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knife re-handling

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:10 pm

Paging anyone that re-handles knives.

I'm interested in replacing the handles on a few of the knives I have. Mainly my CCK cleaver and some of the Tojiro ITK knives.


I'm looking for a general overview of how you guys go about doing it. I'm assuming the tang on these knives tapers to a point ( i can see the tang on the cck folded over to retain the factory handle) and the handles are friction fit and glued on. Is that about right? I envision replacement being something along the lines of cutting the old handle off and boring a hole that is slightly smaller than the largest point of the tang into a new piece of wood. Friction fit with a rawhide mallet or something of the like and gorilla glue (maybe?)

Either that or the Wa-style handles are actually multiple pieces of wood with the tang sandwiched in between them.


I'm not looking to steal trade secrets, just get an idea of the theory before I go cutting stuff into pieces.



Thanks for anyone that cares to share a little knowledge.

Re: knife re-handling

Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:18 pm

lots of vids out there how to do it. it's not really much of a secret. lots of how tos online also.

=D

knife making is a booming industry now and knife makers don't really keep much to themselves with the exception to their signature things.

Re: knife re-handling

Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:33 pm

To remove standard wa

Place knife blade side along a 2x4 stud, with ferrule side overlapping, facing up. Hold the blade against the wood and bang the wood on the ground. Handle will pop off...

ITK is easy to remove. There's a touch of adhesive at the tang end.

The CCK tang will need to be straightened or cut, handle will slide off. I just cut it, and file it clean.

To fit new handle, drill smaller hole, and shape with file. Heat tang till end is glowing, careful to not heat blade. Hold handle, and insert tang, blade facing up. Tap end of handle upwards, lightly, until tang is set where you like it. Too hard of taps, and you can easily split the wood or ferrule.

The ITK tang is very thick at the machi, making the hole fitting a little tricky. The CCK tang nay require some grinder work for sizing....

Re: knife re-handling

Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:33 pm

The ITK come off easily. Other brands I have tried and found that they use a flexible sealant that will not budge with force or heat; I have had to crack a few handles in half to remove them when they are sealed like that!!

I do my rehandles a tad different :) One way I do it is to use 1/2" OD, 3/8" ID aluminum tubing. I drill a 1/2" hole 2" down into the rear handle part and 3/4 the way thru the ferrule. I then grind the tang down to fit into the aluminum tubing and then file/Dremel the slot on the ferrule for the tang to slip into. Once everything is fit well, I epoxy the handle pieces to the aluminum tubing, which also helps to strengthen the joint between the ferrule/rear grip portion. I shape out and finish the handle and then install the handle onto the tang with epoxy.

Second way is to use a 1/2" wooden dowel in place of the aluminum tubing; the dowels are somewhat soft and will be easier to file the slot than stabilized burl woods. You can also use a saw and slit the dowel for the tang, but you have to work quick; I've slit the dowels and the next day, the ends curled in towards each other and I barely got the tang into the slot. You can also put the tang into the dowel slot to keep it from moving as much and to keep it open with the tang itself or a wedge. You can either do the dowel all the way thru the ferrule and partway into the rear grip, or 3/4 thru the ferrule and partway into the rear grip and then file the slot in the ferrule. Once the handle is fitted to the tang, I finish out the handle (Octagon, D or Oval, or Western style handle) completely and when it's all done, buffed and polished and coated with a few coats of finish, I epoxy it to the tang.

If you want a 1 piece handle, get a set of scales or split a block in half, carve out a cavity on both sides for the tang and then epoxy it all back together, shape out and then install to the tang.

Re: knife re-handling

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:14 pm

Does anyone sell shaped handles that are ready to put on?

Re: knife re-handling

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:50 pm

I am toying with doing handles in non stabilized woods (much cheaper than stabilied woods, not as figured, but will be more prone to moving with moisture, etc) that have a hole drilled in the middle of the handle and will be rough shaped, but will let the customer do the final shaping down to the size they want, the final finishing and filing out the groove in the handle for the tang. I would use the dowel through the ferrule and into the rear portion so the dowel would be the wood that is drilled and filed to make the tang fit since the dowel is softer and easier to work. That way if people want a different handle than what is on and they have some files nd sandpaper to finish off the handles, they could do the finish work and install it themselves to their knife. I have Bocote, Rosewood, Cocobolo, B&W Ebony, Mascar Ebony and a bunch of other woods here for this purpose, I just haven't gotten around to putting some together yet!

Re: knife re-handling

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:50 pm

Does anyone sell shaped handles that are ready to put on?


taz is actually looking to do something like this in the future but is unsure coz there might not be enough of a demand for it. i'm in it for sure. i'd look into those since i'm a lefty and would need a rehandled wa everytime i find a d shaped handled knife that i like.

=D

Re: knife re-handling

Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:55 pm

Great minds think alike :)

Re: knife re-handling

Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:07 pm

Great idea.

I would love some mid line handles. Mark had a few batches years ago, but is more into the full customs now. Stefan Keller did a batch of "off the shelf" handles a while back...

Epicedge has some rosewood and ebony handles, as well as some newer ones with blonde ferrule and cap...look nice. Maxim sells burnt chestnut. Jon Broida will rehandle with ichii and burnt chestnut. Stefan Keller will make custom, as well as my favorite, Mike Henry, but that may take several months....and there's Mr. Taz....

Re: knife re-handling

Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:03 pm

hello all, i'm working on my own wa handle making project. I am using unstabilized wood just to get my set up squared away before going to a stabilized product. I wanted to see if any handle makers out there had and tutorials on the process, either a video or a series of pics showing a step by step. Or for the matter if anyone out there has any helpful links they could pass on. I plan on taking pictures as my work slowly comes together so that I can share as well. Thanks for all of your inputs.
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