rookie version re-handle walkthrough

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kalaeb

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Are you clamping the knife down in the drill press in any way?

Great procedure by the way. This isn't how an amateur does it, by the way.
For oily woods I clamp the knife down with a quick clamp, for light woods I usually just use my hands, I have never had one bind up, but I face the spine of the knife in the direction of the drill rotation just in case.
 

apicius9

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Some day I will do one of those also...

Stefan
 

Taz575

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Its when the drill bit sticks in whatever you are drilling and the piece starts spinning around like crazy!
 

Eamon Burke

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I did it a few weeks ago with the lid from a 10# can. Got my hand, too.
 

Andy777

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Great post kaleb. This is basically how i do my handles as well with a drill press spindle attachment thrown in for the inside curves. Oh and i'll also add i gave up on epoxy ages ago. I swear by gorilla glue now.
 

Taz575

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Do you guys find that the Gorilla expands too much?? That's the only thing keeping me from using it on handle scales and stuff, but when I use the aluminum tubing inside the handle, I will want some expansion. Any thoughts??

Helicopter of death is a great term for that! Gotta think of a term for when the belt sander whips something out of your hand and ricochets it around the shop :)
 

Eamon Burke

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For me it does. Also, I made my first handle scales with gorilla glue, and they have since popped off.
 

Andy777

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I use the clear fast(er) drying Gorilla glue and I don't find it expands too much at all. Sure it expands out the sides, but that gets sanded anyway. I will say, you have to clamp the hell out of that sucker though. I've used probably 5 or 6 different epoxies and they have all failed at one time or another, sometimes while still grinding, and a few others a year or two down the line. I know no adhesive is 100% foolproof. I started using Gorilla glue exclusively about 4 or 5 years ago and haven't had a single failure. Maybe I'm just lucky. Eamon, how long were your Gorilla glue scales on before they failed?

Heat is the biggest enemy of epoxies, and when doing a wa-handle with metal spacers the classic amateur move is to over heat a spacer and have it fail while grinding (never done that before :wink:). Just for fun on one of my handles I did the endcap with gorilla glue and let that sucker get nice and red hot when grinding, the glue never failed and three years later it's still rock hard in place. Anyone else have a bad Gorilla glue experience? Maybe enough time hasn't passed for me. After battling with epoxies so long, everytime I use Gorilla glue now I think to myself, it can't be this easy?!?!

Oh and I should add, you can't use gorilla glue for things that aren't clamped - ie mosaiac pins etc etc. The clamping is how the glue reacts and cures. I only use it for scales, end caps, and piecing together a wa-handle etc.
 

kalaeb

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I used gorilla glue for a long time and had no issues with it. All my personal handles (and even a decking plank on my boat) have had it for years with no issues and sever abuse. I just used the standard gorilla glue. Andy is right, you have to be very diligent in clamping, but once its on, its on!

However...about six months ago I moved to G-flex epoxy from West systems and I will never look back.

I just screwed up a scale that was only held on with gflex and I could not pry it, twist or knock it off. I ended up having to sand it off.
 

Andy777

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I'll have to look into that stuff, althought I may not really do enough handles to be worth the switch. I've tried several "fancy" epoxies over the years, the last being the K&G stuff, I wasn't super impressed.
 

kalaeb

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I'll have to look into that stuff, althought I may not really do enough handles to be worth the switch. I've tried several "fancy" epoxies over the years, the last being the K&G stuff, I wasn't super impressed.
Next time you do a handle let me know and I will give you some. I have a quart that will last me a long time.
 

Andy777

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A quart! Ha, I'll say that should last you. :biggrin: I'm actually working on a handle right now. By the way, when are we going to get together and have a show and tell?
 

Dave Martell

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Matt (kalaeb) turned me onto the G-flex and I'm loving it. This is the first epoxy I've tried in at least 4 years that impressed me beyond T-88 and it impressed across the board in all ways. I haven't yet tried Acra-glass though so I can't discount that one (and it's highly respected by knifemakers) but everything else on the market I've tried so this G-flex is really something. One thing is that it won't hold for the metal spacer heat issue, I tested it and it let go on copper but it's hold strength on non heated parts is incredible.

*Note - when sanding wa handles with spacers you need to mount the handle first or use dowel rods inside to hold them together when sanding although metal butt caps can be problematic regardless.


West Systems also makes a thicker G-flex version that's supposed to be even tougher and guaranteed waterproof. I'm going to score some of this soon to try in some different applications where running is a problem.

Yeah this G-flex stuff is tough for the short term for sure, now we just need to see how it holds up over the years. I feel good about it though.
 

kalaeb

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A quart! Ha, I'll say that should last you. :biggrin: I'm actually working on a handle right now. By the way, when are we going to get together and have a show and tell?
Once my custom projects come through we will have get together. I have sold most things and the rest is being loaned out.

@ Dave, +1 on heat aspect I have had one fall apart for the same reason. I started adding more hardener and it seems to work a little better, but Gorrilla glue of all things has been fairly heat tolerant for me.
 

Justin0505

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Great little step-by-step! Thanks for sharing.

I havent done any handle work yet, buy ive been using gorilla glue for various projects for years. The only times I saw it fail wherr when the surfaces werent properly prepped (sanded and glued) or clamped tight enough. One of my favorite applications is for putting crappy ikea furniture together: every joint and every peg and fastener gets a little g-glue. It prevents the ikea wobble from setting in later. I broke appart a piece for the dumpster once and the wood and chipboard failed before the glue.
 

Dr. T

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Pierre- find someone with a copy lathe. They can take the brush handles you have and copy it exactly.

I use G-Flex and it is 85-95 F all year long where I live. This usually accelerates the failure of glues. I have not had any problems with G-flex.

After flattening and cleaning both the wood and metal, I use a dremel or sandpaper to rough up the gluing sides. This gives the glue something to attach to, all the crevasses.

I use a cutting disc on the dremel to make a slot on the rivets holding the old handle onto the knife and then unscrew them to remove the handle.
 

Taz575

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I clamp the heck out of the stuff anyway! I normally use JB Quik Weld and have shaped metal liners and spacers w/o a problem, even when they got hot and sizzled when I dunked it in water. I will have to try the G Flex one of these days!
 

Dr. T

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how do you get the rivets smoothed out without damaging wood? (by the way, looks great- bet you could sell 100 of those rehandled Tojiros... everyone needs one!)
I use the Bosch Zirconium sandpaper which seems to take them both down at the same rate. It not, I use a little file about the size of a pencil but flat, that a friend gave me. I think it is meant for woodworking, but does the job on the rivets.
 

Taz575

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I found that those rubber sanding blocks they sell 3" wide by 4" long, uses a 3x6" sheet, work well for sanding pins/rivets flush to the handles. I cut them down into smaller sizes, remove the little tacks used to hold the sandpaper in place and use those. Harder than the cork block I used and kept the pins nice and flush to the handle material!
 
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