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Couple of recent attempts with deer antler and birch bark handles.


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I hesitate to post my work here as I feel it is far below the level of quality typically displayed. But I am improving with practice. Here are my two latest. Both have birch bark and deer antler handles. The larger one is a “hunting” knife for deer, the smaller one is my take on a bird and trout knife and is my first attempt at forge welding.
 

 

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2 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

There is a lot to like there.

 

How do you compress the handle materials while the epoxy sets?  (I'm assuming these are epoxied)


I use a woodworking vice. I drilled a slot in one jaw for the tang. This allows me to get the right angle as needed for glue up.

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3 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

 

28 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

What is the thickness of the spine on the hunting knife?  It seems a little thick to me.  Other than that they are looking good.

 

Doug


The spine is just a bit over 1/8”.

35 minutes ago, DanM said:

I use a gluing jig like the one in this set of instructions.  http://matuskalisky.blogspot.com/2016/06/project-4-birch-bark-handle-for-puukko.html


Nice jig!

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that little bird and trout is talking nicely to me.

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3 hours ago, brian_newberry said:


I use a woodworking vice. I drilled a slot in one jaw for the tang. This allows me to get the right angle as needed for glue up.

9A3FEC74-E962-46F9-9114-3E413317FDE0.jpeg

 

 

Real nice. Like them both. I like the top one most! 

 

On questions of how to what is your secret to getting all the pieces in epoxy and in place before it becomes a mad dash at the end to get everything lined up before the epoxy sets! 

 

My biggest problem with these types of handles is this. In my hurry to get it all assembled I find out later when grinding down, I have a dry spot on the leather pieces.(Never tried birch before) 

The dry spot is usually somewhere in the tail end/pommel end of the knife! It will look like there is epoxy and I guess it just wasn't enough to bond well!! Any hints on how to avoid this. I have tried thinning the epoxy and then I worry about dry spots on the entire handle!!

 

Frustrated Embarrassed Emoticon.png

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You can set the birch bark without glue or epoxy. The bark emits enough resin when heated to bind to itself. But you should have a tight fit internally by fitting whatever slot-size you make In the spacer to the same size as the hidden tang. Heat source can be a hair dryer, heat gun or even an oven, (low temp like “warm” only). Use caution as you can burn or darken the bark. Newer, fresher bark works easier. You can feel more secure using epoxy at the hardware but even there I’ve done without.

 

Gary LT

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1 hour ago, Gary LT said:

You can set the birch bark without glue or epoxy. The bark emits enough resin when heated to bind to itself. But you should have a tight fit internally by fitting whatever slot-size you make In the spacer to the same size as the hidden tang. Heat source can be a hair dryer, heat gun or even an oven, (low temp like “warm” only). Use caution as you can burn or darken the bark. Newer, fresher bark works easier. You can feel more secure using epoxy at the hardware but even there I’ve done without.

 

Gary LT


I have tried this and the birch I have did not glue together as well as I wanted. Has anyone ever tried boiling such a birch stack?

 

As for how to do this, yes, use a long set epoxy, and I punch the holes and test stack them on the tang, take them off and stage them so they are ready to go back on. You could also do the stack in segments. 

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@brian_newberry, I totally understand and have have some bark which was “stubborn” as well. I wound up doing two stages of heat and compression. There’s always a solution and I have nothing against using epoxy or wood glue. I also use the long cure epoxy on a lot of other applications......problem is no matter how organized, prepared, clean I set up......I somehow manage to get that crap all over me!! Never Fails!!

:wacko:

Gary LT

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good looking handles. I really like the wood working clam mod.

 

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