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Thread: Metal spacers on WA handles

  1. #21
    Ah.
    "Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something." -Jake the Dog

  2. #22
    Senior Member

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    Yep, it was just a typo, thanks Davin!

    Right now I have a glued up prototype handle blank with metal spacer. With a dowel inside it looks pretty strong now… at least I'm unable to split it with bare hands. The big mistake I've made with this prototype — made it too big, so that I need to sand few millimeters from each side. Oh well… at least I'll have a lot of practice sanding metal and trying not overheat it.

    Thanks for you replies guys.

  3. #23
    Devin's definitely right ... expansion is the biggest problem when sanding combined wood and metal. This said, heat also softens epoxy very quickly. When I'm working handles with metal spacers, I've developed a couple of tricks that seem to make it go smoothly. Some have already been noted:
    - make sure to roughen the surface of the metal. 60 grit is good.
    - work cold ... use a sharp belt. Sand the metal down to meet the wood with a rough belt (60 grit). If you start feeling any heat, put it down and go to another project for a few minutes to let it cool down.
    - don't dunk the handle in water to cool it down. This will make your expansion/contraction problem bigger.
    - this is the big one: after gluing the handle together let it cure for 24 hours. After that, I put the handles in a cabinet with a 100 watt light bulb in it and leave it there for 12 hours. Then I proceed to grind. Epoxy will soften very quickly when it is heated ... the FIRST time. By doing this additional heated cure, the epoxy will not soften as easily afterward. The difference is HUGE.

    -daniel

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    How about glue up everything onto the tang and then shape the handle while it's on the knife?
    I tried this a few times after I was frustrated when handles loosened up while working on them. Then one time I accidentally dinged the blade while working on the handle.... abandoned this approach after that. In some ways, it is so much easier, since the entire handle is so much more stable, but the danger of damaging when doing some of the finish work is too high for me ... I suppose we do it all the time on Western handles and don't have any trouble, but for some reason Wa handles seem to be harder to deal with this way (for me).

    -daniel

  5. #25
    Senior Member crunchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr View Post
    …one thing I truly appreciate on KKF is how people are open in sharing their experience. For some of you those knowledge could costs hours or days of hard work, and now I'm getting them for free. Fantastic
    I agree! This is the best knife community, period

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