Introduction: The Making of Ying and Yang

I was asked to share how I made the Knifes Ying and Yang. Unfortunately I do not have any photos to accompany the steps, but I will try my best to explain the process.


1/8" steel salvaged from a 12" circular saw blade

1/4" thick hardwood

1/8" brazing rod

Step 1:

First, I draw up a pattern ( as shown in the first photo). Normally I would transpose this pattern to a piece of Bristol board as a template including the shape of the full handle when making a full tang knife.But with these knives I wanted the blades to fit in the handle of the other. So in order to accomplish this I only made a template using the top portion of the tang (see next photo) and cut it the pattern out using a utility knife..

Step 2:

Second, I cut two pieces of 1/8" tempered steel and taped them together with two sided tape.Next I cover one side of the steel with masking tape and using the template I outlined the pattern using a pencil. I then cut out the pattern with a "Dremel" type rotary tool, using the fiber type cutting discs (The fiber discs last a lot longer than the cheap ones). I use a rotary tool rather than an angle or bench grinder, as you can get allot closer to your pattern, and it do not tend to over-heat the material.

Third, I finished cleaning up my pattern, using a 1X32 belt sander and disk sander, plus a drum sanding kit on my drill press. Them I drilled holes in the tang parts to receive the rivets that will help hold the handle scales in place.

Forth, separated the two identical pieces of steel, and started sanding off the manufactures marks and scratches in the metal.While sanding using as 120 grit flapper sanding wheel with my rotary tool, I became intrigued with the swirls I was getting and decided to leave the design in the blades. I then sharpened the blades with my 1X32 belt sander and finished with my Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener. Finally I polished the blade section with black, green and lastly blue polishing compound using buffing wheels on my drill press.

Step 3:

Fifth, I taped two sets of two pieces of wood together and trance the pattern for handle scales (see photo) on them, and rough cut them out using a scroll saw.Then I taped the two sets of two rough cut scales together and finished shaping them using sanding drums on my drill press.Then laying one of the knifes over the stack of scales I drilled the handles to receive the rivets. I separated and marked the scalesleft and right, and knife one and two.{Make sure you shape and sand the end scales ricasso area (where the handle meets the blade). Once it's glued you won't be able to shape it any further.}

Sixth, on the inside of one scale for each knife at the bottom of the butt of the handle, I drilled deep enough hole, using a forsner bit, to glue in a 1/2X1/16" earth magnet.

Seventh, I taped the blade of the knife right up to where the scales are going to be glued. I always make sure the blade is covered tight to where the handle is going to start, as it saves a lot of time of cleaning up glue that can get on the blade.

Using 5 minute epoxy coat one side of the knife tang, then put your rivets in place, and slide the corresponding side of the handle in place, and clamp for 5 to 10 minutes (I use at least 46" quick clamps).Then glue and clamp the second side. (Note if you drill depressions on the inside of you scales and the tang part of your knife, plus flute the brass pins, it will help the glue stick better).

Eighth: I now have all the sections glued to the tang. I used my wood rasp,1X32 belt sander and disk sander,drum sanding kit on my drill press, and palm sander to shape the handle. I sanded everything down to 400 grit.You have to be careful not to overheat the brass in this step as it can burn the wood and glue.

Another knife finished (almost) I put four coats of varnish on the wood. Now all I have to remove my tape clean up the blades and touch up the sharpness of the knife.