SO, you have spent anywhere between $50 and $90 for that REALLY cool Roman/Alexander the Great knife, you get it and find the plaque that come with it is GARBAGE! OR worse, the weight of the knife pulls the "L" screws from the particle board, it falls and cuts the dog in two! SO what do you do? BUILD A BETTER PLAQUE!
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Step 1: First Things First
The first item of business is to decide what material you are going to make the new plaque from. You have MANY choices, wood, fiberglass, metal, etc.
Being a wood worker, I chose wood.
Because the knife is so heavy, I decided against plywood or particle board and settled on dimensional lumber.
Again there were MANY choices, Pine, Maple, Oak, etc. Because I love the smell of Cedar when you cut or sand it and how a single piece of wood can go from chocolate brown to red to almost white in color within a few inches, I decided on Cedar.
One thing I didn't like about dimensional Cedar is its cost. At the time over $2 a board foot however there was an alternative. For less than $.50 a board foot I got Cedar fencing and from the wood I looked at, the fencing had better color and the grain pattern was more interesting.
Because Cedar fencing is thinner than dimensional Cedar, I glued two pieces of fencing face to face for thickness.
Step 2: Getting Started
First you will need a pattern. If you still have the old plaque you can use it. I traced around the old plaque onto the new wood and cut the new plaque out with a Sabre Saw and rough sanded the edge.
The old plaque had a decorative edge which I thought took atention away from the knife so instead of reproducing it on the new plaque, I marked a line 1/2 inch from the edge and 1/2 inch from the top and connected the two lines with a bevel. This was less noticeable yet helped hide the real thickness of the new plaque.
At this point you could put the "L" screws back in the new wood and put a dowel in the wood for the knife point to rest on and with some finish you would have a far nicer plaque than the one you started with but, I wanted more.
Step 3: More Number One
I was NOT happy with the "L" screws and dowel holding such a heavy knife so, using some scrap, I cut two small pieces of wood.
With the first I created a small shelf for the tip of the blade to rest on.
With the second, I replaced one of the "L" screws, the one that supported the heavier side of the Finger Guard. On the other side of the Finger Guard I used a brass bolt with a strip of brass that could span the opening and 'Lock' the knife to the plaque.
Again at this point one could sand and finish the plaque and have a nice looking display but, I wanted more!
Step 4: More Number Two
Because I had glued two pieces of Cedar together, even though they were thinner than dimensional lumber, the finished piece was a bit heaver that what I wanted to hang on the wall so, on the back, I removed some of the wood, making a place to, if I wanted hide something. Again I could have stopped here but I wanted MORE!
Step 5: FINALLY!!!
In addition to being a wood worker, I am a carver.
The plaque looked a little plain so I found a design that fit with the design of the knife and carved it into the wood.
For the small pieces of wood that were doing the holding of the knife I carved them as little cat paws.
NOW I was happy and after sanding I rubbed five coats of Tong Oil into the wood and after putting on the brass bolt, added a coat of paste wax.