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t-dogg
05-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Greetings fellow knife fanatics!!!

Been checking this place out for a bit looking for info on doing a wa-handle/rehandle, and have seen some beautiful examples. So, I've sourced some wood thanks to Mark at the Burl Source and getting close to being ready. I am curious as to the best material to use for spacers as I've seen ivory, micarta, brass, mastadon teeth etc... I am looking to use some burl material for the main part of the handle and plan on using buffalo horn for the ferrule. I am assuming the horn is fairly easy to work with--going to buy a small roll online if this is the right thing to do. As to the spacers, I have not worked with any of those materials, and curious what would be the nicest and least problematic to work with...any other ideas for materials would be helpful as well...though I think either brass or ivory may be more of the look I am going for, but most definitely open to other suggestions.

Thanks in advance, I look forward to spending some quality time around here as this looks to be the most knowledgeable place I have seen regarding my most current form of addiction. :newhere:

Peace,
T-dogg

kalaeb
05-18-2012, 12:51 PM
Metal spacers have always been problematic for me. I prefer to use pieces of bone, or even contrasting wood. But that is just me.

t-dogg
05-18-2012, 01:20 PM
Metal spacers have always been problematic for me. I prefer to use pieces of bone, or even contrasting wood. But that is just me.

Thank you sir! Are they problematic to work with or once you have them in the knife? I am not so sure how I would go about shaping any form of metal, I assume that working with bone is similar to working with wood? My concern with bone would be how it would hold up over time...

Thanks again

kalaeb
05-18-2012, 01:31 PM
Thank you sir! Are they problematic to work with or once you have them in the knife? I am not so sure how I would go about shaping any form of metal, I assume that working with bone is similar to working with wood? My concern with bone would be how it would hold up over time...

Thanks again

I usually have issues with proper adhesion between the ferrule and the body while working on and shaping the handle. Once its on they are golden.

Most of the wa handle guys don't seem to have an issue, so it could just be me.

Taz575
05-18-2012, 02:00 PM
Ivory Micarta or a bone Micarta would work. The bone is a light tan color, very smooth looking. Micarta is fairly easy to work with. Some of the synthetic ivory works easily, too. PM me your mailing address and I'll send you some stuff to play with!

t-dogg
05-18-2012, 02:35 PM
Ivory Micarta or a bone Micarta would work. The bone is a light tan color, very smooth looking. Micarta is fairly easy to work with. Some of the synthetic ivory works easily, too. PM me your mailing address and I'll send you some stuff to play with!

Thank you Taz...pm sent. I think the color may be perfect contrast between the dark burl and very dark buffalo horn material.

I must say this is a very unique forum! I will take pics as I go and if I can make this work, I can at the least promise a wip! This place rocks!

Thanks again,
T-dogg

mhenry
05-18-2012, 02:52 PM
I would say keep it simple for your first attempts. Don't go with a spacer and stay away from horn also. make a two piece handle with stabilized wood for both the ferrule and handle . Horn is easy to work but not that easy to get an even finish/polish on and it will move on you if its not stabilized. You might also consider practicing on some cheap poplar blocks just for practice concentrating on symmetry and a good glue joint. Go thru the whole process with the poplar, cutting, squaring, drilling, glueing, shaping, and installing it on the knife. When you can make a really good 2 dollar poplar handle move on to the good wood. Post lots of pics, and keep us up to date on your progress.

t-dogg
05-18-2012, 03:14 PM
Thanks mhenry, good advice as to not messing up my nice wood by a stoopid rookie mistake. As to the process, I am assuming (always a problem) that I build the handle (glue wood to wood) first, then shape entire piece, then drill/reem, and finally attach. Is this close? Also, is there any preparation of the tang other than cleaning/applying glue?

mhenry
05-18-2012, 03:45 PM
The process: Cut the ferrule and back drill it (optional), cut the handle section to length and center drill it deep enough to accept the tang, square and flatten the ends of handle/ferrule to be gleud sand to ~220 grit clean with acetone, epoxy them togeather with pretty high clamping force, shape the handle, drill the pilot hole in the ferrule use files or a dremmel to shape the tang slot., glue the tang into the handle completely filling the tang hole with epoxy.
The tang should be cleaned of any old epoxy before you glue it up

t-dogg
05-18-2012, 04:42 PM
The process: Cut the ferrule and back drill it (optional), cut the handle section to length and center drill it deep enough to accept the tang, square and flatten the ends of handle/ferrule to be gleud sand to ~220 grit clean with acetone, epoxy them togeather with pretty high clamping force, shape the handle, drill the pilot hole in the ferrule use files or a dremmel to shape the tang slot., glue the tang into the handle completely filling the tang hole with epoxy.
The tang should be cleaned of any old epoxy before you glue it up

Should've know I was oversimplifying the process...seems practice is definitely the order of the day...thanks again...will post again once I get my s$%t together.

SpikeC
05-18-2012, 06:14 PM
The epoxy makers recommend not too much pressure when assembling. It is not the same as with wood type glues.

t-dogg
05-18-2012, 11:58 PM
Thanks Spike! I would've clamped the crap out of it just like using wood glue. As to using epoxy, I would imagine that you use it for the tang and wood glue to piece together the different pieces of wood. For ferrule material or inserts made of other materials (such as bone or horn) do you also use epoxy or wood?

Taz575
05-19-2012, 12:51 AM
There is an easier way, at least for me! Square off your rear handle and ferrule material. I drill around 1.5-2" deep into the rear handle piece with a 1/2" spade drill bit. The ferrule get drilled through it a 1/8" (or 3/16", depending on how large the tang is on the knife). I use that hole to center the 1/2" spade bit and drill around 2/3 or so of the way through the ferrule. Any spacers get drilled 1/2" hole through them to slide over the tubing. The tang of the knife gets ground down to fit tightly into the aluminum tubing (if it doesn't already fit) and I fit the ferrule to the tang with files and a Dremel with a carbide burr. If you don't want to grind the tang, you can file grooves in the tubing until it fits; the end won't need much filing, but the area near the blade will be fatter and will need more removal of the aluminum tubing. The tubing is more to strengthen the bond between the various handle pieces so they don't shear apart. Once the pieces of the handle fit together and the knife can fit into the handle, I remove the knife from the handle, and epoxy everything together, usually using JB Weld and a 6" one handed bar clamp. Make sure all of the pieces (tubing, holes, spacer ends, etc) get coated with the epoxy. Once it's cured up, I shape out the handle (I do ovals instead of the octagon style). Once the handle is done and finished, I get epoxy down into the handle hole, coat the tang with the epoxy and insert, then clean up the excess and let cure.

I find that it's easier to drill a larger hole for the tubing than it is to drill a few smaller holes and then file them into a slot and helps strengthen the handle.

TB_London
05-19-2012, 06:37 AM
Will has some pics of he way I do it here, sounds similar to Taz, but using dowel with a slot instead of tube to locate the tang

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/4902-Updates-from-Metal-land?p=109387&viewfull=1#post109387

Taz575
05-19-2012, 06:48 AM
I saw some of the guys using dowels, I figured it would be easier to grind the tang thinner to fit into the aluminum tubing. The slotted dowel is a good idea, too and may be a bit easier! It's easier than turning the tenon down on the handle and fitting the ferrule over it!

mhenry
05-19-2012, 09:13 AM
Spike, Ever since I increased the clampimg force I havent had not one come apart or had an ugly glue lines. I really cant say I am clamping the crap out of it. I just raised it considerably




The epoxy makers recommend not too much pressure when assembling. It is not the same as with wood type glues.

Marko Tsourkan
05-19-2012, 10:52 AM
This is the best method I have seen so far, courtesy of TB_London and WillC and should work very well for a handle with metal spacers. One needs to pay close attention to alignment - when clamped, there is likely to be some shifting.

http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/IMGP2585.jpg

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/4902-Updates-from-Metal-land/page9

M

Mike Davis
05-19-2012, 11:18 AM
Let's not forget Marko's way of doing stuff! His methods are quite awesome.
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/3743-Handle-Mortise-and-Tenon-Construction-Handle

t-dogg
05-19-2012, 11:30 AM
As to the shifting after clamping, is that almost inevitable? Seems as though the way you folks do it, as long as it doesn't shift too much, that it should still work out when you do the final shaping?

I cannot believe how helpful everyone is here. I thought a wa handle would be a simple, few step process and obviously I am so off base. With all the help, I do think I can find a compromise of some of the methods listed, though Taz's explanation helps clear up a few of the issues that I could see running into...the only thing I know for sure is that it won't go down on my best knives until I have done one or two...oh yeah and my best knives aren't even close to what you folks consider 'nice knives' though with a little more time around here, I can see replacing everything with custom made jobs. :bigeek:

Taz575
05-19-2012, 11:47 AM
Yeah, the aluminum tubing works pretty well! I got the idea from the slotted wooden dowels. I have a few belt sanders, so I just trimmed the tang down to fit into the tubing instead of slotting a dowel. I really like the looks of Marko's handles, but don't have that degree of skill to do that!

Marko Tsourkan
05-19-2012, 11:56 AM
As to the shifting after clamping, is that almost inevitable? Seems as though the way you folks do it, as long as it doesn't shift too much, that it should still work out when you do the final shaping?

I cannot believe how helpful everyone is here. I thought a wa handle would be a simple, few step process and obviously I am so off base. With all the help, I do think I can find a compromise of some of the methods listed, though Taz's explanation helps clear up a few of the issues that I could see running into...the only thing I know for sure is that it won't go down on my best knives until I have done one or two...oh yeah and my best knives aren't even close to what you folks consider 'nice knives' though with a little more time around here, I can see replacing everything with custom made jobs. :bigeek:

If your dowel is round, you can drill a hole in your block and your ferrule and use it as a backbone, so to speak. You will need to do some calculation on the how deep to drill into the block and ferrule.

Since everything is round, shifting can occur. To prevent any shifting during glue up, I would glue in the dowel first (use very little epoxy, you can even stick the knife tang in making sure there is full contact between woods), and square your tang slot to the block. The part of your dowel that protrudes out, will couple with your ferrule, with spacer sandwiched in between. So you need to calculate how deep to drill into the block, and the ferrule, so you have a neat fit. And remember, if everything is fitted well, you will need very little epoxy for internal gluing.

Also, don't leave too much thickness on the face end of your ferrule, where you will shape your tang slot, maybe 1/4" at most.

You can shape the tang slot on your face end of the ferrule before assembly (I would), or after the handle has been glued together. Eather way, you will need to drill a pilot hole with a small bit after your drilled the dowel hole. If you shape before glue up, you can drill several side by side if you XY Drill Vis), and then shape the tang slot with files.

When you glue up, insert a flat piece of metal to align the slot on the ferrule and on the dowel.

As WillC pointed out in his post, it is good to let epoxy set a little bit before clamping, so you don't have much shifting. I assume you will shape the handle after it has been glued up.

Using dowel will reinforce a structure of a handle, allowing for metal spacers. Even if metal heats up, it won't affect the handle, as the dowel is what holds parts of the handle together.

M

t-dogg
05-19-2012, 01:32 PM
If your dowel is round, you can drill a hole in your block and your ferrule and use it as a backbone, so to speak. You will need to do some calculation on the how deep to drill into the block and ferrule.

Since everything is round, shifting can occur. To prevent any shifting during glue up, I would glue in the dowel first (use very little epoxy, you can even stick the knife tang in making sure there is full contact between woods), and square your tang slot to the block. The part of your dowel that protrudes out, will couple with your ferrule, with spacer sandwiched in between. So you need to calculate how deep to drill into the block, and the ferrule, so you have a neat fit. And remember, if everything is fitted well, you will need very little epoxy for internal gluing.

Also, don't leave too much thickness on the face end of your ferrule, where you will shape your tang slot, maybe 1/4" at most.

You can shape the tang slot on your face end of the ferrule before assembly (I would), or after the handle has been glued together. Eather way, you will need to drill a pilot hole with a small bit after your drilled the dowel hole. If you shape before glue up, you can drill several side by side if you XY Drill Vis), and then shape the tang slot with files.

When you glue up, insert a flat piece of metal to align the slot on the ferrule and on the dowel.

As WillC pointed out in his post, it is good to let epoxy set a little bit before clamping, so you don't have much shifting. I assume you will shape the handle after it has been glued up.

Using dowel will reinforce a structure of a handle, allowing for metal spacers. Even if metal heats up, it won't affect the handle, as the dowel is what holds parts of the handle together.

M

I think using the dowel or the aluminum tubing as Taz has suggested makes perfect sense. Somewhat like building a house: build the structure on the inside first (not usually seen but the part doing most of the work) and then build the outside. With all the advice and suggestions I am going to be feeling the pressure to pull this off...at least by my 2nd or 3rd attempt:>)

Maybe an obvious question, but I am guessing the smart thing would be to disassemble the project knife first in order to determine the exact depth to drill?

Marko Tsourkan
05-19-2012, 01:59 PM
Yes, you need to remove the old handle. You also might want to thin the tang for a clean installation, as tang thickness on some Japanese (and Carter) will be different - thicker in the middle than where the handle comes to stop as result of grinding and polishing.

t-dogg
05-20-2012, 03:23 AM
Yes, you need to remove the old handle. You also might want to thin the tang for a clean installation, as tang thickness on some Japanese (and Carter) will be different - thicker in the middle than where the handle comes to stop as result of grinding and polishing.

Thanks.