Here I will try to show how I make a oval guard with round balls on the ends.......Good Luck,Bruce
First thing I do is make a pattern for the oval,I leave the ends flat and a little wider than I think that they need to be at first.I finish the shape to the point after I put the balls on.HerI am using 1/8 inch stock for the guard.
Now I center the ends for drilling .
take two pieces of scrap cutoffs here I am using 1/4 inch thick stock and aproxiametly 1/4 inch square maybe a little over.
Drill a 1/16 inch hole as deep as you think it should be to hold the ball in.Somewhere 1/8 to 1/4 inch will work fine.If you dont hit exactly center its ok as you still have to finish shape the oval later.
Cut and insert two pieces of 1/16 inch nickel silver rod into each piece.Make sure they are about 1 inch long so they will have something for the drill press to hold onto.
center the pieces and drill a 1/16 inch hole in each piece
Hard solder the pins in to the pieces and then round off the sharp corners making little rounds.
Now Chuck the piece up in the drill press.and get a flat file and a 3 corner file
carefully start by setting the flat file flat on the bottom and start rolling the file up the piece,I use a filing motion here so that I am using all the teeth of the file.Here is where you find out if you have a good solder joint because if it isnt the ball will come off and you will have to re-solder it together and try again,if you are using a old file that is worn pretty good be careful not to heat the piece up to much or you will break your joint also.
After getting the bottom half pretty well shaped start on the top.using the 3 corner you can cut in at the top to the pin and make a small flat here so it will but up against the guard flush for a good solder joint
Just keep using the files until you get the shape and size you want.
With the ball still in the drill press and it still running polish out the file marks with sand paper I start with 320 grit and work down to 600
Before and after-------Test fit and then do the other ball.You more than likely wont get them exactly perfect,just get them close enough that they dont look way out of balance with each other.you also will more than likely not get them perfectly round,just get them close these here are not perfectly round but they are close enough to fool the eye.now you can mark where the ovals should be to match the balls and finish the oval of the guard on the grinder
Silver solder the balls on the ends of the oval
I use a Brass cheisel that I made to clean up any sloppy (and thats the only kind of solder I can do) sand the rest of the solder down to where you cant see it.I only clean up the parts that would be hard to get to after the guard is mounted to the blade
Now is when I mark out where I need to put the tang and cut out the hole by drilling then filing it out.I do the final finish on the guard after I solder the blade on and put my name on the blade.....Here is the final finished guard  on the Bowie it was made for.
This is not a hard project.It will take a little time at first,just take it slow and easy and be patient.The end results will be worth it......Have fun and Good Luck,Bruce



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