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Marcus_Aurelius

First Hidden Tang Knife

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Hello All,

For the last couple of months I have been working on and off on my first hidden tang knife. Finally after many hours I finally completed it. The blade is forged from 1084 and polished to 600 grit. The handle is a red oak burl that I sourced from a local mountain. Surprisingly I was able to cure the burl (it was really wet) by soaking it in 95% grain alcohol for about a week, since then it hasn't moved a bit. The handle also has black micarta and brass decorations,  I did a little file work on the guard which is also made from brass.

The sheath is the second one I have built, I decided to do something a little extra an add a little anvil decoration. I did some oxidization coloring for added spice, honestly I couldn't get myself away from more metal work. I based the anvil shape from my very own anvil (if you can guess what type I will be extremely surprised :D). The retention strap wraps around the handle and is secured with Velcro; this is just temporary, I will add some stronger stuff or a button of some sort. Overall the blade fits snug into its home and won't come out in general use.

This is the first knife I've made for myself, so the handle and all the bits are designed to fit my hands, and oh boy does this blade feel nice, really solid and ready for some good use.

Any comments or criticism is welcome, thanks for looking

 

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Now I must clean the drool from my keyboard, I've been looking at these pictures to long now.

 

-Mark

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I'm not a knife maker or a sheath maker so I can offer no criticism. But I can sure say that's a beauty. That sheath is pretty slick also. Very good looking work

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I"m curious about this "forced" curing. I find plenty of interesting green wood, and always passed it, because thought is was impractical to cure/dry it DIY.

Can you elaborate on the method? Is it a known way?

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CGL/John- Thanks for the kind words. I don't consider myself much of a bladesmith as well, but it sure is fun to make sharp things.

lyuv- I do believe it is a well known process. Honestly this was my first time trying it, I was definitely well pleased. After cutting the burl from the Red Oak I let it 'dry' for about two weeks in the shop, which was no more then 40 degrees at the time, if I had anchor seal at the time, I would have used it on the exposed cut just to be safe. Next, I cut the piece into handle slabs to my liking. Then, I plopped the piece in the 95% grain alcohol (I hear others use denatured) and let it soak for a week. I took it out and let it dry in the sun. There was some warping and cracks, I cleaned up the surfaces on my grinder to ensure the cracks where not critical. Then, I gave it one more soak for 2 weeks. After it dried it has not moved, warped, or cracked. Unless I am going crazy I believe the alcohol baths sucked some of the more rich colors out of the wood, but it seemed that after an absolutely excessive amount of BLO, they came right back.

-Mark

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She's a beauty! I like the burl, and from where I'm sitting the fit-up between everything looks perfect. I don't see any pins or mechanical fixation between the blade and the handle, so I assume it's just bedded in epoxy? Which is totally fine, unless you plan to throw it at trees all day haha. Which I wouldn't recommend either way.

I don't see a sharpening choil, which isn't really necessary, but over time after many sharpenings it might develop a slight recurve at the heel. Still, ascetically speaking, I kind of like yours the way it is without one.

I'm also not a knife maker and I'm certainly not an expert. I've made a few knives, but yours is much, much nicer. Certainly something to be proud of and enjoy. 

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Frazer- Yes the handle is held on with only epoxy, its a new brand I am trying, but I have heard some really good things about it, I can't remember the name off of the top of my head. The fit up is basically perfect, I used a black epoxy for gluing the brass and micarta together, so any imperfections are hidden nicely. 

That's a good thought about the Choil, that idea did not even cross my mind, I guess I could still add one, but I like the look as is. 

Thanks for the complement, I am really proud of it :D.

- Mark

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Hmm. Black epoxy... I should pick some of that up for myself! The fit up is definitely the most tedious part, I'm sure that took you a long time to get just right. But it's those little details that make all the difference when your staring at it with that grin of approval that I'm sure you had!

As for the choil, I agree, yours is perfect as is. I have a little knife I made a little while back and thought about adding one, but I was concerned about the edge potentially chipping or the file skating off the place I wanted it and down the edge. So I decided to just let it be.

I look forward to seeing the next one! 

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The brand name, set and cure time of the epoxy, please? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frazer - even though I just finished this knife I’m already itching to make another, maybe a chefs knife.

Frosty - for the glue up in between the brass/Micarta/Burl I used J-B weld cold weld original. It has a cure time of about 24 hours for it to fully set. I know JB isn’t the best epoxy out there but it’s what I had at the moment of that step. It dries to a nice grey/black color which I figured would hide any errors. I did do some testing of JB by using on a knife and abusing the blade until the handle cracked. I was genuine impressed by its strength. 
Later I used G-flex epoxy for gluing the entire handle to the tang, I’ve heard that stuff is basically indestructible.

-Mark 

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J-B Weld is good epoxy but it tends to be brittle and knife handles often need a LITTLE flex. The name G-Flex is a favored bladesmith epoxy for a reason. 

You can color epoxy glue; powder, colored chalk or pick up tempra pigment at the local art supply or rob the kiddy's water colors. Oh okay, you can buy pigments for resin casting and fiberglassing, they don't care if it's polyester or epoxy resin. I couldn't find any locally, though.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Marcus, you actually made me want to make a new knife as well. Integral bolster, damascus. She's already looking pretty good. The blade is pretty much done, working on the handle. It'll take me a little while to finish. I'm going for something a little more involved than I have done in the past.

I use J-B Weld sometimes, Devcon others. The Devcon I get in the large 8.5 fl oz containers. It really depends on how much I need to mix up. Never heard of G-Flex, but I could see how something that cures slightly less brittle could be beneficial.

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