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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 06-20-2021, 05:36 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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COMPLETELY coating/finish a knife with Gun-Kote

Did some experimenting last week, and learned a few things! I've always thought about completely coating/finishing knives with clear Gun-Kote, but hadn't had the time to think it through and actually do the necessary experimenting.

First.... Gun-Kote is a baked on finish, which requires 1 hour at 300F to cure. That means any handle material or adhesives must be able to withstand that temp, for that duration.

This means synthetics, such as G10, Micarta, or others that will tolerate the heat. And unless you use strictly mechanical means to fasten the handle material, the adhesive must also hold at 300F.

From years of use, I know that Acraglas will hold up to that temp. After many experiments, I've found that Acraglas "lets go" at about 390-400F, which leaves a lot of room in this case. I also peen the handle pins, and countersink/flare the thong hole tubing....just because it gives me more peace of mind.

It's certainly not going to be for every knife, but from this point on..... all of my EBK and EBK Max knives will come completely finished in clear Gun-Kote.

I've actually had several people testing this for me, for over a year now.
One individual is the Foreman of a local Ranch, and he has put his EBK Max test knife through the wringer, bringing it back about every month for a sharpening, and likes the knife so much that he has purchased one for each of his sons, and a drop point version for himself. We are just now starting to see the Gun-Kote wearing on his "test" knife, but this guy has put the knife through more in a year than most would in 10.... so I'm pretty pleased with how it has, and does hold up. I've always preferred carbon/alloy steels for their cutting performance and ease of sharpening for the client....but everybody hates the "rust".... I've not defeated that drawback....but by finishing the overall knife in Gun-Kote, have made it far less of a concern for my clients.


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:33 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: South Baldwin Co across the bay from Mobile, AL
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Good write up. I've read you talking about Gun Cote before and it sure sounds like some good stuff. Knife care is one reason I moved to SS rather than carbon, but now with the press I'm doing more carbon these days. I might have to try that gun cote as I move more toward carbon.
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back, carbon, case, coating, cutting, drop point, finish, g10, gun, handle, handle material, heat, knife, knives, made, material, micarta, pins, press, sharpening, thong hole tubing

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