Wa handle tutorial?

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MrHiggins

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I'd like to try to make my first Wa handle.

I've got a great specialty wood shop in my town, so sourcing the right material shouldn't be a problem. I've got a drill press, clamps, small belt sander, and a good miter saw, so I've probably got the tools, too.

What I don't have is any idea on how to make them. Can anyone point me towards a good on line tutorial?

Thanks much!
 

JoBone

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This is the blog from Matus that I used when first starting out. After the first handle, I started hiding the dowel, everything else is just a variation.


 

MrHiggins

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This is the blog from Matus that I used when first starting out. After the first handle, I started hiding the dowel, everything else is just a variation.



Thanks! Curious: How do you hide the dowel?

I bought a nice piece of curly narra and squared it up this weekend. Ready for the next steps, I guess...
 

tostadas

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Thanks! Curious: How do you hide the dowel?

I bought a nice piece of curly narra and squared it up this weekend. Ready for the next steps, I guess...
You can hide it with the ferrule. Drill the dowel hole only part way thru the inside side of the ferrule. On the other side, use a smaller hole and file out a slot to match your tang.

Here's one I been working on recently. Since you have a drill press, it should be much easier for you.
PXL_20211218_001635007.jpg
PXL_20211224_004820290.jpg
 

JoBone

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Old photo from one of my first batches. The wood is excessively thick, but you can get the picture.
 

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Dhoff

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I get that a dowel makes things more manageble, but is it not possible to make a slot in the wood without?
 

ant_topps

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It is possible. a good broach is usually very helpful to carve the slot.
I will say that if the main part of your handle is made from Burls (stabilised or not) or another more "fragile" material, the dowel offers added internal strength/support. I've had a few knives where the client has dropped it etc (they don't say how exactly they did it) but the burl fractured at the end of the knife tang.

So in my eyes at least, I've come to look at the dowel method as a very viable and sound construction method that will hold up to day to day use. Especially when the client wants a burl handle. If I'm using hardwoods, I'll use a broach and slot it.
 
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M1k3

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you can glue 2 pcs of wood together with Fastcap 2p-10
Then you don't need a dowel
If you don't think this is strong enough, try it
glue 2 pcs of wood together with the 2p-10 and then try to break it apart.

it has a shear strength rating of almost 4000 psi
Is this what you use? If so, my handle is holding up quite well (especially under some of the abuse it's seen)
 

Kippington

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@Kippington
How do you make your handles? I do not recall any trace of dowel
I use a dowel, pretty much the same as @tostadas posted in his pictures above.

The big difference between my handles and most other western makers, is that I do a burn-in.
I make the handle friction-fit and removable - a wax installation.

I like to call it "The door-stop method". The hidden tang gets wedged into the dowel with force, enough that it wont come out easily.
f1df29d2f201f511ddb6a5eba5c54802--door-stops-to-make-oak-doors.jpg

It's kinda difficult to do well. There are some pretty cool advantages, but there are disadvantages too.
 
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