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Tips for gluing on a loose handle

Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:44 pm

I occasionally have customers that have their handles come loose. I usually recommend filling the handle part way with epoxy that I find at the hardware store or gorilla glue. Gorilla glue works well but it expands so you have to watch it or else you run the risk of having it ooze out and spill over the handle.

Here are a few tips.

Make sure the tang is dry and so is the inside of the handle. They usually come loose from water penetration and you don't want the handle to get glued on to a wet handle or else it may rot from the inside out and rust the tang.

Set the handle in something that will hold it upright. A vice that is attached to a work bench is ideal but you can use all kinds of stuff around the house that will hold the handle up.

Usually epoxy sets fast and to get the proper amount put some in and stick the handle in. Take it out and add some more until you can see it creeping up to the top of the handle.

You can put some tape over the end of the handle so if any glue does come out you can just peel off the tape.

Check the alignment and keep an eye on it for the first couple minutes. Gorilla Glue can sometimes expand and push the handle off center.

It's really not that hard if you pay attention.

Re: Tips for gluing on a loose handle

Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:31 am

Good info Mark! I do some things a little differently, but with the same results. I load up the handle with epoxy and especially at the upper end where the tang enters into the handle. I insert the handle a few times and add more epoxy and let it run down into the handle. Devcon 2 ton works well for this and is slightly runny. 5 minute epoxies generally aren't water proof. Many times, I will let the 2 ton stuff run down into the handle and then I add some JB Kwik Weld to the very top of the ferrule and top of the tang. It's a dark grey color, and totally waterproof, so I use that to completely seal the ferrule/tang area, which is often slightly oversized from drilling/filing. I let it harden up for a couple of minutes and then take a razor blade and dampen a paper towel with Denatured Alcohol (DNA) and wrap the paper towel around the blade and clean up any excess epoxy on the blade and I run it over the end of the ferrule to remove any excess and make the ferrule and epoxy nice and flush. The trick is not waiting too long to clean it up, but waiting for it to stiffen up slightly so it isn't quite as sticky/soft. The blade gives you a nice, flat surface to even the epoxy off. I then wipe down the blade and handle to make sure to remove any epoxy that oozed out.
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