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Handle Question From Newb

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by cam_belph, May 18, 2019.

  1. cam_belph


    May 18, 2019
    Hello sirs and ma’am’s. I’m Cam. This is my second knife. Been a knife guy since I was a little dude. 32 now and am finally pulling things together for my newest hobby. Having way too much fun working with steel and wood, I’m a stone guy by trade, counter tops, so I’m versed in shaping, sanding and polishing, thankfully. To the point:

    After I cut and shaped this steel I realized the handle was too short. In the pics you can see what I did to elongate the handle. I haven’t seen anyone do this with a handle before. It feels awesome in my hand but I worry that there is a reason no one that I’ve seen has used this extra wood for a sort of pommel.

    This knife wasn’t made for a specific purpose, I made the blade and handle on the fly in a practice of knowledge building. Steel is from an old Palastani katana my mom bought for me when I was young, the handle was broken in transition to our new home a few years ago. Spring cleaning was about to see the steel in the trash but I had a different idea. I’m about to start on the third knife out of that katana. FYI the steel is actually pretty good. I’ve got an O1 blank headed my way.

    tldr; Is using the wood to elongate the handle as I’ve done generally accepatable?

    Thank you.
  2. cam_belph


    May 18, 2019
    Pics didn’t post. I’ll work that out shortly.
  3. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
  4. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    Welcome and hello. That is a very neat shape, looks very good and utilitarian at the same time. As for doing something in a certain way, I am not a knife maker but from what I understand, you basically made a hybrid tang. At least that's how I would phrase it, there certainly are types of knife tangs that don't extend all the way to the of the scales/handle, so it's not particularly unusual, I would see it more as a visual thing, if you do a full tang you generally make it flush with the back of the scales/handle. I could see the possibility of cracks forming where the tang ends if there are harder impacts like stabbing or batoning but aside from that I don't see a functional problem.
    cam_belph likes this.
  5. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Nothing wrong with that at all. Many cooking spoons and kitchen knives use that construction method. It appears that you did a very good job fitting the handle to the tang.
    cam_belph and Getting older like this.
  6. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    I've done a number of custom handles this way. Works fine if you carefully fit the joints and make sure to glue correctly. I did this on a knife by Daniel Fairly, which he later did on at least on of his own.

    Not too common, I'd say, but it can creatively fix a problem.

    orangejoe35, palonej and cam_belph like this.
  7. cam_belph


    May 18, 2019
    Thanks for the input guys.

    3fifty7, now that you say that I do recall seeing kitchen knives like that in the past.

    TRfomMT, nice looking handle and craftsmanship. I see you used 5 pieces, I didn’t think about doing it that way. Luckily I’ve got access to a good band saw so gluing just one piece on my knife was pretty painless.
  8. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    WValtakis likes this.
  9. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    That'll Work !
    Sculpted . . . reminds me of my Grail as far as the sculpting of the sides of the handle goes. I like it !
    My Grail LINK > > >
    I carry a Pendleton Hunter in 3V with similar sculpted handle and it has a bit more on the tail end like yours.
    Thanks for posting.
    PS: the only down side and it is a small one; you can't use the butt end of the handle to pound with since the tang doesn't go to the end (skull cracker I believe is the old school term). I don't need that. As long as you don't pound in your tent stakes with the butt of your knife you're good.
  10. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Your knife construction is just fine...pretty common, actually. Good job.
    Got stuck on Wowbagger's link and it made me tired just thinking about all the work it took for him to finish. But a Grail is a Grail, and you do what you must in order to attain one... I like a thin blade also...(casual user)
    My biggest problem is that I keep ending up with great blades but slippery grips...much like Wowbagger. Nice, slippery wood that looks great but ya can't hang onto the sucker...
  11. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Great job. You saved a good knife from going through life with a silly factory handle !
    It is way over in another corner of the pasture but part of what I enjoy about the big old Opinel #12 is the end of the handle is similar to yours. I can just relax and use the knife without fear of it slipping out of my hand.
  12. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    . . . well . . . you know . . . guys got to have a hobby.
    I saw a book the other day 'bout a guy who rode his UNICYCLE (!) across the United States. I ride a bicycle to work everyday and I can ride a unicycle
    I think I would rather just walk across the United States.
    Each crazyness to each crazy person I say.
    Not saying I'm not nuts. :D

    PS: hahaha looking back the Grail handle was no big deal; didn't seem like it took long. o_O:confused: :thumbsup: :)
  13. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Does the wood you chose require any finish / oil on it ?
    Some prefer bare wood for a knife handle.
    Some species of wood doesn't take finish well and feels better without.
  14. cam_belph


    May 18, 2019
    @Sonnydaze Thanks for the compliments. I definitely thought about positive grip when making the handle shape.

    @Wowbagger The handle is maple and definitely requires some sort of finish. I tried a stain on it but really didn’t like the way it looked so I sanded it out. I’ve applied some finishing wax to it for now. Apparently maple responds well to leather dye, of which I currently have none. If I use maple again I’ll get some from a craft store so it’s not so plain white. That grail was an interesting project.

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