Two questions

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1. I am making some little cheese knives out of .05” Titanium. Do you all think there is too much flex for handles? Should I just get thicker stock and round everything?

2. What is a good handle material to practice wa handles on? Ideally it would be ok to leave on the knife permanently but if not no big deal.

Thanks for any input.
 

weo

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Do you all think there is too much flex for handles?
That depends on the intended cheese. Also difficult to know how hard you are pushing to get the bend. If you're planning on trying to make some money off them, it's always a good idea to do some product testing.
 

Hubert S.

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I made a knife out of 0.04" AEB-L that has a good bit of flex with a 3/16" Corby bolt near the front and a hidden pin in the back. The handle is linen micarta with a G10 liner. This blade gets flexed all the time, it is for making German Spätzle. No issues with it after not quite one year of use. On the other hand, I have some cheap commercial spatulas and a $7 Thai knife with wooden handles that show a little gap at the front when you flex the blade. They all have three rivets through the scales.

Take that for what it's worth, just a couple of data points. I'd use a solid material, a mechanical fastener near the front and some good epoxy.
 
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These are for my sister, so no money exchanged. I would say I’m putting twice my hands weight to get them to flex this much. I did not want to use corby bolts but it looks like that’s the best option. Thanks for replying.

Any suggestions for the second question?
 

Hubert S.

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Any suggestions for the second question?
To me, there are two separate issues with wa handles. One is the handle blank construction, the second is grinding it into a perfect shape. I use the dowel method and a milling machine to mill out a slot that meets the dowel hole, then glue the pieces together with a spacer. There is very little that can go wrong here and I never felt the need to practice this aspect on cheap material. The issue of grinding the blank is different though, and I have messed up a couple of them. For the last five or so handles I used stainless templates glued to the ends of the blank, and this method is working well for me. The only thing that can really go wrong is gluing the templates on in the wrong spot. I mark the layout on the ends based on how the blade sits in the blank and so far I haven't had any issues. I made several test handles out of construction lumber to practice grinding. There are some more details in this thread.

All that said, I think walnut might be worth a try. It's pretty cheap and widely available and should last a good while. I haven't used it on knives, but made some tool handles with it that have held up very well.
 
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Thanks. I will try walnut. I bought a piece of cherry I think at like 15 USD. So not too pricey. I looked yesterday at alpha knife supply and they sell 1”x5”x12” sheets of g-10 or micarta for like 100 USD, so might get that to try to make 8-10 blocks. I will try the cherry and walnut on some 1075 blades I cut out for wa handles. I like to use g-10 with stainless and micarta or wood on knives that rust easily.
Not sure about the dowel thing though. I think I will try to use the drill bit method before trying the dowel. Thanks again.

Hubert- do you make a bunch of blanks with the dowel holes beforehand, or make them as you are making the knives?
 

Hubert S.

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Thanks. I will try walnut. I bought a piece of cherry I think at like 15 USD. So not too pricey. I looked yesterday at alpha knife supply and they sell 1”x5”x12” sheets of g-10 or micarta for like 100 USD, so might get that to try to make 8-10 blocks. I will try the cherry and walnut on some 1075 blades I cut out for wa handles. I like to use g-10 with stainless and micarta or wood on knives that rust easily.
Not sure about the dowel thing though. I think I will try to use the drill bit method before trying the dowel. Thanks again.

Hubert- do you make a bunch of blanks with the dowel holes beforehand, or make them as you are making the knives?
I don't make enough knives to make a whole bunch of blanks, but I have made two at a time and it saves a good bit of time overall because of the setup and cleanup time. I had to remake a handle that had a crack in it just before Christmas and it took me a little under one and a half hours to get the blank glued up. This is a hobby for me so I go slow and try to have fun.

Most of the knives I make are 2mm thick or less, so I mill the tang slot with a 1/16" end mill that has a depth of cut of 3/16" or so. I don't know what tang thickness is practical for just drilling and reaming the hole from the front, but I can't imagine anything below 1/8". I think it's a lot easier to drill a bigger deep hole for a dowel, plus I like the contrast of a spacer or a different material for the "ferrule". There are many ways to do it, though, you just have to find what works for you.
 

JTknives

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Real thin blades seam to preform best with a full tang construction. If your worried about flex opening up a gap then use a material like g10 or micarta and some type of Physical retaining pin like a corby or loveless.
 

Richard338

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I made a couple cheese knives out of 0.048" CPM 3V.
That's about the same thickness, and mine don't flex too much even with the cutouts.
I don't know how much different it will be with titanium, but I guess you can look up some relative values.
KKd4UnF.jpg
 
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I don't make enough knives to make a whole bunch of blanks, but I have made two at a time and it saves a good bit of time overall because of the setup and cleanup time. I had to remake a handle that had a crack in it just before Christmas and it took me a little under one and a half hours to get the blank glued up. This is a hobby for me so I go slow and try to have fun.

Most of the knives I make are 2mm thick or less, so I mill the tang slot with a 1/16" end mill that has a depth of cut of 3/16" or so. I don't know what tang thickness is practical for just drilling and reaming the hole from the front, but I can't imagine anything below 1/8". I think it's a lot easier to drill a bigger deep hole for a dowel, plus I like the contrast of a spacer or a different material for the "ferrule". There are many ways to do it, though, you just have to find what works for you.
Thanks for the info. The more I think about it the better I think the dowel method will be. Then I will only need to worry about a little area at the top of the handle looking/fitting perfect. Thanks for the explanation.

Real thin blades seam to preform best with a full tang construction. If your worried about flex opening up a gap then use a material like g10 or micarta and some type of Physical retaining pin like a corby or loveless.
The wa handles will be for some .08” and .1” material. These titanium knives will be full tang. I wanted to use g10 pins because I like how colorful they can be. But I think I will get some titanium corbys for these. Thanks.

I made a couple cheese knives out of 0.048" CPM 3V.
That's about the same thickness, and mine don't flex too much even with the cutouts.
I don't know how much different it will be with titanium, but I guess you can look up some relative values.
KKd4UnF.jpg
These knives are the original inspiration for me wanting to make cheese knives for my sister. I believe you posted them in the what’s going from in your shop thread a while back. I really like them. But cutting out the squares seems daunting and I saw the design I used in person and really like that design too. Thanks for the input.
 

Richard338

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The cutouts are relatively easy since the material is so thin. You just drill a hole in each area large enough to get needle files in...
Good luck with the project, I'll be interested in how they turn out.
 
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Little update one year on. I finally finished the knives for my sister for Christmas. Purple and gold handles since her husband loves LSU. I used gold G-10 pins and told my sister they are for soft cheese only.


I found some super cheap wood logs that don’t need to be stabilized from Atlas Billiard Supplies. One of my former hobbies was playing pool and buying and selling cues. Purple Heart and the others don’t need to be stabilized and are used in cues a lot. So I checked them out, and for an 18” long block was 7-9 USD. Can probably get 4 handles out of each one. Extremely cheap way to practice. I finished one nakiri regrind and used purple heart. Holding up good.


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