custom jack knife handle

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Project by romansfivefive posted 10-25-2008 09:25 PM 4221 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was in the TSC store (these are farm supply stores in southern ontario ) the other day and they were blowing out these aluminum sided 11 function jack knives on sale for $2.50 . I bought one of the knives just to have in the vehicle and when I got to looking at it, I noticed that the sides weren\t welded on and I was able to pry off the tins on the sides of the knife. I decided to try making some wooden sides.

I took the side tins and placed them on the 1X1X4 scrap wood (one was cherry and I am not sure about the other) and used a hammer to tap the edges of the tins into the wood to mark the perimeter. I used the scroll saw to cut out the blank. then I set up the bandsaw to cut out 25 millimeter slices. If you look closley at the side of the knife in the last pic, I think you can see that once you peel off the side tins, there are rivits that stick up a little. On the inside face of the slices, I had to drill some shallow holes to accomodate the rivit heads. Then I glued the wood to the knife with Gorilla glue.

Gorilla glue works great, but it is messy. I didn’t masked off the exposed edges of the knife on my first attempt and I ended up picking little bits of foam out of little nooks and spaces for a long time. A few minutes of taping saved a lot of grief. Once the glue is dry, I used a dremel tool to sand and round over the edges, sandpaper to even it out and a little steel wool to finish it up.

For the red knife, I cut out the blank, drilled holes and glued in maple toothpicks before i sliced them on the band saw. then followed the same steps.

I sprayed a little clear acrylic before I peeled the masking tape off and this is what you get.

I bought a bunch of them and I am going to experiement with some lettering and different wood groupings. I think this is my budget (2.50 for the knife, scrap wood and a little time) Christmas present for the guys on my list. Does anyone think it is odd to give a knife as a present? I know I would appreciate one, but so many people see them as weapons instead of tools now. Any thoughts?

-- The CNC machine can either produce the work of art you imagined, or very decorative firewood.

14 comments so far

View Raymondz's profile


64 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 10-25-2008 09:50 PM

interesting use for wood!

-- - Ray

View jlsmitty's profile


14 posts in 3607 days

#2 posted 10-25-2008 11:09 PM

You can put me on your gift list if you like.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3582 days

#3 posted 10-25-2008 11:17 PM

You did a good job!! nothing nicer than a home made feel to a tool.Well Done my friend Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View JDL's profile


15 posts in 3533 days

#4 posted 10-26-2008 12:36 AM

The sides actually fell off of my SAK a couple of years ago and I did the same thing in oak. A couple of months ago I was about to walk through the airport metal detector and realized it was in my pocket. I didn’t have enough time to do anything with it so I had to throw it away…

Anyway, I like the cherry, that might be my choice for the next knife.

-- Jay

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

505 posts in 3513 days

#5 posted 10-26-2008 03:35 AM

I do not think any guy would object to a knife as a gift. Those certainly do not look like weapons to me. Any thing can be used as a weapon but those are clearly not designed to be one.

-- jstegall

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 10-26-2008 06:49 AM

A wood worker wondering about knives? Basic tool. Should not be without. I love to rehandle knives. I usually use antler. I use a two part white marine epoxy. Clean and rough up both surfaces prior to gluing. Cleans up a lot easier than gorilla glue. To take off the plastic handles, use a box cutter blade, tap with hammer and it will cut through the brass pins and separate the old handle nicely. I use a dremel with a cut off wheel to remove the very top of the pins where they are peened over first then use the razor, works great. It’s habit forming. I put a new handle on everything I can find. LOL. Great job, keep it up. So many possibilities. So many knives. Most of mine end up on display and never are used. They really can be art objects.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3809 days

#7 posted 11-25-2008 02:28 PM

Beautiful. The knives have got a soul.

-- Jiri

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3662 days

#8 posted 12-04-2008 06:01 PM

These make very nice gifts, thanks for the tip.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18269 posts in 3673 days

#9 posted 12-05-2008 10:18 AM

Nice work. I bought a few old cheap knives on ebay with this in mind, but I haven’t gotten a round to it yet. So many ideas and so little time!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View livetofish7's profile


2 posts in 3510 days

#10 posted 12-06-2008 03:16 AM

Terrific idea. I wish i was on your gift list. I’ll be looking to do the same soon. Thanks for the idea!

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3649 days

#11 posted 12-06-2008 03:22 AM

I give knives to guys (and appropriate women) retiring from my unit at work. Never thought about dressing them up a bit. Neat Idea!

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View paintman's profile


5 posts in 3470 days

#12 posted 12-06-2008 06:05 AM

I have loved knive making for many years. You did a good job. Any change to make it your own is always great. I have a rifle i have been “working on” for 2 years now but haven’t seem to finish. I am inlaying spalted wood with a burl (not sure what type of wood) where the checkering was then i will carve a leaf pattern into the inlay. The stock is factory walnut. So any change you do can be fun. Keep up the good work.

-- john,oklahoma,paintman

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3353 days

#13 posted 04-22-2009 03:32 AM

a knife is a great gift.

I never carried one… I got one for my birthday last year, and vouged to carry it, and I never would have thought. Now i don’t know what I’d do with out it. By far the most useful gift ever, a simple Winchester bone knfe.
Yours are unique gifts, and if anyone complains, I’ll buy one.

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View artworkbid's profile


14 posts in 3151 days

#14 posted 10-06-2009 04:32 PM

Great job on this. Beautiful workmanship.


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