How to: Tapered tang technique

Robert Erickson

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The recent post regarding creation of distal tapers got me thinking about how everyone creates a tapered tang. What is your technique and when in the course of grinding do you do it?
 

Jason Fry

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I mark the center line of the butt, then use a welding magnet and grind the taper on the platen. I take the butt to final thickness, then walk the grind toward the ricasso, just like flat grinding a bevel toward the spine.
 

Robert Erickson

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Got it. That would work nicely. Your link was very helpful in visualizing it. I'll try to see if I can rig someone like that up. If I can't rig it do you have any idea if there is anywhere in the US I can get an attachment like that?
 
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I use the same method as Jason, except I do it on the flat 9" disc grinder. I haven't felt the need for a jig yet.
 

Fred.Rowe

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Easy and accurate.
orange%2520jig%25201.jpg
 
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Jason can you explain more regarding how you are using the welding magnet. Is the magnet strong enough to hold the blade in place while you are applying pressure?
 
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Dish out the center!
Helps in many ways

I made this tutorial 2 years ago. All the tools have been updated since then but the technique is exactly the same
 
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Used to do it by hand. Hollow the center on the wheel then cut the angle on the platen. Now I use the surface grinder attachment with my TW-90.
 
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I believe I got my magnet from texasknife.com. It's plenty strong enough to hold the blade when you apply pressure. I got the 6" model, comes with a smooth wooden handle.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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I do pretty much as Jason does.

Scribe the centerline all the way around the blade blank.
Distal taper the blade and grind the bevels.
Clean up the ricasso.
Grind the tang taper from the butt toward the ricasso.

There are different situations that determine where the taper ends. On some knives, it ends where the front of the scales will be, and on others I take it to the plunge line.
 

james terrio

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I mark the center line of the butt, then use a welding magnet and grind the taper on the platen. I take the butt to final thickness, then walk the grind toward the ricasso, just like flat grinding a bevel toward the spine.

Same here. Some guys grind a shallow hollow down the tang lengthwise to make the flat-grinding go quicker, as others said above. I often take it right up to the plunge like Stacy mentioned.

Just remember to do all your drilling before tapering, while the tang is still flat and square.
 

Jason Fry

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I just use a Harbor Freight welding magnet. Plenty strong to take the pressure of flat grinding against the platen. I don't grind a hollow, but I will often drill weight reduction holes in the tang before tapering. Same principle.... less material to remove to get the tapering done.
 

james terrio

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I just use a Harbor Freight welding magnet. Plenty strong to take the pressure of flat grinding against the platen. I don't grind a hollow, but I will often drill weight reduction holes in the tang before tapering. Same principle.... less material to remove to get the tapering done.

Again, same here. The whole idea is to reduce weight as well as look cool... so either dishing it out or drilling extra holes will help with that, as well as generate a little less heat when flat-grinding it. The welding magnet also acts as a heat-sink and helps with the heat issue too.

Thanks - great point, sounds like something I'd probably screw up. :)

Trust me, you'd only do it once :D
 

Robert Erickson

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I do pretty much as Jason does.

Scribe the centerline all the way around the blade blank.
Distal taper the blade and grind the bevels.
Clean up the ricasso.
Grind the tang taper from the butt toward the ricasso.

There are different situations that determine where the taper ends. On some knives, it ends where the front of the scales will be, and on others I take it to the plunge line.

Thanks Stacy you read my mind regarding answering the question of where to stop the taper!
 
Last edited:

Rhinoknives1

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I was shown to use a file handle and to grind an old file or pin stock into fit the rear bolt/pin hole on the tang.

I wanted a handle big enough for my XL hands so found an old kitchen knife with a big handle with the blade broken/ground off at about 2" and ground it into a point that I can fit into the rear bolt drill hole. Press and grind vertically.

My tangs have been drill out like has been mentioned. I do this on a hardened blank before I grind my bevels.
Sometimes I scribe a center line and sometimes I just eyeball it. 36 grit & 120 to clean it up for cork or scotchbrite belts. I take it to the plunge line.
 
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