Rob Brown Custom Knives
Tapering Tangs
Rob discusses his technique.
Fitting Guards
Rob reveals the secret to a clean fit.
Fitting Bolsters
Rob discusses the method used for his curved bolster design.
Mirror Finishing
Rob has become known for his mirror polish - here's how it is done.
Fitting Bolsters by Rob Brown
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Image 6
Leave the bolster glued in place - but clean off any glue, etc. on the bolster front edge, the ricasso and parallels, clamp up the knife as before with the first bolster now at the bottom. Glue the second bolster in place.
Image 7
Back to the drill press still set up as before, drill right through both sides of the bolsters - removing burrs as before.

It is preferable to leave the first bolster glued to the tang just in case your angles are slightly out, this then serves as a drill guide and corrects the drill angle as it passes through into the second bolster.

Image 8
Clamp the tang in your vice against the bolsters and using a pin punch tape them off from the inside edge - clean off all glue, etc. Relocate each bolster with drill bots and scribe around the tang, bandsaw/grind this excess down to the line. Pine the bolsters together and mark out and mill down the excess from the rear.

NOTE: Pinning the bolsters together without the tapered tang between them presents a problem - proceed cautiously - two snuggly fitting rivets about the length of one bolster thickness, lightly tapped into the center of this sandwich works well.

Image 9
Using an old vernier scribe a line ±1.5mm wide around the inside edge of each bolster - set up and mill down this area - depth isn't important. This allows the bolster a far better fit to the tang when riveted in place. This can also be done with a cut-off disc on the Dremel.
Image 10
To shape the bolster, superglue them to a right angled mild steel block (cut from 32mm square bar) cut slightly longer than the bolster - as shown. Now drill through the top two rivet holes into the block and tap in rivets to prevent them coming off.
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Copyright © 2001 - Rob Brown
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