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Full Tang Damascus

Doug Crawford

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I recently tried my first full tang Damascus knife, cable with g10 scales. Got the blade and scales finished to 400 on the grinder, then hand sanded and etched the blade and polished the scales, then assembled it all. When gluing everything, managing the squeeze out of epoxy made a mess, got epoxy all over the scales- wasn’t a huge issue with the g10 but I could see this being a problem with wood. Any tips or suggestions for making this less of an issue? Any other ideas for making a clean assembly in any part of making a full tang Damascus knife are welcome. Thanks!

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First, tape off everything you can, blade and bolsters and what have you.  Then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the scales (not where the epoxy is going to go, but you knew that).  You can also put some on the edges of the tang.  Once you squeeze and clamp things up,  clean off as much as you can with rags and q-tips.  If you can time it right, come back when the epoxy is about half set and scrape off the excess with a stick.

Glue up is always messy, but full tangs are worse, IMHO.



"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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  • 4 weeks later...

There is a solution.

Switch to West System epoxy. Before hardening West System epoxy cleans off with denatured alcohol. The alcohol will not effect any finishes on the steel or handle materials.

You can completely finish all your parts and assemble. Any squeeze-out can be 100% cleanly wiped off with a paper towel and denatured alcohol.

However, West System isn't cheap. But the supply lasts a lllllllloooooooooooooooong time.

Edited by Karl B. Andersen
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