Friday, 2 January 2015

Full Tang Virgin Knife

Whilst chatting to my old friend about all things knifes he happened to mention that he had found a blade that needed a handle. Having never handled a full tang blade before, time to give it a whirl. He duly posted the blade onto me arriving before Christmas.

Choice on the fittings etc was at my discretion on seeing the colour of the blade I thought a dark wood would be fitting, so I plumped for Cocobolo.

As I normally do I made a cardboard cut out handle as a working template. The wood came in a nice block that required sawing in half. Unfortunately, not being an owner of a band saw it was cut by hand saw.

Once sawn into two halves time to flatten the edges. I use an 60 grit sand sheet on a large plate glass sheet for this purpose.

Time to apply the template and round the forward edges of the knife blanks. I decided after that to polish the saw cuts out.

Time to start thinking about attaching the scales to the blade. I decided to use Lovelass bolts as well as slow cure epoxy. I went with Orange Poly carbonate spacers next time fibre and a contrasting colour.

Once drilled and dry fitted it was time to think about gluing it all together. In hind sight I should have removed more of the waste wood prior to the gluing up, this caused issues later. Despite my attempts to ensure that the countersink was deep enough to accept the brass Lovelass bolts one failed to locate all the way up when I attempted to glue up again this caused issue later, lessons learnt.

To cold in the shed for epoxy resin.
Once all glued and clamped a 24 hour wait for the slow cure epoxy to dry. After the epoxy had dried I started work on the final part of the handle, shaping. 

All was going well up to the point when the Lovelass bolt that i could not get all the way down ran out of brass. Time for a fix which turned out reasonably well. I cannot express how frustrating this was as I this was my first time making a full tang handle and everything had gone so well. Despite this I continued on with the work shaping and sanding until the work was completed.

Overall, I'm pleased with the profiling, finish and the way the knife feels with the handle attached. I learnt a lot from this first attempt at a full tang knife handle. Despite that the handle will hopefully provide a sturdy working tool.

Reading on many forums about full tang v stick tang, most people seem to prefer making full tang handles. However, personally its stick tang handles for me, no pins, no competing for the wood with metal, less fiddly, less costly and the ability to shape the handle the way I want not the way the blade tells me.. anyway the knife is on its way back to its owner.

Thanks for reading, till next time.



  1. Excellent read - the owner is a lucky guy both to have such a tool and such a good friend ..............

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  3. That's what friends do. Enjoy Gary.

  4. Thats a very nice piece of work. A great start to the new year

  5. Happy New year to you and the family Clive. Glad you like it, next project is probably a Enzo Nordic. Thanks for dropping in mate.