First I will apologize; I didn't really intend to do a step by step build. I was just trying to learn how to use my camera better. The pictures get better and more comprehensive as we go along.
The two pictures above are of the post-hollow grind, pre-taper. I coat the butt of the knife with Dykem and use a height gauge to scribe the desired taper thickness. I have more success taking the hollow completely off the butt of the knife as opposed to creating a oval shaped hollow starting near the guard and ending somewhere near the butt. ( t-b Utility Hunter, Chute, Mini-Wilderness, and three different pattern Stiffhorns (these are original Loveless patterns the bottom is the traditional, more common))
I am fortunate enough to have a surface grinder; this allows me to make sure that my flat platen is FLAT. It is amazing how little grinding it takes to cause a significant depression in the original KMG platen ( I haven't had the time to make a full hard platen).
Everybody seems to have their favorite way of flat grinding or tapering a tang. I have had success using the top secret welding magnet. Two things make the magnet a favorite; the hole allows for a positive grip and the large flat surface allows even pressure on the tang (seems like I can get them flatter).
Post tapering; nice and flat! Taking the original hollow fully off the butt of the handle makes starting the bevel easier with less material to remove.
I have been trying to take pictures/document how I currently make a Loveless pattern knife; Here is the start to making a Utility Hunter, Chute, Mini-Wilderness, and three different versions of the Stiffhorn. Enjoy!
A pile o' patterns. I firmly believe that if you want to make the same knife a second or 56th time that you cannot do it without a good pattern. All of my original designs get transferred to .25" steel. I have a number of Loveless patterns that are steel to steel (not steel/paper/steel) patterns straight from the Loveless shop.
Clamp and scribe onto your steel of choice. In this case the Hunter and Fighters are out of CPM154; the Stiffhorns are 154CM.
Weapon of choice for profiling a blade blank (Vintage Powermatic steel cutting band-saw). Saves on abrasive belts. Water jet would be nice but I don't do enough quantity.
Cut out on the band saw and almost ground to shape. You can barely see the scribed line; when profiling a blade blank I try to split the scribed outline getting as close to actual size as possible.
Finished profiling the blank but you can see that the shoulders and guard notches don't yet exist, so off to the mill to true everything up and mill the notches.
All six with milled guard notches and drilled for handle fasteners and lanyard tubes.
The first steps aren't very exciting but they are the foundation for the finished knife. I try make everything as precise as possible. The next entry will be tapering the tangs.