Dan Scott Posted September 9, 2009 Share Posted September 9, 2009 Hi. I am working on a knife right now to practice making wood handles. I had a lot of mystery steel around and I figured I should make a knife and use it solely for the purpose of practicing making a wood handle while I wait for the 1095 I ordered a few days ago to ship. I have always done wrap handles, so this wood handle was my very first. It's a full tang, basically wood sandwhiching the tang (I don't know if there is a name for that). Anyway, I figured it would help others new to making a wood handle if I posted what I learned from this project. First, I made the mistake of not properly flattening the tang before I put the wood on. I figured that if I left the tang as I had forged it (kinda/sorta flat-ish) it would be no big deal. Wow, was I wrong. When I finished epoxying the handle on, the epoxy ended up filling up all the small non-flat parts of the tang. Now, this wasn't a big deal in the center of the tang, but, as you can see from this picture: There were parts of the tang that didn't come to a 90 degree angle at the edge, which made it so that the epoxy filled those spots. This made the handle look all that much worse. Second, I learned a TON about symmetry and when most certainly not to use a belt sander. I used my belt sander to shape the wood handle, which I though would be fast and simple. I really should have hand-sanded the entire thing to get it to shape. That would have allowed me much more control over how much material I removed. Here is a pic that illustrates the bad symmetry: The most noticeable lack of symmetry is right at the butt of the handle. Third, I had a lot of trouble determining what to do with the wood where it met the blade. I decided to try to sand it down until it just went flush with the blade. Well, as it turns out, this became a sort of annoying symmetry problem again. I think in the future I would either use a bolster (something else I have yet to experiment with ) or just hand sand that part with a higher grit sand-paper, which would take less material off and allow me more control. This pic illustrated what I mean by "where wood meets blade": As you can see, the epoxy leaked out here during clamping. I still have to deal with that. Ok, so, that's a rough outline of what I learned I did wrong, but, I did do a few things right. And, I want to share at least one of those tings because I sort of got lucky doing it because I didn't have a clue what I was doing really. This thing I did right was the pins. These got me all confused at first, because I thought I was going to have to peen them. I tried peening (without the proper hammer or any proper equipment really) and failed epicly. So, I figured I'd drill the holes and just epoxy the crap out of the pins then place them and hope they stuck. Well, this worked magnificently. I was able to cut off the excess pin easily, and the pins look exactly like I wanted (apart from not being sanded too well yet) Anyway, I am going to follow my Dad's advice on this one and rip the handle apart and do it again a few times until I get this down. I hope this helps someone out there! Also, if anyone more experienced wants to offer more advice, that would be great! Here is another pic of the knife: Oh, and because I started this is a practice knife, I didn't go through the process of really heat treating, polishing, or tempering it. I figured it wouldn't make much of a difference for making the handle and this is mystery steel anyway, so I didn't want to have it crack or anything. Corvus Forge Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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