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Holding it all together


Joshua States
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I often mention using alignment pins and a drywall screw to hold the handle piece together while finishing the handle off the blade.

I just did a search and realized I never posted the technique on this forum.

So here it is.

 

My alignment pins are laid out in relation to the tang, and I purposely offset them in relation to both center lines so that there is only one way to assemble the spacer to the handle once it is made. (pretend this spacer is not shaped yet)
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Now, the drywall (DW) screw will not fit through that slot. So, you have to grind off the teeth on opposite sides of the screw to make it thin enough to pass through the slot.

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Hopefully, your slot in the handle is not much wider than the slot in the spacer, but if it is (like this one) you will need some wood shim material.
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I use thin pieces of cedar shims from Home Depot.
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Slide them down the handle slot (fat end first) and break them off. They should be loose in the hole, but wide enough to overlap center.
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Now put your spacers or spacers & guard in place using the alignment pins.
Slip a couple of washers over the screw, (put a leather one against the guard face so not to scratch it up), slip the screw through the slot and in between the wood shims. Tap it down until it is tight against the face and give it a 1/4 turn. It will hold everything together tightly.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

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I like it.  Thanks for sharing.  Hopefully I'll remember where this is if I need this in the future.

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RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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Man what I'd give to come and spend a week in your shop just watchin' what and how you do what you do, Josh.  I like the way your mind works.  Wish mine worked that way.

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Chris

 

www.chrischristenberry.com

WHEW!!!  If I could only know now what I "thought" I knew back then....................

 

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3 hours ago, billyO said:

I like it.  Thanks for sharing.  Hopefully I'll remember where this is if I need this in the future.

 

I plan on putting it in the Pinned Fit and Finish section when it's done. B)

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The only thing I forgot to add is when the screw won’t fit through the slot you have to grind down the section of the threads that remain inside the spacer/guard all the way around. Otherwise, the threads bite into the hardware instead of the wood.

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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7 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Man what I'd give to come and spend a week in your shop just watchin' what and how you do what you do, Josh.  I like the way your mind works.  Wish mine worked that way.

Ok. Time for confession.

Most of what I know about this craft, I learned from my mentor, the late great Tim Hancock. I would spend hours in his shop talking about making blades, handles, hardware shapes, the whole gamut, and watching him work. Sometimes I would just call him up and ask about a project I had and what to do with it.
 

He didn’t spend any time on forums or FB, he barely even used email. He taught probably hundreds of students. Some of them are still making knives and swords. Many of those who studied under him are now ABS journeymen and master smiths. 
 

I will be forever grateful for his friendship, his generosity, and his integrity. I will forever live in his shadow. He was a giant among snails.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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I think it's a true blessing to have someone mentor you like that, Josh.  I've appreciated the personal help you've extended to me behind the scenes and on the open forum.   I mentor as many wood carvers and furniture builders as are interested.  It's very rewarding.  After all, the crafts must grow.

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Chris

 

www.chrischristenberry.com

WHEW!!!  If I could only know now what I "thought" I knew back then....................

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Now for those of you who would like to do a through tang construction with spacers between the guard and handle block, and maybe a butt cap with peened end or a threaded pommel nut.

The same principle of using the alignment pins applies. Now use a threaded rod straight through the whole assembly to keep it together while shaping.I will use pics from my dagger project in A Tale of 6 Blades. 

First, get all the pieces/parts fitted to the tang.

Dagger process (2)_opt (1).jpg

 

Create the front spacer package and shape it separately. This should always be sized according to either the ricasso (if there is one) or the guard shoulders if there is no ricasso.

 

spacer pkg 2.jpg

 

spacer pkg.jpg

 

Once you have the front spacer, decide if you want to create the back spacer or butt cap simultaneously or after you shape the main handle section.

For this knife, I worked the main handle to the front spacer.

Threaded rod.jpg

 

Then I added the back spacer and blended it into the main handle.

Seven Pieces.jpg

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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That is how I make my handles off of the knife. I make knives with a lot of spacers and fiddly bits in the handles. Keeping these pieces all together and shaping the whole thing off the knife is much easier and I am protecting the blade from accidental damage during the handle making process.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Good stuff. I've used similar techniques. 

 

I like the offset alignment pins. That beats my method of marking the sides with a fine tipped sharpy (which constantly rubs off).

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

 

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-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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good ideas. I never would have thought of the wood screw trick in a million years. 

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please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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For those of you who are wondering how to get the alignment pins all indexed to the handle material, that demo is on page 3 of this thread, near the top.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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