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 11
Set up the correct angle on your rest (in this case 2.3 degrees) and grind against the vertical platen or disc. Keep it cool to avoid them coming adrift or warping.
Image 12
When complete carefully remove from the block, sand off all glue and pin together as before. Sand the bevels and front edge using 220, 400, 800 and 1200 grit as shown and buff lightly to finish. The final sanding on the underside of the bolsters should now be done on a sharp 220 grit disc.

Image 13
You can now completely finish the blade bevels and ricasso and tape it up, use a slow setting epoxy underneath the bolsters to prevent moisture penetration. Ensure your rivets are a good fit and rivet them down in sequence. Example: front-top, back-bottom, front-bottom and back-top. Go over this sequence a couple of times until they meet your approval - Don't Rush! - no clamping necessary.

NOTE: Shaped bolster can and do pose a problem in cutting the handle material to match; this can be alleviated if you work from a template.

Image 14
Two Perspex templates are made - one of each side and located by drilling through a few rivet holes. Bevel the top front edge of each template as shown.
Image 15
Paint the rear of the bolster and nearby tang area with Vaseline and fit the templates in place. Now using "Ceramic Clay" push this onto the bevelled template area and back of the bolster as shown, set aside to cure - use the next day.

NOTE: "Ceramic Clay" obtainable from most art shops, is similar to "Pratley's Putty" with the added benefit that it does not shrink as much when curing.
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Copyright © 2001 - Rob Brown
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