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  #1  
Old 03-18-2017, 11:25 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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full tang or hidden tang

I know it is personal preference, but just wondering what you like to do better, full or hidden tang and why. I myself prefer a full tang because of the strength of the knife, not really sure how much stronger it is, but I like the ease of it as well, unless doing antler.

Carl
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:43 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Hidden tang are strong too.

Look at a Katana's stub tang and think how much stress it takes as a sword. Actually a hidden tang is easier and more than strong enough if properly done. It isn't rocket science.

Especially for some synthetics getting the fit between the scales and full tang is a pain, I pride myself on how little you feel when the knife is finished. Softer synthetics take a lot longer to get that fit right. On a hidden tang it isn't as much of an issue. When I polish the handle I don't have to worry about the steel sticking out as it doesn't polish down like the handle material does. I end up doing more work and time with a full tang, a hidden tang I just drill a hole in it and I have a small cross travel table for the guard slotting.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:35 AM
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Lots of the old battle swords were constructed with stick and hidden tangs.....that tough enough?
As Jim implied, it's more about how well the tang is constructed and things are mechanically designed, fitted and applied. If the rest of the blade is not designed and HTd properly the tang won't matter much.


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Old 03-19-2017, 10:10 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Almost all mine are stub tang. I've always felt that if you have a gorgeous piece of wood why break up the pattern - a stub tang shows off the handle to better effect.

As for strength, I made a 20" short sword with a Micarta handle specifically to test the handle strength reasoning that the long blade would put a lot of strain on the handle joint. That was 17 years ago and everybody who has come out here to visit has tried to break that handle loose by chopping the blade into a stump and then bending it sideways. Some were large, strong people too but not even the slightest sign of give in that handle joint.

One final point: IMO a full tang, even a tapered tang, screws up the balance of a short bladed knife. A stub tang feels much better balanced to me ...


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Old 03-19-2017, 10:47 AM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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great point about not breaking up the pattern on the handle Ray, never looked at it like that, but makes perfect sense to me.

Carl
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:13 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I think like you said its personal preference. I am sure we could argue all day wich is better, I think the short answer is do what YOU like they both have there plus and minus's. As jim said on a full tang if you use a soft material you end up being able to feel the tang as its slightly raised. However this can be avoided with the right equipment and very carefull grinding and buffing at least for me . I used to hate doing hidden tangs because I am extremely impatient and I would always file of too much of the guard slot so I always had a lil gap in there. Then I took a note from a traditional katanaI had gotten years back. And put a small spacer in front of the guard. I found it easier to get a tight fit with that and it goes infront of the guard so it will hide a slight gap in the guard tang fit up. Over the past couple months I have come to like hidden tangs better I just have to FORCE my self to slow down when filing the guard slot (oh by the way well I think most of you guys know its hard for me to slow down LOL) However I just got a mini mill and I have a hidden tang blade I am working on, I hope it will help as I can mill the slot pretty close and have less filing to do. So my position on this is STARTING to sway (I still do full tangs) So again do what feels best for YOU
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:39 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Oh and a hidden tang design uses less material. I made a billet of damascus and got four knives out of it as I had access to their TIG welder at the college and welded a 1/4-20 bolt to the stub so I can put a pommel on if I want. If you're short on material a hidden tang is the way to go with or without putting a bolt on it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:32 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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I've been doing full tangs pretty exclusively for 12 years, but just recently started hidden tangs.
Wayne Goddard once wrote that a hidden tang exposes less of the metal-to-handle joint to the elements (paraphrased), and in his opinion, seals it up better for a knife less likely to fail at that joint.
I am starting to see that wisdom. Peening pins works, but splitting the wood while doing so is frustrating. Being careful not to split the handle material can mean not enough peening to hold well--it's tricky.

I'll will be using more Corby's and loveless type fasters on my full tang pieces henceforth.


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Old 03-21-2017, 05:58 AM
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It's always that last tap that gets you. Gotta learn to stop one tap earlier (which ever one that is).


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Old 03-21-2017, 10:05 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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You guys ever seen the hybrid wood on knife kits? its a dyed wood block with resin running through the middle. Now I know this look doesn't fit every knife. But IF you use that and put the pin through the resin you can peen all you want I have wailed on that stuff even put it in a shop press never had it crack....again doesn't fit with every knife but is a neat look on some
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:40 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Peen the handle pins?

Believe it or not I have never done that, I use my mosaics/straight pins ground flat or corby/loveless and even cutlery rivets and some solid brass rivets for leather I can't find anymore.

Peen the bolsters, yes. All the time and fill in the countersink as well. I'd of course heard of it, but never saw it done on a handle and in the early 90s I never knew you could. Funny the different roads we take to where we are. I like my little 1/8" loveless bolts.
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antler, blade, cutlery, damascus, drill, fixed blade, full tang, guard, handle, handle material, hidden, hidden tang, katana, knife, knives, material, pattern, pins, polish, scales, small, steel, tang, tap, wood


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