Jump to content

Burning in a non-through stick tang?


Recommended Posts

Hello all, I had a derp moment during the forging of a stick tang fighter and managed to burn the tang. So now instead of a through tang it's a partial. Planning on some mild steel my neighbor found with his bush hog for the guard. It's rusty and pitted but when it's polished that his gives it a cool textured look. I'm planning burl oak for the handle. Since the hole won't be all the way through the handle I'm wondering if I'm safe to burn the tang in or if I need to just drill it and needle file it to fit. Also, should I drill the hole for the single pin I plan to use before or after shaping the handle?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I drill a hole in the handle to establish a "path" for the tang as I burn the tang in, though you can use needle files to enlarge the channel and then burn to fit. I drill my pin hole before shaping the handle.

 

Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice from these guys. One thing I would like to expound on is the fit of the tang. It's really easy when you are burning the slot to burn TOO much material out and end up with a very loose fit. Naturally, you want a little bit of space if you're going to be using an epoxy. It sounds like you may just be using a pin, so in that case it is extra critical you do not have a loose fit.

 

My method for getting a tight fit is rather simple. Instead of the tang having a flat end, I round it. Then, when I burn the slot, I make sure there is a gap left between the guard and the handle. Approximately 1/8" . With the touch up filing, and charred wood being removed, the slot is naturally lengthened. That 1/8" of space is nearly taken up, and with a few good hammer taps,the rounded end of the tang compresses the remaining wood and you have a very tight fit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When you're burning in the tang, as soon as enough of the tang is in the wood to guide the direction, place the tip of the blade against f.e. the wooden base of the anvil, and strike the back of the hilt lightly with a hammer. Each hit presses the hot tang into the wood, burns away what it's in contact with. With a bit of luck you can burn in a tang all he way in, as the burning of the wood heats up the tang, keeping it hot for quite a long time (depending on wood and size of the tang of course). I tend to burn it in a bit further, so the blade part burns in a few mm as well. This allows you to cut back the handle a bit, so you get a cleaner end. It takes a bit of practice to get good at this, but the end result is a hole that fits so well, that you're problem won't be a hole that's oversize, but the fit being so tight that the tang is stuck inside the wood. Plus that there's no room for glue, so the tang has trouble getting all the way in when you've added glue. So oversizing the hole a bit after you created a really tight fit by burning may be required (just heat up the tang, and insert it into the hole without hitting in further a few times). Pre-drilling definitely helps guiding the tang into the right direction, particularly if your wood doesn't have a lot of excess material to correct the straightness. Also ensure the tang is straight and symmetrical, particularly the end or it will go sideways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice, and I think I'm definitely going to oversize the hole because I'm doing epoxy. Yeah, I'm not confident enough in my abilities to get things to fit tight and flush to do without epoxy. It's going to have a pin AND epoxy. Even cut notches in the tang to get it to grab better. I probably need to make myself a broaching tool too

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...