No-Weld Butt Cap

Mike Carter

Well-Known Member
I make some full tang knives with a butt cap. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. With thick steel. I often just drill and tap a hole in the end of the tang and tread a piece of all-thread rod into it. With thinner steel, I sometimes just cut the blank with an extension that I will thread later. Other times I cut a slot in the tang and sometimes weld the rod into the slot.

Here is a simple method that required no welding but will provide a secure method of attaching a butt cap.

Start by drilling a hole the diameter of the rod you will be using. Then, cut a tapered slot to meet the hole. It is important to taper the slot so end up with a keyhole type slot to help lock the threaded rod into the slot. I often use 10-24 all-thread for steel around 3/16" thick. You want the narrow part of the slot to be slightly thinner than the threaded rod.



Next, just tap the threaded rod into the slot. This should shear off the threads at the narrow part of the slot.





Grind it flat to the end of the tang.



You can see how the tapered slot has locked the rod into place so it will not pull out from the end. The handle scales with lock it in place from the sides.

Now just cut a piece of bar stock to size, drill it, tap it, and screw it onto the rod. I use epoxy lock it in place and will usually add a colored spacer for accent.



Shape it to the handle and sand everything down (or polish) and you're done.

 

LR Adkins

Well-Known Member
Great idea Mike. Thanks for posting it. Man, all these new ideas from this forum has my head spinning. I gotta get my new shop set up before I bust.
Larry
 

SBranson

Well-Known Member
Great idea! Have you ever had a problem with the cap twisting the threaded rod out of the key hole? Or is the pressure from the scales enough to keep it secure?
 

Mike Carter

Well-Known Member
Great idea! Have you ever had a problem with the cap twisting the threaded rod out of the key hole? Or is the pressure from the scales enough to keep it secure?
I really don't have that many of them out there that were done like that and none have been in long term use but I have no reports of problems. When I got the idea I made a couple and tested them pretty hard by pounding on things with the butt end of the knife and had no failures.

Since the knife end of the threaded rod is larger than the slot, it can't back out that way. The handle scales with keep it from coming out the side since it is flush with the tang and the scales and there is no wiggle room. The butt cap could be unscrewed with a lot of effort but I epoxy the cap and the threads so it's not going to unscrew easily. I suppose if one really twisted the cap hard enough you could break the epoxy and twist of the rod.
 
J

JDB

Guest
I like it! Great tip Mike. Nice of you to share your secrets with us.

Thanks!
 

graveyard

Well-Known Member
ill give it to ya thats a idead for a beginer to try so i well thanks a lot any other good idead do post we newbies do enjoy,em thanks
 

SBranson

Well-Known Member
I really don't have that many of them out there that were done like that and none have been in long term use but I have no reports of problems. When I got the idea I made a couple and tested them pretty hard by pounding on things with the butt end of the knife and had no failures.

Since the knife end of the threaded rod is larger than the slot, it can't back out that way. The handle scales with keep it from coming out the side since it is flush with the tang and the scales and there is no wiggle room. The butt cap could be unscrewed with a lot of effort but I epoxy the cap and the threads so it's not going to unscrew easily. I suppose if one really twisted the cap hard enough you could break the epoxy and twist of the rod.

Thanks. I meant mostly during the final glue up and assembly and particularly if adapted to be used in the case of a hidden tang.
I imagine you wouldn't need to screw to down super tight but to close up all the elements and get really good closure of the guard to ricasso/handle to guard... etc. you'd want some pressure.
I just had the vision of tightening everything up with epoxy on it all and the possibility of twisting the threads. And because it's been ground flush, the sides without threads would twist into the slot then make the rod loose and disaster...

I just wondered if that has ever come close to happening. I suppose with the scales clamped first, the pressure should counter the rotation but if it didn't go well it might lift the scales.

I like the idea particularly as one who has no access to a welder.
 
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John M Cohea

Well-Known Member
I use this method sometimes as well, and one way to insure there is NO chance of the threaded rod coming loose is to lightly weld it in with a wire welder then grind the welds flush. You want to turn the setting on your welder down pretty low so you don't burn completely through the tang or the rod.
 
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