My brother left me a bucket of rusted hand tools. Hidden among the odd pieces was this bayonet. This rusted-up piece of metal was just begging to shine again!
Step 1: Sanding and Sanding and Sanding Some More....
I used a series of very rough to finer grades of sandpaper, elbow grease, and a polishing wheel to remove all the rust.
Step 2: Pick the Wood and Bring to It to Round
I chose to use birch. I love the feel and look of this hardwood and it is easy to work with while it maintains its strength.
I turned the piece on my midi-lathe after cutting the block to length.
Step 3: Half That Sucker!
Using my table saw, I bisected the rounded piece of birch. I set the blade height to cut only half way through to I could safely maintain the blade/wood orientation.
The handle shaft outline was transferred to the interior of the cut round and the wood was removed to accommodate the handle shaft.
Step 4: More Sanding & Shaping
Using a belt sander, the two halves are shaped into a more ergonomically-pleasing shape. I kept checking and rechecking to ensure the wood handle would meld into the contour of the metal components.
Step 5: Drill & Glue
I drilled matching holes in the wood pieces and the internal metal shaft to accommodate two shaft pins. I dry-fit all these pieces to ensure no surprises once the epoxy came out.
I epoxied the wood, the shaft, and the shaft pins. Then I clamped it together and I left it to dry overnight. The blade was taped to avoid getting any epoxy on it.
Step 6: Even MORE Sanding....
The shaft pin screws were set and a final, fine-grit sanding took place all over the handle.
Step 7: Stain & Smile!
I applied a final stain (Early American), wiped it dry, and let it cure in the beautiful Montana sun!
I am very pleased with how this project came out. It looks great and feels very solid in my hand. I believe this was a M4 bayonet from World War II.