Introduction: Brass and Wooden Knife Handle


1/8" brazing rod

Brass plate (1/4" x 3/4")

Wood (red cedar)


1 1/4" cutting disks for rotary tool

1/8" high speed drill bit

1X30 bench sander

Bench vise

Buffing compounds (green and blue)

Buffing wheels

Drill press

Good to part epoxy cement

Painters tape

Palm sander

Rotary tool

Sanding block

Sandpaper (80 to 800 grit)

Spindle sanding kit

Spray varnish

Spring clamps

Table saw

Two sided tape

The handle of this full tang knife is going to be framed in by brass front and rear bolster with a red cedar handle (scales).

Step 1: Got Everything?

Gather up the materials needed; 1/8 X 3/4" brass plate, 1/4" red cedar and 1/8" brazing rod. (The brazing rod is cheaper than buying 1/8" brass rod and is basically the same.)

Cut your materials to size. I used four 1 1/2" pieces of brass plate, two 3 X 1 3/4" pieces of red cedar, and six 3/4" pieces of brazing rod . The brass plate and brazing rod was cut with my rotary tool using cutting discs, and the wood on my table saw.

Using two sided tape, tape the two pairs of brass plate, and two pieces of cedar together.

Step 2: Mmmmm Shiny

Shape the front of the front bolster of handle where it meets the blade, sand it to 800 grit, and buff it now. Once you glue it to the knife you cannot.

Position the set of front bolsters under the tang of the knife and drill through the front pin hole of the tang into the front bolster, using a 1/8" high speed bit and your drill press. Do this with the scales, and rear bolsters, carefully positioning each piece.

Separate all your pieces, and sand the insides with 150 grind sandpaperremoving all the "rust" and ensuring they are perfectly flat..

Clean the flux off the pieces of brazing rod, round over the ends, and roll them in 150 grit sand paper to roughen them up.

Tape the blade of the knife up to where the front bolster starts (this saves time cleaning glue, stops you from scratching the blade, and helps prevent cuts).

Step 3: Sticky Situation

Mix up enough epoxy for one side of the front bolster coat the section of the tang it will cover, put the first side of the bolster in place, coat one of the pins with epoxy, slide it through the bolster until you have about 1/8" left, and clamp it with spring clamps, once the epoxy had set coat the second side of the tang with epoxy for the second front bolster, slide the bolster in place and clamp.

Once the epoxy has set clean of the area of the tang where your wooden scales are going and glue your scales and pins in place, and repeat with the rear bolsters.

Step 4: Now the Work Starts

Everything is now glued in place and we are ready to shape the handle. Sand down the pins level with the bolsters and scales (do not overheat the pins as it can burn the wood, or break the epoxy bond).

I used my 1X30 bench sander, and spindle sanders in my drill press, shaped every thing to that of the tang. Then using sandpaper starting at 80 grit and moving up to 320 grit I shape the handle until I was satisfied with the shape and feel.At this point I tape off the cedar and continue sanding the brass up to 800 grit, and then buff it with first green and then blue buffing compounds.

Next I remove the tape from the cedar and tape up the brass and coat the cedar with at least four coat of spray varnish, sanding between coats.

Step 5: Ta-da

Another knife finished (almost) I just have to re-sharpen and polish it.