Getting into knife making

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by LinnyH, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. LinnyH


    Mar 7, 2017
    I'm just getting into knife making. I'm wanting to get started by making handles for the knife blade I want. What are the basic materials and tools needed? I understand wood, bone etc.. for handles but if someone could please elaborate on what is all needed for a decent knife handle.
    Any help please and thank you.
  2. tinkerer


    Oct 6, 2009
    Going to mount a handle on a blade?

    Drill press, bits, sanding drums, belt sander, epoxy, pins, and materials such as wood, carbon fiber, micarta plastic, etc. And don't forget safety glasses, gloves, and maybe a respirator.

    And some idea what you want it to look like.

  3. Knife1987


    Dec 10, 2011
    Do you have the knife blade you want yet? Are you making it, or is it a blade that is already made? I would agree with all of the things Larry listed.
  4. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2007
    Take a gander through the stickies at the top of this forum, as there's a lot of really good info there. Do you have any basic tools already?

    For just fitting a handle onto a blade, you really shouldn't need anything too elaborate. A small drill press is handy, though pin holes can be drilled by hand if you're careful. Material can be shaped and removed starting with files and rasps, and finished with progressive grits of abrasive paper. A belt sander/grinder is nice, but not necessary.

    For cutting rough profiles of the scales before initial assembly, you can use anything from a bandsaw to a scroll saw, jigsaw, coping saw, etc...

    Use a good two part epoxy for glue up, and something like corby bolts are a relatively easy way to mechanically fasten them.

    When it comes to shaping, try to stay away from the dreaded "block shaped handle". You want a cross section that's almost egg shaped. Not too round, but not too square either.
  5. Karl B. Andersen

    Karl B. Andersen

    Jul 27, 2003
    Start putting it together.
    When you get to a place where you need something - get it.
    After a couple knives you'll have what you need to put knives together.
  6. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    What handle material did you have in mind to start off with?
    I used Kirinite for my first few scales and found it easy to work with and polishes nicely, some have had issues with it's durability though.
    GFlex epoxy is well regarded.

    Sent via telegraph with the same fingers I use to sip whiskey.
  7. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Minimum is the materials, ie. wood, pins, epoxy, and tools, ie. drill, files, saw, sandpaper, and a flat surface such as a ceramic tile, granite, or piece of glass. Scales and tang need to be flat.

    Maple and Walnut are economical choices for a first handle, as is micarta. Don't try g-10 without a proper respirator. Wood can be done with a disposable dust mask. Brazing rod is a cheap source of pin material.

    Non industrial glues are j-b weld (slow cure) and gorilla glue polyurethane glue. Both clean up with acetone or laquer thinner.

    Use watco Danish oil for the handle finish if wood. Tru oil is another good option.

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