Introduction: Making a Wooden Knife Grip
This is a fairly easy way to make a knife grip.
The blade in this tutorial is from a previous Instructible.
The materials you will need :-
1 x knife blade
Some copper for the bolsters
(or another metals you want to use, like some custom alloyed bronze an Instructible later)
2 x pieces of maple for the grip
5 minute clear epoxy
Penetrol (or tung oil)
Sizes are not included as all custom knives are not necessarily the same size.
Mark out on your pieces of maple where your tang is going to go allowing a little room for your sheet bolsters.
Carve out your maple to a depth of half the tang thickness.
Sometimes this takes a little time to get it right depending on the tang, if the tang has a distal taper, or has high points.
Next thing to do is is cut out your bolsters.
I chose to use perfect ovals, and they fit nicely with the design of the blade, but there is no limit to what shape you use.
Just remember that the grip has to match the bolsters, and the grip has to transition from one bolster to the other.
I could have made the bolsters the same size, then there would have been no transition, but the transition from large to small works nicely with this blade.
Drill and file out the holes for the tang and slip fit to a point where you are happy. It is important to create a bevel in the rear bolster hole so that when you rivet there is some room for the tang to spread and secure the grip.
Now it's time to glue.
Put on the front bolster.
Apply the 5 minute epoxy to the back of the bolster, and to the inside of the grip where the tang touches.
Put a little epoxy on the rear bolster and slide into place.
Clamp securely, and leave to dry. Five minutes is fine, but overnight is better.
The glue has dried, so now is a good time to peen on the tang.
Carefully peen the tang onto the rear bolster. You will need to secure the knife in a vice to do this. I recommend using thick pieces of leather over your vice jaws to protect the surface of the knife.
You will need to transition the maple smoothly from the front bolster to the rear bolster. This can be done with rasps, or carved, but I use an abrasive belt.
Smooth the grip using some glass paper, 320 should produce a nice finish.
Lastly us some fine steel wool (not the soap impregnated kind).
Apply some Penetrol, when dry, use steel wool again, and another coating of Penetrol.
You will have a very usable grip that looks nice, and feels good in your hand.