but with vast differences in edge performance. That said… i still test them all for hardness but that is only part of the equation if any of this makes sense. For tempering knives under 400f I find my house oven to be more consistent in holding temps when below 400 than my kiln so the wife understands every couple months I get the house oven.

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok now the knife is out of temper I cool it off to room temp and will test the knife for proper hardness. For this knife my target hardness is 62.5-63hrc. Many factory knives are as low as 55-57hrc

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24
Ok now the knife is out of temper I cool it off to room temp and will test the knife for proper hardness. For this knife my target hardness is 62.5-63hrc. Many factory knives are as low as 55-57hrc

From: Pyrannah
22-Jan-24
how much does hardness effect sharpening?

there is a balance between hardness and how long the edge lasts correct?

thanks for the great thread!

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24
Hardness does affect sharpening to some degree but to less that everyone thinks. If you use proper sharpening equipment the stones, wether diamond or other wise, will cut the knife steel to form an apex. Where sharpening becomes difficult is when makers or companies leave the knife edge too thick and you have to remove a ton of material to sharpen the knife. For example. To sharpen an edge that is 0.025” behind the edge versus 0.008” behind the edge you will have to remove more than 3 times the steel to re form that edge. A hard knife steel takes a very keen edge and in my opinion much easier to maintain. A soft knife steel doesn’t form a burr well and in the same sense stinks to sharpen. All this said everything is my opinion and what I have learned over the years.

22-Jan-24
Well what ever you do. It works. The edge retention is amazing

From: RJ Hunt
22-Jan-24
Thanks jay.

From: Pyrannah
23-Jan-24
thanks rj...

i have a few different knives and they always need touched up when deboning even deer.. they dull super fast

23-Jan-24
I am not blowing smoke. I can easily completely process 2 Elk without touch up.

Gut, skin, quarter, bone. It’s hard steel. No twisting inside of knee joints.

As he says. If you want to cut wood and pry with your knife he would make it with the appropriate steel for that job.

I wanted edge retention. So its not a prying, chiseling tool.

From: Scar Finga
23-Jan-24
A.S. nailed it! Robs knives are the best I have ever owned, and I have owned more than my share of custom knives!

Great thread brother!

God Bless! Scar

From: Timex?
23-Jan-24
Very interested in the final sharpening process......for my broadheads & fish fillet knives I use paper wheels, but its an extremely smooth polished edge,,, sharp like broken glass, but honestly not a very durable edge imo. Very interested in the final sharpening process.

From: RJ Hunt
24-Jan-24
Timex… I sharpen by hand. Will share how when the knife is done.

From: RJ Hunt
25-Jan-24
Ok guys. I have not forgot about this thread. I will be finishing up a couple orders this week then back on the bowsite knife. We will be grinding bevels, hollowing the tang and tapering the tang soon.

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok gents. Back in the bowsite knife. Today we will be grinding the bevels, tapering the tang and adding the Cerakote accents. Here you can see the scribe line I am adding to grind to. When we are done I will grind up to meet this line and have an edge below 0.010”

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is my wet grinding set up. I use a water misting device to keep the knife cool as to not ruin the heat treat and my glass backed platen is water cooled to keep from getting hot when running all day. I will grind the knife by hand to the specs I want. The process takes me about an hour.

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
A close up view of my mister and belt. The belt is a high wear ceramic as not any belt will survive against a knife blade this hard.

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo

From: fuzzy
29-Jan-24
Wow that's so cool

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Thanks fuzzy.

Here are the bevels ground. Some wet hands and about an hour later it is starting to look more like a knife

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Tang hollowed out
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Tang hollowed out
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And now tapered to remove any excess weight
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And now tapered to remove any excess weight
Ok. Now to remove some weight from the tail of the knife and improve the feel of it while in hand. I will use a 4” wheel and hollow out the handle portion to prep to taper

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see that taper better

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Green or black?
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Green or black?
Ok so I need some help. The handle will be half wood and half micarta with a carbon fiber spacer inlayed. This is the wood I will be using and am asking to those who are following the thread if I should use green or black micarta for the front portion of the handle?

From: molsonarcher
29-Jan-24
RJ, the black with that grain in the wood will pop!

Use the black!

From: hunter12345
29-Jan-24
Contrast with the black will be better. Green won’t pop. But do the opposite and prove me wrong. Will be a great knife either way.

From: Supernaut
29-Jan-24
I like the green but I think either will look great.

Thanks again for the pics and explanations.

From: Pyrannah
29-Jan-24
black will look better... green is my favorite color though

why wouldn't you do that grinding before heat treat? would it be easier? i guess maybe more prone to warping and bending during the heat treat process with thinner material?

From: RJ Hunt
29-Jan-24
Black it is. Yes I do most the grinding after heat treat cause it gives me wiggle room in the event there is any movement during the heat treat and various other reasons.

From: LUNG$HOT
30-Jan-24
Yeah I like the black with that variety of wood. Quite the process. A true craftsman.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
30-Jan-24
I'm back from my hunt, you know I'd pick black!

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I glue on some alternating pieces of g10 and carbon fiber
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I glue on some alternating pieces of g10 and carbon fiber
Ok. Let’s make some handles. We will be using carbon fiber, black g10, black micarta and some curly wood. Here are the materials and the wood block ready to go

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I then rip them on my carbide tipped bandsaw to knife handle thickness

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And then lay out the pieces to fit onto some g10 liners to hold it all together.

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
And clamp together to let the marine grade toughened epoxy cure over night. I use the best epoxy money can buy as not all resins are created equal and Home Depot epoxy is not the same. At $100 a quart it’s not cheap but the best product I have ever used

From: Vonfoust
30-Jan-24
I'm amazed that is all precisely ground by hand. True work of art.

From: buckeye
30-Jan-24
RJ, I always have problems with the glue getting onto the blade itself, I use brake cleaner on a q-tip to get it off before the epoxy sets, but I'm never satisfied. Do you have a method to mitigate this ?

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24
Thanks vonfoust… appreciate it.

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24
Buckeye. Yes I do. When I glue up I use a q tip to wipe the epoxy off of the knife blade before it sets. Also helps to keep blade upright when the epoxy is setting. Stay away from any cleaners on the q tip as anytjing like that will wick into the glue joint and weaken it. I use only dry q tips. Also if the scale to blade fit is not perfect the epoxy will seem to squeeze out constantly. If you can make sure both match up perfectly your squeeze out will be minimal.

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. While the scales (handles) are setting up I will cut my pins and get them ready. These will be micarta pins and a brass lanyard tube.

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24
If you look at the pins they are rough sanded or blasted in a cabinet. That gives the epoxy something to grab and keep things together for a lifetime… or two.

From: Knifeman
30-Jan-24
At this point in time, do you have the blade finished and etched with your logo?

From: Scar Finga
30-Jan-24
I know the answer to that Knifeman, but I'll let Rob tell ya! He does amazing work!!!!

From: RJ Hunt
30-Jan-24
Knife man… The blade is not finished sanded yet. Only rough sanded to 220grit. When the scales are set up, drill pin holes and finished the front of the scales then when everything is ready for glue up I will finish sand the knife and etch my logo on.

From: Knifeman
30-Jan-24
I figured as much, I do the same. Looking awesome so far.

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now the scales are glued up I clean them up and square them off on the grinder.

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now it’s time to hand sand out all machine marks from the knife. I have to do this by hand and can take an hour or two to get rough sanded to 220 grit. This step is mostly cosmetic but I feel it makes the knife that much more appealing to the eye. I wet sand and use original windex as wetting agent as does not promote corrosion and does not hide scratches like oil will

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the black Cerakote I added to the file work. A small detail I like to add.
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the black Cerakote I added to the file work. A small detail I like to add.
Knife is rough sanded and this is when I fit up and shape handles

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I transfer the knife onto the scales and cut/grind to shape leaving in 1/16” larger
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I transfer the knife onto the scales and cut/grind to shape leaving in 1/16” larger
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here I fit the knife to the scales and drill all the pin and lanyard holes

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here are the handles, spot glued together with CA glue to temporarily hold them together

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I also add a small chamfer to the back of each pin and lanyard hole. This will help push epoxy out the pin holes when the knife is clamped during glue up
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I also add a small chamfer to the back of each pin and lanyard hole. This will help push epoxy out the pin holes when the knife is clamped during glue up
I then spit them back into two halves that are now a matching set and flatten with 60 grit sand paper on a granite slab

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. This is one of the most important steps when fitting handles. I call it a “two finger” fit up. All pins and tubes need to go in by no more than finger pressure and the scales should lay completely flat against the knife steel with no more than holding with your fingers. If you need to tap pins on with a hammer or use clamps to suck up gaps your fit up is not proper and you are putting stored energy that will work against your pins and epoxy and over time you may have failures. You want everything to fit up perfectly with no clamping pressure.

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24
Any questions…? Feedback….?

From: itshot
31-Jan-24
outstanding!

From: xtroutx
31-Jan-24
Love following this even more than the last one. Very well explained. You are a true craftsman.

From: skull
31-Jan-24

skull's embedded Photo
skull's embedded Photo
Beautiful work, is there a possibility to have this part done with antlers

From: Bigfoot
31-Jan-24
Don't know much about the whole process, but certainly enjoying watching it!

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Thanks guys. I’m trying to make it informative but not bore you guys to death. ;-) . . Skull… yes I can do with antler bone or even fossil ivory. Here is pair of my smaller knives with elk antler incorporated in.

From: fastflight
31-Jan-24
What's the best way to see a bunch of your past knives? Would love to look thru them. Amazing work? You don't have to answer but curious what hand crafted knives cost. I have no idea if these are $200 or $500 knives or even higher?

From: KY EyeBow
31-Jan-24
Impressive!

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24
Thanks gents. I do Facebook under Robert Mckibbin and Instagram under @robmniche and you can see more there, probably more on Instagram. My knives run in the $500 range depending on the knife.

From: skull
31-Jan-24
Beautiful work no doubt about it

From: bowhunter24
31-Jan-24
Beautiful!!!

From: skull
31-Jan-24
Following you on facebook

From: RJ Hunt
31-Jan-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is a bowsiters caper I made for him. He may chime in and give himself away but will leave that up to him.

From: Scar Finga
31-Jan-24
Oh Yeah!!! The Scar-Finga Caper Custom!!!! This is my absolute favorite out of all the knives Rob has made me! It is absolutely perfect and beautiful!!!

From: xtroutx
01-Feb-24
Wow, that's a real looker there. Beautiful knife.

From: Scoot
01-Feb-24
Oooohhh Scar/RJ, that caper is sweet!

From: Catscratch
01-Feb-24
"Any questions…? Feedback….?"

Once again an outstanding thread! If I had one of your knives it would be a waste as I'd view it as a work of art too much to use it and put it through it's paces!

I have a question about hollowing out the tang; It removes some steel, but I assume that divot gets filled with epoxy. Is there enough weight difference between the steel and epoxy to make a difference? I suspect since you do EVERY LITTLE THING you can to insure a great product that even if it's just a fraction of an ounce that you'll say it matters and that the little things add up. Just wondering if that's the case and if you've checked?

From: RJ Hunt
01-Feb-24
Cat… there is a slight difference in weight yes as I do fill the void with epoxy. That said to be honest there are other ways to lighten the tang. For example you can drill lots of holes in it to lighten but for me… the tapering of the tang is a maker flex of sorts. It shows a little more complexity to the build and craftsmanship in my opinion and improves the lines of the knife.

From: RJ Hunt
01-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. Here is where we are at in the build. Time to finish sand the knife, put my makers mark, serial number and get glued up.

From: RJ Hunt
01-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
All sanding at this point is don’t by pulling the paper the length of the blade and being very deliberate on keeping the scratch pattern straight

From: rock50
01-Feb-24
I want the elk handle knife on the right!!

From: RJ Hunt
01-Feb-24
Thanks rock. That knife is CPM magnacut at 63.0hrc and if I remember correct that one went up north to Canada.

From: RJ Hunt
02-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
When the first side is finished I tape the finished side to protect it while I work on the other

From: RJ Hunt
03-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Serial number goes on the left side of the blade
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Serial number goes on the left side of the blade
Now that the knife is finish sanded I will electro etch my makers mark and my serial number on the knife then it’s off to the blasting cabinet to rough up the surfaces of the tang that will be epoxied to the handles

From: RJ Hunt
03-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is the knife ready for glue up

From: RJ Hunt
03-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the grain in the pins running the length of the knife
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here you can see the grain in the pins running the length of the knife
I attach the knife handles and pins with the same marine grade toughened epoxy that I build the scales with. I pay close attention also to the grain in the pins as they need to be aligned with the knife. Another detail I like to make sure is accurate

From: RJ Hunt
03-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
For clamps I only use spring clamps to a wood over tightening the scales while the glue sets up overnight

From: Scar Finga
03-Feb-24
So much hand work!!! It amazes me how fast you actually make them!! Great work as always!

Is this one spoken for? Asking for a friend:)

From: RJ Hunt
03-Feb-24
Scar… The knife is not spoken for as will put up for grabs when done at the end of this thread. If no one here on bowsite wants it will put it up for sale on other platforms.

From: buckeye
04-Feb-24
Rob, are you using a cricut cutter for the clover leaf and serial numbers? I like the idea of the blast cabinet for the tang. Good stuff.

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
On the makers mark and my number I etch the logo with dc power and color it dark with ac power. Some guys use lazer engravers but I still like the electro etch
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
On the makers mark and my number I etch the logo with dc power and color it dark with ac power. Some guys use lazer engravers but I still like the electro etch
Buckeye, I use a label printer with stencil tape for my serial numbers but my makers mark is done by a custom electro etch stencil company.

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Ok. The epoxy has set and as you can see we got squeeze out along all the pins and lanyard tube ensuring solid construction. Now we will do all the machine work to shape and profile the handle

From: Lewis
04-Feb-24
Been following and its been very interesting great looking work and thank you sir for sharing Lewis

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
With an 8” contact wheel I clean up and square off all the edges to meet the tang of the knife

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I cut the scallops with a wheel then round off all the edges

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Now begins the hand work

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
After sanding, hand buffing and adding some oil you can see the wood curl and details in the layers we made when assembling the handle

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
A quick check on the scale and for a full sized knife 4.9oz is hard to beat.

From: xtroutx
04-Feb-24
Very impressive! Beautiful knife.

From: goyt
04-Feb-24
Rob, What is the length of the blade and the finished knife? Beautiful knife!

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24
Goyt…. This knife has a blade of 4” and an overall of 8.75”

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is a better photo in the natural light. Next we will be making a functional sheath for

04-Feb-24
Thank you for taking us along each step of the way. The Knife making process is mesmerizing to me. Beautiful work and knife!

From: Timex?
04-Feb-24
How about the final sharpening process, Really interested in your finished edge & method.

Have really enjoyed the thread. Thanks

From: RJ Hunt
04-Feb-24
Thank you guys. Yes. The final sharpening will be done last. I will share that as well.

From: TMac
04-Feb-24
Hey rob the handle is 1 piece with different pattern/color? What is the handle made of?

From: fastflight
04-Feb-24
Souch an awesome looking knife. Love that wood. Thanks again for sharing all of this hard work.

04-Feb-24
Your craftsmanship is excellent as is your details. Thanks for sharing the build with us.

From: Gib
04-Feb-24
Thanks for the build and explanation of everything!!! Incredible!!! Beautiful knife !!!! Waiting for the rest,,,,,,

From: Scoot
05-Feb-24
So darn impressive!

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I heat and press the kydex around the knife to form
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
I heat and press the kydex around the knife to form
Thanks gents. I appreciate all the positive comments. Ok time to make a sheath. I use kydex or thermoform plastic cause it’s functional and affordable. I do have a leather worker that does custom leather but can drive the cost up as quality leather work is an art. This sheath will be black/brown to match the knife handle.

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
05-Feb-24
Fantastic as always Rob. Makes me even more excited for my extreme caper!

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is my various stones
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is my various stones
Ok. Now it’s time to sharpen I use a Wicked Edge WE130 and I do not put on any powered machine as you can easily overheat the edge apex. My grit progression with diamond stones is this: 100 to form a burr… 200… 400… 600…. 800… 1000… 1500…. 2200…. Then I strop with 9 micron and 3 micron diamond lapping film and finish strop with 2 micron diamond paste on leather strop. When done you have a very sharp edge at about 19 degrees per side. If I was to do this for a hunting knife at home you could go to 800 grit then strop and have a very good working edge.

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here I have the knife clamped and ready to sharpen

From: hdaman
05-Feb-24
Amazing craftsmanship, Rob!

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Between grits I brush off any debris off the knife in the direction of the satin finish to keep from scratching the knife

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is our sharpened knife with an ultra fine cutting edge that is razor sharp.

From: 12yards
05-Feb-24
Incredible piece of working art! Beautiful knife!

From: Vonfoust
05-Feb-24
Awesome. Thanks for doing this.

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Update: The knife has been claimed. Thank you. Here is our finished knife. American made with American steel. Thanks guys for all the support and I really enjoy sharing with you guys what I do. Be blessed and thanks again to all who followed and Bowsite for allowing to share Rob m

05-Feb-24
Another beautiful piece of art Rob! Thanks for taking the time to share.

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24
Thanks Dave

From: dg
05-Feb-24
Fantastic job ! A true work of art. I think a knife of that caliber belongs in a handmade leather sheath instead of Kydex. Just my opinion.

From: Knifeman
05-Feb-24
Nice precise work. I love it. What grit is the blade finished to?

From: RJ Hunt
05-Feb-24
I finish stainless to 500-600 grit and high carbon to 1500

From: molsonarcher
05-Feb-24
Beautiful work Rob! Much better thread than the political stuff lately as well.

From: Paul@thefort
05-Feb-24
Very art-full Mr. Mckibbin. Nicely done. Paul

From: Supernaut
06-Feb-24
A beautiful piece of functional art, outstanding!

Thanks again for taking us along in your process. The pictures and explanations were great and I appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. Best success to you! -Jim

From: Matt
06-Feb-24
That is piece of art, thanks for sharing your process.

From: RJ Hunt
06-Feb-24
Knife has been claimed. Thank you guys again and feel free to hit me up with any questions. Rob m Niche Custom Bladeworks

06-Feb-24
Awesome work Robert… true craftsman are pretty rare these days. Thanks for taking the time to post.

From: Stick
06-Feb-24
Awesome, just Awesome...I had no idea of the amount of work,and time involved...thanks for the education....Beautiful work..... Mike

From: Stick
06-Feb-24
Awesome, just Awesome...I had no idea of the amount of work,and time involved...thanks for the education....Beautiful work..... Mike

From: Ironbow
07-Feb-24
Thanks for taking us along. Excellent.

07-Feb-24
After following this through the whole process and the time it takes to do it whatever you get for those knives is not enough.

Thanks for taking us through it!

Solo

From: Catscratch
07-Feb-24
Well... I think it's been long enough. Time to start a another knife build again again. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Do you ever make unusual knives? I'd like to see how you work antler or ivory for handles.

From: RJ Hunt
07-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
These are some little mini cleavers with clay hardened blades. I don’t make them often
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
These are some little mini cleavers with clay hardened blades. I don’t make them often
Thanks guys. I do make some different style blades that are not “hunting “ per se. Will show a couple different ones here.

From: RJ Hunt
07-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
A tanto I made for a buddy of mine in Ohio
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
A tanto I made for a buddy of mine in Ohio

From: RJ Hunt
07-Feb-24

RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
RJ Hunt's embedded Photo
Here is a “Puukko” style knife input together. These are not knives I make often but when I need to try something different of just stretch my artistic abilities I will make something new.

From: buckeye
08-Feb-24
Those are some of the prettiest hamons I've ever seen

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
09-Feb-24
Rob's knives are both beautiful and functional. Put one in your hands and use it and then you will really appreciate them even more!

From: RJ Hunt
09-Feb-24
Thanks Jeff

From: Catscratch
10-Feb-24
Thanks for posting some of your oddball stuff. It's all very nice work!

From: swp
10-Feb-24
Nice knives RJ! Thanks for the build along.

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