04 June 2008

Black Holes

I started a couple of new knives the other night, one of which was for Paul Chapman, who gave me a rather nice lump of ebony. Turning the handle shape and fitting the ferule is quite easy and rather enjoyable...drilling the 8mm hole down the end is not. I had a go on both knives and managed to get the holes off-centre by about 1mm on each one, which isn't acceptable as they need to be concentric, or as near as dam it. I started to do them in the lathe which was a mistake as the driving prong kept on slipping so the blank didn't turn...not a lot of help. So then they were out of the lathe and into the drill press in a hastily knocked up little jig which made them even worse. The problem is that once the hole starts to go off centre, it's bloody nigh impossible to correct it again and if you do make the attempt, the thing only gets worse. Nothing else for it but to shut up 'shop and go inside for a glass of vino...
...but not before I'd run a couple of bits of gash ebony (is there such a thing?) through the LN dowel plate (what a very useful bit of kit) to make a couple of small 8mm dowels to plug up the holes and having glued them in with some epoxy, it only remains for me tonight to have another attempt with a much better designed jig and a decent 8mm lip and spur bit. Here's hoping that I don't make another bloody cock-up and the holes run true.

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