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Knives, making scales, different rivets, handles

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Blog entry by dbray45 posted 05-25-2016 12:33 PM 1218 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the things missing on this site is making knife scales. This is not something I normally do but I bought my wife some knives that required scales and during the process, noticed that we had several knives where the handles looked like crap, were cracked, and even broken. Some of them had really good blades and some were junk (these were tossed).

During this process, the knives that I bought from Woodcraft have really nice blades but the rivets were less than desirable, same with the ULUs that I bought (picture above). Finding supplies, coming up with the right profile, using good materials, etc… can be challenging – if not a pain. Then there is the replacement of other scales (handles) on knives that you have.

Did I mention that if you want a sheath for this knife? Mouse had a huge cookie!

We have to look at adhesives, finishes, all of it.

Let’s open this up and see what folks are doing!

-- David in Damascus, MD



17 comments so far

View knife's profile

knife

62 posts in 2969 days


#1 posted 05-25-2016 06:33 PM

I have used several different woods for my knife scales. I typically make full tang knives. I have used ebony, rosewood, bubinga. paduauk and next set will have some wenge. For a full tang knife I usually start with wood 3/8 or 1/2 inch thick. that leaves me with a handle about 3/4 to 1 inch, which fits my hand well. There are suggestions to have the wood stabilized prior to making scales, but have not tried that yet. Have not really had a big issue with movement in the non stabilized woods. If you were using less dense woods that wood probably be a good idea though. I usually finish with just teak oil.
All are attached to tang with epoxy and pins, corby rivets or loveless bolts. I do not peen the pins. It is not necessary with good epoxy and risks splitting the wood.
As far as sheaths I also make my own and have tried several different design depending on what compliments the knife.

-- Chad -- Buffalo, NY

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#2 posted 05-25-2016 07:07 PM

I have been using bloodwood for the scales with the exception of cherry for the ulu. I like the Corby rivets much better than the push ons.

So far, I use tung oil and finish with a tung oil poly mix.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#3 posted 05-26-2016 11:05 AM

A few of the knives that I did:

The main problem that I have with blood wood is how easy it is to splinter. Doesn’t take much and the splinter goes deep.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1427 posts in 3018 days


#4 posted 05-27-2016 02:01 PM

Now how do I teach my wife to stop putting the wood handled knives through the dishwasher? Sigh…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Woodiewannabe's profile

Woodiewannabe

43 posts in 339 days


#5 posted 05-29-2016 04:03 AM

I recently found some cocobolo scales that I plan to use on our kitchen knives. I decided to go with brass rivets, but I’ve never attempted this before and don’t know best methods for gluing and finishing for regular use. And yes, once done they will no longer enter the dishwasher.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#6 posted 06-01-2016 08:23 PM

It just so happens that the latest Rockler catalog shows one way to do this.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

347 posts in 1876 days


#7 posted 06-01-2016 09:30 PM

CaptainSkully
My wife has trashed every wood handled or bone handled knife in the house with the dishwasher. replace handles with mikarta then dont worry.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#8 posted 06-14-2016 09:36 PM

I have a few subjects in my posts http://lumberjocks.com/projects/59717 and a walk through making a Scandinavian type knife also http://www.felding.net/7knifemaking1.html .
Forging in my blog also http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog .
Hope it can help.
Feel free to ask.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#9 posted 06-14-2016 10:58 PM

Mads – These links are excellent

-- David in Damascus, MD

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#10 posted 06-15-2016 12:15 PM

Fine knifes you gave life to, using tools we make our self are a special joy, it is like the tool become an extension of our arm.
Thank you, I started making knifes as a painkiller back in 2005, since I needed something to do to keep my thoughts of a prolapsed disc in my neck. I have Norwegian family (they make excellent knifes) and love to work wood, so it was knifes that came up, took a two days basics class with a Danish knife maker, learned the leather work and how to put on a handle, then just went on from there, think I am at knife 70-80 now, so it can be addictive, this year I took the blacksmith class of how to forge my own blades and this of course adds some joy, to make the whole knife and my little forge in the workshop have now helped me make a few blades but there are so many wonderful blades for sale out there, so no need for making metal red.

Here are my latest, small knife for my fiancé; blade from a old file, buffalo horn bolster and elm burl handle.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#11 posted 06-15-2016 12:42 PM

I have made handles for 10-12 knives and an ulu of late. Have to make another ulu handle, just been putting it off.

If you have access to a coal forge using anthracite (hard coal), is is fairly simple to make very high carbon steel from iron, just takes a few days sitting in the edge of the fire. I spent a summer when I was around 16 working in a blacksmith and I learned more about iron and steel than you can imagine. Learned how to forge weld, make my own steel, make blades, chain, square nails, all kinds of things.

I think the most important thing is that things like this teach you that you do not have to rely on everyone else for everything.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#12 posted 06-15-2016 02:01 PM

Smiles, I sometimes laugh at my own love for being able to do it my self, but I just don’t get the same joy by buying tools. ;-) My workshop is in the centre of Copenhagen (Denmark), so no coal fire here, so I have to go to the metal scrap yard and buy what I can get for the making, then throw it in the gas forge and open the door.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#13 posted 06-15-2016 04:17 PM

Pls. show us some of the knifes you made, it is always wonderful to get some inspiration.

I finished this one today.
I am working on a few knifes these days, have many unfinished projects laying around, so time to bring them to life. I will post a blog of the making of this one as a answer to you.

Have to admit I don’t find the scale knifes the most beautiful, the hidden tang knifes become more elegant and to touch wood are for me the best.

The one on top are carbon fiber scales, I will make a Kydex sheath for that one. (Plastic fantastic).

This is the parts for a Scandinavian type knife.

This one was for a best friends 40 years birthday.
You can see more here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/59717
Here a few of my other knifes:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24513
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29955

Another scale knife, Japanese inspired and with leather work that are inspired by bamboo leafs.

Finally a kitchen chef’s knife, was a gift for my sisters wedding.
Hope it can inspire, making knifes are a path full of smiles and challanges.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#14 posted 06-16-2016 11:44 AM

The couple of blades that I worked on were for other people many years ago. Most of the handles are pictured above, there were a few more but my daughter has those.

The tools that you make are far superior than the ones that I make. Mine are very plain and simple, yours are many steps beyond what I do. You have an eye for things that I do not have.

I do not have the space for the required tools and fire safe zone for metal working except an oxyacetylene torch (which I use outdoors for projects like this). The only metal working that I have done in the last 20 years were my outside railings for my wife.

This is one of them.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#15 posted 06-16-2016 09:48 PM

Smiles, no way, I can see in your projects that you have a sharp eye!
I still smile broad when I see that beautiful tool cabinet of yours.
Making gifts for friends and family are double pleasure, I think you have a lucky daughter.
Also a lucky wife I see, nice work on that one too.
If you are thinking of making blades take a look at soup can forges, these can make fine user knifes. ;-)
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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