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Ok I've got a weird one... primitive knife hafting with a 2 part handle


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So, I'm a youtuber trying to make a replica knife from the video game that I feature on my channel.  The game is Stranded Deep, and i'm trying to make the refined knife from the game.  It appears as if, however useless this design would actually be, it's made as a huge knife blade with a tang the entire length of the handle and sandwiched by two pieces of ficus wood.  Never mind that in the game we use lashings to bind it, it looks like leather.

 

Now, I've never made a knife in my life, let alone a primitve one made from natural materials and not in a way you would generally do so.  I do tend to pick things up and understand concepts and processes really well, and I've done similar projects in terms of learning a whole new skill and making a decent product, so I'm not too concerned about it being too difficult for me.  Also, keep in mind that this is only meant to be good enough for display purposes, it does not have to hold up to general wear and tear.

 

So I have the knife blade that I ordered, picking one that seemed to resemble the shape of the blade rather than the color.   I have some seasoned teak wood handle halves that I actually grew myself.  I got some Thunderbird Atlatl pine glue hafting resin, and ordered some doeskin lace that seemed an appropriate size for the wrapping.

 

My blade isn't long enough to be used in the way the in game knife has it, so my plan is to bind the two halves of the handles together, completely filling that space the in game tang would take up, and maybe use some small dowels to space them properly and evenly.  I'm wondering if this is a good idea or not, or if there's some obvious flaw with my plan that will make it fall apart in a sticky gluey mess?  Any advice at all would be helpful, I literally know nothing about this and am flying by the seat of my pants.

 

My second point of worry is when to attach the blade.  I don't know if I should try to bind the handles together and get the blade in there at the same time, or if I should try to bind the handle to resemble a more traditional handle (as in one solid piece instead of this 2 handle part business) and then get the knife blade in there after the handle is glued.

 

I also have no clue at what point to seal the wood, or what I should use.  Do I do this now, before any resin is involved?  Or would it be better to do this after the handle and/or knife are assembled.  My single semester of highschool woodshop make me lean toward polyurethane, but I don't know if that will affect the resin in some way.

 

Thank you for any help you can provide!  Total knife making noob here so go easy on me!

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Hello!  Welcome! :)

I looked up the knife in question, looks like a pretty standard full tang construction, just with lashing instead of the pins we use nowadays.

Can you post some pictures of your current work and materials you have so we can get a visual on what you're looking to do?  Sounds like you have it all, may just need the jumping point!
Here's hoping that the knife turns out better than just for a prop!  Would be pretty sweet to whip out while camping for carving or small chores. :) 

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Maybe it is more standard than I thought, it just seems to be difficult to find a stone knife with a full tang. As far as my knowledge goes stone daggers/knives are generally set into a groove of a full handle instead of knapping out a full tang. But regardless of that, my charge is to make it as exactly to the form in the picture as possible. All I've really done is grind out some grooves at either end of the handle halves so the tang can fit into it and leave the proper gap in the handle. I can get some pictures up when I get back to my work area. Oh and thank you for the kind welcome!

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There are known examples of hafted stone blades, some ancient some modern.  In general they are embedded in some sort of glue (your pine resin should work well) and then reinforced with wet rawhide.  When the rawhide dries, it will shrink and hold things pretty well.  I would either relieve the area where the tang will sit, or, place a thin strip of wood between the handle pieces to create a space for the tang.  If you have the tools (drills and chisels) you could hollow out the end of a single piece of wood.  I would do most of my fitup and finishing on the handle first and then bed the blade as the nearly final step.

The doe skin laces aren't what you want, you really want raw hide or sinew.  Real sinew is harder to get, but raw hide is pretty easy.  I buy the biggest dog chew toy  and soak it until it gets soft.  You can then cut it into strips and use that to wrap the haft.

This is just a pic I pulled off the internet, not my work.

 

Flint..jpg 

 

Geoff

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Posted (edited)

I've relieved the space for the tang mostly, having a little trouble getting a snug fit on the angular stone but I guess it doesnt really need to be that snug if I'm hafting with resin as opposed to just with sinew/rawhide.

 

I only picked the lace out because it fit the look of the binding on the game knife. I assume I could find some dark rawhide somewhere even if its not from a dog toy lol. Thank you! I feel a little silly for not thinking of rawhide.

Edited by Corey Ames
adding a thank you
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I could... yet thats another thing id have to learn how to do, however simple. So if I can, I'll probably just take the easy way out and buy it dyed. I realize that's not what a forum of crafstmen would probably like to hear as my solution though.

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There is a trick to it, as with many other things in this game.  Standard leather dye doesn't work well on rawhide, you need something water-soluble that goes in the water you soak the hide in to soften it up for use.  RIT dye is pretty good.  Hair dye works really well.

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