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Bolster Design

Discussion in 'Design' started by Toby Schmid, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Toby Schmid

    Toby Schmid New Member

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    Hi guys - i'm at the stage of grinding bolsters and realized I really have no idea how to meet the blade end of the bolster and the blade itself. Every picture I've seen of a knife is from the side and doesn't give a clue how it's done. Do you guys taper it down to the blade or is it an abrupt 90 deg ....etc?

    I'm thinking the 90 deg looks kinda clunky but am curious what your opinions are.

    cheers,
    Toby
     
  2. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner New Member

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    Hi Toby, when you say bolster, are you referring to the guard? If so, the inside is usually curved out to the blade so there are no stress points. A 90 degree turn would be a breaking point. I'm not sure what you mean by bolsters, I am new at this also.
     
  3. Toby Schmid

    Toby Schmid New Member

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    Hi Tom - no, I meant the face of the bolster that is towards the tip of the blade. The face that one must finish to completion before pinning, as once pinned - it would be impossible to finish without damaging the blade.
     
  4. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Personally, I like the 90 degree look but with a rounded corner instead of a "sharp" edge. I suppose it depends on the style of the knife though. A flat tapered bolster would look great on a smaller or slimmer blade, I think.
     
  5. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I taper towards the blade and have done multi-faceted designs with mixed surface finish. This is one place you can let your imagination take over and create something interesting
     
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  6. Tom Stegner

    Tom Stegner New Member

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    Hi Toby, I had to look up bolsters so now I know what your talking about. That's why I don't give out advice on this site, there are other much more qualified people here for that. I go back to asking questions lol.
     
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  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hi guys,

    How I have come to learn it. A guard prevents your hand from sliding towards the blade. A bolster reinforces the weak end grain of the scale which is more likely to chip out.

    I make bolsters 90° with a chamfer and polish the blade end before pinning them them to the tang. After shaping a little bit of the chamfer remains and can be polished to match the polish in the blade end.

    Dan
     
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  8. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub New Member

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    I usually round the front edge so it matches the choil if there is one. I will also chamfer the edge at at 45 degree so the bolster is thinner at the front and thicker in the back. That way it flows into the handle. You at least want to make sure there isn't a sharp edge if someone pinch grips.

    I do most of my bolster shaping off the knife. I have nicked a couple blades shaping on the knife. Plus you want to remove as little material as possible after peening your pins or you risk witness lines. There's a few examples on my site.

    https://www.scottkozubknives.com/gallery
     
  9. Toby Schmid

    Toby Schmid New Member

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    Wow Scott - had a look at your site - beautiful! How do you do that stipled effect on some of your bolsters?
     
  10. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub New Member

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    Thanks for the compliment.

    I use a very small round diamond bit in a dremel. That's precise enough to avoid damaging the scales.
     
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