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Thread: Ferrule to handle attachment

  1. #1
    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    Ferrule to handle attachment

    Does anyone do this on the lathe, spec., hollow the back of the ferrule to mate with a tenon on the handle? Most of the tutorials I see use a butt joint, sometimes with pins.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I think the butt/pin joint is used mostly by people who do not have a lathe, and is a very workable alternative. If I had a lathe I would use the tenon method always, should make for a stronger handle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    I think I'll try a "prototype" before I commit to the stabilized sycamore and horn...............

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    I use a wooden dowel through the center instead of pins or a tenon. I split the dowel most of the way prior to installing it, which gives me a slot for the tang.

    However, as mhenry said...I think the tenon is stronger overall. A tenon and dowel would be indestructible!
    I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..

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    I run a hardwood dowel through the center of my handles too. That approach lets me have more control over the weight of the finished handle (maple or birch dowels are usually quite a bit lighter weight than exotic woods like rosewood/ebony etc) and it gives me a good strong glue joint.

    A mortise and tenon cut on a lathe might be a little bit stronger if you have the tools to do it but I doubt that strength difference would matter.

    Overkill info: from articles I've read, a mortise and tenon can be up to about 30% stronger than a dowel joint but that's usually when dealing with cross grain joints which are inherently weaker eg. the pieces are perpendicular to each other at the joint - as would be more common in furniture making. In our handles, where grain is aligned and you have endgrain sucking in glue at the joint, the difference is going to be less. Odds are though you'd never get anywhere near the force needed to break the glue joint once it's cured with either approach.

    I'd use whichever approach you are most comfortable with. The key is use a good epoxy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member hobbitling's Avatar
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    if you use a dowel, how do you insert the blade? Cris mentioned that he splits the dowel. Do you remove material from the inner faces of the split dowel, so that the tang fits between the two halves or does the kerf of the saw blade create a wide enough gap?

    Or do you just glue up the handle and drill a tang hole (or tang slot, using files to connect several smaller holes?)?

    Also, do you glue the blade in when you do the initial glue up for the handle blank? I often see pictures of handles which are made as separate units ready for a blade, presumably with a slot ready to accept a tang. Is that a different building technique?

  7. #7
    I split it for the majority of the length, then clean it up a bit on the inside...leaving roughly 1-1.5mm in between. At the end closest to the ferrule I'll widen that slot to ensure that the blade starts correctly. I burn my tangs in though, so the split/gap is basically just to make sure that the blade goes in straight.

    I don't glue my blades in on glue up. I used to only use beeswax to set my blades at all...but now I use epoxy so I know I have a good seal on the tang/ferrule junction.
    I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..

  8. #8
    Senior Member richinva's Avatar
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    So what do I see when I look at the (in this scenario) horn ferrule/tang juncture? Just horn? Or are you letting the dowel come all the way through the ferrule?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by richinva View Post
    So what do I see when I look at the (in this scenario) horn ferrule/tang juncture? Just horn? Or are you letting the dowel come all the way through the ferrule?
    I hide my dowel by stopping it about 1/4" from the end of the ferrule...so all you see is a tang slot. But some people let it come all the way out flush. Some use matching wood (if they can), and others don't seem to care. A lot of the guys that do the mortice/tenon thing do the same thing. They bring it all the way through the ferrule.

    Basically I predrill a hole centered in the ferrule, roughly the thickness of my tang or slightly larger. Then I flip the ferrule over, and drill a 1/2" hole till there's about 1/4" to the place where the machi will meet the ferrule. When I assemble it there is no evidence of the dowel at all.
    I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrisAnderson27 View Post
    I hide my dowel by stopping it about 1/4" from the end of the ferrule...so all you see is a tang slot.

    . ....

    When I assemble it there is no evidence of the dowel at all.
    I do something very similar. I run my dowel to inside but not all the way through the ferrule. I then work from a predrilled center hole in the ferrule to create an opening for the tang.

    In my case, on larger handles I also use a 5/8 dowel. With a larger dowel, I can get a better burn in result than if I were trying to burn in to harder/denser exotic woods which may not respond as well to heat.

    When it comes to installation, I always prefer to do a burn in and try and avoid gluing the knife and handle together. Not always possible but what I aim for.

    Somewhere around the forum here Maxim from JNS posted a two part video showing his burn-in method. It's probably linked on his website as well.

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