Hand Tools Archive

Re: Putting a handle on a knife? *LINK*

David Bassett

I've always assumed that type of knife was intended to be use without an additional handle, but it's yours and a handle might make it more comfortable & controllable.

Several suggestions of different techniques. First of a couple I've heard of & didn't see (yet, probably get posted while I'm typing :) ) are to start with your mortise hole and then "burn in" the tang. This is very traditional, but tangs intended for this approach tend to have a taper I don't see on the Japan Woodworker image. You heat the tang and burn out just enough wood for a snug fit. (I've never been tempted to try this as I assume I'd screw up the blades temper.)

I bookmarked another way to enlarge and shape a drilled mortise: "Make yourself some broaches" at Blade Forums. (Link below, I hope.) It seems ideal, but might be too much work if you're only doing one knife.

Another, much less traditional but easy, method is to drill out an oversized hole and get a dowel to fit snugly. You can then split, carve, and do pretty much anything to the dowel to hold the tang well. But when you glue it into the handle all that is (mostly) hidden.

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