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I Forge Iron

Knife Making Log Class 106: Handles pt 2

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Steve Sells

Rich did a composite handle of various woods, while I am using diamond wood, or what ever name you buy under its a laminate glued and stabilized, great for my wife kitchen knife and many colors are available  I am using black because I have a large supply. I like my tangs wide as possable to avoid stress problems later on but I do not want it showing as a bowie would be so I trim the tang to smaller than the desired finied size of handle and carver out a slot ( camera is having problems so NO photos from me ) I used the pencil to trace out  the outline of the tang, and have the wood slightly over sixed, for removal later dremel tool with a cutting wheel I trace that pencil line then score out the center. then with a hand chisel I remove the tang thickness from this slot
I intendionally leave this extra space in the slot because I wil use expoy and want enough space for that I place the tang in the slot then kark the holes I pre drilled in the tang for the pins I mark I do not want these pins to show! so no rusting when these do is hold the handle from side to slide movement but are hiden I cut the pins like a rivet but no heads also I cut them short so they are just pins these are hard soldered into place, only about 3/16 showing on each side of the tang I clean up excess solder and drill a short way into the marked place in the handle material test fit and drill deeper if needed I do this for both sides.
NOW what I have is a tang inside the handle also pins to take stress from moting of the handle in use plus enough excess room for expoxy. if the test fit is good, I mix the 2 part devcon epoxy ( no not use fast set) and place a lot into the tang slots on both handle pc's them place the handle matersil in place and use 2 inch C clamps top keep it in place while it set I do not clean up the goo that comes pout the side yet I let it set up first. if I do now it makes a mess so later after it sets up, and I can tell becaseu of the excess that is on the seams...
I trim off this glue, and then I know its over size, I can remove the outer layer and have virgin material with no gloe/epoxt stains to get in the way of the finish This diamond wood is felf sinishing, meaning the resins used leave a nice finish when poliched! also water tight Self finishing ( dyslexia is a pain sorry) so I have what looks like the rat tail drilled out handle nut I have extra supports inside formth ewidth of the tang I started with as well as the pins securing the handles. this blade will tollerate a dish washer, becasue my wife never listens about hand washing good blades.

Francis Trez Cole
Steve what type of pins are you using

steve sells
i use 1/8 normally I get steel rod 5 ft long cheap for this,I have  also used nickel silver or brass when its showing

is this the process called blind pinning?

steve sells
I am terrable with names, but that as good of one as any I know, moving along do not use a belt that you already used on metal, as it will deposit some into the handle you are working 80 grit or so is fine to start most handle material does not need th e 40 grit blaze. then 240 and 400, then to buffer and I have a finished blade, and handle. her is a OLD photo showing the diamond wood , old photo bad quality post-2529-0-34536700-1354767335_thumb.jp if I can get the camera working, I will add pics to the repost in the forum

Rich Hale
Up until now I have used basic tools to forge this knife, For othe handle and guard fitting I moved up a bit. In one of the other logs it shows how I slit and drifted the guard to rough the shape of the tang post-2529-0-08369700-1354767282_thumb.jp In this p;ic are some of the tools to carefull hand fit that ltang to guard joint The slot I drifted was three thousands smallere than the tang And it was not long enough I tried to leave the sides alone as I lenghtened the slot First with a round needle nose file the with a square one There is another file there if you look it hade no teeth on sides on one end and not teeth on edges of the other end It is called a safe file Whem I use the edges with teeth, not theth on side let me make the slot loonger and not too wild Then for final fitting I use the other end
Your can use a green wheel ono a bench grinder to remove the file teeth Also in the pic is a piece of all thread quarter in rod,,I have split the end a bit and opened it up  Those ends I tap;ered a wee on the grinder I fit the guard and glue it in place....The next day I fit the firs section of wood post-2529-0-67632900-1354767289_thumb.jp  On each end of this piece I epoxied two baxk apacer with a nickel spacer in between them...clamped and let dry  post-2529-0-90263900-1354767304_thumb.jp  I take the all thread the next day and tap it tight onto the end of the tang that I have a short taper on,,,then I tap those pointed ends of the rod into the hole in the tang This holds it all tight for soldereing post-2529-0-42251900-1354767311_thumb.jp  K and G and other knfe supplers sell a silver kind of solder that I use for this joint...it m elts at over 1100f I use a mapp gas torch for the heat,,,and I put a steel clamp and a pair of vice grips on the tang between the guard and the joint to block the heat The little while bottle is the flux for this solder The little block of wood with the spacers attached is now fitted and finished,,all the way to a hit on the buffer Just cheap rod from a supply,,I have also got a bargain on ss in that size and used it till ran outg Then I asswembled the whole handle...all of the spacers,,, counted them a dozen times...  

BAck to the pic of the little pile of tools earlier There is a tap handle and two taps. And a drill that is the correct size for those taps I have a lpiec oe mild steel in that pice with a tapped hole in it That is the butt cap i epoxy and layer each spacer,wood etc and screqw the butt cap on The threaded rod and glue aree made for each other In that last p;ic you can see the first piece of wool all sanded to shape size and buffed Next day I grind the entire handle Like steve said,,,80 grit to rought it out The finer,,I went to 600 on this Frequently check this handle,.,,yourhands will tell you where it is odd or mishapen  Hold it up to the light by the blade and look to see both sides Hold it up and look at every place and comparfe sides and top line and bottom post-2529-0-58370400-1354767319_thumb.jp
i did something that i do not do often for this knife I used store bought browning solution for the blade guard and butt cap This made me do that one piece of wood in front so I did not touch the guard with a belt or buffer I was carefull grinding next to the fron piece I finished the entire handle, but did not touch that front ice so I did nto mess the guard up post-2529-0-15682300-1354767327_thumb.jp
steve sells
I would like to point out when grinding soft materials with metal spacers along with them, its easy to get a scallop effect if you are not careful

Rich Hale  

But wot about the butt cap?  After all done I heated it with torch and removed it,,,Ep;oxy gives up when about 400f Then I browned it same as other pieces,,and replaced it TGhis style of blade allowed me so share things youmay run into, It ia about 13 inches long I will not cover sheathe making as I did it in a bp years back,,,i will make one and show it with knife in the forums soon

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