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AndrewB

What is the best way to cut a recess into a scale?

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So Ive been trying to work out the best ways of cutting a recess into a scale.  I was thinking a table router.  Then I remembered wait I just need to cut a Dado joint.  But I would only need to go the length of the actual tang of the supposed blade.  How ever since seeing I do not as of yet have a table saw and or a Dado cutting set, I'll more than likely have to do it by hand.  No at the moment I do not have a cross cut saw nor a Router Plane.  How ever I do have wood chiseles and rasps.  Hmm what is going to be the best way to do this?

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I'm not sure I've ever heard of anybody cutting a recess into the scales with router or dado. It seems like it would be hard because you can't go to the edge of you scale or you would have  a huge gap at the glue line... Why are you recessing the scale? If your trying to increase the the space and grip for epoxy what I do is I get the scales shaped to the handle and then I get pretty aggressive with a dremel tool so I can  leave a glue gap and a really rough surface for the epoxy to grip to. I do this both on the tang (with a cut off wheel) and on the scale (just a standard carbide wood carving bit), but you have to be careful not to go all the way to the edge or you mess up the visible glue line. 

If you don't have a dremel tool just carefully (don't go all the way through!) drill a bunch of partial thickness holes with the drill press?

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I tried a dremel but it didn't do the job I needed it to do effectively I completely ruined a block with a hand chisel lol.  But I'm trying to keep this from happening again.  I don't want that big gap.  Yea on a full tang having a bit on the end is okay.  But I am one for seem less wood almost like it is one solid piece.  I am trying to avoid having this happen again.  This was my very first handle so yea it looks like garbage but this is the example of what I don't want to have happen lol.

IMG_20190205_074852461.jpg

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Oh, I think I get your question now. You're recessing the tang for the appearance of a hidden tang construction? I thought you were doing it for full tang construction. I've actually never done a hidden tang in that method, I just drill into a solid block of wood or antler, rather than make a wood sandwich. I do do my wooden sheaths that way though and for me its just a lot of time with a chisel making half the blade fit on either side and then gluing them together with no gaps.

Edited by Adam Weller

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Precisely lmao trying to start my forge when its 18 degrees outside lmfao.  I must be dumb but meh I gotta take advantage of the dry weather while we have it.

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What you describe is a form of hidden tang called a "mortise tang". I do this typically with my frame handle designs as the tang is either a little fatter than the frame or, I need a little room for the glue. I typically use the Dremel tool, but first I butt the scale up against the guard in the position I want it and scribe a pencil line around the tang. Do both sides of the knife and both scales. Then cut the pencil line with an Exacto knife or wood carving skew chisel about 1/16th inch deep. Then cut at an angle to the line on the inside and remove a sliver of wood around the perimeter. Then take a small chisel and start shaving the rest away. Check the fit. Repeat as necessary.

Edited by Joshua States

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

What you describe is a form of hidden tang called a "mortise tang". I do this typically with my frame handle designs as the tang is either a little fatter than the frame or, I need a little room for the glue. I typically use the Dremel tool, but first I butt the scale up against the guard in the position I want it and scribe a pencil line around the tang. Do both sides of the knife and both scales. Then cut the pencil line with an Exacto knife or wood carving skew chisel about 1/16th inch deep. Then cut at an angle to the line on the inside and remove a sliver of wood around the perimeter. Then take a small chisel and start shaving the rest away. Check the fit. Repeat as necessary.

This. 

You might look for a video of someone carving the space for a blade in a saya (wood scabbard).  There are a few of them on youtube.  While a saya is for the blade and not the tang, it is a very similar process to waht Joshua describes so the video will translate well to your handle material.  It also goes quickly, and something I find rather relaxing after the noise and general violence of grinding.

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I may have to look into that.

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