rookie version re-handle walkthrough
When I started to try some western re-handles I looked everywhere for a tutorial and did not find much luck. Of course it seemed simply enough, but it is harder than it looks. I thought I might post a thread on how I do it, however amature it may be, so if anyone else wants to take a stab at it they have a little help.
My only disclaimer is that I am not a professional, I don't do it for money, just for something to keep my mind off work. The handles I have done, including this one are completely amature and don't hold a candle to Dave, Stefan, Pierre (making some wicked hybrid handles), Adam, Brian or really anyone else. But, it is fun none the less.
First, start with the knife:
Find awesome scales that are going to fit, or buy a block and cut it yourself.
Protect the blade and your fingers with an edge protector or tape and remove the old scales. I use a drill press to drill out the existing rivets, then gently pry off the old scales, they are usually not on very well. In some situations my press slips off the rivet and I end up fighting the stock scale removal for a while.
Once the old scales are off I sand the surface of the tang to remove any residual epoxy or burrs.
Now I work on the new scales, first I get the rough shape by using a disc sander.
Then I make sure the scale is flat but putting it in a belt sander.
More to come...
Now it is time to stick the new scales to the tang. I line up the scale where I want it to go, epoxy it and clamp using the poor man clamp, (essentially anything I can find, usually c-clamps).
I usually wait 24 hours before I remove the clamps, this is probably overkill...After I remove the clamps I drill the appropriate sized hole in the opposite side of the wood. In this situation I was adding a 1/4 inch mosiac pin and I drilled a 5/16 hole for the corby rivets.
Once the holes are drilled I line up the opposite scale and attach it to the tang. One more time with the ghetto clamps.
After curing, copy the holes you drilled in the first scale to drill the second.
If you are using corby rivets you will also need to drill a seat in the holes that will accept the rivets, in this situation I needed to seat a 1/4 inch rivet in the 5/16th holes.
I usually use a little epoxy for the rivets and the pin, just in case.
Now its on to the fun stuff, shaping. I cheat and do all my rough shaping on a belt sander at a 220 grit. For the areas I can't reach with my belt sander I use a hand files.
Then starts the hand sanding, I use a 320 grit, 600 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit and 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. This photo is after the 320 grit.
After I get to 2000 grit I put on two layers of Tru-Oil gunstock finish and buff with 0000 steel wool after each layer, then I apply a few coats of gunstock wax to finish it off.
Sorry about the remarkably poor picture quality, thanks for looking.
Really like these DIY handle segments and nice burl wood .
What a nice job. Thanks for showing us your "system"!
Thanks for the write-up. Going to have to do a few of these myself pretty soon. Wood looks good too. Where did you get it from?
Johnny, I got the wood from Arizona Ironwood and I am very happy with the purchase. It was the first stabilized piece I purchased that did not feel like plastic.
Originally Posted by JohnnyChance
I will definately be using them again.
Nice write up, thanks for doing this.
Yeah, YOU needed a step by step guide for this! :P
Originally Posted by Dave Martell