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I Forge Iron

HIDDEN TANG KNIFE TOOLING


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Can anyone suggest some kind of simple jig to drill a solid piece of wood to enclose the tang on a hidden tang knife. The stock will have one clean flat side but the end of the material may not be square to that side.  I stress "simple jig" because I don't have much more than common woodworking tools and an electric drill. 

Thanks

 

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You can buy an attachment that usually mounts to a bench that you put the old hand drill in and turns it into a drill press. They range anywhere from $25 or so up to several hundred dollars. That is just from a quick search on that site names after that river in S. America using "hand drill press".  

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Note the broach pictured above is ground and mounted to cut on the PULL so it will stay straight. Pushing a small thin blade can cause bending and wonky cuts/holes. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good Morning Dick,

You can drill a smallish couple of Primary holes and finish with a small 'Pull Saw', like pictured above.

Or, you can forge a slightly smaller copy of your Tang, using some medium carbon steel. Heat up your copy of the Tang and push it into the Handle when hot. This will burn the wood quite quickly and make a bunch of smoke. You will still need to finish shaping the hole with a 'Pull Saw', so your Tang fits snuggly. Make sure the Tang is not hardened, then you can drill it for a couple of pins.

Just add epoxy and cure. Patience is the best approach.

Neil

 

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Posted (edited)

 

The problem I need help with is how to open the initial hole so it  is collinear with the axis of the handle , or at least parallel to the axis of the handle. 

Edited by Mod30
Remove excessive quote.
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Use a good drill vise and a straight edge. draw a line down the center of the narrow side of the block and lines on the wide side where you wish to drill holes. Using the straight edge you can line the drill bit as closely as can be eyeballed on the scribed lines.

Then use a high rotation speed and just ease the bit into the wood so the edge cut the wood before the grain can deflect it. If you WANT the bit to follow the grain use low rotation speed and hog the feed. 

There's a mid point on rotation speed and feed pressure where the bit will deflect into and across the grain but that's not very predictable nor controllable in wood.

Yeah, old driller tricks.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I drill holes in antlers all the time for hidden tang knife handles.   Frosty's advise above is spot on.  If you have a steady hand and good eyes just clamp your piece in a vise and eye ball it.  If your handle is not finished you don't need to be perfect.  You'll need to be more accurate if using antler as you won't want to sand any of the antler away.  Here's a antler I used for a handle.  I just found center and eye balled it.  

 

 

20210829_091118r.jpg

20210821_162107.jpg

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Yeah, the stink is a breathing hazard too. Old time native Alaskan carvers often died if an ivory, bone, horn, etc. dust related lung disease.  Jade, soap stone, etc. carvers often died of mesotheleoma, I lost an old friend about the time the young generation Native carvers began using masks. 

I don't think drilling, sanding, polishing, etc. antler for knife handle is a great risk but if you do it often wear a good quality mask and keep the dust vacuumed up. Better yet, do it wet.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I was just noticing a concrete drilling company doing some work outside at Walmart, dust everywhere and the driller not wearing any mask!    I would think the company would be harsh about safety due to liability.

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Naw, if they were wearing masks the people at Walmart would expect them to use dust control measures. Besides drillers can do and take anything.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 6/24/2022 at 4:50 PM, ThomasPowers said:

If you have access to a bench grinder you can modify jigsaw blades into small keyhole saws.

I read this about 5 times trying to figure out how you mount blades to a bench grinder.

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