Knife Making

Video: Ben Stark demonstrates making an inlaid handle

Ben Stark is the creator of the “Iron Man Knife” we wrote about a while back. That led to a conversation and his participation in our 5 from the Grinder series. One of the characteristics of his work is he likes to blend materials in his handles, and he recently posted a tutorial video to the Stark Creations Facebook page.

He describes the process thusly:

I thought I’d show a bit of the process behind making a knife handle with an inlay for anyone who might be interested. The materials on this one are ivory linen micarta, a copper pinstripe, black G10 liners, as well as mosaic pins.
The first step in every handle is to cut out your materials. I personally use a portable bandsaw with a metal cutting blade, but you could also use a hacksaw.

Then, I glue all the pieces together and attach them to the knife with the pins. Sorry I couldn’t fit that part into the video. I can only make it 1 minute long. 😞
Once the epoxy has set overnight, I tape the blade and grind the material down to the bare steel. Using the flat platen and an 80 grit belt, I start forming my tear drop contouring that I do on all my knives with this handle shape. I find that it is super comfortable to hold in many grips. Side note: when working with copper, be sure to constantly check that it is not getting too hot. Otherwise, you will melt the epoxy.
Once the handle is roughly shaped, I use a scalloped 120 grit 1×72 belt to contour the finger choil and blend everything together.
Finally, I hand sand the handle from 120 to 1500 grit to polish everything up to a buttery smooth finish.
Please do not hesitate to ask any questions; I’ll do my best to answer. 😃

I continue to be impressed with Ben’s work. Not only is he an incredible smith for being just 18, he is demonstrating a willingness and a talent for teaching others. Very impressive indeed.


One response to “Video: Ben Stark demonstrates making an inlaid handle

  1. Ben:
    Thank you for your video. Your presentation was very clear. I am considering some knife making and hope will continue to provide more information.

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