The first thing to do was to ensure the tang would go through the brass bolster, so a bit of filing an the tang fitted perfectly. A buffer up on the polisher soon had it shining like a brass pin.
I was torn between what wood to use for the handle having looked at African Olive, Yew, Burbinga after all the messing around I settled on a lovely piece of Horn beam that I had stashed away in the shed for about five years. Well seasoned lots of people ignore this wood due to its grain not being that outstanding. Actually, I think it really suits the knife.
|Home made clamp|
Having cut the red and white fibres into the size I wanted, time to make a hole large enough to accept the tang. I always burn out my wood to accept the tang, this was the next stage. I have shown in pictures in previous posts how I achieve this. Having completed a dry fit time to assemble and glue it all together with Gorilla glue. I probably over tightened the clamp shown in the picture as I have squeezed a lot of glue out. You can just see the red fibre in the picture. The drying time is a few hours, however I always give it 24 hours before starting further work on the handle. The horn beam was originally a round piece of wood but a quick shape with my axe would assist me later with applying my template for the entire handle.
Once its all dry time to start to take the excess glue wood and fibre away. At this point I sometimes wonder if it will ever resemble a knife handle. Using knife and grinder its time to try and square it all up. Next on my to have tool list is either a small band or scroll saw to quicken up the time it takes to get rid of the excess wood.
|Red and white fibres beginning to show.|
Time to apply the outline of my design for the handle using the cardboard template I had made earlier, generally applied to either side. Its simply a case of filing, grinding and sanding to achieve the desired handle shape. Although the shape on the template is a guide certainly in my case they always seem to evolve. The handles are always shaped to my hand by trial and error.
You can make out the brass bolster that I'm working too I had covered it with protective tape. In my excitement I had forgotten to tape the edge of the blade up, something I always do, the knife reminded me that I had to tape it up :")
Once the handle was shaped it was time to polish the fibre up on the polisher. The red and white fibre all showing through nicely along with the brass bolster.
At this point I thought I had finished having applied a few coats of Danish Oil to the handle.
However, I did not like the large shape of the brass bolster. Time to go back into the shed and redesign that particular area to my satisfaction.
The finished knife handle pictured above, actually there not the best images and do not quite do the knife justice. I love how its turned out the handle a Nordic style with a nice simple piece of working horn beam wood handle. As always some lessons learnt for next time, primarily shape the brass bolster to the size you require before gluing the components together. The bolster and the template are your guides for the design of your work.
Its a lovely knife the blade is super sharp and I really think the white wood and red fibre set it all off. Time to think about making a leather sheath for the knife. However, that will have to wait until I return from Sweden.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.