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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2016, 09:11 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Finding thin stainless sheet for handle spacer

Has anyone had any luck finding very thin (+/_ 0.03 inch/1 mm) stanless sheet that can be used as spacers in a knife handle? I can order it but it's pretty expensive. I can't help thinking that there must be a cheaper source we all have close to us (like in electronics or something else that can be found at a the scrapyard or garbage. Or kitchen tools that can be sacrificed... whatever I cant't think of).

The same goes for stainless bolster material btw.

I am very curious. Who is able to same us some money?

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2016, 11:31 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Try a sheet metal shop.

I worked as a welder and sheet metal fabricator most of my life and I would start at a local sheet metal shop. Then try welding shops and machine shops. Here in the Asheville area there are dozens of places that would sell you .030 thick stainless or brass, even Lowes has thin pieces of brass for sale. Stainless sheet metal like the 300 series stuff is barely magnetic at all and has high nickel and chrome therefore it is hard to cut. You will need more than snips to cut through anything thicker than around .030 thick, so have them cut it it into 1 1/2" wide strips for you. Some of the Hobby stores that sell trains and RC modelers have thin sheet metal for sale and I do believe Fastenal sells it too. Try Hobby City online as well. I buy almost all my pins and small tubing, round and square, for mosaic pins there and they have stainless tubing.

A sheet metal or weld shop is your best bet. Mail order metal places do volume sales and their shipping is way to high for small stuff like we need.

Lowes has thin .025 Tin and copper for sale which can be used as a spacer too. Most knife suppliers have nickel silver sheet that's not too expensive.

Last edited by jimmontg; 08-21-2016 at 11:34 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2016, 11:59 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Thanks Jim, ...yeah exactly..., the shipping prices for mailordering these kind of things are very high. Also were I live (the Netherlands). I just can not find it for a reasonable price. I have no problem spending money for nice materials, but $30,- for shipping gives me a feeling of wasting. I don't have my car available to me atm.

I am looking for a place where I can get bolster material and metal sheet and round stock in the same steel type (316 or 304). This is to avoid shipping costs but mainly because I have been told by a specialized knifemaking shop that if you want the spacers to match the bolster, you need the same steel or they might have different rates of oxidation which makes a visable difference. Don't know to what extend this is true.

I still cant help thinking there must be every day articles around us that can be sacrificed to get stainless sheet. I already found one source; it's a metal spatula that is used to scoop an egg from a baking pan or flip a pancace with. Now I need a fleemarket or cheap ass shop to get one (unfortunately I need the one I have at home ).
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2016, 06:29 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Indeed a spatula is stainless, but prob a 400 series type.

Don't worry about if it's 302 or 316L. Just make sure it isn't very magnetic and it will not corrode as it will have very little iron in it. 304-302 is barely magnetic, but be forewarned that most cutlery like a spatula, is a 400 series stainless and if it is very magnetic it most definitely will be more prone to corrode. 440C is 17% chrome, therefore it is considered a stainless steel. D2 tool steel is only 10-11% chrome and I believe to be considered stainless it has to be 13% or 14%, but I have made many a knife out of D2 including a filet knife exposed to salt water and it hasn't rusted yet, but it's owner (my son) knows how to take care of a knife.

304 has very little iron in it at all (no iron and no carbon means no harden). Try calling welding shops, there has to be some. Also stainless pans are out there too, but expensive, but you can always find a deal maybe. BUT IT IS HARD TO WORK and cut. Cutlery though is almost always a 400 series steel and exactly which kind? Ask the maker. You won't find much stainless in computers as it's too expensive and heavy, mostly aluminum and cold rolled steel.

Join us tonight I guess about 3 am your time in Ray's Sunday chat room.

Last edited by jimmontg; 08-21-2016 at 06:33 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2016, 10:47 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Ok thanks. You seem to know your steel well, so I will just buy it. Seems like the only easy/sure option....

I will just get what I can without worries about difference in corrosion/discoloring. That makes life easyer; I was after pins, ultra thin sheet and 5 mm plate all in the same steel type. Kind of hard it proved.

I found a source now btw... Will give them a call to make sure they can cut it for me into strips. Thanks for the tips!
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2016, 11:41 AM
damon damon is offline
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http://www.admiralsteel.com/shop/
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2016, 12:52 PM
shiny shiny is offline
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Haha, lot's of shipping costs, I am from the Netherlands. I keep repeating myself . I like this forum because it's so active. Lot's of posts.. We don't have a dutch knife makers forum. But sometimes.. when it comes to buying materials..., it's a bit of a pain in the neck. Thanks anyway!

Last edited by shiny; 08-22-2016 at 01:29 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2016, 09:45 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Thumbs up Those weld and machine shops.

Those welding shops will have stainless welding rod. It comes in micro .1mm to macro 5mm dia. They may also have some nice silicone bronze or Bronze-a rod and look for aluminum bronze too, an unusual color.

Hobby stores that sell remote control models and trains sets will have a supply of rods and small diameter tubes. I make my own mosaic rods and you can as well. Just keep them short and use 30 minute type epoxy and you can work the glue into a short piece, 20-25mm is easy. I presume they have hardware-lumber stores in Holland so take a look at their stocks as well. You may find some wooden pins (dowels) too. I use them especially on tomahawk handles for decoration and to hold wood inlays. The wood dowels come as small as 3mm in different hardwoods. You are only held back by your own imagination, have fun and enjoy your crafting of edged tools

Last edited by jimmontg; 08-23-2016 at 09:48 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2016, 02:28 AM
shiny shiny is offline
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Wow, stainless welding rods! Those will be so much cheaper then buying them at the metalshop. Nice tip!!! I am very happy with that.

Making short sections of mozaic pins is something I would heve never thought of. So that tip is also right on the money for me . As is the tip to look for the bronze variations (did not know they exist even). Will make some calls to welding shops for sure.
thanks a lot!
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2016, 06:23 PM
Any 22 Any 22 is offline
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I use shim stock from plants they come in increments of 1 thousanths they are used to align motors and are stnls.
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