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Thread: How to make a tang slot repost

  1. #1
    mkriggen's Avatar
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    How to make a tang slot repost

    Apparently I screwed up the photo links on the part on my how to thread that showed how I make the tang slot in a wa handle, so I'm reposting that part of the thread with pictures.

    Be well,
    Mikey
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

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    mkriggen's Avatar
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    As promised, this next set of post will be about fitting the handle to the Blade. This is the method that Iíve found works best for me. Iíve tried a lot of short cuts (spiral saw bit?...donít go there, just donít), but in the end Iíve gone back to the tried and true micro rasps and files. It takes a little longer then some methods, but results in a lot fewer mistakes. These are the tools I use (drill bit not shown).

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    Anyway, the first thing I do is mark out my desired slot with blue painters tape (whoever invented this stuff deserves a Nobel prize).

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    After Iíve marked out the slot I cover the rest of the handle in blue tape. This is just to physically protect the handle from any falls or slips with files.

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    I then drill two addition holes on opposite sides of the pilot hole (use a bit size that matches your slot width).

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    I normally use a round micro-rasp to join the holes, but in this case I used a round mini-file due to the M3 ferrule material.

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    After Iíve joined the holes together I finish shaping the slot with a flat and a square micro-rasp. I was pleasantly surprised that the micro-rasps worked very well on the M3 material.

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    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

  3. #3
    mkriggen's Avatar
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    Now comes the dangerous part. Time to remove the tape and fit the slot to the actual tang. Be very careful not to slip and mar the ferrule with the rasps. Hereís the finished work.

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    Notice that the finished slot is slightly biased to the left. This is intentional, and necessary, because the tang bulges out on the left side. This is fairly typical on hand forged J-knives and youíll see it more often than not.

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    My three critical criteria for proper fit are:

    The blade is axially aligned with the center of the bottom flat of the handle.

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    The blade is longitudinally aligned with the handle.

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    The spine and handle are lined up the way I want them.

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    This is sometimes to hardest thing to achieve. The tangs on hand forged J-knives are notoriously inconsistent in shape and taper. In this case I had to relieve the bottom of the slot a little bit to accommodate the slope on the bottom of the tang (the curve actually wasnít a problem).

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    Be well,
    Mikey
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

  4. #4

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Thanks Mikey! Very informative.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. - Lawrence

  5. #5
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    Thanks for taking the time to do this Mikey, excellente!
    "With great knives comes great responsibility."
    -SpiderMan

  6. #6

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    Very well done, cutting tang slots and fitting tangs drives me nuts.

  7. #7
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    The blade is axially aligned with the center of the bottom flat of the handle.
    I don't quite get what I am looking at in that photo. Can you please explain a little?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharptools View Post
    I don't quite get what I am looking at in that photo. Can you please explain a little?
    I believe he means that the perceived line created by the blade is seen to align uniformly with the centre of the handle down to the bottom flat spot

  9. #9
    Senior Member marc4pt0's Avatar
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    I bookmarked this page last year when I first saw it. Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
    One quick question, what do you use to drill the initial pilot whole? A drill press or do you kind of free hand it with a hand drill and the vice that's pictured?

  10. #10
    mkriggen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc4pt0 View Post
    I bookmarked this page last year when I first saw it. Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
    One quick question, what do you use to drill the initial pilot whole? A drill press or do you kind of free hand it with a hand drill and the vice that's pictured?
    Because I use the pilot hole as a reference when I shape the handle, I'm very anal about marking the exact center of the ferrule after I square up the blank. I then use a 1/8" brad point bit in a drill press. You also want to make sure you're using a good quality (i.e. straight) bit, as cheap (yes, this includes those ones that come in a yellow package at H.D.) ones tend to be out of true and will break pretty easily.

    Be well,
    Mikey
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

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