Joining wood for handle

Discussion in 'New to Knifemaking' started by webicons, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. webicons

    webicons Member

    I would like to stack two hardwoods together vertically for a hidden tang knife handle. Do I need to add anything to prevent the two woods from separating over time or is two part epoxy between the sections enough?
    I would think that the epoxy used to join them together coupled with the knife tang/epoxy would suffice but would like to confirm. I have seen some people use dowels and/or pins. Is this necessary?

    As always, much appreciated!
  2. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    a good epoxy is enough. I also like to put a piece of liner material in the joint both for aesthetics and to give the epoxy another bonding surface.
  3. webicons

    webicons Member

    Thank you John - what do you typically use as lining material? It would definitely add some class to the handle.
    I have some brass that I was going to try but I've also seen people use a felt like material.
  4. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Two very important things to remember..... 1. Correct prep of the pieces you're "gluing". 2. Ensure that when used on a hidden tang, the actual tang extends as much as possible into the handle material (if not side shear becomes an issue)

    When it comes to spacer material used between the pieces, I choose vulcanized fiber spacer.
  5. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

    I have made a pair of knives using G10 as the spacer. I used 6 pins to help hold it together. A seventh larger pin was used to hold the hidden tang in place. Here are some pictures and I hope they help you understand a little bit better. I used west systems epoxy to hold it all together.



  6. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    I like the vulcanized fiber spacers, myself. I have used brass and copper spacers before but you definitely want to rough them up very well and do an extremely clean prep on them if there is no mechanical compression like a nut on the tang.
  7. webicons

    webicons Member

    Thanks for your help guys. This is what I came up with in the end. Its Blackwood over Oak.

    On my first attempt I used an aluminum spacer between the two but it failed miserably as I think I may not have scored/sanded the aluminum enough as Ed had recommended. Fed up I ditched the spacer and used a 7/16 dowel to join the two down the center with epoxy.

    This one turned out much better and stronger but I still want to get a spacer in there.

    I love that pop of color Dennis and I've got some vulcanized spacers coming in John. Hopefully V2.0 will be better.

    I'm still on the theme of leatherworking tools as I only have enough ambition for a chisel grind. As simple as it is, I'm getting better at that and I hope to graduate to a Sabre grind next. Also getting a lot of practice sharpening a chisel grind to a razor edge.

    I love using the knives that I make for leathercrafting and I find that making the sheath the fun part!

    FullSizeRender.jpg IMG_8415 (2).JPG
    Smallshop likes this.
  8. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    I think it looks great. A vulcanized spacer in that joint will add some additional "pop" visually. That stuff is like rebar in concrete- I'd be surprised if your metal spacer wouldn't hold just fine sandwiched between two fiber spacers.
  9. webicons

    webicons Member

    Ahhh. Right! I can see how the fiber spacers would act to "grab" the metal and mediate between the wood and the metal.

    A lot to learn this knifemaking is <yoda voice>

Share This Page