Step 11: Making the Handle: Final Sanding and Installing Pins
Getting close to the end, it's just basic sanding and pins now. The sanding is pretty self-explanatory, just work through the grits until you get to about 320 or 400. If you want to be silly you can use up to 1000, but I don't think it would make a huge difference to the overall feel of the knife. This knife handle was sanded up to 320 grit before finishing.
Since installing the pins goes with final finishing, I'm going to include everything in one step. Since I don't have any fancy rivets and such I use a method that may seem like cheating to some hardcore knife makers: I drill through the handle and blade, epoxy the pins in, then file them flat. The first step in this process is marking the holes. I usually eyeball the marks, then check their orientation with a straightedge to make sure they all line up. Next, you want to measure and cut your pins. For this knife I just used a brass rod (it may be a welding rod). To measure, just lay them across the handle and mark with a Sharpie. Make them a bit oversized though. It's a lot easier to remove material than it is to add it. Clamp the rod in a vise and use an ordinary hacksaw to cut the pins off. Then it's off to the drill press! Clamp your piece securely somehow, then drill through everything in one go. I put the drill on its slowest speed and use a really sharp bit. Repeat with however many pins you want to. When you finish, make sure to double check the fit of the pins in the holes. If they just barely fit, then you're in luck! Just tap them in with a mallet and file off the ends. If they slide in easily, then its epoxy time! Mix up some more epoxy, then put a bit on the middle of the pin. slide it in, and wipe any excess epoxy with a clean rag. leave it to dry before filing. When It's dry, just file the pins flush using a mill file.
Almost there, don't give up now!