LM105 -  Part 2

UPDATE 8/9/09:

After our intitial success with making our LM105 handle material, we made another couple of batches today and learned a few more lessons. We were again using the West Systems resin with slow hardener. It was 80-90 degrees in the outer shop. We did another twist pattern with 60-70 layers of material. By the time we had all of the pieces saturated and stacked, it had started the chemical reactions that hardens the resin. This stuff got so hot we couldn't hold it to twist it properly. There was actually smoke coming from it.

We twisted as best we could wearing leather gloves covered by rubber gloves, tied it, put it in a freezer bag and then pressed it with a mill vise. It came out with a neat pattern and we like the combination of colors but we will have to see how it really turned out after it cures for a couple of days.

I decided to use this on my Gaucho knife.

We also decided to try and make a ladder Damascus type pattern. We grooved a couple piece of plywood and glued in some small dowel rods with alternate spacing on the top and bottom pieces.

The idea was to put a wave pattern in the micarta that should result in a Damascus style ladder pattern when ground down later. Again, the heat in the shop got the best of us and the bottom layers started to harden before we could get the top layers in place. We rushed to get the boards with the dowel rods clamped into place but we think the epoxy had already hardened too much for it work like we had hoped.

Here is the result of our LM105 Damascus Denim

Now realizing the the heat was messing us up too much, we moved our operation into the air conditioned part of the shop. What a difference that made! We had plenty of time to work with the material before it began to heat up and harden. 20 degrees makes a huge difference with this stuff.

I made another maroon and tan 70 layer twist piece and Mike Carter made a 70 layer black and gray twist.  Here are the layers of black and gray fabric cut and ready to go. We should make a handle block about 1 x 2 inches like the one on top.

We will keep you posted on how they turned out.

Click HERE to see our 3rd batch of material.

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