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Thread: Practice Wa Handle

  1. #1
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Practice Wa Handle

    I have never tried to make a wa handle before so this thread is to document the process as I fumble my way through my first attempt. The way I am constructing the handle is based on a post I saw by someone else. I don't remember where. It just stuck in my mind as it looked like a good way to make a strong handle.

    If any of the handle makers have any tips or constructive criticism, please do not hesitate to post your input.

    The final handle will be for the blade Mike Davis made for me.

    1st I took a block of mediocre Ebony and marked approximate lines for size. I was thinking a slightly tapered handle going from 1 inch to 1&1/8 inch at the butt. I might change my mind and keep it straight though. I left it oversized for now to give something to clamp to. Plus room to correct mistakes if I get things off center.



    Next I drilled a hole to hold a 5/8" dowel. My plan was to have a notched dowel to hold the tang and go down through the ferule and body of the handle. I was just a hair off center. Even though I was using a new drill bit, this ebony is hard stuff. I got lost in a cloud of smoke while drilling.



    I picked a contrasting piece and drilled through it for the ferule.



    Next I slid them both onto the dowel to check the fit.



    Looked good so I glued and clamped the pieces. Then removed the dowel while it dries overnight.



    Tomorrow I will trim to size and start shaping.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  2. #2
    I'm looking forward to the "next installment."
    Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC

  3. #3
    I have not tried a Wa handle yet? So Im gona be watching this one close. So far it looks good. I like the combination of materials you picked for this first handle..

    Inspired by God, Forged by Fire, Tempered by Water, Grounded by Earth, Guided by the spirit.. Randy Haas

    Availible Knives

  4. #4
    Great stuff Mark! I can't wait for this!!! That is absolutely not how i do my handles, but i am going to give this a try on the next one....This seems like a great way to do this...

  5. #5
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    In theory it seems like a good way to do it.
    But............there might be a good reason why it is not.
    Won't know until I try.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  6. #6
    Looking good Mark, I do pretty much the same thing, split the dowel, sand away some on the cut side to fit the tang, but I glued/epoxy the whole thing together at once, spacers and all. I cut a slot in a wood clamp, so I coule apply the pressure, and remove the knife blade while its all still clamped.


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
    Email pierre@rodrigueknives.com

  7. #7
    Thanks Mark for your efforts!
    Really lookin' forward to this thread...

    May I request a good explanation of tools, materials, and steps used through completion (i.e. if you were teaching to a novice or just someone who is very sloooow ).

    Thanks in advance!

    I do appreciate it.

  8. #8
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I have tried breaking handles that I had epoxied together - easy if there is any wood to metal connection, almost impossible if it is wood to wood (stabilized or not). Consequently, I use the dowel method whenever I have these wood to non-wood connections and just epoxy if it is only wood. A few other small differences: aI don't drill completely through the ferrule, so you don't see the dowel in the finished handle. The downside is that I have to make sure I drill the ferrule slot so that I hit the slot in the handle... I also played with the split dowel and that works great if you have a new knife or make your own tangs. If you make it for replacement handles, those tangs are often twisted or warped, that's why I just leave the inside of the handle drilled out a bit wider without dowel, easier to accmodate a non-perfect tang. Finally, for many handles I have stopped clamping them. I had a few occasions where the clamping has pressed out too much epoxy and I fould it to be weaker than I wanted. Of course, i briefly press them togeher to avoid glue lines as good as I can, but I am not as obsessed with clamping anymore as I was. Also had handles that shifted on me in the clamp (mischievous little bastards shift over night after I leave the shop ).

    Can't think of anything else, looks like a good start to me, Mark!

    Stefan

  9. #9
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by add View Post
    Thanks Mark for your efforts!
    Really lookin' forward to this thread...

    May I request a good explanation of tools, materials, and steps used through completion (i.e. if you were teaching to a novice or just someone who is very sloooow ).

    Thanks in advance!

    I do appreciate it.
    The tools cost about $12,000, better to buy handles from experienced makers Just kidding, of course...

    Stefan

  10. #10
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    Looking good, I use a similar method but don't drill all the way through the ferrule so that the dowel remains hidden in the handle. As Stefan says you then need to line up the slot in the top of the ferrule with the one in the dowel.
    Once you've finished this one I can envisage every knife you have getting a new handle

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