View Full Version : Gap control on Western Rehandles

02-14-2012, 01:32 PM
I have issues with getting a perfect joint along the tang. Then again the knives I've tried to rehandle so far are quite old and the tang isn't perfectly flat. Should I just put the tang to my Bester 500 and try to flatten it out? Should I just keep trying to sand the high spots? I don't know if I'm patient enough to sand it down to flush. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

And on a related note, if I have a small gap after I epoxy everything together, what do you guys recommend (if anything) for a nice clear filler material? I read a little bit about maybe using CA glue (is that just super glue?), but maybe you guys have a better solution.

Michael Rader
02-14-2012, 01:52 PM
Hi Jason. Both. I'd definitely sand the tang as flat as possible with 36 grit (don't remove any logos or signatures if on the tang, however.) I like J-Flex epoxy by West Systems. Get some epoxy dye from Brownells that matches the wood closest to the tang and make your epoxy that color. Black is safest, so if you use a black liner under the actual handle material you should be good to go. The J-Flex is very thick and won't run all over like the cheaper epoxies. Sticks to woods and plastics, even oily woods and especially good to metal.

Good luck. -M

02-14-2012, 01:57 PM
Yup, I always sand the tang too. Getting everything perfectly flat and square is the hardest part. The real pain comes when the bolsters are not square.

Michael, is the J flex fairly heat resistant? I like to use copper and gets real hot real quick I am having a hrd time finding the perfect epoxy for copper spacers.

HHH Knives
02-14-2012, 05:44 PM
Did a little research in G flex. by west systems. This stuff looks like my new epoxy! These guys ran a few tests and the results are hard to argue with! Thanks Mike for the heads up on this stuff!


02-14-2012, 07:06 PM
I just ordered 8 0z. curious to see how this works. No time like the present to see how its going to work. Expensive, hope its worth it.

Dave Martell
02-14-2012, 08:42 PM
I've been wanting to try this one myself. Please report back!

Dave Martell
02-14-2012, 08:44 PM
For the OP the best thing that can be said has already been said so I can't add anything really. Making sure the scales & tang are flat and the bolsters square is the ticket here. Using liners and same colored epoxy can help with the real wonky ones that can't be fixed.

02-14-2012, 09:11 PM
Yeah I bought some standard black liners for my second handle. Now I guess I have to find some black epoxy too. Thanks for the input, guys. It's pretty much what I expected but it's nice to hear Dave and Michael weigh in, since both of you produce such beautiful results.

02-14-2012, 09:21 PM
You can get black dye for epoxy at Brownell's or at Woodcraft. A little goes a long way with that stuff. Also interested to see how this pans out. I had used another West System epoxy and liked it except for it beeing too thin. Looks like I need to eventually pick up G-flex and try it out. I a currently using Acraglass (not the gel stuff). Jason, if you look at http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1033/Product/ACRAGLAS-reg- the acra glass comes as a little kit with black and brown dye, great kit for trying it out and enough epoxy for a few handles (although the dye may not be enough). Wondering how G-flex and acra glass compare, any thoughts out there?


02-15-2012, 03:15 AM
If you buy the straight West 105 resin, you have to buy filler if you want to make it thicker, etc. If I want to know how well marine epoxy works, all I have to do is ask the guys in South Florida who build custom cold molded wood fishing boats. One guy told me that they cut a plug out of the hull of a 30 year old Rybovich to put in a new through hull fitting and the wood in the plug looked like it had been laid up last month.

Michael Rader
02-15-2012, 12:20 PM
Oh, yeah. G-Flex, not J-flex... I don't know my J's from my G's - no wonder my wife was complaining... :-(

I am not sure about the heat-resistance of G-Flex. I do know that Acraglas was engineered to be a bedding compound in rifle-stocks and rifle barrels do get hot and it is made to withstand that.

02-15-2012, 01:09 PM
I had looked around a bit and acra glass was the most heat resistant one of the readily available ones I found at the time, but I forgot the exact numbers. I think acra glass was closer to 300F while the others were not higher than 250F.