Handle Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by Slade, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. Slade

    Slade Member

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    Picked up what seemed like a cool knife in hopes of customizing it with a handle of my own making. I know it won't be a full tang, but there's enough for a cool partial hidden tang and I think it will stay strong enough if I pick the right handles and handle the process right. Looks like there are already holes in the tang that I could use for pinning, but I won't really know what's up until I receive it and remove the "handle."

    I'd love to have something flashy to go with the very rustic blade, but it will be my first time fashioning a handle and I don't have the perfect equipment for it. Hoping to be able to handle it on my small belt system I use for sharpening and then finish it by hand. Cost effective, strong and hopefully ergonomic will be winning out to flashy.

    Advice on how to go about making the handle fill the hand properly and maintaining the most robust design with the smallish existing tang? Best kind of handle material? I'll need to figure out what kind of pins and epoxy would be best also.

    Jeff White camp knife with R Jones sheath. Build like a tank. 12 3/4" long, 8" cutting edge, .25" thick, carbon steel (52100 or 1095)

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  2. olderguy

    olderguy Member

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  3. Slade

    Slade Member

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    I know we have some knife makers here who would likely have input on this. I appreciate the link. Not really worried about sourcing materials, but was hoping for a little guidance to keep me from learning the hard way. :)
     
  4. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    Is the tang large enough to fill the hand?
    If it is, your job will be easy. Drill out the existing pins, trace the tang onto scales, drill the pin holes, cut scales to basic
    shape, tape blade to protect from excess epoxy, epoxy, and shape with files/rasps/sandpaper/etc.
    Will you need scales larger than the tang?
    If this is so, then the task will be a little more difficult. Split your scale material (if it is a block), lay the tang on the
    inside of scale material, trace, mill out half the thickness of the blade from each side. You could use anything from a
    mill to sharp chisels to do this. Most likely chisels. Lack of precision will be filled by epoxy, and you need such areas
    for epoxy.
    Is the tang hardened? Can you file/grind it to make it smaller?
    If this is so, you could make the tang smaller, thereby enabling you to drill out the handle material as one would do
    with any other hidden tang.

    Good luck with the project.
     
  5. Slade

    Slade Member

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    Thanks for the post!

    I don't have the knife in hand yet, but in pictures it appears the handle is too small to fill the hand properly. Kind of thinking I will need to mill half the thickness of the tang into both handles like you said. I'm not the biggest fan of G10, but if I am not covering a full tang I feel like I will need to use a substantial material. Don't want to use CF because I think it would suck to work with. Not a huge fan of G10 for grip, but I know its very strong. a burlap micarta would be great for grip and shouldn't be too evil to work with, but I don't know what kind of strength it would have compared to something like G10.

    Whole knife is supposed to be ~59 HRC 1095. I can still make it smaller if I need to, but given the intended purpose of this camp style knife and the way I would use it, I don't really want to do a traditional small hidden tang. That does get me thinking though. A nice big block of material drilled for the tang and then pinned/bolted and shaped is not a bad thing to consider.

    Any advice on epoxy for something like this? Don't know if knife handling generally uses a specific type of epoxy.
     
  6. Paycheck

    Paycheck Member

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  7. Slade

    Slade Member

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    Yeah, I saw something like that on ebay after I purchased it. I keep finding different designs and specs from various sources. One of the sources calls it a variety of names and then goes on to list it as 1095 and 59 HRC so I really have no idea. Should be able to tell somewhat once I get it. If it is indeed soft 1045 I will not likely bother with a handle.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeff-White-...204358?hash=item41aca27d86:g:fXIAAOSwrklU~Vq9
     
  8. Paycheck

    Paycheck Member

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    I'd e-mail Self Reliance Outfitters and ask them to ask Jeff if he's ever made that knife out of 1095 with 59 Rockwell hardness.
     
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  9. Slade

    Slade Member

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    Not a bad idea. I will see if I can get into contact with him. Didn't know enough about his work to know better than the listed information.
     
  10. Paycheck

    Paycheck Member

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    I like his stuff. If you dig rustic look, I think you'll like his blades. They're very affordable, too.
     
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  11. LMF Joe

    LMF Joe Member

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    Hey @Slade , sorry I'm late to he party . I've done a fair # of handles in the way you're talking about doing his one. A few times I've cut just the top and bottom of the center section of the tang out to make it easier to add height to the handle in the palm swell area. I typically use G10 or micarta that's about the same thickness as the blade, to extend the tang. it's a lot easier than gouging out the micarta slab to fit he tang into.
    For epoxy, anY reputable brand, 30 minor more epoxy should be fine. Especially if you're going to pin it.
    Carbon fiber really sucks to work with. G10 isn't bad, and sands easily. micarta takes a lot more to sand down . Fake micarta ( like Shadetree sells) is some where in the middle. not that it's bad stuff, it's just not real micarta and hence reacts differently .
    The pics are of one I did with g10 as a spacer, and od green micarta for the slabs.
     

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  12. Slade

    Slade Member

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    I did receive the knife on Friday. The tang is a lot bigger than I expected it to be. I don't think I'll have any trouble ending up with a full tang, so the strength of the material will be less important. I would not have expected g10 to be easier to work with than micarta, so that's great information. 30 min epoxy sounds like a nice amount of time to work to get everything together. If I do need to end up adding a little length to the tang, I'll probably go with the sandwich technique you referred to. Seems that it would save a lot of time. Given that the entire tang is a flat rectangle I'll definitely need to do some work on the ergos of the metal, so I'll need to decide if I should do it while the handle material is on it or before. I think the existing metal will be enough for the increased height at the palm swell.

    The jury is still out on the steel pending some kind of response from Jeff if I'm lucky. Couldn't find any way to contact him directly so I requested information or a pass through contact from self reliance outfitters, and sent him a message on fleabay.

    Really appreciate your input Joe. I have a couple examples of your work and I'm a fan.
     
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  13. LMF Joe

    LMF Joe Member

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    I think the G10 sands down quicker because the material is inherently more brittle, not to say it's weaker, just that the glass and resin in it break in pieces easier. Good luck, and feel free to ask me any questions
     
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