How to Make a High-Tech Folder

How to Make a High-Tech Folder

To neutralize the muriatic acid, I use a mixture of Windex, which has ammonia and detergent, and baking soda, as an added insurance.


After the acid is neutralized, I rinse the blade in water and I begin to polish it. It is easier to remove the residue of the blade before the water has dried. I use a medium felt wheel with a little bit of rouge and I go over the bevel and outer edge of the blade.

After polishing, I surface grind the blade. I surface grind the flats to remove the pattern, thus allowing the ball detent to ride on the smooth surface of the blade. It also helps enhance the appearance of the damascus.

I have converted my surface grinder to accept a 2-inch-by-72-inch belt. The 90-durometer, 6-inch serrated wheel will keep the blade cooler than a stone or a smooth wheel, and therefore will also prevent the blade from warping. To prevent rollovers (the edge of your blade will roll over due to the contact wheel pressure) with this set-up, you need a hard, 90-durometer wheel, and you must take lighter cuts. A lot of knifemakers have a tendency to want to remove too much material when using a belt.

I put the side that I ground flat, using the disk, down onto the magnetic chuck. I use a fine-pole magnetic chuck because it has better holding properties for knife blades. The blade is tilted at a 60-degree angle and the magnetic chuck is turned on. I use a 120-grit belt to remove the etched patterns on the flat of the blade. I do this to both sides, and I bring the thickness down to about .003-inch thicker than what I need.

Next I remove the blade and clean off my chuck. I replace the 120-grit belt with a 400-grit belt. I then put the blade back on the magnetic chuck, this time horizontally. This is the direction that I will be hand-rubbing the blade. Also I am able to see the 120-grit scratches being removed. With this grit, you do not want to remove more than .0015-inch at a time. This will ensure that your blade will remain absolutely flat.

With the blade perfectly flat and parallel, it is now time to cut the bevel for the lock in the tang. I use a brand-new 320-grit belt and a 90-durometer smooth wheel. This will ensure that the lock surface does not have any ripples. I adjust my tool rest to a specific height that I know will give me a 6 ½-degree-angle tang bevel. To verify this angle on the blade, I use a vernier protractor that is accurate to 5 minutes of a degree.

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