First knife, big mistake. Can this be fixed? in Beginners Place Posted June 27, 2018 I think Geoff covered most of it. Your life will change when you get a drill press by the way, even just a cheap one is life changing. You'd be surprised that a good number of professional knifemakers don't drill holes the exact diameter of the pins; rather they'll just drill a bunch of have the waterjetted blanks cut out large cavities inside. Of course, this means you can't cut corners on epoxy application; the surfaces of both tang and scales have to be chemically clean before applying the right epoxy. Good epoxy and good application is shockingly effective and if it's done right will outlast the scales. The pins in this case serve as a method to hold the scales to each other so that ripping out the bottom surface of the scales is no longer possible (it's like gluing something to the wall; the paint will rip off the wall, not the glue off the paint). Keep in mind also that there are a lot of strength issues that need to be kept in perspective; for example the old full vs hidden tang debate. Newbie fanatics will take only full tang knives "because they're stronger". Which, as a concept and all else equal, they really are (there's more mass of steel). The clinch though is that assuming the stick tang is well constructed, by the time you apply enough stress to actually destroy the handle, you're A: using the knife wrong (tip; it's not a prybar that you can hook up to a hydraulic press) and B, something else has already failed (wood scales, tip, edge, etc.). Being that smaller pins are (generally) sexier, you can probably just stick smaller pins in the holes you already have, drill out the scales to the new pin size, and center them because you have wiggle room inside that larger hole. Or you can just drill new holes; use a center punch to mark a divet in the correct spot so the drill doesn't roll away, and start with a smaller drill bit than intended so you're less likely to roll out of alignment.