Need to know how to make a brass hand guard for a hunting knife? It is not a hard process, but needs to be done slowly and carefully to come out looking nice. We shall assume that the knife does not have a handle at this point, since the heat needed to hold a soldered guard in place would wreck most handle materials. If however, it does have a handle, you will want to follow the instructions for a pinned hand guard.
To make a brass hand guard for a hunting knife, you will need:
- Brass stock (one inch wide or less and a quarter-inch thick or less for most knives)
- A vise
- A torch
- A soldering iron
- A knife blade
- Brass pin stock
- A drill
- Drill bits
- Emery paper
- Metal polish
- A soft cloth
- A saw
- An anvil
- A hammer
- Baking soda
- Determine the type of hand guard you need. Does the hunting knife have a stick tang which the guard will slip completely over, or a full tang which will require the guard to have an open-ended slot? If your hunting knife has a handle, you will need to make an open-slotted guard for it.
- Draw the hand guard on brass stock and cut it out. Design and cut out your guard with the saw. Remember to mark the location for the square hole for a stick tang, or make the initial cut in a slotted guard.
- File the hand guard. Use your files and file your hand guard to as close a finish as possible. Check the fit on the tang often. You want the tang to fit as perfectly as possible, with as fine a gap as possible, especially if you are soldering the guard.
- Drill pin holes. If you are pinning the guard in place and not soldering it, use the drill closest to the pin stock and drill the holes in the guard. Countersink the outside of the guard pin hole to allow for peening of the pin in place.
- Rough up the areas to be soldered. Use files or rough emery paper and rough up surfaces to be soldered.
- Put the hunting knife in the vise. If the guard is being soldered, put it in the vise. The vise will act as a heat sink to protect the temper and heat treat the blade. Get this as close as possible to the area being soldered.
- Solder bolster or peen pin. Use the torch, flux and solder to solder the guard in place or lay one side of the pin through the guard on the anvil. Use the hammer to peen the end of the pin over and tighten it in position. Turn the hunting knife over, place the other side of the pin on the anvil and peen the second side. Repeat this until the guard is held firmly in place.
- Clean the hand guard and blade. If you soldered the guard in place, immediately use water and baking soda to neutralize any excess flux; it can etch steel quickly.
- Finish with a file. Use a fine file and emery paper and clean up the guard. Remove any excess solder, and file peened pins down flush, but do not file down through the pin. This is why you used a countersink on the pin hole, to give it a place to hold after filing.
- Polish the hand guard. Use the cloth and metal polish and polish your new guard to a desired luster.
That is how you make a brass guard for a hunting knife. It takes careful work, attention to detail and a few tools, but it is not an overly hard task. Work slow, and enjoy your knife with its new guard.
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