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Handle help


Aaron Gouge
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Hey all,

     So I have finished my first Damascus blade ever!! It’s a 18 layer twist pattern of 1084 and 15N20.  Here’s my dilemma. While forging I hot cut the last inch of the billet off. To save to make something in the future as a token of my first Damascus. Well then my handle came up short!! I know thier are various methods of adding to a tang. Here is how I plan to finish it. It will have a wrought iron pommel. I would like to peen the tang over the pommel. With this in mind am I looking at welding the tang extension? Or can I braise it on?   So should I extend the tang with wrought iron? Or pound out the last remaining bit of Damascus to make the extension out of? Any particular way of cutting the two tang pieces before welding that would be better? 
  Thanks 

       Aaron 

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I'd use wrought and braze it on.  A simple lap joint is fine, but a keyed joint is stronger.  That's a relative thing, since plain old Bernz-o-matic brazing rod is rated at 60KPSI, the same as 6013 welding electrodes.  It's not gonna break, in other words. Just grind a taper on the wide side of the tang and a matching on on the wrought and braze away.  You can even rivet the joint if you want to be sure it doesn't move during the brazing process.  Use an ordinary nail as the rivet.

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Thanks Alan. I have some chores around home I need to get to before I start messing in the forge. I’m also about 11 days in to Covid right now so we’ll see how long my strength holds up. It’s really knocked me for a loop. 

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A little late to this one, but another option is to braze a piece of brass  or bronze rod on there. Then when you peen it against the wrought iron cap, you will have this little gold colored florette in the center of that wrought. You could even use a center punch or a nail set and dimple the brass/bronze and make it textured.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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On 8/15/2022 at 9:28 PM, Joshua States said:

A little late to this one, but another option is to braze a piece of brass  or bronze rod on there. Then when you peen it against the wrought iron cap, you will have this little gold colored florette in the center of that wrought. You could even use a center punch or a nail set and dimple the brass/bronze and make it textured.

      As always so much to learn and so many good ideas! Never having used brass or bronze in this application my concern is holding strength. Obviously this is not a large knife that’s going to be used heavy. But is the bronze or brass braized to the steel going to be strong enough for this application. I would assume it is otherwise you all would not be suggesting it :-) just need a little bit of reassurance! The tang is 1/8 thick and 5/16 tall. 

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16 hours ago, Aaron Gouge said:

The tang is 1/8 thick and 5/16 tall. 

I typically bronze braze my tang extensions or threaded rods for take-down handles. It's never under much stress to start with and bronze brazing is vey strong. If you brazed an 1/8" rod on there that would make a peened rivet about twice the diameter on the pomell cap.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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On 8/15/2022 at 9:28 PM, Joshua States said:

 

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So this is what I got at Lowe’s for brazing rod. I also have some Sil Fos 15. Will one be better than the other for brazing bronze to the tang? 

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That's a nice horn in the background on the table. Where did you get that?

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

That's a nice horn in the background on the table. Where did you get that?

     It’s a powder horn I’m working on for my nephew. I bought it at Friendship IN at the June muzzleloader convention. It still has a ways to go but it’s closer! 

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If that is a full antler piece, not scales, you can drill and roach a hole that will accept the tang and build the knife with a partial tang.  You could epoxy it into place plus you could put a small pin through the handle if you feel that you need the extra security.  I have two antique khurkuris that have partial tangs and they've help up for over 100 years.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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So I like the idea of bronze! I

just don’t have any! In my looking around for some thier seems to be quite a bit of different kinds of bronze! Aluminum bronze, silicone bronze, bearing bronze etc. What kind is best for knife fittings?  I think Janetz sells the silicone bronze. Is this what I want? Or my local metal supermarket has bearing bronze. 
    Aaron 

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Silicon bronze is great for knife fittings.  Bearing bronze has lead in it, which is a turnoff for some people.  Phosphor Bronze is actually forgeable.  All these are just assorted alloys of mostly copper with a little other stuff.  Used to be that brass was copper with a little zinc and bronze was copper with a little tin.  Now you go by the alloy number, and pay no attention to the actual name. Jeweler's bronze is actually plain copper/zinc brass, naval forging brass is actually copper/tin bronze, and so on.  Brazing rod is technically a bronze, but may be brass as well.  If you want a really strong joint use a pre-1981 U.S. penny.  Or a brass-looking key.  Those are real copper/tin/antimony bronzes.  

 

Confused yet? :lol:  I can't keep them all straight myself, so I just buy "brass rod" from Jantz or K&E metals or whatever is in the modeling supplies at the hobby shop, which is usually 260 brass.  I will use 360 brass as well (also called cartridge brass, free-machining brass, or engravers' brass, and contains 3% lead). 385 brass is "architectural bronze" with less lead.  The only one I'm picky about is nickel silver (which is white brass, mostly copper with a little nickel). For that I make sure my rod, sheet, and bar stock is all 18% nickel.  It comes in 12% as well, and the colors don't match. With the yellow brasses, colors match pretty well.

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Yes I am confused!! LOL! Maybe I will just think about using brass because I have that in stock. I don’t have a desire to invest 40 to 60 bucks in a 12” bar of bronze at this time. I will give it some more thought. 
    

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So I decided the bronze really would look the best in this application. So I have a bar coming from Alpha Knife supplies. Really don’t need that big of a bar but I guess I’ll have it for the future. My local metal supermarkets didn’t have anything in stock. Would creating a joint like this make sense? 

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A plain lap about 1/4" long is all you need.  Pin it with a 4d finishing nail or other tiny steel rivet, braze it, done.  And that's just if you don't have a clamp.  All you really need is a way to hold the pieces in contact during the brazing process.  With a steel pin or two you can fearlessly braze in the forge, providing both parts are steel.  With the bronze rod you want to use, a torch is safer.  The brazing rod is going to flow about 150 degrees before the bronze rod melts off.  Be aware of that and heat only the joint.  

 

This stuff is not a surface bond like soft solder.  It gets into the grain and becomes part of the alloy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good morning again!

     So I cut some practice steel and bronze bar. I figured since I’ve not used this rod before it would make sense to practice first. So far I have been unsuccessful in brazing the two metals together. I am using steel of comparable width and thickness to the knife tang. I just don’t seem to be able to get it hot enough! I have tried twice now. The first time my practice pieces were a little bit thicker than the tang so I ground them down the second time. I am using a BrenzOmatic TS 8000 torch with Map gas. HELP!

   Aaron 

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I've not used one of those map torches like that, but I would be surprised if one of those could get that joint hot enough to braze.  I suspect your suspicion is correct :)

 

Can you get your hands on an oxy-acetylene torch for a bit?

-Brian

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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I've not used one of those map torches like that, but I would be surprised if one of those could get that joint hot enough to braze.  I suspect your suspicion is correct :)

 

Can you get your hands on an oxy-acetylene torch for a bit?

      Off the top of my head I don’t know anyone who has a Oxy-acetylene torch I can borrow. We’ve only been in the area about two years and are still making connections. One of the farmers  near us might have one.. my dad knows them better than I do. Maybe I’ll have him check in with a couple of them. 

       Aaron 

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Are you trying to heat them laying flat on that other piece of metal?

 

If so, you might try keeping the joint from touching anything else while you heat it.

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2 hours ago, Don Abbott said:

Are you trying to heat them laying flat on that other piece of metal?

 

If so, you might try keeping the joint from touching anything else while you heat it.

 

This.  When I do this I use a "clamp" I made by cutting a deep and wide notch, as in a 1" x 1" notch, out of the edge of a 1x4.  I clamp the blade on one side and the tang on the other with the area to be joined hanging in the open air in the notch.  If you can put a chunk of soft or "insulating" firebrick behind it (but not touching!) that can help as well.  With the clamp I have successfully brazed stuff up to 1/8" x 1/4" with just propane.  If you're trying to do it on that steel bar it will not work unless you use oxy-acetylene, and then you'll end up brazing the bar onto the tang/blade joint.  Not ideal. ;)

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