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