Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Chapter 4

(11) Titanium and micarta sandwiches for the knife handles

(12) Milling away most of a titanium slab to make an integral bolster

(13) Dovetailing the bolster

In picture (11) we dispel any last ideas that you, dear reader, may have been clinging to that knife handles for folders are in any way prefabricated for the aspiring knife maker. I call this my "micarta sandwich". It is two pieces of 1/8th inch thick titanium, a sheet of .050 titanium for the lock, and a sheet of micarta, all bolted together through the pivot hole. You can see the outline of the desired handle shape drawn on the metal which means that no two knives will ever be exactly identical even when made from the same pattern. The sandwich idea is my way of keeping things lined up and parallel while the handle is being built. Eventually, most of the micarta will be cut away leaving just enough for the spine of the knife.

On an integral knife handle the bolster is one piece with the liner as opposed to mounting a bolster onto the liner with screws or solder. The integral design allows for a thinner, lighter knife with bolsters that absolutely cannot come off. Losing a bolster has never been a problem for any knife maker I ever heard of but the extra strength and reliability just makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

To get that integral bolster you have to remove a lot of metal so that most of that 1/8th inch bar becomes a thin liner upon which the handle material of your choice will be mounted. Picture (12) shows this removal process as the mill cuts away the unwanted material.

After the bolster has been formed I like to undercut(13) it with a dovetail cutter. This gives the handle material some extra support because it gets wedged under there. And besides, it looks pretty snazzy.

Next Chapter

Back To Main Page

Comments? Send me a note at:
Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives