Part II of my Knife Making: The Handle

Alright, I was now ready to assemble the handle upon my blade. First thing is to find a good wood for the handle, something sturdy but with a beautiful grain. I had originally planned to get some walnut wood from some friends, but I was inable to get it in time, so, what I did is grabbed a saw and headed outside down the hill to find some nice oak wood. Around here most of the trees are oak, and there are some really large trees that have fallen down long ago, and have since dried out. Oaks are known for being very gnarly, with very twisty grain, which would make a beautiful handle. I found a few good pieces, sawed them off the dead trees, and headed home to assemble the handle. Anyway, I cut two pieces into blocks and traced the outline of the handle onto the wood, making sure there would be enough room to fit all of the shank (the metal handle) on the wood. Unfortunately I used wood from two different parts of the tree, so one side of the handle will be lighter in color than the other.

Anyway, with the outlines traced out on the pieces of wood, I cut out the rough shape. Then I took one of the pieces of wood and matched it up with the shank. Very carefully I put them into the clamp, making sure the shank was still lined up with the outline I made with a pen on the wood, and drilled holes through the wood so that it lined up with the ones on the shank of the knife, and did the same with the other piece of wood.

I then grabbed some dowels, sanded them down to size by clamping them in a drill and rubbing it against some sandpaper until they fit the holes snugly. I pounded them in and begin working out the shape of the handle with a rasp. At this point I did not have to be careful about measurements; I just had to make sure they were roughly the same size on either side. Because I was using a rasp, I did not have to be very cautious, as if I used a power tool I might have ground away too much at one point, and so ruin the wood, which would mean a lot more work. As I said, because I was using a rasp, I did not have to worry about this, and so I focused on getting the little bumps and dips that would make it fit more easily into my hand. Finally, I began sanding it, though I only did so a little, as it would be interesting to have a knife with a fairly rough handle. 

Next, I got some poly-thingamajig oil, and brushed it on the wood to bring out the rich oak. I haven’t quite done this yet, but I will probably add a few more coats, as well as coating it with beeswax, which I can get plenty of, as my Mom owns this business. The beeswax would give the wood a good grip, and also help keep liquids from seeping in that might damage the wood or make it swell, such as water.

I have already begun to sharpen it, though is taking a while, as this knife is fully hardened, and I am using only a sharpening stone to sharpen it. I’ll get a photo up as soon as possible.

 

 

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One thought on “Part II of my Knife Making: The Handle

  1. Pingback: Stick Tang Techniques | Caleb's Gems and Minerals

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