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I’ve decided to make a multi piece handle for a large paring knife I’m working on.   How are these handles constructed? 


I was just going to use a lot of epoxy and clamp it all together, but I’ve also seen some people drill a pin hole from the bolster all the way through the layers of the handle to secure it all together. 


Is there a right or wrong way to make these handles?

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Hi Connor

You need to specify whether the handle is for full or hidden tang knife.


On a hidden/stick tang knife like a chef's knife the pin is not a necessity, a good glue job with notches or holes in the tang where the glue can create a mechanical lock should be sufficient.

When I have used a pin in this situation my bolster is glued in place, then I fit up the rear part part of the handle to the bolster, then place the tang on the side of the handle and mark or drill the hole for the pin.

As you can imagine this is not always very accurate, if I get it very wrong this is where I cheat and put a thin spacer (normally micarta) between the pieces to take up any play.


Multi-piece full tang handles are very fiddly in my experience, your biggest hurdle is the joints need to line up perfectly on both sides.

There are many ways to approach this and some great techniques have been shown here specifically for getting the bolsters the same.

I can tell you limit it to two pieces for a first attempt.

Only way I've been able to do it is get the bolsters shaped and ready (including the pin hole), glue those to some liner material, then glue in the rear part of the handle.

Use the bolster pin to locate and the tang as a template to one at a time drill the pin hole(s) for the rear part, then glue up the whole lot.


I recently made a 3-piece handle that took 2 attempts at the bolsters and 2 weeks to think up a plan of attack.

More pins = more complication, but a 3-piece handle with a single pin in each section is a nightmare than moves like it has a life of it's own.    

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17 hours ago, Conner Michaux said:

I’ve decided to make a multi piece handle

What are the "parts"? What is it supposed to look like?

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Sorry for the late response. And thanks for the info 


The piece of the wood I am using for this handle cracked and broke off so I want to make a bolster of some sort out of this micarta and copper to give it the extra length that it lost. 


My plan was to make the bolster  and get it fit up to the blade shoulders and then glue the bolster to the handle 



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