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Gary Mulkey

Fluting a Dagger Handle WIP

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Since I recently decided to flute the handle of  my most recent dagger and I thought that some might enjoy the process.  As I  am self  taught in this so my technique may vary from others but hopefully this will give you an idea  of how I go  about it.

A traditional dagger hilt is to carve twisted flutes into it along with some twisted silver wire inlayed to separate the flutes.  In this hilt, I  chose to give  it eight  flutes each having a 360 degree twist.  [The number of flutes  and the amount  of  twist is  a matter of  taste.  I have used as low as  four flutes each having a 180 degree twist up to eight flutes each with a full 360 degree twist as  with this one.]

My first move is  to cut equidistant slots in each end of the handle; the number matching  the amount of flutes to be  given to the handle.  These are just deep enough to  match the  diameter of the twisted wire inlay.  Then a  grid is drawn out  on the  handle with pencil.  First connect the slots on each end of the  handle with straight lines.  Next draw equally spaced lines around the handle perpendicular to the others.  The number will  determine the amount of twist to the flutes.  Since I wanted 360 degree flutes with this  one, I drew eight grid lines (matching the number of flutes).

I then drew diagonal lines going corner-to-corner on each square of  the grid with pencil and cut a kerf on each line with a fine toothed hacksaw blade.  [The kerf should be as  deep  as the diameter of  the inlayed wire.]  These can be cleaned up with checkering or  riffler files.

IMG_4560_opt%20forum_zpsv2uegwuf.jpg

IMG_4576_zpsivhcpnrx.jpg

Once you have the inlay kerfs cut, carve (or file) half round grooves between the kerfs with a tapered rattail file.  (It's important to use a tapered file as the grooves will need to  be different widths (unless your handle is perfectly cylindrical).

IMG_4586_opt%20forum_zpsw8defzma.jpg

IMG_4598_opt_zps8z6s56pu.jpg

The next step  is  to twist the silver  wire.  This is done easily with any hand held drill and a vice.  Once twisted, super  glue strands of the wire into each inlay slot while wrapping both ends around the end of the handle and into  the tang cavity of  the handle.

IMG_4605_opt_opt%20forum_zpsljgnoqv5.jpg

IMG_4608_opt_opt%20forum_zpsf9x1cpfk.jpg

IMG_4626_opt%20forum_zpseslyhb5k.jpg

I hope that this helps show how the fluting can be done.  I'm sure that there are other methods to  accomplish the same outcome but this  one  works for  me.

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1 hour ago, Gary Mulkey said:

Since I recently decided to flute the handle of  my most recent dagger and I thought that some might enjoy the process.  As I  am self  taught in this so my technique may vary from others but hopefully this will give you an idea  of how I go  about it.

A traditional dagger hilt is to carve twisted flutes into it along with some twisted silver wire inlayed to separate the flutes.  In this hilt, I  chose to give  it eight  flutes each having a 360 degree twist.  [The number of flutes  and the amount  of  twist is  a matter of  taste.  I have used as low as  four flutes each having a 180 degree twist up to eight flutes each with a full 360 degree twist as  with this one.]

My first move is  to cut equidistant slots in each end of the handle; the number matching  the amount of flutes to be  given to the handle.  These are just deep enough to  match the  diameter of the twisted wire inlay.  Then a  grid is drawn out  on the  handle with pencil.  First connect the slots on each end of the  handle with straight lines.  Next draw equally spaced lines around the handle perpendicular to the others.  The number will  determine the amount of twist to the flutes.  Since I wanted 360 degree flutes with this  one, I drew eight grid lines (matching the number of flutes).

I then drew diagonal lines going corner-to-corner on each square of  the grid with pencil and cut a kerf on each line with a fine toothed hacksaw blade.  [The kerf should be as  deep  as the diameter of  the inlayed wire.]  These can be cleaned up with checkering or  riffler files.

IMG_4560_opt%20forum_zpsv2uegwuf.jpg

IMG_4576_zpsivhcpnrx.jpg

Once you have the inlay kerfs cut, carve (or file) half round grooves between the kerfs with a tapered rattail file.  (It's important to use a tapered file as the grooves will need to  be different widths (unless your handle is perfectly cylindrical).

IMG_4586_opt%20forum_zpsw8defzma.jpg

IMG_4598_opt_zps8z6s56pu.jpg

The next step  is  to twist the silver  wire.  This is done easily with any hand held drill and a vice.  Once twisted, super  glue strands of the wire into each inlay slot while wrapping both ends around the end of the handle and into  the tang cavity of  the handle.

IMG_4605_opt_opt%20forum_zpsljgnoqv5.jpg

IMG_4608_opt_opt%20forum_zpsf9x1cpfk.jpg

IMG_4626_opt%20forum_zpseslyhb5k.jpg

I hope that this helps show how the fluting can be done.  I'm sure that there are other methods to  accomplish the same outcome but this  one  works for  me.

Yes, it did work for you! That dagger is awesome!!!!! I just learned how to do something I have been dreading on upcoming piece I have on the back burner! Sorry when I hit quote I didn't know I was getting everything!

Edited by C Craft
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Great how-to, thanks for sharing its an awesome piece. :D 

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That exemplafies the value of the forum as a depository of knowledge that we all can learn from. Excellent information shown in the simplest of ways that conveys the
"how to" very clearly. Thanks @Gary Mulkey

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Every day I come here and it's very rare that I don't learn something new! I've often wondered how to do that without making a complete mess of it so there's every chance that I'll shamelessly steal your excellent method at some point in the future.

Thanks, Gary, a really good read, your post, but then again, they all are!

 

 

bob

 

Edited by Bob Hewitt
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Nice Gary, and thank you.  

It never dawned on me that the width of the filed groove will change as the diameter of the handle does.  That explains some trouble I have had.

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that was great. concise, and gives hope. It makes the process make sense without losing it in the fine detail.

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