Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BLEH - Knife Shop Woes

Well, I was trying to get a knife finished in time to have it up for sale by tonight's radio show (Michael Bunker Radio) but I have failed. The epoxy I was using didn't meet my strength test (I pry on the handles before I apply the pins to see if they'll come away from the tang). This is the second epoxy I've used and I'm not stellarly happy with any of them.

I don't really make display knives. While some of my knives are attractive, I expect them to be carried and used and to last a very long time. I need them to be durable. Gorilla glue worked probably the best but if you get the knife handle wet and don't dry it off then the wood will swell and break the bonds. I had this happen to me with one of my knives I foolishly left out in the garden. While I can't expect to make a knife that will stand up to any amount of foolishness, I do expect them to handle it a little better than that.

I tried using JB Weld and it worked for a couple of knives but it is a problem all on its own. First, it's very hard to mix and get the proportions right and the penalty for not doing it properly is a failed knife. Second, it's unsightly as it leaves a black layer between the tang and the wood handle scale. It's barely noticable, but I can see it and I don't want it. All other bonding agents appear to be similar to these two methods.

So I'm changing the process a little to see if I can make these other glues work a little better. It's the wood screws that primarily bond the wood to the tang but I do want a good seal around the edges. That should result in a very long-lasting knife.

Consequently, if I've made you a knife that broke or didn't meet your durability standards then you should email me at and let me what happened. I'll try to make amends.

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