Step 11: Making the Handle: Final Sanding and Installing Pins

Getting close to the end, it's just basic sanding and pins now. The sanding is pretty self-explanatory, just work through the grits until you get to about 320 or 400. If you want to be silly you can use up to 1000, but I don't think it would make a huge difference to the overall feel of the knife. This knife handle was sanded up to 320 grit before finishing.

Since installing the pins goes with final finishing, I'm going to include everything in one step. Since I don't have any fancy rivets and such I use a method that may seem like cheating to some hardcore knife makers: I drill through the handle and blade, epoxy the pins in, then file them flat. The first step in this process is marking the holes. I usually eyeball the marks, then check their orientation with a straightedge to make sure they all line up. Next, you want to measure and cut your pins. For this knife I just used a brass rod (it may be a welding rod). To measure, just lay them across the handle and mark with a Sharpie. Make them a bit oversized though. It's a lot easier to remove material than it is to add it. Clamp the rod in a vise and use an ordinary hacksaw to cut the pins off. Then it's off to the drill press! Clamp your piece securely somehow, then drill through everything in one go. I put the drill on its slowest speed and use a really sharp bit. Repeat with however many pins you want to. When you finish, make sure to double check the fit of the pins in the holes. If they just barely fit, then you're in luck! Just tap them in with a mallet and file off the ends. If they slide in easily, then its epoxy time! Mix up some more epoxy, then put a bit on the middle of the pin. slide it in, and wipe any excess epoxy with a clean rag. leave it to dry before filing. When It's dry, just file the pins flush using a mill file.

Almost there, don't give up now! 
<p>Heres the thing, I have a kitchen clever which the handle fell off on, and I wanna put it in a bigger handle. Will it be unsafe if its not a full tang and i'm using it to chop wood?</p>
Can you post s PDF of the design for it
<p>Look awesome mate. Looks like I found a project for the weekend.</p>
Great ible! Here's a picture of mine, I made them out of an old saw blade from a skill saw! They polished up great!
<p>You've inspired me, they look great!</p>
<p>These knives look amazing! You really made those? They are beautiful and the shine is a nice touch too!</p>
Wow. The shine is amazing. How did you do this?
Basically the same as atomicturkey27 did. But then used different grade sand paper to get the big scratches out and then finally a buffing wheel! I was surprised out how well they came out. Glad you like them!
It looks amazing. Honestly, I would love to buy one off of you I like it so much. With the sand paper, did you just keep going up in grade every time you felt it was necessary?
Thanks! dont know if I wanna sell them yet, maybe if I make some more! but yeah I just sanded it forever, making sure i go every little scratch out.
<p>My first attempt at a stock removal knife.</p>
<p>I bought this blade blank on eBay and cut the scales from some Osage Orange heartwood I had cut and seasoned for 5 years. This wood is one of the densest woods grown in USA and is really hard to work, but that's not nearly as difficult as making one completely from scratch</p>
hi, looks good.... but what you could have done was drill 2 holes thru both handles and metal.. then 2 small metal bars thru.. and round off the ends..<br>similar to two rivets....
<p>Hi <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/th3_v1k1ng/" rel="nofollow">th3_v1k1ng</a></p><p>Some metal that can be used for blades is harder than drill bits. My grandson bought a Damascus blade blank on eBay. The vendor said he would send pin if buyer would ask. He didn't ask and the holes were an odd size, slightly under 1/8&quot;. He couldn't drill them bigger and had to sand 1/8&quot; SS welding rod down to fit the holes, making for a lot of extra work.</p><p>Really a nice knife, <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/atomicturkey27/" rel="nofollow">atomicturkey27</a></p>
Please watch and subscribe. Thanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKka02CejCo
Looks really good and easy to make
@The Metal One: 1020 is &quot;sub-par to worthless&quot; for knives. You will be much better off with a steel that has a carbon percentage above 0.7%. The second two numbers in the 10xx series steels stand for the carbon percentage (1020 is 0.2% carbon, 1080 is 0.8%, etc.) also, the heat treat regimen you prescribe will harden only a few, if any, types of steel.
your knives will be sub-par to worthless unless you use a carbon steel (such as 1020 1/8 inch plate stock) and then heat treat it by heating the blade to 800 degrees for an hour then quenching in oil. otherwise i love your design, you did well with materials on hand. good work ;)<br>
For my more recent knives I've been using A2 or O1 tool steel. These steels contain elements like chromium that greatly improve wear resistance, which makes them a great choice for knives. Also, many of the exotic woods make really excellent knife handles. I've found that purpleheart works quite well, although it is difficult to machine.
How are you doing your heat treat? I am wondering as those steels (specifically the A2) are quite difficult to heat treat.
Just one question, where can i get the steel for the knife? <br>
I use 1084 from NJSteelBaron.com.
Although your method will produce a serviceable knife, you will get infinitely better results if you start with a known steel (my favourite is 1085), file out your profile and bevels, and harden by heating to slightly above the point where a magnet will no longer stick and quenching in canola oil. The reason I use 1085 is because it is extremely simple to heat treat as it requires no soak.
hey! I made a knife like your! <br>here's photos of me making the knife and the finished image <br>sorry for my english , im brazilian <br>thanks for the tutorial! make more!
i cant send the images! fuuuu! <br>how i send it?
If you dont mind me asking, what steel is used? and would a dremel with a metal cutting wheel be able to replace the edge grinder? <br>
I almost asked the same question, but then I looked at the pictures in step 4 more closely and it appears to be made out of a saw blade, which is pretty cool. I'm curious about how stiff the blade is. I know some saw blades are flimsy, but that one appears to be a miter or backsaw blade which is usually stiffer. <br> <br>If you're just using the dremel to cut out the shape of the blade it should work as long as the metal you're using for the knife isn't too thick. It will take a while though, and you might go through quite a few cutting wheels.
You can save a lot of cutting wheels if you only cut half way through the metal, then clamp it in a vice and whack it with a hammer. If done right it should snap apart! This makes it go a lot faster but only works with higher carbon metals.
I don't think some of the people here understand that your metal is already heat treated. &quot;This blade was made from an old backsaw blade&quot; . This metal was already heat treated (tempered) at the factory when the original tool was made. <br> <br>This is the reason knife makers *use* old saw blades, files, leaf springs, and the like to make high quality carbon steel blades. The heat treating has already been professionally done. <br> <br>As for the handle finish, atomicturkey27's method seems to work for him. If you want something different, go for it. &quot;Your mileage may vary&quot;. <br> <br>You don't *have* to finish it at all. If you use it regularly, your natural hand oils will eventually give it a finish. <br> <br>Personally, I'm partial to Tung Oil. Quick, easy, and forgiving. I use it on all my hand whittled walking sticks because it really brings out the look of the wood without covering it up. <br> <br>But you could just dunk it in some &quot;Tool Dip&quot;. <br> <br>BTW atomicturkey27, Great Instructable. Thank you. <br>I'm re-designing a knife (an old cheap machete cut in half long ways. Super Pig Sticker!) and your info showed me how to properly put on the handles. I was spinning wheels until now. Thanks again!
If this was a truly functional knife, you would harden the blade before fitting the handles, thus making it almost impossible to drill through. <br> <br>Ideally, drill the holes in the &quot;tang&quot; before hadening. Then harden, anneal, glue on one scale and drill the hole through from the exposed tang. Then glue the second scale on and drill through from the first scale.
Very nice knife. My grandfather made knives out of old saw blades too. Tool steel takes a nice edge. I see one problem though and that is using danish oil with polyurethane. The oil never truly dries and I am fairly certain that will prevent the poly from fully curing. Poly alone should be enough.
I gave the oil 24 hours to set, which was the time recommended on the can. It said that you could follow up with wax or poly to achieve a nicer finish. Also, the main purpose of the oil was to darken the wood. I found that it gives the wood a nice rich color and brings out the long grain that is present in oak.
Doesn't the oil also help prevent water from permeating the wood? That's why i 'mineral oil'<br>my kitchen cutting boards, salad bowls, etc ..<br><br>and ya, 'pharmacy-grade' mineral oil is edible, but never give it to someone who has difficulty swallowing: if it gets into the lung: big big problems!
atomicturkey27, You can get poly in various shades that will stain the wood if you like. Minwax has quite a variety, and poly brings out the grain too.<br><br>tktkj: Poly seals the wood against moisture. You use mineral oil on cutting boards because it is non-toxic. It doesn't have to be &quot;pharmacy-grade&quot; which is something I've never heard of and is probably a marketing gimmick. You should not use polyurethane, varnish, and other finishes on cutting boards.
ya but there really is a need for a 'pharmacy grade' mineral oil .. Ya see, it's used medically as a laxative, but there are a bunch of issues that must be explained to any patient to use it safely. Having a 'USP' (US Pharmacopea) formulation lets users or care-givers to be able to read the label. Misuse can kill a patient!<br>And i do say 'formulation' not simply 'packaging' cuz the USP offering contains a 'stabilizer' (Vit. E , actually) ... If you've the interest i can send ya the medical info. I also doubt that the users of the 'paint store' variety would be concerned much were there to be some infectious agent or two in the batch. Knife handles need not be sterile .. Cutting boards should not be contaminated so i'd strongly advise people to use the USP version in the kitchen where food contact occurs .. including the lubricating of blender blade bearings!
Honestly tkjtkj, I don't think it makes a difference. I buy my mineral oil at the grocery store. The hardware store doesn't carry it.
Ok, fair enough .. but please do understand that many people could do that only with grave danger to themselves or others. One could even propose that a prescription should be required, so important are the warnings on the drug store label!<br>One can easily die by not having read them. <br>My prescription suggestion is based on fact that so many elderly (who do have more intestinal problems) can't even read the small print on the pharmacy formulation... it can be life-saving for them to be told by some practitioner how mineral oil is to be used and how misuse can result in a very very bad thing.<br><br>As far as we know, death is a one-way street.<br>Apparently enough professionals recognize these issues and do require that at the least, a USPharmacopia version of the product be available.<br>
&quot;Then let them die, and reduce the surplus population&quot;, Ebeneezer Scrooge.
too much rhetoric!
Okay tkjtkj, but what's your point? You can find info about food safe finishes in any woodworking magazine and plenty of online woodworking sites.<br><br>&gt;&gt;Apparently enough professionals recognize these issues and do require that at the least, a USPharmacopia version of the product be available.<br><br>No they don't. I'm telling you - it is a marketing gimmick, nothing more. I'm sure they charge you more for the same product too. Sorta like shampoo from the olcal market versus shampoo from a beautician. The beautician will overcharge you every time.
More B.S.!
<em>I don't have a band saw.</em><br> <br> You actually don't need a band saw to cut those parts out. You can make do with a coping saw (check any hardware store, they're usually around $10 to $15) with a metal cutting blade (a few dollars more). Then you just need to find the brass, copper, whatever (ask around the hardware store while you're in there). Good luck!
I have looked for softer metal at the hardware store, and can't find an and i can't be bothered to order offline.
mmm.. i think just about every TrueValue hardware store (and HomeDespot, and Low's) i've ever been in carried brass rod, aluminum material, etc, in many form-factors ..<br><br>(oh, and there are NO misspellings in this note!)
Who cares! B.S.!
I don't blame you for not wanting to buy it online. It can get pricey with the shipping since the metal is heavy. <br><br>You might check out the link below for fittings. He only charges one price for shipping, no matter what you buy, and he's real friendly. I've bought several things from him and have always been happy with the experience.<br><br>http://www.ragweedforge.com/BladeCatalog.html<br><br>And I didn't say it before but thank you for the Instructable! I enjoyed reading it.
alright i'll take a look. Thanks and glad you enjoyed the instructable!

About This Instructable




Bio: Currently studying Mechanical Engineering as an undergraduate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I love designing and building things, woodworking, and rowing in my free time.
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