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Thread: Metal spacers on WA handles

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr View Post
    Thanks Chris!
    I've ordered some epoxy from US but it might take another year or two to ship here (if I'm lucky). Btw my experience with epoxy is limited to the one I'm using right now. And on the tubes it says that epoxy would be most strong if put into oven for 5-7 hours under 60-70˚C (140-160 F). Is it the same for all epoxies?
    impact of temp and time on epoxies vary quite a bit. There are epoxies meant for fast and slow curing...epoxies meant for industrial high temp curing...and slow open air stuff. ...all depending on the chemical mix. In general, slower curing epoxies are stronger when it comes to air cured stuff. Here, for knife projects, seems the general view is the difference between most good epoxies for our uses is small. Think I recall a table showing time/temp impact to strength on System 3's website... might be worth a check if curious.

    Personally, I like G-Flex for knife projects. It's strong stuff....but also has a slight amount of flexibility in the final glue joint (nothing we can feel in use)...that helps with any expansion/contraction. But any West, System 3 or other good epoxy should more than get the job done.

  2. #12
    How about glue up everything onto the tang and then shape the handle while it's on the knife?

  3. #13
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Can you do that with a wa?
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by NO ChoP! View Post
    Can you do that with a wa?
    I've never done it....but.....I'd think it possible with using a disc sander vs belt grinder....at least that's what I hope is the case.


    FWIW - I do this for hidden tang westerns all the time using the belt grinder.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    I've never done it....but.....I'd think it possible with using a disc sander vs belt grinder....at least that's what I hope is the case.


    FWIW - I do this for hidden tang westerns all the time using the belt grinder.
    I've never done a wa that way either, but I'd guess you could too. I'd think it might be harder to control the shaping process, though....suppose it would depend on shape (D or Octo) and tools.
    Ultimately, no wrong methods for this if the end result works.

    Personally, I like the extra insurance of doing the handle separately. If I screw it up or am unhappy with something.... there's no worries about making a mess of the knife too. Also, I have a lot more leeway shaping -- more tools to use, as needed....easier to maneuver the blank around sanders.

    Metal spacers on Wa's is definitely tricky. I try to pre-cut my pieces close to the final shape before assembling (to minimizing grinding/sanding needed) and I always use a hidden dowel in the middle. With the dowel, the wood above and below the spacer are both attached to the dowel so even if the metal to wood glue joints have a problem, the pieces above and below are fixed in their positions and able to function almost like a clamp that holds the metal.

    I've used 5/8 dowels and 1/2 depending on the thickness of the final handle and size of the tang.

  6. #16
    Senior Member turbochef422's Avatar
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    because im so new at trying my hand at making handles i think i would be nervous that the middle of the handle where you insert the tang might not be centered anymore after sanding and shaping...

  7. #17
    The problem is not the glue/epoxy. Metal expands at a much greater rate than other natural or synthetic materials when it heats up. Thermal expansion of the metal spacer causes it to shear from whatever it is glued to.

    Hoss

  8. #18
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    I guess if I would try using metal for an end cap it would make sense to use a shirt pin instead of dowel, right?

  9. #19
    What is a shirt pin if I may ask? Also I think what DT was trying to emphasize is that you need to keep the metal cool when sanding or else it will break off of anything that it is glued to. I would just sand with fresh abrasives in short bursts and cool it down with water or something in between sanding runs.

    But as usual I know very little of what I am talking about.
    "Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something." -Jake the Dog

  10. #20
    I think it was a typo, I think he means a short pin.

    And yes, even a small amount of heat will cause the metal to expand and break loose from the material that it is glued to.

    Hoss

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