Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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)
Attached Image

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.

Attached Image
Attached Image

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.
Attached Image

I use thin pieces of cedar shims from Home Depot.
Attached Image

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.
Attached Image

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.

Attached Image

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love seeing tips like this, that make me go "why the hell didnt I think of that?"

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know, right?  So it's official, now pinned in Fit and Finish.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...