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Thread: newbie rehandle question

  1. #1

    newbie rehandle question

    Greetings fellow knife fanatics!!!

    Been checking this place out for a bit looking for info on doing a wa-handle/rehandle, and have seen some beautiful examples. So, I've sourced some wood thanks to Mark at the Burl Source and getting close to being ready. I am curious as to the best material to use for spacers as I've seen ivory, micarta, brass, mastadon teeth etc... I am looking to use some burl material for the main part of the handle and plan on using buffalo horn for the ferrule. I am assuming the horn is fairly easy to work with--going to buy a small roll online if this is the right thing to do. As to the spacers, I have not worked with any of those materials, and curious what would be the nicest and least problematic to work with...any other ideas for materials would be helpful as well...though I think either brass or ivory may be more of the look I am going for, but most definitely open to other suggestions.

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to spending some quality time around here as this looks to be the most knowledgeable place I have seen regarding my most current form of addiction.

    Peace,
    T-dogg

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Metal spacers have always been problematic for me. I prefer to use pieces of bone, or even contrasting wood. But that is just me.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    Metal spacers have always been problematic for me. I prefer to use pieces of bone, or even contrasting wood. But that is just me.
    Thank you sir! Are they problematic to work with or once you have them in the knife? I am not so sure how I would go about shaping any form of metal, I assume that working with bone is similar to working with wood? My concern with bone would be how it would hold up over time...

    Thanks again

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-dogg View Post
    Thank you sir! Are they problematic to work with or once you have them in the knife? I am not so sure how I would go about shaping any form of metal, I assume that working with bone is similar to working with wood? My concern with bone would be how it would hold up over time...

    Thanks again
    I usually have issues with proper adhesion between the ferrule and the body while working on and shaping the handle. Once its on they are golden.

    Most of the wa handle guys don't seem to have an issue, so it could just be me.

  5. #5
    Ivory Micarta or a bone Micarta would work. The bone is a light tan color, very smooth looking. Micarta is fairly easy to work with. Some of the synthetic ivory works easily, too. PM me your mailing address and I'll send you some stuff to play with!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Taz575 View Post
    Ivory Micarta or a bone Micarta would work. The bone is a light tan color, very smooth looking. Micarta is fairly easy to work with. Some of the synthetic ivory works easily, too. PM me your mailing address and I'll send you some stuff to play with!
    Thank you Taz...pm sent. I think the color may be perfect contrast between the dark burl and very dark buffalo horn material.

    I must say this is a very unique forum! I will take pics as I go and if I can make this work, I can at the least promise a wip! This place rocks!

    Thanks again,
    T-dogg

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    I would say keep it simple for your first attempts. Don't go with a spacer and stay away from horn also. make a two piece handle with stabilized wood for both the ferrule and handle . Horn is easy to work but not that easy to get an even finish/polish on and it will move on you if its not stabilized. You might also consider practicing on some cheap poplar blocks just for practice concentrating on symmetry and a good glue joint. Go thru the whole process with the poplar, cutting, squaring, drilling, glueing, shaping, and installing it on the knife. When you can make a really good 2 dollar poplar handle move on to the good wood. Post lots of pics, and keep us up to date on your progress.

  8. #8
    Thanks mhenry, good advice as to not messing up my nice wood by a stoopid rookie mistake. As to the process, I am assuming (always a problem) that I build the handle (glue wood to wood) first, then shape entire piece, then drill/reem, and finally attach. Is this close? Also, is there any preparation of the tang other than cleaning/applying glue?

  9. #9

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    The process: Cut the ferrule and back drill it (optional), cut the handle section to length and center drill it deep enough to accept the tang, square and flatten the ends of handle/ferrule to be gleud sand to ~220 grit clean with acetone, epoxy them togeather with pretty high clamping force, shape the handle, drill the pilot hole in the ferrule use files or a dremmel to shape the tang slot., glue the tang into the handle completely filling the tang hole with epoxy.
    The tang should be cleaned of any old epoxy before you glue it up

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mhenry View Post
    The process: Cut the ferrule and back drill it (optional), cut the handle section to length and center drill it deep enough to accept the tang, square and flatten the ends of handle/ferrule to be gleud sand to ~220 grit clean with acetone, epoxy them togeather with pretty high clamping force, shape the handle, drill the pilot hole in the ferrule use files or a dremmel to shape the tang slot., glue the tang into the handle completely filling the tang hole with epoxy.
    The tang should be cleaned of any old epoxy before you glue it up
    Should've know I was oversimplifying the process...seems practice is definitely the order of the day...thanks again...will post again once I get my s$%t together.

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