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Knifemaking - Making a 10" San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter
Making a big san mai damascus Loveless Sub Hilt Fighter. This is the biggest integral knife I've done so far.

Order Details:
-Loveless Sub Hilt Fighter knife style.
-Integral design, damascus from 1010/1070 with a 5160 core.
-10 3/4" swedged blade, 5" handle.
-Grey/black micarta handles with cable pins and lanyard hole.

Knife making process
Forged and roughly ground to shape. (Pictures 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Two 7" diameter x 1/4" thickness grinding discs from an angular/hand grinder. (Picture 5)

I place them together on a bench grinder, and with the aid of the supporting piece, I can work safely using leather gloves to keep the blade pressed enough to get a fast rough grinding. (Pictures 6 and 7)

Blade after the rough grinding, showing the swedge. I do the fine grinding after the HT. (Picture 8)
Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter
Picture 1   Picture 2   Picture 3   Picture 4   Picture 5   Picture 6   Picture 7   Picture 8
Adjust for the places where the micarta handles will go later (I use both hands, but I was helding the camera for the pics) (Pictures 9 and 10)

Handle with a medium finish, ready to get drilled. (Pictures 11 and 12)

Drilling for the pins. (Picture 13)

Blade ready for HT. (Picture 14)

Blade on the oven while I test my new IR thermometer I got for when I make mokume. (Picture 15)

IR thermometer on the box, with the HTd blade on top (I added a lanyard hole at my customer's request) (Picture 16)

No pics of putting it on oil as I needed both hands for that!
Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter
Picture 9   Picture 10   Picture 11   Picture 12   Picture 13   Picture 14   Picture 15   Picture 16

Mirror polished, ready to go into the acid. (Pictures 17, 18 and 19)

After the acid etch. (Pictures 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24)

To get to that mirror polish, once it's ground I use grit 80, then 150, then 220 and then 400. After that is polishing cloth. I don't have a belt sander, I use smaller diameter belt sand pieces on a rubber addaptor on that bench grinder you saw on previous pictures.

I got many questions as to why I mirror polish the blade instead of saving some time by skipping that step, so here's the deal.

1. When you acid etch a blade, it doesn't get rid of the outter layers of steel and that's it. Even if it eats up metal, it mimicks the relief on the steel, so the better finish you have on the blade before the acid etch, the better it will look after.

2. I always mirror polish every knife I make as it allows me to make 100% sure the grind lines and blade is perfect. Mirror polished are less than forgiving if you know what I mean ;) I kind of think it this way... "Would the customer like this blade grinds if he'd received mirror polished instead of acid etched?" If the answer is "yes", then it goes to the acid, if not, it's time to do some more work.

As with anything I explain, this is not to mean this is the only way or even the right way, just the way I do it myself.

Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter
Picture 17   Picture 18   Picture 19   Picture 20   Picture 21   Picture 22   Picture 23   Picture 24
How I got the pattern in the micarta. (Picture 25)

Handle ready. (Pictures 26, 27 and 28)
Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   Knifemaking - Making a San Mai Integral Sub Hilt Fighter   AES Custom Knives   AES Custom Knives   AES Custom Knives   AES Custom Knives
Picture 25   Picture 26   Picture 27   Picture 28                
Finished Knife
Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter
Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter
Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   Integral San Mai Sub Hilt Fighter   AES Custom Knives   AES Custom Knives
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