Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Chapter 9

(25) Anodizing control and bath

(26) The handle changing color

(27) The finished knife

(28) Close up of damascus blade

To finish the second knife we need to do some anodizing. All the parts are made and the knife can be assembled into a functioning unit. So, we remove the scale screws and the blade stop and anything else that is conductive but not made of titanium. The titanium parts are cleaned with a degreaser and dropped into an etchant. This etchant is different than we used to etch the damascus blade and much weaker but it prepares the titanium. The cleaned parts are then stored under distilled water until we are ready for them.

A titanium rod is put through a hole in a handle slab and lowered into the anodizing bath (25). As the knob on the anodizing control is turned you can actually see the color change(26) in infinitely small steps across the spectrum. Once you have a color you like the settings are left as they are and you simply do the remaining pieces. If you go past the color you want you must re-etch to remove the anodizing and start over. Unfortunately, we cannot anodize titanium to white or black.

After the anodizing is complete finishing the knife is done as before with lubrication and assembly(27). The anodized surfaces can be cleaned and brightened with an ammonia based window cleaner. Finally, picture (28) is a close up of the Raindrop pattern damascus used in this blade.

That's it, that's all there is to it. I hope this has given you some understanding of what goes into making a handmade folding knife, why they cost more than production models, and why they are worth it. And, if you have been considering building one yourself, I hope this discussion provided the little push you needed to get off your duff and do it!

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives