Knife making 101 - Lesson 10...Finishing the Finish

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    Now that we've heat treated and corrected any warping problems with the blade, it's time to put the final finish on the blade before we mount the handles. 

    Start by cleaning up the blade with the same grit used to finish the blade before heat treating ( see Lesson 5 ). Don't forget the edges on top of the blade and around the handle area.

    Continue polishing the blade using successively finer grits. These are the grit steps I use:

    When you get through the 1200 grit, we will polish the knife with a buffing wheel and polishing compound. You can buy a buffing wheel at the hardware store and mount it on one side of your bench grinder. This is a very dangerous step where most injuries occur. Wear protective gear - gloves, eye protection, leather apron. The buffing wheel has a tendency to grab the knife and fling it around the room. Stand to one side while doing this procedure.

    Start the buffing wheel and apply some polishing compound to it. I start with polishing compound made for steel (white). Hold the knife firmly. To prevent the wheel grabbing the knife, don't let the wheel come in contact the top of the blade. I polish the bottom half of the blade, then turn it over and polish the other side.

    After buffing, remove the leftover buffing compound with a soft cloth. Then I polish using a red or blue buffing compound for my final polishing step. You should be able to see yourself in the blade. This finish is important for keeping the knife clean. 

    If any scratches show up at this point, the only way to remove them is to return to the grit step where the scratches originated (or were not removed) and rework from that point on.

    Next we will discuss Lesson 10 - making the handle slabs

Lesson 1   Lesson 2  Lesson 3  Lesson 4   Lesson 5  Lesson 6  Lesson 7  Lesson 8  Lesson 9 Lesson 10 Lesson 11 Lesson 12 Lesson 13

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