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Through tang apple handle carving knife

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 03-26-2019 12:47 AM 530 views 2 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built a carving knife for a buddy who’s going to be without a shop for a while. He may not carve yet, but maybe he’ll be able to whittle a little while he’s waiting to get back into the shop.

Started out with a Morakniv 120 blade blank. It’s a shorter blade which I find really handy for detail work and which is recommended for beginners. It’s a laminated blade, so high carbon steel in the middle, with softer steel down the sides.

I drilled a hole into a chunk of apple I had on hand. On the Morakniv blanks, the tail of the tang is a little more than 3/32” so I drilled a 1/8” hole all the way through the handle-to-be.

Once that was done, I put the blade in my face vise, and heated the tang to just short of red hot using a MAP gas torch, then plunged the handle onto the tang, burning a hole into the handle. No pictures, since I wanted to keep things moving, and it took about six times to get the hole full length.

Once the hole was in, I cut 8-32 threads onto the tail end of the tang and got a nut ready. Then I put the brass bolster onto the blade, filled the hole in the handle with epoxy, then put the handle onto the blade, screwed down the nut, and cleaned up the epoxy that had gotten pretty much everywhere.

After the epoxy cured, I shaped the handle and bolster on my belt sander using a 60 grit belt, filled the voids and bark inclusions with more epoxy, cut off the excess tang, peened the end of the tang into the nut, then hand-sanded the handle up to 240 grit. Plopped it into a jar of linseed oil for about a half hour, then wiped it off.

While the knife was drying, I made a sheath out of a couple scraps of walnut and a scrap of eucalyptus. Cut the shape of the blade in the eucalyptus, then sanded it to about the thickness of the blade and glued the pieces together. It was a little too tight, so I had to spend some time with a thin file fine-tuning the fit.

-- Dave - Minneapolis





22 comments so far

View ZAGREB's profile

ZAGREB

1164 posts in 1978 days


#1 posted 03-26-2019 12:57 AM

looks handly,good job,Dave

-- bambi

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5822 posts in 1040 days


#2 posted 03-26-2019 01:05 AM

that apple makes a fantastic looking handle Dave GREAT JOB :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

5901 posts in 2594 days


#3 posted 03-26-2019 01:37 AM

GREAT WORK!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1637 posts in 1894 days


#4 posted 03-26-2019 02:09 AM

Beautiful work your Buddy should be well pleased.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Andre's profile

Andre

2545 posts in 2134 days


#5 posted 03-26-2019 05:02 AM

Like the brass tang, may have to try that out one of these days!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3556 posts in 910 days


#6 posted 03-26-2019 09:21 AM

Thanks, folks.

Andre, the hardest part about the brass bolster is getting the right sized (and shaped) hole in it for the blade to go through. I hand-shaped this one, and it was a ton of work. For future knives, a friend of mine used his mill to make up a batch of bolsters for me that should make life much easier.

I had planned to peen the bolster onto the blade, making sure the fit was perfect, but I’m leaning towards having it pretty darned close and just filling any gaps with epoxy. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s good, and it doesn’t take hours of work. I guess I’ll find out for sure on the next one I make. I’ve got eight mode blade blanks, so hopefully I’ll have things figured out by the time Ihave to reorder.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

741 posts in 716 days


#7 posted 03-26-2019 10:41 AM

Dave – great project set. Sweet looking handle.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3556 posts in 910 days


#8 posted 03-26-2019 11:28 AM

Thanks, Bill. You’re also going to be shop-free this summer, right? Need a carving knife for your pocket shop?

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2651 posts in 2676 days


#9 posted 03-26-2019 11:29 AM

Since I know who the “shopless buddy” is, I’m looking forward to trying this out. I need to find some basswood and learn about carving. This might also be a good tool to use to make a shopless BBQ Swap item….

TIA Dave.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3556 posts in 910 days


#10 posted 03-26-2019 11:34 AM

Sure thing, Earl. Green oak or ash would also work nicely for making a burger flipper or something like that. Jögge’s Swedish Knife Grip Sessions has a butter knife and spoon and maybe spatula which are all BBQ-adjacent projects, if not right on.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8923 posts in 1466 days


#11 posted 03-26-2019 12:15 PM

So, what if I have a shop but it’s really dirty? Would that get me a knife? ;-) Nice work Dave :-)) I just recently bought my first Mora (106) and it seems really nice. I’ll give it a more complete test drive in a couple of weeks on vacation. I could see the 120 being the next one on the list. Been eyeballing their hook knives too…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3225 posts in 1715 days


#12 posted 03-26-2019 12:42 PM

Nice. I am going to have to look into those blades.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

14349 posts in 4425 days


#13 posted 03-26-2019 01:40 PM

Very functional knife. Thanks for showing the process.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3556 posts in 910 days


#14 posted 03-26-2019 01:50 PM

Been eyeballing their hook knives too…

I’ve got their two main hook knives too. If you have questions, ask away. Or look at the hook knife sections of the Swedish Knife Grip Sessions.

Thanks guys. Their stock handles are useful, but I like being able to make my own. Nice to have a custom knife.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2651 posts in 2676 days


#15 posted 03-26-2019 05:11 PM



So, what if I have a shop but it s really dirty? Would that get me a knife? ;-)

- HokieKen

Wait – I thought you just cleaned house??? There is always that corn handle knife….

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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