Workshop Tips Tips

How to Use Silver Solder in Knife Making

Silver solder is often used to attach the hilt or guard to a knife or blade. Working with silver solder is much like working with resin-core solder in an electrical circuit, but care must be taken not to overheat or destroy the integrity of the silver solder.

Knowing how to work with solder in making knives will allow you to repair broken guards, install a new hilt, or build a knife from parts.

Things You'll Need - silver solder, flux, soldering iron, acetone, cotton towel, metal pick, soldering brush.

Read more: How to Use Silver Solder in Knife Making

Prototypes in Perspex


When making a new prototype folder, be it locking or slipjoint, I have found it to be an advantage to make a dummy liner out of a scrap piece of perspex.

The perspex allows me to watch the mechanism work in operation while holding every thing in place ,as two liners would.It protects me if a spring should snap or lift,a s has happened to me once on a layout block.

I use this method to tune my spring action, so the spring has an even and constant tension or "bend", reducing chance of weakness or breakage. It's also a good way to check for clearance between blade edge and spring/lockbar and maximise handle area when the blade is closed.

And sometimes its just cool to see them work.

Read more: Prototypes in Perspex

Home Workshop Health and Safety (part 1)


Everywhere we work these days, workplace safety is probably hammered into us the most. How much of this do we take home with us and apply in our own shed or home environment?. It was not until I became older that I personally, started to practice what I preached at work, at home. Back in 1995, a racing accident that saw me unable to work for 5 months certainly got me thinking about my own personal safety outside of the workplace. However, in some instances it may have already been too late as the damage was already done. I, and others, took things for granted that today have us searching for answers to our ailments and complaints.


Read more: Home Workshop Health and Safety (part 1)

Home Workshop Health and Safety (part 2)

respiratorG'day folks,

As a follow up to my rant on looking after our lungs I believe I've found a respirator that all of us could wear whilst doing most tasks in the shop. There are a number of them on the market out there ranging from the $2 disposable to the $1100 full face enclosed models. This one ticked all my boxes for protection from the dust I generate and price and was purchased from Timbecon here in WA for $195.00.

This one is a Safe Air Power Mask with a replaceable particulate filter. It comes supplied with 2 x P1 filter and also 10 throw away paper pre filters to help prolong the life of the main filter. The body of the face mask is silicon so it conforms very well to seal and is washable. It is also small enough to enable those of us that are challenged in the eyesight dept to still wear the specs halfway down the nose still.

Read more: Home Workshop Health and Safety (part 2)

Natural Leather Black or Vinegar Black

To make this type of blackening you will need some plain steel wool and apple cider vinegar, as well as an old pot. Take enough of the steel wool to fill a quart jar and then place the steel wool in the pot, next, pour a quart of pure apple cider over the steel wool and heat it to near boiling point. When it is cool, put it in a glass or plastic container and leave it to sit for about a week or so.

It should then be reheated again and when cool poured back into the container and left for another week or so.

Lastly, strain off the liquid into a non metallic container. To use it, apply several coats, which will go on as a sort of light grey colour, but as it sets into the leather with each coat, it will become a nice black that will not rub off.

If you have ever left a piece of steel wool or bare metal on damp leather it will leave a black mark that will not come off, even with bleaches or other chemical cleaners.

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