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I Forge Iron

My first blade with scales.


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Up to this point I've been making one piece knives. I thought I'd give scales a shot. The scales on this knife are ash, the blade is 5160, I rivited the scales on with lengths of brass brazing rod. I used epoxy to hold the scales on while I drilled the holes for the rivits. I have one more blade with epoxied scales currently clamped up, it will likely be my last. I was iffy on my ability to rivit the scales on and have them hold, but these held very well when I flexed the blade and handle.


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Dennis, that looks very nice. i wouldnt go giving up allready, scales are difficult at times and at other times they are a breeze. keep putting them out and it will get easier. use good epoxy( you probably allready know this) slower setting the better and resist the temptation to fiddle with the knife for at least 24 hours to effect a good cure. again i think you did a good job, i would be proud to use the knife in kitchen or camp. Thanks, George

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Opps, I meant using epoxy on scales, not giving up on scales on knives. The only problem that I've had really is drilling my holes, I free hand it--no drill press. I used 5 min epoxy off the shelf at Wally World. I'm going to try mounting the scales without epoxy next, though I sort of have already. (I feel funny using epoxy on knives that follow historic examples, it feels like cheating :). If epoxy is an excepted means of setting scales to a blade, I'll keep using it on my modern knives, keeping the above advice in mind. The following is the blade that I reffered to above. I left it alone until this morning. The scales are ash, the epoxy held up until I took a torch to the handle to "age" it a bit, they popped off, next time I'll set the rivits first. I sanded the handle with sand paper down to 1000 grit, polished it up nice didn't it?

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Ok...I don't see anything amiss on the photos that you posted as far as the scales go. If you are worried about using epoxy, remember that epoxy is used as a replacement for cutler's resin, which is really nothing more than heated pitch. I wouldn't worry about what anyone would think in regards to the epoxy, after all you are using modern steel..which is way beyond what would of been used. So use the epoxy.

Now are you drilling the holes prior to thermal treatment?? If so...use Co drills or TiN coated ones...That's all I use noewadays, gave up on the HSS ones years ago. The Co or TiN drills are not really all that much more $$$ and they do cut a whole lot better and if you do hit a "hard spot" they can usually chew through A-Ok..better than a HSS one anyways.

Helpful hint....fit one scale, cement, let cure, then drill the hole though from the tang side, then fit the other scale, cement, cure and drill though from the first side. I use marine grade epoxy on everything except horn, which I use this really nasty stuff on that you can stick glass to glass together with. Takes 24 hours to harden. If you want I will look at the cans and let ya know what it is...It's out in my studio and I am in my office presently.

Really now. I see no problems with the grips you posted. I don't do scales very often cause what I do doesn't usually require then mut dang, you got a good start so far...

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I've been reading up recently on epoxies to use and one from the local hardware store poeple have been very happy with. Gorilla Glue. I can't remember the links or i'd post them. but in a head to head competition in a smiths shop comparing about 7-8 kinds this one won hands down. just one bit of warning. this stuff expands. a great deal. You dampen one side of what you want glued and apply it THINLY to the other. Then clamp. you will see the glue coming out of the side in as little as 20 minutes. you can wipe this away. or wait untill it's dry and grind it off. Give it a shot once and I think you'll stick with it. ;) I can attest to it's holding power as i've started using it around the house for small things. had a hollow wood door coming apart and decided to finally fix it last night. glued it up and placed it between 2 boards and drove the car on top of it (well what are you gonna do when you don't have enough clamps) pulled it out this morning and it's rock solid.
Good luck

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