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Precision Tang Fits


Dave Stephens

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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

  • Like 2

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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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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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“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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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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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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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.

Let not the swords of good and free men be reforged into plowshares, but may they rest in a place of honor; ready, well oiled and God willing unused. For if the price of peace becomes licking the boots of tyrants, then "To Arms!" I say, and may the fortunes of war smile upon patriots

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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

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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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

www.toddblades.com

 

"Geometry says how sharp, steel says how long." - Roman Landes, Ashokan 2009

 

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

 

- George Orwell

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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~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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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

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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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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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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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!!

When reason fails...

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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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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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  • 1 year later...

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

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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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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Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.

 

 

I'm out of my mind but feel free to leave a message.

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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.

When reason fails...

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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.

"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes" - Tom HALL - Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon wine.

 

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  • 2 months later...

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...

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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  • 3 months later...

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...

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


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