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Historical Inspiration This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historical knife design and its influence on modern custom knife work.

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Old 05-26-2006, 12:25 AM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
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Saex handle attachment

I'm working on a small hidden tang saex, and wanting to be fairly authentic in the construction, and it occured to me I have no idea how the handles were attached. The few examples I've seen do not appear to have pin holes, nor do the ends of the tangs appear to have been peined... i'm not sure what choices I'm left with, I'm sure there was some mechanical means of attachment... I've considered rabbiting in the tang and using tight fitting ring/ferrules, and that way I could have an odd shaped tang that locks into the handle, but again I don't see this on the origionals.

Any insight would be great.

Thanks in advance,
George

Edited to add: If it helps, this is a small broken-back straight style saex...

Last edited by GHEzell; 05-26-2006 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:09 AM
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the ones i have seen looked like they were pushed in to antler or wood some where a way to make antler pith in to glue was posted at one time as a way to keep a tang in the handle (or was it to seal it ?)


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Old 06-04-2006, 08:21 AM
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Theories include friction fits, some kind of glue, and there are a number of utility seaxes that have wire bound around the handle just before the blade, possibly to compress the handle and keep a grip on the tang. There are, despite protests to the contrary, a bunch with pin holes and / or full tangs.


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Old 06-07-2006, 05:57 PM
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Hey Mr. Hrisoulas,

Thanks for dropping by & posting.

I actually have an inclination to test some of the Neo-Tribal resins to see how they hold up... I'll post it here if I ever get to it!


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Old 06-09-2006, 12:00 AM
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Thanks guys, that cleared up a few things.
Most of my research on these knives has been on the web, and there are some vast blank spots in my knowledge of them. I need to do alot more digging... I'm with you on the mechanical connection, something besides gunk has to be holding her together. I tend towards cross-pins, occasionally going overkill with a cross-pin and a threaded tang (overbuilding is a good thing). I think this one will get pinned.

Would any of you gentlemen know of any good reference material on seaxes?

Thanks again.
George
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:08 PM
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It is worth noting that Scandinavian knives to this day primarily use epoxy or other glues & a good fit to hold hidden tang blades in wooden handles. These knives, especially in Finland, see hard use in an environment that goes from well below zero and extremely dry to warm & humid in the Summer. If it didn't work well they would have changed the design, oh, say 1000 years ago...


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Old 06-15-2006, 09:44 AM
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All the stress of making a bunch of knives & selling them so the Lady can go out & have fun in the big city, right?

I've been taking a break from shows until I can recoup my expenses & make a profit on the sale just one knife.


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Old 06-20-2006, 07:00 PM
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I have been planning on hiding a mechanical fastener inside the handle on some viking knives coming up here soon. The viking grave find utility knives on Gottland Sweden feature a butt plate that appears to just be tacked on to the back of the handle. I figure on hiding a recessed nut on a threaded through tang, under the tacked and epoxied in place butt plate.

PS: Hi Jim, Saw your lady at Southern Faire. How is the God bottle working??????


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Old 06-20-2006, 11:05 PM
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I'll have to get the loan of some pieces back. I don't have any film shots and I didn't keep any full sized digital files. Silly me. Oh well I guess I get to learn something today

Do they prefer prints, slides or uncompressed digital? The dive magazines prefer slides if you are shooting film. I am unaware of what book publishers want.

As for the hard solder, I hadn't thought of that either. I"ll have to give that a shot. That way I can drill the holes and set my tacks after the handle is completely shaped and the butt plate buzzed down to match. Hmmmmmmmm?


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Last edited by sjaqua; 06-20-2006 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHEzell

Would any of you gentlemen know of any good reference material on seaxes?

Thanks again.
George

DIE SAXE VON VALSGARDE, Uppsala, 1945

If you can get a copy. It's a pain to translate but worth it. I got my copy through Abe's used book search.


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