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Pics from recent project... pic heavy

Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
4,409
Just finished today! Yay! I couldn't ever do this kind of thing professionally, I would starve to death, too slow.

I got an AK bowie on a recent DOTD and decided to rehandle it in osage orange.

Here is the bowie in original form, with the chosen chunk of wood -

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First I needed to remove the original horn handles. I followed Dan Koster's tutorial for most of these steps. Thank you, Dan! To do this you have to boil the handles to soften the laha. This took about an hour of boiling. -

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Then pry them off. Easily done with a chisel and a hammer -
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Once off, you have to clean off the laha and polish up the tang. I used a belt sander with 50 grit to get this done -
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Once the laha is off and the tang is polished up, you have to even up the tang on both sides. I used the belt sander and a dremel.

Forgot to mention; I used a bench grinder to reprofile the tang. I took the hump off the top line, and made the bump at the end of the handle a little smaller.

More next post;

Andy
 
Then I marked and rough cut the scales. I used a table saw, a scroll saw and a belt sander to get this done. -
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Once the scales were roughed out, it took a lot of time to fit them to the tang so they were satisfactorily flat.

I drilled out the existing holes in the tang with a drill press. I chose the hollow pins from Home Depot. Just ordinary brass pipe fittings. -
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I cut the threads off the pipe with a dremel.

Once the pins, the holes in the tang, and the holes in the scales were drilled, I finally got to epoxy it all together. Messy!
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I let that mess dry overnight, then broke it out this morning.
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I took a hacksaw to the pins. I would have used a dremel, but I was afraid they would get too hot and soften the epoxy.
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After the pins were cut off, I took the whole thing back to the belt grinder where I ground off the pins and most of the excess epoxy.

When I got off all I could with the belt grinder, I used the dremel on medium speed with a rough drum to get down to the tang.

Then I sanded the whole thing by hand using sponge blocks, rough grit. I then coated the whole handle in super glue.
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When the super glue was dry, I sanded the handle down again, then put on another coat. It dried, then I sanded it down again, finally using fine steel wool.

I cleaned the gunk out of the pin holes using a small file. Here is the final product, with my new Brazos Semi-custom .40 2011.

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All in all, the whole job took me about 10 hours I guesstimate. I think it turned out pretty good!

Andy
 
this may sound stupid, but that blade actually looks really great stickin up out of the pot.
 
Thanks for the "on end" pic...looks great!


Job well done!



Love to see somebody take these things on themselves...it really is not that hard of a project...just takes determination and time.

You did me proud, Andy! :thumbup:
 
VERY nice, Andy. Osage is a great wood, isn't it? Almost as hard as the horn, too.

That's a very original treatment that you did to the bowie, one that I consider a big improvement. I find that the exposed tang at the end hurts when I'm chopping.

Hmmm. I have one of those bowies, and some orange sitting around the shop...
 
Thanks for the "on end" pic...looks great!


Job well done!



Love to see somebody take these things on themselves...it really is not that hard of a project...just takes determination and time.

You did me proud, Andy! :thumbup:

Not hard!! :eek: Easy for you to say, mister! :)

Thanks, though. I feel pretty good about it. Considering I had never used a belt sander or a scroll saw before (busted the blade on that osage orange) :rolleyes: :eek:

There were worm holes in the wood, I saw them but got too far into the project to turn back. At some point you just say screw it. :p

The proof is in the tight spots - the shoulders of the scales at the beginning of the blade, the fit of the scales, and the fit of the pins. All I can say is that epoxy and super glue have their work cut out for them to hold my work together! :D The cool thing is that epoxy plus super glue makes a kind of cool dark liner between the wood and the steel that I didn't expect.

Osage orange smells funny! It didn't end up with quite the figure I hoped it would have.

Dan, thanks for your help. I'll probably be picking your brain again in the future! ;)

Andy
 
Osage orange smells funny!

A really, really, damned beautiful job Andy!!!!:thumbup: :cool: :D
I really like the hollow pins and the way you modified the handle as well as getting it flat and matching the slabs to the tang!

Indeed Osage Orange, "Smells Funny." "Bois D'Arc or translated, Wood of the Bow" (True name.) = Osage Orange = Hedge Apple = Hedge = several other names needs to be handled with care because it can be toxic to some folks like Cocobola and other exotic woods.

It didn't end up with quite the figure I hoped it would have.

Andy

Andy the next time you do an Osage Orange handle try to get some wood from a crotch part of the tree. It's hell to cut but worth it because of the grain going different directions but that will give you some nice figure.:thumbup: :cool: :D
 
nice. If you cut the scales from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock (from bark to centre) in the picture, you would have had scales that were mirrored from one side of the handle to the other.
 
nice. If you cut the scales from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock (from bark to centre) in the picture, you would have had scales that were mirrored from one side of the handle to the other.

If I understand you correctly, that's what I did, except that I didn't think that I could center the scales more in the grain. I thought I would need more wood. It turns out that I didn't need as much wood as I thought I did, but I tried to play it safe.

What does the grain look like if you cut the scales across the grain, rather than with it like I did? Would that have given more figure also?

Thanks for the tip!

Andy
 
Wow, Andy, I am very impressed. Both with the project, and the review. Great work.

Currently I have removed the scales of mine. I found the tang to be canted at least 5 degrees off from the center line of the blade. I'm trying to figure out how to handle that issue now. Your project is a big help!!!

I haven't decided the scale material either. Hmmmm.
 
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