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  1. #1
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    Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    I've been commisioned by another member to put a handle on their Spyderco Mule blade and make a crossdraw sheath. I thought I'd take some photos to document the process.

    First a picture of the raw materials, a Mule blade in 52100 steel and some Desert Ironwood from Pikebite.





    This pic shows that the scales need to be flattened.



    To do this I have secured some 40 grit paper to a piece of laminate flooring. The laminate is useful stuff as it is flat.



    Once the scales are flat I changed to a finer grit...



    and checked them by holding them up to the light. There is a slight gap at one corner but I'm not going to use this part of the scales.



    The next step is to use double sided tape to hold the two scales together. This means I can treat the two scales as one block.



    and mark out the rough outline of the handle. I spent a bit of time looking at the figure in the wood to make sure I get the best out of the block.



    There a lots of different holes in the blade for different pin configurations. we're going to use to 6mm brass pins and a 6mm brass lanyard hole.

    Now to rough out the outline of the handle with a coping saw.





    I like to leave plenty of wood on at this stage



    At this point i'm going to work on the edge of the scales that will be next to the ricasso of the knife. Its difficult to work this part of the scale once its glued to the blade so I need to get it done now.

    First use a rasp to get down to the line...



    Then use the pillar drill with a drum sander to tidy up.



    Now it looks like this...



    A few minutes on the buffer



    and it looks even better



    I'm using brass rod and tube from B&Q, it needs cutting to length...



    I drilled a test hole in some oak to check the fit



    Centre punch the lanyard hole



    Drill



    Check the position of the other holes





    drill the other two holes for the pins

    Last edited by Quickbeam; 23-07-08 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    OK, we're just about ready to glue it all up. First i've got to separate the scales. I'm using my trust Victorinox pairing knife! I've also roughed up the Mule Team handle, taking care to keep the scratches away from the ricasso area.



    Everything is to hand, ready for the epoxy. I'm using 24 hour Araldite. I've wiped all of the pieces over with some meths and have given them all plenty of time to dry.



    Make sure the scales are well covered



    With one scale in place I make sure the holes in the Mule Team handle are all filled with epoxy



    Then it all gets pressed up tight in the vice



    After half an hour I clean up the top edge of the scales next to the ricasso. wipe away any excess epoxy.



    I'll leave it overnight before I do any more work but I'll keep checking the top edge of the scales and wipe away any more epoxy that appears.
    Last edited by Quickbeam; 23-07-08 at 02:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Great tutorial! good, in depth pics, and a logical process Blade looks nice, too. where do i get one of these 'mule's?

  4. #4
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Looking Good Nick!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by Tink View Post
    Great tutorial! good, in depth pics, and a logical process Blade looks nice, too. where do i get one of these 'mule's?
    Thanks Tink, check out the Spyderco Forum for more info on the Mule Team project. The plan is to release blades in a number of different steels, the first one was 52100. They sold out very quickly so you'll have to get in quick when the next one is released.

  6. #6
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by Tink View Post
    Great tutorial! good, in depth pics, and a logical process Blade looks nice, too. where do i get one of these 'mule's?
    Pray to Sal they all sold out within a day if i Remember correctly, should be some in a different steel soon


    Lovely work you have done QuickBeam, them scales look rather nice

  7. #7
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    gah, i dont do well with different steel types. I'd ideally be after something that's quite strong, strong enough for light prying, ideally. i'll head over to the spyderco forums when i get back from work and have a look. what did the first one cost?

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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Nice tutorial!!Nice results.
    Albert

  9. #9
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    I've heard from a contact in Canada (who luvs his Mule & who actually made me discover this superb blade) that the next Mule "may" be made from M4

  10. #10
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    that is looking good and i love the shape of the mule nice blade.. can't wait to see it finished

    Daniel CL.
    Daniel Claville

    Flames and Fire is forever my Desire, And my Desire shall bend the will of Steel

  11. #11
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    There is a lot of discussion about this on the Spyderco forums...
    Peter

    The law hangs the man, and flogs the woman, that steal the goose from off the common
    But lets the greater villain loose, that steals the common from under the goose. (anon, 18th C)

    Stuff I have made...

  12. #12
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBob View Post
    I've heard from a contact in Canada (who luvs his Mule & who actually made me discover this superb blade) that the next Mule "may" be made from M4
    I think that has been confirmed over on the Spydie Forum. I've never had a M4 blade and I don't know much about it - is it stainless?

    Nick

  13. #13
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Nice tutorial. Beautiful wood. Can't wait to see the end result!

    Kind regards,

    Jos

  14. #14
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Yes Nick, I believe it is! So far, as my friend says, it has rarely (maybe never) been seen on a production knife! Rest assured, I'm interested! The 52100 is like a Laser!!

  15. #15
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    Re: Spyderco Mule: A Full Tang Tutorial

    Excellent tutorial Nick.
    Soil for legs, Axe for hands, Flower for eyes, Bird for ears, Mushroom for nose, Smile for mouth, Songs for lungs, Sweat for skin, Wind for mind

    Nanao Sakaki
    (C20th Japanese poet)


    I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy [Tom Waits]

 

 

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