Knapped “Lascaux” Small Push Dagger Part 1

Here’s the start of a small push dagger, done in my signature “knapped” style.  It’s made of 1075 carbon steel, with Grade 2 Titanium scales and copper pins.  It’s 4 1/8 inches total length, and the blade is a hair over 2 inches.

Above, I’ve shaped the blade portion and also ground in the “knapped” flake scars.  I’ve also shaped and fitted the titanium scales to the tang.  Note that I’ve taped the business parts of the blade for safety.  I’ve had these things bite me in the past, so I’m doubly careful now.

This is a pretty thick piece of steel (3/16 inch thick), so it is pretty heavy to start with.  Add in the titanium scales (even though they are pretty light) and four thick copper pins and you have a pretty beefy little handful.  Above, I’m trying to lighten the load as much as possible, without significantly weakening the tang.  I’ve carefully located and marked out 5 large 1/4 inch diameter hole positions, and center punched and drilled 1/8 inch diameter holes to begin with.  I like to “sneak up” on large holes in high carbon steel like this 1075, because I’ve had some bad experiences in the past when trying to start with too large a drill bit, work hardening the steel and destroying the drill bit in the process.  Experience has taught me that I can drill a 1/8 inch diameter hole in any of the carbon steels I’ve used, and then gradually enlarge them in 1/32 inch diameter increasing steps.  I’ve filled in between the larger hole-to-be with more 1/8 inch diameter locations, and center punched those, ready for drilling.

Above, I’ve drilled all the 1/8 inch diameter holes, and I’m ready to move up to the next size 1/32 inch diameter larger to enlarge the 5 special corner holes.  Incidentally, I’ve chosen holes as large as I can get away with at the corners to avoid creating “stress risers” where cracks might start when I heat treat the blade in a future manufacturing step.

Above, all the holes have been drilled (in steps) to their final sizes.  I’m ready now to use a jeweler’s saw to saw between the holes and remove the heavy center chunk.

And, here I’ve finished the sawing.  It’s now a lot lighter than it was before.

Thanks for Looking!

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