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Making an Ares training blade Login/Join 
so sexy it hurts
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As some may know, I kinda like the Ares. Enough that I carry one almost daily. As I've said in the past, it's not the best knife at anything really--not the best ergos for fighting/self-defense, unattractive blade/handle ratio when open, annoying exposed tang when closed, slippery G10 scales. Mastering the Ares for self defense requires a lot of training to get comfortable with it. I find it akin to riding a high performance car or motorcycle. There are easier bikes to ride, as there are easier knives to master.

I've trained in kali for many years and have used smaller wooden training fixed blades and a griptilian trainer for years. However, the griptilian's attributes don't transfer easily to the Ares.

So I decided it was time to finally make an Ares trainer.

I got this cheap footlong length of steel.

The 1" width is just barely enough for the project.




At .130" width, it's a tad wider than the Ares blade, but still fits comfortably within the handle when folded. It will require thinner bronze washers for sure.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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I then used a live blade as a template, taping it to the blank.


Then used a permanent marker to make a stencil of the critical pivot and tang area.




Then a quick spray of clearcoat to keep the work from smudging.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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Next I taped the blade to a 2x4, and clamped it to the drill press and drilled out the pivot hole.


I then test-fitted the pivot sexbolt.
Perfect fit!






"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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Next I used my table sanders and a dremel to remove steel at the tang. Then used hand files to carefully replicate the original design.


Then I did a very rough cut of the approximate blade length.


While at it, I marked off the thumbstud hole.


Then the tedious task of fitting/removing/filing/fitting/removing/filing until the blade not only fit properly, but locked up reliably with the AXIS bar in both the opened and closed positions.





Everything fit fine, and locked up well.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Next I reshaped the blade to make it more blunt, and thinned down the spine and edge areas a bit.
Also drilled out the hole for the thumbstuds.
Now it looks like an Ares butterknife!



That's all for now. It needs some more shaping on the spine and edge regions, and then some smoothing of the surfaces a bit and rounding of the blade overall.
I'll also weigh it compared to a live blade, and consider either thinning down the entire width of the blade vs using lightening holes to get it closer to the weight of a live blade.

After this I'll harden the steel. You're probably wondering why I'd do that as it's not meant to take an edge. However my theory is that the Axis bar may cause premature wear in the tang area as the trainer is opened/closed repeatedly.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thinned down the blade getting close to the original blade's profile.


The blade still weighted 15gm more than the original weight of 33gm.
So I decided to make some lightening holes.


Didn't come out as neat as I wanted, but the weight is nearly perfect now.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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Today I had some free time so I planed down the blade to get rid of the grind marks.


Then a final fitting to ensure proper lock-up.
Now the blade is ready for hardening.


I didn't get pics of the hardening because it's hard enough not having a free hand to take pics.
Hardened it with two torches. I don't care much about the edge of course or the blade for that matter, but as long as the tang is properly heat treated I'm good. Got the temp right, and as soon as I got over the demagnetized state quenched in clean motor oil.


Passed the file test, so into the oven to temper.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Finished the temper, then sanded to 400grit, refitted back into the handle.
So far I'm happy with this project. There are a couple flaws I noted after I got it polished, but no cracks or any fatal issues. I will have to round the holes a little better as well as a little bevel or chamfer. I may eventually stonewash the blade but for now I'm going to practice with it for a couple weeks. I may either spray paint the grips red, or get one of our talented members to make me some red G10 scales.




With one of my griptilian trainers.


I may have to deepen the notch on the tang to get the blade a little deeper into the grip when closed.


The standard Ares bronze washers at least on this individual knife is 0.020". I had to use 0.025" washers for this blade.


Replaced the backspacer with titanium standoffs.


Solid, centered blade.


The Axis lock bar is not exactly perpendicular with the knife when opened, since the ramp on the tang isn't 100% level. But it works fine and passed the whack test.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A video demonstration of the trainer.

http://www.fototime.com/BA4AB18622088FD/convx264.mp4

This message has been edited. Last edited by: agony,




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Throwin sparks
makin knives
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Spectacular!!!!!! I foresee a future in folders!!!⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️
 
Posts: 4976 | Location: Nashville Tn | Registered: October 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like this thread. Thanks for sharing your process on this project


Regards,

P.
 
Posts: 686 | Location: Alabama | Registered: May 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is cool, and the only way to get one.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 46174 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Damn Dude!
That is some serious work! Looks good.

(I'm glad it keeps fueling your addiction!)


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 5215 | Location: Just moved: Downtown Chi-Town | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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Thanks guys.
Yeah, my Ares collection is pretty much complete. And because of that I miss the quest for new knives to add. At least this project satiated me for a while.

I think next I'm going to try to make a live blade with the remaining steel. If it works well I may attempt a damascus blade.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I always like your Ares posts. Makes me pull mine out of the safe and start looking for a companion for it.
 
Posts: 2369 | Location: Bismarck, ND | Registered: March 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
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quote:
Originally posted by usp_fan:
I always like your Ares posts. Makes me pull mine out of the safe and start looking for a companion for it.


A companion Ares is always good to have. Smile

Anyway i did a thing.
Turns out the original frame I used for the trainer was a rare variant from an early prototype sterile Ares. This is what happens when you're working on more than one knife at a time.

So I ended up replacing the trainer blade into a regular production knife (the Ares in the very first pictures in this thread.) Lo and behold, it did not fit properly. So I had to painstakingly re-fit the trainer blade into the new frame. Turned out fine, and fits even better than on the prototype frame. The scales are also a bit lighter in color too. I may try to RIT dye the scales to get rid of the burgundy and make it more red. Don't know if it will work but it's worth a shot.

I also polished a current production benchmade clip. I'll eventually replace whatever black screws are left on the knife to stainless to match the rest of the hardware.









"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26771 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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