I had the idea of doing this project when a friend of mine wanted to throw away the blue knife. I just thought to myself: "This is such a waste"
So I took the knife from her and started thinking how I can practically implement the idea of creating a wooden handle for these knives. Normally in a knife with a hidden tang like this, one would drill a hole in a block of wood where the tang can be forced in, but these blades are too thin for that. That's when I came up with the idea of using a veneer as a filler between two wooden scales.
I started by completely removing all handle material from the blades.
PS I made this project with the help of one of my friends, I would definitely suggest having an extra pair of hands when it comes to gluing the handle.
Go check out my friend's intructables: https://www.instructables.com/member/Hern%C3%BC%20Viljoen/
Step 1: What I Used
What went into the knife?
- Blade from broken knife
- Mahogany veneer for the filler
- Imbuia wood for the scales
- 4 minute epoxy to keep it all together
- Stainless steel pin (for the one knife we used a spoke from a wheel, because the actual pinning rod was to thick. Almost any stainless steel, copper etc rod that is the right thickness can be used.)
- Clear spray on lacquer
Which machines/tools did I use?*
- Table saw
- Band saw
- Iron saw
- Drill press
- Hand files / needle files
- Belt sander
- Stanley knife (carpet knife)
- Sanding paper
*Note: Most of these can be replaced by one another or different tools completely, I just used this wide variety of tools because they are available to me. Get creative with what you have!
Step 2: Cutting the Scales
I started by ripping (cutting off in layman's terms) a long piece of wood about 6/7mm thick from a small 2x4 block of Imbuia I had lying around.
I then marked the piece and cut it into 4 equal pieces on the band saw to minimize wastage.
Step 3: Shaping the Scales
The exact order of the following steps are not that important, the general idea is just to get the scales symmetrical.
We started by cutting the pins to a suitable length (slightly longer than the width of the scales and veneer put together) and rounding the edges to prevent it from cutting you and to make it easier to fit into the holes later.
We then placed the blade on the scale on marked where the hook of the tang is and drilled a hole for the pin. For the white knife we simply put the pin in while clamping the other side and rounded of the front. The only part that need finishing at this stage is the side that is facing the blade, because it very hard to do work on this area later on.
For the blue knife we had a more intricate idea, so I first shaped the one side and then taped it to the other side to match the shape. I initially made a few rough cuts with the band saw, then used hand files to finish the shape.
Step 4: Cutting the Core
The only suitable veneer I could find was 20x1mm, I actually needed 30x1mm at least, but we made a plan.
We marked and cut the veneer to the same length as the scales, we then placed the blade on top of two pieces that we held together. We then cut on the lines with carpet knife (something like an exacto knife would be perfect). The idea was that these two pieces and the blade would fit together like puzzle pieces in between the scales.
Step 5: Gluing the Handle
This step would be much easier with one broad piece of veneer instead of 2 smaller pieces.
We place the one scale on a table and put the pin in place. We then covered the scale with epoxy and built the blade and veneer puzzle on top of the epoxy, while i kept these in place, my friend covered the other scale with epoxy and put it in place.
We then made sure everything is in the correct position and clamped it up around the pin and allowed it to dry. Because epoxy does not always set the way it is supposed to, we checked the epoxy left on the mixing stick to see if it is hard yet.
Step 6: Shaping the Handle
After giving it sufficient time to dry, we cut of the excess veneer using the carpet knife and panned the basic shape of the handles. We used the band saw to cut away bigger pieces of wood where we could and used a combination of hand files and the belt sander to bring the handle to its final shape. The mahogany center helped a lot to keep the handle symmetrical.
Step 7: Finishing the Handle
Once we were happy with the shape, we used sanding paper to bring the handle to a smooth finish. We did this by hand and a lot of elbow grease. We then buffed the handles to get it nice and clean after which I gave it a clear coat of lacquer. Reason for the clear coat is to protect it from water, as they are kitchen knives and will be seeing a lot of water.
Step 8: The End Product!
And we are done!
I am absolutely amazed at how it turned out, the mahogany line just gives it some extra flare! In the future I might consider adding some decorative pinning or other details.
Overall this project cost me next to nothing, and it was most definitely worth the time!
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think! How would you have done it differently?
Share some pictures if you try this yourself!