Adventure Metal Works

Damascus and Copper Bear MGC Trapper, part 7!

This knife has a looong history of mods with me. I first got it in late 2005, or early 2006. I think in 2006.


It was the fist traditional pocket knife that I really carried a Lot and worked a Lot.  We started building our garage tgat summer and I remember the lighting fast cuts it made opening cement bags… A highly abrasive task that never seemed to phase it.

It is made by Bear MGC, Now Bear and Sons. Its a Damascus steel 4.125″ 2 blade trapper. It was built with brass liners, nickel silver bolsters, and thick swell center burnt stag bone handles.

Within a week I’d ground the stag down to smooth “normal” profile, and retoasted them a light caramel.

Within a couple years, I’d taken it apart to rehandle it in sonething else.

About 10 years later, I had gotten back to it after purchasing another like it that I did in moose stag.

At that pointvid picked out materials, etc along the way, knew what I wanted to do, had just never had the time or gumption to do it.

Finally in 2015, I decided what the heck, and did it.

The saga of that build can be seen here;

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/02/slim-damascus-trapper-started/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/04/damascus-trapper-update-2/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-3/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-4/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-5/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/13/bear-damascus-trapper-part-6/

I think I’ve carried it five times since I built it like that. Used less. When I did it, I left it Really thick toward the back, for a tapered fatter grip, which I thought I’d like.

It was OK to grip, but not great, and turned out horrendous to pocket.


The best couple pics at the end of the above posts, that show what I ended up not liking,  are these I think.



Aaaannnnddd… where I started this time;


I carefully sawed slots in the “pins”(corby bolts!), cranked them apart, and took the sucker apart. Thankfully I had a hatred for glueing knife scales on, so no trouble there.

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Cut and filed the uneven bolsters the same length(damn close)

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evened the scales lengths, made spacers for the gap, made/modified pins(bolts) to fit, thinned the scales out.

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Looks like I missed pics of cutting, stacking, and installing the fiber spacers. That was tedious but i got them a tight fit.

Before;

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During, attached together to match the profile, thicknesses easier, blue tape the super glue that together.

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After;

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Got into some porosity… semi super glue filled after I was done.

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Top bolt was the same as the lower when I started, had to lathe them so the shanks were longer. Half this hardware was in the knife when I took it apart. The other half was pirces Id screwed up the first time around that I had to mod/fix.

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Made a short brass spacer from a loveless bolt set even shorter for a corby bolt I had that wasn’t long enough to reach through the second liner… spacer is threaded so when its all cranked together its the same support and grip as the corby shaft being longer..

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Assembled and had actually sanded the scales too short from the spacers(freaking fine sanding to fit the angles) so I came up with a secret weapon, and filled the gaps.. color even works ok with these scales.

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We’ll see how durable it turns out to be.

Assembled and ground the corbys off, still no epoxy in it in case I want to have it apart again someday. (Not likely!!!)

Finish sanded and thinned it some more, hand sanded everything @220, and buffed lightly…

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Need a clean buffing wheel, will set that up and buff the bolsters to high gloss… someday. 😉

But for now, she’s done again! Its a lot cleaner of a build now, and friendlier in hand and pocket.



I like it a lot better!! Its a much better grip, still thicker than a single blade trapper would be, it feels like a slightly thick two blade folder, or a thin fixed blade. And it basically disappears in pocket too.

Maybe after about 15 years,  I might get to carry it again. 🙂


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(Wood filler is the thin tan lines between the bone scales and the first red spacer)

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Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, Customized, EDC, Fabrication, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, Pocket knives, Repairs, Sentimental

Got my money clip back!

While killing time in the shop with misc. little projects, and trying to find parts for one, I came accross the Buffalo Alaska Mint coin/silver proof from my old money clip. Several years ago the curve of the clip broke– its brass, and it had gotten brittle, work hardened from repeated bending back and forth.

I had intended to put the coin on a new clip, but never could find one I liked, wanting one similar yo what it had, a hinged camming action that clamped it shut.

Got to thinking that I hadn’t really been in any hurry to solder the Marlboro cowboy emblem back onto the clip I’ve been using after it came off last summer either…

So, why not combine them, eh?

The curve of the broken end on the coin backing plate almost perfectly fit the clips curved end.

Cleaned the chrome platting off the one, cleaned the other to bare brass and tinned them in solder. Pressed and heated. Twice.

Filled with solder along the curved end. Three times…

Have I ever mentioned that I Hate soldering? Well I do!

But sometimes I get lucky!

It ain’t perfect but its solid and will fer sure work.

All that holds the coin on is the bezel, 4 little tabs that bend/crimp over the backing plate.

Two old friends with a lot of memories attached

— the Marlboro clip I’ve had since I was a kid. The buffalo clip I got 10 year ago this spring on a 2 week trip to the big city, hanging out with a good buddy when he came home from the service, Fun Times!—

back in service together, finally!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Brass, Custom, Customized, Damages, Decorating, EDC, Fabrication, Good Friends, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Welding

Denim case for a folding buck saw.

When taking my buck saw out for some work yesterday, I remembered I was going to make a case for it from a canvas painters tarp I’d gotten.
I’d cut up a pair of old jeans for making char cloth a few weeks ago, had a lot left on hand, had it out for another idea yesterday, so it was on hand.
Liked the idea of denim better than the canvas tarp.
Legs are great lengths of material, but a bit short on that pair I cut up because of worn cuffs and where I cut them before.
Had a brand new pair I can’t wear (bought 2 years ago when losing weight fast, could almost get into them. Got hurt and gained weight last winter, I garantee I can’t get into them now). So that’s how I ended up with a fancy, clean, spanking new denim saw case!
Cut a leg off, split about 1/3 and a taper off one side, sewed up what was left.
By hand. “Cheated” to get it straight and even. Pinned the edge/seam allowance where I wanted it, then clamped it up in my 2′ long wood workers vise on the bench, held just below the stich line. Think of it as a Loooonnng stitching pony like used for leather work. Worked a real treat!

Not the nicest stitches in the world, but they work!
Voila, a bag!
Sewed the old top end shut to form the bottom, leaving the hemmed cuff end as my new top. Figured the wide hem to be hollow, can run a draw cord through it. Forgot to do it before stitching the side…
1/16″ brass rod, loop bent in end to pull the 550 cord, bent in a loop, and I fished it through the hem. Little tight at the existing side seam, but I got it with come cutting fishing and finagling the rod through!
Need it longer but it’s (gasp!) the only 550 I had on hand. I’ll use it to pull a longer chuck through later. 🙂
Messy stitches to re tack down the hem ends where I cut it..
I wanted more length past the saw for fold over, but 28″ inseams don’t offer much over a 24″ saw… 😉 It works though!
With the saw in it;

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Camping, Camping gear, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Field gear, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, New Gear, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Saws, Scrounging, Sewing, Soft Goods, wood processing, Woods tools

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw Part 3

The entire build, in order, more or less; 🙂

I could go through everything I did here in long descriptions, and pictures, but it’s not really necessary, and probably not that interesting either. But here is a general run through. 🙂

  • Pick out a piece of 1″x8″ x 5′ oak
  • cut out the pattern
  • trace it on the wood
  • Jig saw one upright
  • Sand the contour
  • Trace #1 to get #2 the same
  • Cut, sand #2
  • Measure and mark for the mortises
  • Round the edges with a router
  • Cut pilot groove on blade end to guide cutting the blade slots
  • Locate blade mount holes, drill
  • Cut blade slots
  • Cut the mortise on #1
  • Rip the cross bar from the board
  • Square and measure it all for proper cross bar length vs blade length mounted (crucial for proper end angles when blade under tension, and good looks)
  • Cut and fit the tenon on #1 end
  • Cut #2 mortise and tenon
  • Test assemble
  • Find cord for windlass(I was out of 550! Finally found some heavy clothes line cord..)
  • Trim scrap to use as temporary windlass bar
  • Tighten it all up and do a test cut(worked!)
  • Cut thinning profile on cross bar
  • Sand cross bar, and route edges
  • Re-assemble
  • Discover binding in tenon joints, trim
  • Re-trim/fine tune joints
  • Assemble and do a test cut again
  • Find that I over trimmed the joints, it will now start to slip from a H to a parallelogram-ed H under tension. (Rounded the wrong corners too much; you need the Top corners of the bar end and tenon tips rounded for slip, but the bottom corners left square for rigid support, so the can only pivot in at the top, but not out at the top!)
  • Discover that if it slips, the windlass slips down the bars, loses tension and it falls apart.
  • Discover, by clamping the cord in place under tension, that, thankfully, If the windlass doesn’t slip down when it flexes out of H shape, it doesn’t collapse!
  • Locate for windlass cord supports
  • Cut pins from 1/4″ copper rod,
  • Drill and press fit copper as cord supports.
  • Re-assemble, tighten, test cut 7″ birch log.
  • Success! (With one about 1/8″ of flex at the joints out of square- good enough)
  • Decide the scrap your using as a windlass bar works great, no use to make another one
  • Trim, round, sand the windlass bar.
  • Disassemble, wood burn the saws name, and my product line name on the side.(not selling it, but figured, meh, why not? )
  • Also burn in witness marks to identify/match mortise and tenon joints in their matched pairs for proper future assembly.
  • 2 day break to get stain and oil finish.
  • Counterbore for recessed T nuts
  • Install T nuts, pin in place with tiny Brad nails
  • Install keeper ring on windlass bar
  • Turn down bolt heads, and threads to fit in wingnuts, making wing bolts.
  • Test the stain, find it won’t penetrate the oak dark enough, skip using it.

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Part 4 coming soo. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Backcountry, custom-made-tools, Field gear, New Gear, Outdoors, Saws, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw part 2

I’m proud of two big things on this project;

One being design and execution. The basic mechanics of the saws are really, well, basic. Two uprights, a center cross bar, blade at the bottom, and a Spanish windlass at the top.

And the cross bar being mortise and tenon jointed to the uprights, to provide up/down pivot so that the windlass can tension the blade, but have no twist of pivot in any other plane or axis.

Simple.
I looked around the Web for ideas, since there are a LOT of these out there, for sale, and home built designs.

But I basically still had to design, engineer and build it from scratch.

Lots of time with measuring, squaring, offseting, re-squaring, and making sure both ends matched.. Etc.

The other thing I’m really proud of, is the fact that I’d Never, Ever cut a mortise and tenon joint before. I did one test mortise on scrap(which sucked!) before I cut on the first saw bar I’d just spent 3 hours making. Yeah, fun. 😉

Cut by hand, chisel and saw. Turned out exceptionally well, if I do say so myself!

The second one even press fit at first cuttings, no trimming needed!! (The first one took 10 minutes of fit/test/shave/test/carve/test/whittle, to get to work, then it was a touch loose…)

Now I know why my Dad hated doing them, and always wanted a power tool for it! I was never taught to cut these, not that I remember. He never got the tool till late in life– he just avoided the joint style.

I actually got him one that attaches to a drill press a couple years before he passed away. It didn’t exactly fit his drill, and he never got to use it before he went. I have them both here, but ironically, I preferred to learn to hand cut them. I’ll get the tool setup at some point soon, but so far, I like doing them by hand!

I Was a bit ambitious in part of my joint design; I copied ones I saw a guy on YouTube do, where the end of the bar is rounded, and the face of the mortise is curved to match. So that when it tensions, and the end bars angle, it simply rotates the two curves on each other. A cleaner look than with straight bars, where the angling would leave gaps.

THAT was fun to figure out the geometry on, and then cut in… Oi.

I didn’t get them perfect, but they’re pretty dang good, if I do say so myself.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Axes, Backcountry, Camping gear, custom-made-tools, Field gear, GetOutdoors, New Gear, Outdoors, Saws, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw Part 1

This obe is otherwise known as The Moon Saw. That name to be explained later though. 🙂

I’ve been wanting to do this project for a couple months now. Took a while to get other things out of the way… Pressing household maintenance like broken water tanks, and no running water kept cropping up! (Among other little things that Eat time).

I knew I wanted to do a 24″ saw, so I went and picked up a blade early last month. I actually got a whole swede saw. A blade was $8. A Fiskars saw with the blade was $11. Yeah, might as well buy the $3 saw with it, and have it!

Then it took a month for me to get time, and some shop space made to do it.

I neded some large paper for patterning another project, so I sat down and started drawing designs. I could have gone with dead simple straight side/handle bars, and been a LOT simpler and easier…

Bug I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do what I liked.

The one I built is actually the second design I had drawn, and while the other was thought out over 3 days, this one I drew and finalized in 10 minutes. And liked it more!

(Original design on left, axe style on right)

You can see where the name comes from, if you notice the fawns foot handle ends, and “S” shapes. I had my hatchet handle on the bench at the time, and was holding it, such a nice grip; So I traced it, reversed it, traced again, and blended the contours some.

Simple!

More to be seen soon.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Axes, Backcountry, Camping gear, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

A new idea; cord or zipper pull ends. 

Had this thought while turning beads last night, I’ve seen others do this,  and I used to do a few when my beads included modified cartridge cases.  Bored one end of a pair of my medium sized aluminum beads out larger.  Forms a snug fit over a knot tied in a single strand of u-gutted 550 cord.  

(Yes I know I need to re-trim the flash on those holes… I somehow missed it before polishing them.)

I need to play with the hole size. See if I can get one big enough in this metal stock, to fit over a knot of two strands of gutted 550. So that they could be put on loops of 550 cord.

  I know I can fit that into my magnum beads, but I’m not sure it can fit in this “large” size and leave material for much of an outer design. 
 Also need to try it in my “small” sized beads, a hole size combo that will fit micro cord knots. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Aluminum, Beads, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals, New Products, Products, Prototypes

Beaded shop side tracking… 

Went to the shop to do a few things last night, only got one done. I got side tracked with other ideas… “What ideas?” you ask? I’m glad you did! 🙂








Coming soon to a sales page, to be announced soon as well. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Beads, Brass, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals

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