Tips/Tricks on Dovetail Glueup

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by imill3567, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    I just did my second set of “dovetailed” bolster multi piece scales on a fixed blade consisting of the bolster, main scale, and liner material. After having a very small glue line on one of the scales and now having to redo that one I’m curious if people have a good system for glue up on these. I have the glue line because the bolster wasn’t clamped down to the liner tightly enough and ever so slightly rode up the 45deg cut. I loosely clamped the main scale and bolster to the liner then clamped the ends pushing the 45 together then went and tightened up the clamps holding the two scales pieces down to the liner. Is there a better way to do this? Thanks!
     
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    You glued both the bolster and handle to the liner?
     
  3. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    1C61A217-3B3E-452A-B5AC-3A4928950FDC.jpeg
    Yes here’s a picture (from my Instagram story only photo I had). I did all this in one glue up.
     
  4. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    564
    Mar 27, 2018
    You could fix this a few ways, either don’t glue your bolster to the liner, glue the bolster to the blade then liner material to your handle material then fit the handle and liner material to the blade and bolster. Or glue the bolster to the liner first then the rest of the handle material after the glue has dried for the bolster. Either way requires careful clean up so you don’t have epoxy where it shouldn’t be but you will avoid having the pieces lift like that.
     
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  5. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    That’s a good idea. Definitely have to be pretty fastidious in epoxy clean up at the joint but I might try that. Thanks for the idea
     
  6. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    564
    Mar 27, 2018
    Longer setting epoxy works best in my opinion, 15 minute epoxy would be the quickest I’d personally use just so you have plenty of time to clean the glue off.
     
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  7. John Cahoon

    John Cahoon JWC Custom Knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    748
    Apr 13, 2017
    It's hard to tell from the low res photo where the issue is. I'm an oddball but I don't clamp because they always seem to move on me. I use the minimum glue possible after roughing up the joint with a dremel. Then press together hard while it's laying on wax paper on a flat stone slab. I check and press several times while it's curing. Then reflatten to remove any squeezeout and apply the liner to both pieces the same way. I may weigh down the assembly with steel bars or something too.

    Here's a thought... since you seem ready to abandon it why not rough profile it first to see if it's bad all the way through?
     
  8. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    @Joshua Fisher yeah I only use G/Flex plenty of time for cleanup. @John Cahoon the issue is just in front of the 45 it’s a small black looking line at the bolster to liner junction. I already did that to see if it went through that photo is flush to the spine when on the knife but thank you! I also do it on wax paper on my surface plate. I’m realizing my order of operations could be changed too so the first step is clamp the bolster down tightly so it cannot move, clamp the main piece lightly then squeeze the ends to clamp the 45, then finish by tightly clamping the main piece down to the liner. I think that would minimize the chances for the bolster to lift.
     
  9. DevinT

    DevinT

    Jan 29, 2010
    Super glue.
     
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  10. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    That would definitely be convenient time wise and in that you could just hold it with your hands until it’s cured one piece at a time. I wouldn’t have imagined that’s strong enough but you have certainly used it more than me so it must be. Thanks
     
  11. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    564
    Mar 27, 2018
    You would be surprised how strong super glue can be when you have two extremely flat surfaces and full coverage on your pieces. I used to use a ton of super glue for making wooden ink pens and inlays. Super strong stuff if used right.
     
  12. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    I always use Bob Smith CA glues.

    Using maxi cure on on G10 or Micarta is bomb proof.
    With liners use a serpentine pattern for the glue, then hold and squeeze until it does not move. Use pony clamps to secure, then use insta set for the glue. I let it set for 2 hours before cutting and grinding.

    Just remember surface prep is always a prime concern
     
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  13. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Use (hidden) aligment pins
     
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  14. HSC ///

    HSC ///

    Nov 7, 2012
    I favor 2p-10 fast glue for most things like this. It has high lap shear strength. U can search online for a pdf of specs
     
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  15. David Schott

    David Schott

    Sep 27, 2004
    Put wax paper on true flat surface. Mate the two dovetails perfectly and drip some superglue on the dry “joint” once its perfect. Itll wick the superglue into the joint. Then once dry peel the wax paper off, carefully flatten the bottom if needed and then glue the while assembly to your knife like its one piece. The joint between scales has no need for strength once the scales are attached and only needs to be sealed with the thinnest glue possible. Assemble as one scale off the knife then add to knife as one scale with the dovetails already mated up
     
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  16. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    Sounds like I’ll have to try the super glue. Also if I mess one up then it’s a whole lot faster to make another. Thanks everyone
     
  17. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Am I correct in reading that you are using 2 separate pieces (one for the front piece and another one for the back piece) to clamp your fabricated scale to your jig during glue up? Why not just use one piece to clamp them flat against your glue-up rig? This will prevent the grey piece from sliding up the ramp due to the pressure from the blue clamp. Use wax paper to prevent epoxying the scales to the glue-up jig as mentioned above.
    Untitled.jpg
     
  18. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    That’s what I did last time but these pieces were slightly different thicknesses. I think superglue for the joint then epoxy to liner and knife is the way to go.
     
  19. imill3567

    imill3567 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    207
    Aug 5, 2014
    I re-did the scale with a glue line using a combination of methods suggested here. Basically glued just the joint on wax paper on a surface plate by wicking CA glue into it no awkward clamps just held together with my hands. I could then treat it like a regular scale and glued up the knife with epoxy to the liner and liner to the scale. It worked great and was much faster so thanks for all the tips!
     
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