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Dan Hertzson

Seax tangs

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So if a traditional seax does not have a riccasso, how is the joint between blade and tang setup so you can make a good connection to the handle without showing the gap?  The blade will be tapered down to the edge in crossection (say a triangle with a flat spine and full flat grind).  If the tang is larger in thickness, for strength, and rectangular in crossection, per usual design, the top of it will show when you look down at the handle.  If the tang is smaller in thickness, and rectangular in section, it won't show, but the size change will make the knife weaker at that critical point.  If the tang is essentially flush with the blade, and tapered in crossection, you have to deal with broaching and/or filing a trapezoidal hole for it to fit into the handle.  Is there a trick here I'm missing? 

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13 minutes ago, Dan Hertzson said:

If the tang is essentially flush with the blade, and tapered in cross section, you have to deal with broaching and/or filing a trapezoidal hole for it to fit into the handle.

 

That's it, pretty much.  Think Japanese tanto tang crossed with a bit of stick tang (that is, look at a puukko tang, but wider) and you're there.  And burning in is the easiest, once you've drilled a pilot hole and done a little broaching.  The guys who made them made nothing flat and square, everything is a taper or curve.  

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Thanks Alan, back to the grinder for me then...  Glad I caught it before all the hand sanding was finished.

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The only trick to it was gaps were not something they particularly worried about. Gaps could be filled in with pine resin or wax or a mix thereof.  

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the tang is beveled just as the blade is, the slot in the guard is a negative of that shape. 

 

for a tang that does not have a step at the shoulders to hide any gap, the tang should taper slightly towards the back, that way you can make the slot for the guard big enough to fit the tip of the tang but small enough that it needs to be filed or pressed to fit up to the shoulders of the tang.

 

the trick is to never make a knife with a ricasso and get caught up in that nonsense. 

 

ALSO, japanese swords have the gaps in their guard/seppa hidden by the habaki, which also has a slight gap on the sides of the blade as it only touches the spine and edge of the tang. some japanese sword guards had a large gap so the guard would not fit at all if it were not for pieces of copper formed into the guard slot for the blade to rest on, the pieces of copper and the other gaps keep the fittings from rubbing on the tang when removed, they also make the fittings fairly quick to get roughed out.

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