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Old 06-10-2022, 10:54 AM
Brewerpaul Brewerpaul is offline
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 1
Handles for a kit knife

Hi all-- I'm not really a knife maker and don't have plans to get into it a lot as a hobby. I have too many hobbies already.
A couple of years ago I made a small Santoku and paring knife from Woodcraft kits. This involved adding wooden scales, and I did not use pins or rivets. I was not totally happy with my results. Mainly, the bolsters got scratched up from my shaping the handles. Still, they held up well and I enjoy using them.
I just bought a matching set of Katsura damascus blanks to make a wedding gift and I want to do them up right. This one, plus a matching paring knife and a diamond hone/sharpener which was a freebie for spending over $100

It comes with cutlery rivets and a pretty mosaic pin.

On my previous kit knives, I basically glued the blanks then did all the shaping on a belt sander plus hand sanding. That obviously didn't work out for me as I planned.
For equipment I have a drill press, scroll saw, 4x34"belt sander, Dremel with attachments, many hand tools

How does this strategy sound:
Rough cut rectangular scales from 3/8 stock available locally
Tape those together, good sides in and clamp them to the blank
Drill the holes
Trace the blank onto each scale with rivets temporarily in place for alignment.
Cut out the handle on my scroll saw, leaving it a tad large, final shape with sandpaper.
Hand sand the thickness to match the bolstser so as not to scratch the bolster
(basically totally shaping and sanding the handle, right down to the finest sandpaper before gluing and riveting the handle)
Epoxy and rivet the handle and clamp
Final hand sanding, covering the bolster with painter's tape.
Apply finish (thinking multiple coats of Danish oil)

Am I missing anything? Any better suggestions?
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Old 06-11-2022, 03:54 PM
M&J's Avatar
M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 915
That is one way and would be a suitable process.

My approach is get the handle scales flat and fitted up.
Drill for pins.
Cut handle material to about 1/8"-1/4" oversize.
Epoxy up.
Contour and shape to comfort.
The bolsters can be given a hand rub or buffing that way it is a smooth blend to the handle scales. The painters tape will leave a step so I would suggest gently sanding the bolsters and handle even no tape.
Sanded to about 600 or 1000 then apply the Danish oil.

Then enjoy your new knife!

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Old 06-11-2022, 05:20 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 2,921
The only thing I see wrong with your method, Brewerpaul, is that if you don't be very careful when you drill your wood for the pins you can be at an angle when you put the sides on the knife "good side out". Either the pins won't go or you'll find yourself opening up the holes to make them fit and losing the tightness in the process.

As M&J pointed out, I'd leave some material on the handles so that it would be fitted after the epoxy.

A pretty nice kit, with holes already in place and with the right pins in the kit.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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