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tenbears10
09-08-04, 02:59 PM
I bought a deba damascus blade and some bufflo horn from Dennis H at Brisa last week and I'm collecting it from the post office after work with any luck.

This will be my first attempt at doing a handle so I wondered if you had any tips or do's and don't's. I am looking to keep it as simple as poss. I've had a look at an old thread about using the tang to burn into the handle but I'm not too confident about heating the blade so is drilling and filing the best way to go?

Any help is much apreciated and I will let you know what happens.

Bill

Dave Barker
09-08-04, 03:01 PM
I bought a deba damascus blade and some bufflo horn from Dennis H at Brisa last week and I'm collecting it from the post office after work with any luck.

This will be my first attempt at doing a handle so I wondered if you had any tips or do's and don't's. I am looking to keep it as simple as poss. I've had a look at an old thread about using the tang to burn into the handle but I'm not too confident about heating the blade so is drilling and filing the best way to go?


http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?p=66675#post66675

Any help is much apreciated and I will let you know what happens.

Bill

Are we talking stick tang?


if we are then drills abnd files would be my choice. Brisa has em all...

tenbears10
09-08-04, 03:08 PM
Sorry Dave yes we are talking stick tang.

Bill

tenbears10
09-08-04, 03:14 PM
the thread I was thinking of was this:

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2711&highlight=handle+fitting

Bill

MushiSushi
09-08-04, 03:34 PM
a straight riffler would be a good add to that kit .. very good for getting in tight spots and taking away material

No. 123 in this picture

http://www.tiranti.co.uk/data/Photos/ItalianRifflerGroup.jpg

http://www.tiranti.co.uk/data/ASP/showsubcategory.asp?SubCategoryID=33&SubCategory=Files%2C+Rasps+%26+Rifflers

ZDP-189
09-08-04, 04:21 PM
I bought a deba damascus blade and some bufflo horn from Dennis H at Brisa last week and I'm collecting it from the post office after work with any luck.

This will be my first attempt at doing a handle so I wondered if you had any tips or do's and don't's. I am looking to keep it as simple as poss. I've had a look at an old thread about using the tang to burn into the handle but I'm not too confident about heating the blade so is drilling and filing the best way to go?

Any help is much apreciated and I will let you know what happens.

Bill

No, no, please no!

First, the handle has to be banged onto the heated tang to ensure a tight and durable fit. Japanese knives that are handled in this way have a large strong ring-ferrule to hold the handle mouth together under this force.

Secondly, buffalo horn will smoke and smoke and burn and you'll badly regret attempting that.

Check this (http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4897) thread out for a better (but slower) solution.

tenbears10
09-08-04, 05:00 PM
Thanks ZDP I'm going with the drilling and filing route. Is there a way to accurately make the hole or do you just make the hole bigger bit by bit until it fits snugly?

Bill

ZDP-189
09-08-04, 06:05 PM
The best makers use termites..... Nah:

Ideally, you should ask the Noggins, who are far more experienced than I, however, this is what I would do...

Difficult way:


Mark off the position of the knife and tang on the side and top of the handle block;
Drill out 3 exactly parallel holes in a perfect line next to each other for the full length of the tang;
Using rifler and needle files, file through the space between the holes and square up the corners;
Using files and a mini-chisel, precisely carve out the bolster face so that the first 1mm of blade is hidden in the bolser;
Glue the blade in with shellac;
Clamp up in a specially made vice till the shellac hardens;


Easy way:


Plan to make the bolster out of horn and the shaft out of birch or other softwood, separated by a spacer;
Scribe a straight line across the blade shoulder and tang and carefully file the shoulder square to the line;
Sand the bolster back and shaft front perfectly flat on a piece of 320-ish sandpaper stuck to a glass or other flat table;
Mark off the position of the knife and tang on the side and top of the assembled, but as-yet-unglued, handle block;
Over-bore the tang hole in the shaft so that the tang just fits in the round hole;
Carefully slot the bolster as above but, because it's only an inch thick you can easily use a square needle file (specially buy a coarse and a fine one with a good handle) and/or 3 jnr. hacksaw blades taped or soldered together;
Don't bother to inset the shoulder (or if you do, it'll be a lot easier having squared it);
Liberally super-glue the spacer on the back of the bolster and using a scalpel blade, cut out the tang slot, then allow to dry;
Slide the bolster on the tang as a guide and super-glue the shaft to the back of the spacer, then remove the blade;
Preheat the oven to 50~70 Celcius;
Pour slow set (1 hr minimum!) epoxy in the handle shaft. I like to use a syringe and needle and fill from as close to the bottom as possible;
Insert the tang into the handle assembly, knife should point upwards;
Excess epoxy should ooze out, roughly wipe the blade and then handle;
Place tip up in oven over a tinfoil sheet. Allow glue to set in oven for 20min then allow to cool;
Use sander (or file) to remove a little excess wood, bolster and spacer;
With a coping saw, cut the outline, leaving some spare;
With a hand file finish the shape;
Sand and sand and sand till you have a perfectly smooth finish;
Buff on a rag wheel with buffing compound.


Reading the above, it might seem like the traditional method is simpler, but the slotting takes great skill and time. The easy way is easily twice as fast, and in view of the sh_tty job I always do on deep slots, much more accurate. The finished product is very strong and the epoxy sarcophagus helps to prevent the tang from rusting.

Post here or PM me if you need more advice!

Good luck :biggthump

tenbears10
09-08-04, 10:10 PM
I was concerned about making too big a hole for the tang and :censored:ing up the handle so I am interested in the 'easy' method. The thing I need to check is that the blade doesn't have a shoulder.

http://www.brisa.fi

It's in the japaneese knives section and it's the middle one in the picture (deba). So if the shoulder is the 'step' on the tang and I'm right that it doesn't have one can I just pick where the handle starts?

Thanks for all this help it is very much apreciated and helps the outcome of the project greatly.

Bill

ZDP-189
10-08-04, 03:31 AM
I was concerned about making too big a hole for the tang and :censored:ing up the handle so I am interested in the 'easy' method. The thing I need to check is that the blade doesn't have a shoulder.

http://www.brisa.fi

It's in the japaneese knives section and it's the middle one in the picture (deba). So if the shoulder is the 'step' on the tang and I'm right that it doesn't have one can I just pick where the handle starts?

Thanks for all this help it is very much apreciated and helps the outcome of the project greatly.

Bill

By shoulder I meant the back of the blade which should contact flush with the bolser (or else it needs to be buried into it).

I made a very similar knife and the restuls are shown here:

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4897

I'm tracking this thread with a subscription, but can't access BB from work. If you have an urgent question, click the email link below - I have set it to page my handphone for now so that you get the quickest possible response.

tenbears10
10-08-04, 08:12 AM
I made a very similar knife and the restuls are shown here:

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4897

I'm tracking this thread with a subscription, but can't access BB from work. If you have an urgent question, click the email link below - I have set it to page my handphone for now so that you get the quickest possible response.

I had seen your work on that thread already, if mine is half as good as that I will be very pleased. Thanks for your offer of instant help, that is really good of you. The blade didn't arrive last night so questions are still general for the moment.

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice on my question it will be a great help.

Bill

Dave Barker
10-08-04, 08:35 AM
Just one thing.

I would personally glue the shaft material, spacer and bolster up first, then plane it flat, mark drill hole out etc..
Just my thoghts....

JohanB
10-08-04, 09:33 AM
I must agree with Dave there. You cant if you are gonna add fileworks and stuffs tho, but i wouldnt do that on the first handle :)

MushiSushi
10-08-04, 12:23 PM
http://www.axminster.co.uk/images/hir106s05.jpg

I found this little saw very quick to clean out a blind tang

http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=HIR106S05

tenbears10
12-08-04, 01:37 PM
I got most af the materials in the post but need a couple of extra things to start. I am still in need of wood, something soft seems to be the advice for a first time. Does anyone have sources or ideas they can recommend? I will kick off at the weekend I think as long as I get time.

Let you know what happens.

Bill

MushiSushi
12-08-04, 01:48 PM
Axminster are a good supply of reasonable quality wood for knife handles .....

http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?sub=229

tenbears10
12-08-04, 01:57 PM
Axminster are a good supply of reasonable quality wood for knife handles .....

http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?sub=229

That's what I was looking for Mushi thanks. I couldn't find it on axminster before. Do you think the boxwood on that page would be suitable?

Bill

MushiSushi
12-08-04, 02:32 PM
boxwood and lime are very easy working timbers, but there is no reason to rule out any of the others, get yourself a powerfile and the shaping is easy, even on ebony, finish with ascending grit paper and wax or oil.

tenbears10
12-08-04, 02:53 PM
, get yourself a powerfile and the shaping is easy, even on ebony

Wow, I didn't know you could get those!

Bill

Kevin
12-08-04, 04:30 PM
boxwood and lime are very easy working timbers, .





Boxwood....though easy to work with, maybe a bit too soft for handle material.....imo anyway. :)

MushiSushi
12-08-04, 05:00 PM
it's easy to work because of it's fine and even texture, not because it's soft, because it isn't :p

Kevin
12-08-04, 06:31 PM
it's easy to work because of it's fine and even texture, not because it's soft, because it isn't :p

I recently purchased a lot of boxwood ....was intending to use it as liners for sheaths...and maybe whittle a scale model of the Eiffel Tower with my swiss army knife:) ....

But its soft enough for me to dig my nails into.

Maybe there are different varieties.......

MushiSushi
12-08-04, 07:32 PM
perhaps you got hold of Maracaibo boxwood ... which is a lot lighter and softer than true boxwood ... true boxwood is heavy and dense ..... it's not far off being classed as an ironwood .. it barely floats

traditionally boxwood was the wood used to carve white chess pieces to contrast the ebony black pieces

true boxwood is only available in small quantities, maracaibo grows a lot bigger and is more readily available.. it may well be maracaibo that axminster sell also .. so, bill, i would enquire if I were you

ZDP-189
12-08-04, 07:51 PM
I'd avoid boxwood. I have a shelf full of the stuff (my knife presentation boxes are made of it) and it's the same thing Kev is describing; one stop harder than light balsawood. Even if you think you can get the heavy stuff, I wouldn't because there are more interesting woods.

Using my easy technique, you're only boring a single hole with a drill. It makes precious little difference what wood you use. Too soft a wood would not be hard-wearing.

Also, remember I'm telling you to overbore; there should be no filing out of the deep hole in the shaft. You only slot the bolster.

Anyway, birch is a good all-round wood that's easy to work and attractive to look at. Dennis H will sell you a couple of knives worth of curly birch for EUR 6.7 each (http://www.brisa.fi/visa3.html). Buy two, because you'll get bitten by the knifemaking bug and there's always a chance you'll stuff up the handle at some point in the construction.

If you want an exotic hardwood, Dennis will do those too, but Chuck at Alpha Knife Supply (http://www.alphaknifesupply.com) actually displays pictures and dimensions of the individual blocks of wood in stock.

Just steer clear of the stabilised woods for now, they're easy to work and weather-proof, but the acrylic resin in the wood gums up files pretty quick.

MushiSushi
12-08-04, 08:23 PM
I really don't know what kind of wood you guys have got, but it is not true boxwood judging by the description ..... boxwood has a beautiful tight grain and is heaven to work with ... there is no other wood that comes close to the detail work you can do with boxwood.

all my sculpting tools are made from it because of it's ability to take a smooth, sharp, even and hard edge ..... true boxwood really isn't soft

David Morgan
12-08-04, 08:29 PM
For handle making and other interesting tutorials, check out Terry Primos' website; www.primosknives.com. look under 'articles'. Check out the gallery as well; I think they are some of the best proportioned knives I've seen.

Dave Barker
12-08-04, 10:03 PM
For a new maker i can't sugest better than lime, or linden or whatever it is called.

It is a soft, easy to work wood that hardens when oiled. Zed, the knife you got from me is lime.

With this wood you don't need to overbore, get the tang hole almost the right size then rubber mallet h blade on.. When you fix it the glue/shellac acts as a lubricant and it slides in easy as...... well easy :naughty:

Tvividr
12-08-04, 10:19 PM
I really don't know what kind of wood you guys have got, but it is not true boxwood judging by the description ..... boxwood has a beautiful tight grain and is heaven to work with ... there is no other wood that comes close to the detail work you can do with boxwood.

all my sculpting tools are made from it because of it's ability to take a smooth, sharp, even and hard edge ..... true boxwood really isn't soft
Mushi is right :notworthy .........and it's a good bow wood too. The majority of my laminated wood bows (no BoTuff) are made with either boxwood or degame (lemonwood) laminated with hickory (backing) and a core of purpleheart, jatoba, wenge or other contrasting woods.

tenbears10
12-08-04, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the discussion guys. I am going to start on saturday with the horn bolster so we'll see how it goes.

Bill

dtalbot
13-08-04, 10:06 PM
a straight riffler would be a good add to that kit .. very good for getting in tight spots and taking away material


Yep,
And Tiranti's are a good bunch to deal with, all my stone carving tools come from them and yep, the rifflers are just the job for working on tang holes, they cut stone with ease so wood is no problem!
If its one of the chipped Debas we're talking about I've got the other. I think it'll end up with a one piece wood handle, off to craft supplies at Millers Dale at the weekend to find somthing nice to do it in!
Cheers
David

tenbears10
13-08-04, 11:16 PM
Yep,
If its one of the chipped Debas we're talking about I've got the other. I think it'll end up with a one piece wood handle, off to craft supplies at Millers Dale at the weekend to find somthing nice to do it in!
Cheers
David
It was the other one to yours so please let me know how you get on David as I will be very interested.

Bill

ZDP-189
14-08-04, 06:35 PM
tenbears10, I've made you a tutorial. Click this link. (http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?p=67804)

I hope it's in time! Let me know if you get into difficulties.

dtalbot
14-08-04, 06:57 PM
It was the other one to yours so please let me know how you get on David as I will be very interested.

Bill
Yep,
A couple of others on the go at the moment which I need to finish first but there will be piccies of the Deba in due course. A really nice bit of bladesmithing and I had to look twice to spot the damage which I guess will be gone the first time it needs sharpening!
Cheers
David

David Morgan
14-08-04, 11:55 PM
Something I've found useful; get one of those applicator guns, the type you use with those big syringe type tubes of glue or filler. With a circular piece of wood cut to fit the open end it can be use as a handy clamp to securely push the handle onto the tang, assuming the overall length is shorter that the travel of the plunger. It can also be used when attaching bolsters and guards; cut another circle of wood, but this time cut a slot from one edge almost all the way across. Push the bolster onto the tang, slip the tang through the slot, then tighten it up so that the plunger pushes against the tip of the blade (put a piece of scrap wood between the two) and the edges of the bolster are stopped up against the wood on either side of that slot you cut. (make sure there's enough clearance that the glue oozing out doesn't stick the knife to the wood). Of course if the overall length of the knife is greater than the travel of the plunger you can still use the same basic technique to squeeze the handle on provided you have a pre-attached bolster or guard; use the slotted stop, but this time place the blade through it so the guard rests up against stop, and clamp away.

dtalbot
15-08-04, 09:45 PM
Dave M,
Nice idea! I've been coming up with loads of Heath Robinson ways to do that but you've got the easiest way from your brain.
Thanks
David

Basemetal
15-08-04, 10:00 PM
Dave,
Brilliant tip -thanks a bunch!
Danny

David Morgan
15-08-04, 10:10 PM
All part of the service!