Step 1: Refinishing the Blade
Step 2: Preparing the New Handle
Step 3: Drilling the Handle
I started the process by cutting the block level, so I could drill it on the drill press. I used the drill bit closest to the size of the tang and went as deep as I could.
After that, I drilled the wood to fit the larger part of the handle tang.
Step 4: Burning the Handle
I did this by heating up the tang on the stove, while keeping the higher portions cool with a wet paper towel.
I placed a pot of water on the stove in an effort to reflect back more heat.
The process was fairly simple. I heated the tang to a red/orange color and pressed it into the whole, using a block of wood to protect my hand.
After every heat, I used a coat hanger to scrap apart more wood. Minimal extra progress, but it kept me busy.
It took over a dozen cycles, and would have been much faster with Mapp gas torch or even propane.
I finished when I had enough space for the guard, as well as an extra eighth inch for room for compression.
Step 5: More Handle Work
First I marked out the size of the guard on the wood. I used a band saw to cut away much of the excess.
From there I used a grinding wheel on an angle grinder. I ground down the main curve and worked on rounding over the whole handle overall.
After getting most of the shape, I went to my small belt sander and worked on refining it. I used the top curve of the sander, to work on the knives finger curve.
Final finishing is all done by hand. I get the handle to the final desired shape, and continue sanding. I continued to increase the grit of the paper, until I was happy with the finish.
Step 6: Epoxy Time
In order to have the glue hold everything better, I like to roughen up the surfaces. I used a utility blade to cut into the soft steel, making a network of hatching and cross hatching. I then used a file to cut notches into the sides of the tang.
Next I used a coat hanger to scratch out the charred wood from the inside of the handle, as that surface won't bond as well.
Anyways, I simply mixed the two part epoxy, slathered the composition in the hole of the handle, pressed everything together, and secured it all with a few taps of a rubber mallet.
I used the excessive epoxy to cover the handle, as an experiment to how it would turn out as a finishing surface, and I was pleased with the result. It ended up having a shiny tacky grip to it, that was really pleasing.
Step 7: All Finished
Any questions? Criticism? Tips? Did you have a similar project.
Comment please. Post pics.
Happy Crafting -