View Full Version : Do western handless need rivets?

03-10-2012, 12:34 PM
I can't really see what something like corby rivets add to the stability of a handle. Say you have 5/16 rivets. You just drill 5/16 holes and stick the rivet in. if the wood wanted to break the epoxy bond, wouldn't it just slide up the rivets? I'm lazy and just want a quick rehandle that will seal the tang of my knife (i.e. only care about function). Should I use rivets?

03-10-2012, 12:43 PM
Not necessary at all if your useing epoxy. The pins add a mechanical fix, Mosaics and straight pins for the most part are not peened, and hav no head as it were. Use a high qualitx adhesive, clean you surfaces well, and clamp up.

03-10-2012, 12:46 PM
I believe that Corby as well as Loveless style fasteners are used with counterbored holes; that is, the shoulder of the bolt provides a 'clamping' force as it draws the scales tighter. A straight pin will provide more surface area for the epoxy to grip but does not provide as strong of a mechanical bond. :2cents:

03-10-2012, 06:38 PM
They do add strength and stability to your handle.

Courtesy of www.northcoastknives.com



HHH Knives
03-10-2012, 07:05 PM
great graphic. I agree the use of a fastener or rivet adds significant stability and longevity to a handle. Yet is not necessarily needed to make a strong handle. With proper surface prep and good adhesives as already said, A straight pin will provide more surface area for the epoxy to grip but does not provide as strong of a "mechanical" bond. :D

03-10-2012, 09:08 PM
For knives that will see heavy use i'd go for bolts, but for kitchen knives, decent epoxy would be enough IMO. If you have epoxy and pins, the pins help to resist shear stresses so will make it more than strong enough for something that isn't going to get beat on. Would be interesting to do a destruction test of epoxied on scales, i'm guessing that if the prep was good it'd take a bit of persuading with a hammer to get them off.........

03-10-2012, 09:24 PM
...or an Okinawan summer. One pair of scales looked like Bill's de-laminated blade!

Marko Tsourkan
03-10-2012, 09:31 PM
If (or when) I were to make a Western handle, I would use corby bolts on a full tang knife, bolts on a split handle (scales) hidden tang knife, and epoxy on a solid handle hidden tang knife.


03-10-2012, 10:31 PM
Honestly all of the methods are probably a LOT stronger then you would imagine.

Got any pics of the knife you are wishing to rehandle? ANd any ideas of what you are rehandling with?

03-10-2012, 10:42 PM
Didn't realize there was a countersunk hole. That makes a lot more sense. Guess I'll have to use them, then.

Do people use any special bits to drill countersunk holes?

HHH Knives
03-10-2012, 10:52 PM
They make a drill bit with a counter bore for each size Corby and are usually sold by the suppliers who carry the Corby bolts.. :)

03-10-2012, 11:26 PM
If its your first attempt I would say you should try it with out pins.If the wood is good and stabilized there should not be a problem.

03-11-2012, 12:35 AM
Yea, this is my first time making a western handle. The wood is African Blackwood, which Mark told me doesn't need stabilizing. What do you guys think? Would that be stable enough to go without pins?

The reason I want to do it is that the handle has some small gaps between the wood and the tang. I don't really want to deal with the stock wood warping and the tang rusting, so I thought I could just replace the handle. I figured it wouldn't be too hard, since the knife doesn't have a bolster or anything like that. Just the handle.

03-11-2012, 01:50 AM
Kitchen knives handles are never going to see the kind of abuse that some field knives can see, especially in the hands of idiots that are determines to "test" them to destruction. With that said, I like having some kind of "mechanical" connnection even if it is something as simple as a hole or two or some "sawtooth" slots cut into the end of a tang on an epoxied up hidden tang blade. i want to try very small diameter all-thread rod for hidden pins on a western style knife at some point,

03-11-2012, 05:30 AM
Make sure to use a really good epoxy!

Burl Source
03-11-2012, 03:06 PM
One of the benefits of pins is that it gives protection against against sheer force. (not sure if I said that right)
When struck from the side the epoxy bond can be broken.

If you use pins, a good quality epoxy and apply a good finish to all the wood's exposed surfaces there should not be any problems.
Most wood's movement is caused by uneven evaporation of moisture.
The surface that dries faster will contract causing the wood to warp or cup.