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I am in the process of forging my first knife with handle scales. I ordered some Kirinite blanks that I intend to use. What brand and strength epoxy is recommended?

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This is a topic that brings about much debate. I remember one thread especially titled "Glue Wars" that went on for a long time. Personally, I use Acra Glas from Brownell's. I don't think that you can beat it.

 

Gary

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Acraglas is great, West Systems is great, somebody had one that was designed for golf club heads that was good, I like T-88 because until recently it was locally available, and Loctite E120HP (professional, available from industrial supply houses only). The Glue Wars thread is on the Knife Network forums, at this handy link: http://www.ckdforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27463

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I've used acraglas before but, for the pass 4 years I've used West Systems GFlex. Mixes one to one and has a about 40 minute work time in South Florida.

 

Being a marine grade product with an extremely high shear release rating it work best for me.

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One thing that stands out in the Glue Wars thread is that tang surface prep is as important as the epoxy choice, all other things being equal. A sandblasted surface gave the best grip, but some kind of rough surface and a few holes for grip really increases the performance of any epoxy.

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G2 epoxy is my choice for a lot of materials. Slow to cure but damned strong.

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I have just discovered that it is hard to find any clear epoxy in local stores that has more than a five minute working time. I have a Nordic style knife I need to glue up that has 10 pieces for the handle and I know I haven't a chance in hell of getting it glued up and clamped in five minutes. I wonder, perhaps the local marine/boating supply stores carry the GFlex. What has happened to all the epoxies with longer working time?

Edited by Guy Thomas
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I've been using the G-flex and the old standby devcon 2 ton, I tried the bladebond and was very impressed, my only complaint is it is very thick mix and is tough to use on hidden tangs, but will probably switch to it when i am out of Gflex the blade bond folks sent me a sample of a hidden tang epoxy they were experimenting with that i really liked but i don't think is available yet.

MP

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I have been using g-flex for about a year and am quite pleased with it. As far as the thickness, it flows much better when it is 95 degrees plus, in the summer I store it in the shop, in the winter I keep it in the house. Anyway, my unscientific tests show it to be very strong once it has fully cured with excellent impact resistance.

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agreed I on the Gfex at 80+ deg, the blade bond stuff I have been heating in the microwave for 5-10 sec and then pouring ,(on the advice of the manufacture) it works really well but shortens the pot life considerably. so i use the Gflex when i need a longer pot life. the hidden tang formula they sent me poured more like a thick oil and set up strong!!!! comparable to Gfex in fact , the only down side with that one was a 2-1 mix ratio.. that reminds me i need to get in touch with them and get more of that stuff..

MP

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I have no testing experience with epoxies, but I have worked in the wooden boat trade, building, repairing and sailing them. West systems is the choice of wooden boat builders. I have never seen or heard of it deteriorating and I have known builders that have used it for many years.

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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Another thing to watch with the hardware store epoxies, especially the house brands, is that they will exceed their shelf lives and then no longer cure. I've had this happen twice on me with two different lots and I have become very choosy about which epoxy I use. I use the West system.

 

Doug

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Well I have the handles pinned with a dow rod to rough shape them and decided on ordering West Marine GFlex. Hoping for the best.

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