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Dave Stephens

Precision Tang Fits

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Hi All --

 

I used to burn the handle onto my the hidden tang knives I made, but had several handles crack or warp from the heat.

 

I recently started using this technique instead of the drill, file, file some more, file yet some more, needle file, needle file, etc.

 

Step 1: Drill a hole whose diameter is slightly larger than the widest part of the tang.

 

Step 2: Fill the whole with a two part epoxy putty. You can usually buy this at Lowes or Home Depot. It comes in small tubes like this:

 

<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fP-woC6yBTICy2LYctDFlLKR3fb3bB6MQIJGGVpnCAE?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_H2LYpmX7-hY/TNct9UOfROI/AAAAAAAAA10/FdqYRK6PsM8/s800/CIMG0010.JPG" height="640" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DaveStephens907/Junkdrawer?authkey=Gv1sRgCPHNseOO_M6KJQ&feat=embedwebsite">junkdrawer</a></td></tr></table>

 

You break off a chunk and knead it together. It hardens in about 20 minutes. We use this stuff to repair boats in the commercial fishery. It even hardens underwater.

 

Step 3: Coat the tang with petroleum jelly, and slide the tang into the putty filled hole. Then remove it.

 

Voila. Perfect fit.

 

<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yAKe1-An9HuJP_BzuW5ZCrKR3fb3bB6MQIJGGVpnCAE?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H2LYpmX7-hY/TNctyjuQNUI/AAAAAAAAA1w/SLhr0fEzemU/s800/CIMG0009.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DaveStephens907/Junkdrawer?authkey=Gv1sRgCPHNseOO_M6KJQ&feat=embedwebsite">junkdrawer</a></td></tr></table>

 

I like this stuff a lot more than using regular epoxy because you can form it and remove the tang before it sets.

 

Hope you guys find this useful.

 

Cheers!

 

--Dave

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Thank you. This makes things muuuuch easier. I'll have to try this next time.

 

Btw, what's the wood? wood interests me.

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Thank you. This makes things muuuuch easier. I'll have to try this next time.

 

Btw, what's the wood? wood interests me.

 

It's ebony.

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This is awesome. I'm buying some of this stuff first thing tomorrow. Great idea.

 

Thanks!

 

-Dan

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Very cool Dave!! Much less messy than acra glass.

 

Not to hijack, I have a similar technique, drill the hole slightly smaller then the widest part of your tang and go straight through. This only requires some riffling to inset the rectangular tang into the round hole on the guard end. For the buttcap, turn a piece on the lathe that has a step on it with the step being the diameter of the hole you drilled, then drill a center hole for the tang. The step will keep the smaller end of the tang centered in the hole.

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Dave - great for takedowns, especially.

 

I still do the two halves mortised and wood glued together for the ones that are never coming apart I can get a precise fit for the curvy handles that I have been making lately. I haven't made any takedowns yet, but when I do, this will be the way I go.

 

Sam - don't go no lathe. Solid idea, though.

 

thanks for tips.

kc

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Thanks, Dave, great idea. I've used this stuff to temp patch drain pipes, and one of those temp patches is three years old now and still hard as a rock. :rolleyes: It should last forever inside a handle.

 

-Todd

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Way cool Dave! Thanks for sharing. By the way, have you seen the Blind Tang Saw tip on Don's website, in the tips section? Blind Tang Saw It can take some of the "file, file some more, file yet some more, needle file, needle file, etc." out of the picture.

 

~Bruce~

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I use this technique, pretty much. I use the 5 minute epoxy, since it's just there to provide a registration fit. I wrap the tang with teflon tape, a bit of petrolium jelly in the nooks and crannys, and there you go.

 

Nice tip.

 

Geoff

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That's a great idea I'll have try that on my next one. Thanks

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Thanks Dave,

 

About how long do you have to wait before you insert the tang, and about how long do you leave it in before you pull it out. (that didn't sound right)

 

Art

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Thanks Dave,

 

About how long do you have to wait before you insert the tang, and about how long do you leave it in before you pull it out. (that didn't sound right)

 

Art

 

LOL. Let's keep Freud out of this.

 

The putty is slightly stiffer than the consistency of play-doh. It doesn't sag or run, so you can insert it into the tang as soon as you knead the two parts together. Similarly, you slide the tang in and pull it right out. It will hold shape before it begins to set.

 

Luck!

 

--Dave

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Thank you very much,a brilliant idea that is so simple yet effective.

Do you use any epoxy on the tang for the final fit?

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And to think, I have a blade just waiting for a handle, but I didn't really want to get into drilling and needlefiling for hours. Picked up some 0222 about an hour ago and will be giving this a whirl just as soon as the guard is done.

 

Thank you!!

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Thank you very much,a brilliant idea that is so simple yet effective.

Do you use any epoxy on the tang for the final fit?

 

Yes, I do use epoxy for the final fit, but primarily for a water seal.

 

Cheers!

 

-Dave

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Hardly traditional but I bet if the Norse had stuff like that they'd have used it to, so what the heck. ;)

 

Also remember that Freud said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Or was that Bill Clinton :ph34r:.

 

Doug

Edited by Doug Lester

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I built a set of interchangeable tang scrapers several years ago. A 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" made from 1095 scrap. They secure in with two threaded slugs.

 

I have snapped a couple of the 1/8" but it's real fast to machine out another.

 

tangscraper-web.jpg

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Well, I tried it on a different knife than I had planned and it sure works dreamy! The pith of this particular piece of antler was very loose and rotten, so it all had to go. The antler is now just a thin shell around an epoxy core. Not the best working time as it starts to harden rather quickly, but it's a whole lot easier than anything else I've tried.

 

Oh, and the epoxy accepts leather die rather nicely. I left the epoxy exposed at the ricasso and then hit it with some die so it looks like pitch glue. I'll have to see how it looks with something other than black die.

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This came at a great time for me. A friend gave me a heap of antler and i have some blades to handle. Thanks for the advice.

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Does the petroleum jelly left on the inside of your epoxy slug get in the way of final glue-up? I would think it prevents a good bond, unless you're cleaning out the hole before final assembly...

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Does the petroleum jelly left on the inside of your epoxy slug get in the way of final glue-up? I would think it prevents a good bond, unless you're cleaning out the hole before final assembly...

I'm wanting to try this method myself, and was wondering the same thing. I would think the petroleum jelly would indeed prevent a good bond, and would have to be removed. How would one go about removing the petroleum jelly? I'm thinking alcohol might work, but not really sure...

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