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I Forge Iron

Knife Making Log Class 108: Tangs

Steve Sells

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Rich Hale
We started with session one showoing how to forge a blade using a bare minimum of tools. Then we used files to finish the blade and at later sewssions we completed the entire knfe. We will do more knives and we will use wot I consider the right tools for the task.Tonight I will show the tools I use and alittle bit of how I use them...And again as in the past,,,when i say I use a milling machine,,I am not going to give a  class on this machine.
Some of my knives are full tang knives and I taper the tang on them. I also cut into the blade so a slotted guard slidetightly in place and is soldered.  post-2529-0-31738000-1356626408_thumb.jp  That is the notch for the guard.
post-2529-0-70632100-1356626414_thumb.jp And this is how I cut that notch. I have a small air nozzle that I can direct at the cutter and it cools and keeps clean so i can see through mysafety glasses I use a cutter that is correct size for the stell I will use for the guard I slot the guard with a cutter the right size for the blade thickness.  Now about tapered tangs. This is how I do stock removal but some of this can be done on a forged blade.  I use my belt grinder with and eight inch wheel and hollow grind the tang. post-2529-0-59537400-1356626420_thumb.jp
The make the end of the tang corerct the taper has to be centered or the handle will not be. I use an aluminum scriber..and it has a sharp carbide point that willscratch hardened steel  post-2529-0-53367400-1356626426_thumb.jp
The piece of stee lin this is a non tapered knife blank I blackened the end with a sharpy and then scripbved two lines on it....The metal between thelines stays,,,,it is the tang  Then I grind from each side down to almost those lines with belt grinder Then I hollow grind the entire tang but just up to the handle side of the guard.   I use the same push stick in bp 0235 for this and use it the same way. I beep a thimb in the area of the guard  If I do not grind my thumb i will not grind the tang too far

post-2529-0-57778000-1356626432_thumb.jp  This is my flat grinder  it has a L:eeson 1.5 hp motor and a variable speed and reversing controller The flat part is an aluminum hub tightened to the shaft.  The hub and plate has a piece of kitchen counter top screwed to it.with the formica as a pace to glue abrasives.  I usse several spray types of adhesives. The one in the pipcture is my favorite. It is used by body shops and sold by NAPA  parts tores. My store usually has to order it as the shotp are nto using it much anymore I spray the glue on the formica, and back side of wet or dry abrasives  Let dry a little and press in placeThe use a box cutter to trim to size. I also us 3M 77 spray glue....With either of them When you change paper the paper pulls off easily and you are ready for another one. With the 3 M if it gets cold you will have to scrape it off,,,,,,not fun.  Now back to the tapered tangs
We have it hollow ground,,,not i uswe a coarse frit on the flat wheel,,,120 grit,,and pusth the tang against the wheel, chack not and then to see you are cutting the right area,,,  After you do one side I like to check and see if I am cutting parrelel to the other side or not.
post-2529-0-05070100-1356626439_thumb.jp I use these all the time for everything......The nice thing with these calipers is no matter haw far you open them the jaws remail parrelel  post-2529-0-46393200-1356626447_thumb.jp

I can put the tang in and hold up to the light and see if the grind is flat and parrelel or not,, Check it along the tangs length.  I can put the tang in and hold up to the light and see if the grind is flat and parrelel or not,,   Check it along the tangs length. When all is well taper the other side then check this again. Now when we have the guard in place and are ready for scales, i grind the outside of the scales to rough fit the  tang,,,,then hollow grind the backs where the will be glued..  If you glue real flat surfaces to real flat surfaces you can clamp so that most of the glue is squeezed out.  This way there is room for epoxy....
post-2529-0-29374300-1356626454_thumb.jp  One part of a knfe that alswasy took me a lot of time was blending the handle into the guard nice and smooth.   I used die grinders,, rat tail and half round files.  Carbide cutters in the drillpress  Mandrel mounted abrasive wheels in a dremel  Then I built a belt grinder that uses small wheels and the same belts as myh knfe grinder.  on top you can see the other small wheels.   I have 1/2", 5/8" 3/4" 1" and a two inch"

post-2529-0-73179700-1356626462_thumb.jp So to grind that part of the tang I use the size I like for the knfe...I do not hold it like this but had to do the camera also,   So when I am rady to grind a handle from its as gled state to a finished handle  I use a 80 grit belt and rough it out   When I take that belt fromknife grinder it goes on small wheel.......   And the same through all of the grits.
Top and bottom of this knife were done in this manner.....  Have to be carefull with the stag as I do nto want to taek anymore of that I have to to fit it right 

post-2529-0-03059300-1356626482_thumb.jp  one other machine I use is a 12" dia sander.   it takes preglued on abrasives,,, I use it to squre up ends of handle materials and some times to flattern them out if scales. That is pretty much how i do most things on a knfe to coplete it...any questions about wot we presented this eve? That is pretty much how i do most things on a knfe to coplete it...any questions about wot we presented this eve?



how do you keep blade side parallel and square, I messed my blade up, and wish I had surface grinder
Rich Hale
That is real easy after the first 100 blades The clipers used every littel bit will show you before it is off too far to save
how do you make that perfect recasso
Rich Hale
I use the same flat grinder with all gritts to polish thesides of the blades
Rich Hale
On the edge side of the blade I put a mark with the sharpy,,,I put a thim next to that line as I grind into the plung cut area....
Let me loook for apic.  post-2529-0-79889800-1356626918_thumb.jp You see the clamp I used as a heat sink on this tang while i soldered it? Make one of those and clamp on blade so it  prevents the belt from grinding the ricasso... Earlier I mentioned that how I taper tangs can be used whether the blade is forged or stock removed
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