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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2014, 07:54 AM
Rocket_Jason Rocket_Jason is offline
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Pins before or after epoxy

Wow! It's been a while since I have posted here! I just lost the desire to make knives so I put it aside for a white. I figure it's time to get back at it.

Regarding pins and epoxy, I am wondering how many people drill the pin holes and install the pins AFTER the epoxy has set up? It seems to me that doing it this way would require you to shape the handle pretty close to finish before you drill pin holes or you might not get the location just right since you can't see the steel. However, this method seems less messy. I saw Tim Zowada do it this way on "A Craftsman's Legacy" on PBS.

I have always drilled the hole(s) and dry fitted the knife with pins before epoxy. Then I apply epoxy to everything, including the pins, and clamp it up. It's pretty messy, but I have always worried about cracking or over heating the epoxy with a drill bit. Also, doing it this way, I only need to mix epoxy once.

Thanks,
Jason


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  #2  
Old 12-03-2014, 08:49 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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For me it depends on the knife/design/handle material. For the most part when dealing with full tangs I do everything at once. For hidden tangs I let the handle "glue" dry, then rough profile the handle, leaving both sides FLAT....then locate and drill a single pin hole through the handle material and tang...and glue the pin in....it takes an extra day, but it's the best method for me.

When putting scales on full tangs. I think its very important to first locate and drill pin holes in the knife tang....then use that as a template for each of the scales......drilling through handle material and tangs already "glued on"....often causes the pin holes in the handle material to be "wollowed" out, which creates glue lines/gaps around the exterior ends of the pins.


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Old 12-09-2014, 09:10 PM
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jank jank is offline
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I've made a really neat jig that allows me to set my knife with pre drilled holes on the scales and do both scales at one time. I've saved tons of time gluing up and setting knife scales. I then profile the scales and pin and epoxy all at one time. Then it's just a little clean up of the epoxy... I prefer using mechanical fasteners works with pins or bolts.

My routine is to profile, rough grind, heat treat and temper six a day, the next day I'll finish the blades and set the scales and make the sheaths.


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  #4  
Old 06-23-2015, 08:47 PM
BattleBorn BattleBorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jank View Post
I've made a really neat jig that allows me to set my knife with pre drilled holes on the scales and do both scales at one time. I've saved tons of time gluing up and setting knife scales. I then profile the scales and pin and epoxy all at one time. Then it's just a little clean up of the epoxy... I prefer using mechanical fasteners works with pins or bolts.

My routine is to profile, rough grind, heat treat and temper six a day, the next day I'll finish the blades and set the scales and make the sheaths.
Do you mind posting a picture of your jig? I would like to see it.
What I usually do is drill my pin holes in the blade, clamp and epoxy 1 scale on, let dry and then drill through pin holes, glue on the other side and let dry. Then drill through holes and epoxy in the pins. It takes a day or two at the most with quick set epoxy. Also, I always know my pin holes will line up.
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2015, 09:38 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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For me the easiest way I've found to do it is predrill the handle, heat treat the blade then epoxy one slab on. After it's set I'll flip it and drill the pin holes and do the other side. The handle is shaped then the pins applied with super glue. After they have set I trim them down and peen them then finish the handle out. To be honest, I hate full tangs. lol.
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2015, 09:49 PM
damon damon is offline
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this is another one of those issues where there is a different way for nearly each maker, and different type of knife. as for which one works best....? well that could likely be argued for ever, and in the end, they all work.

for hidden tang I do what Ed mentioned, though on a few it was easier to predrill the handle material, epoxy onto the knife, then drill through the tang, and run the pin through.

full tang knives... ill use the tang as the template. without bolsters ill layout where I want the pin holes in the tang, then drill the handle material one side at a time. (not going through the first handle with the drill to drill the 2nd scale)
from here I use a set of temp. pins to pin the scales to each other, and finish up the front face of them before epoxying to the knife.
with bolsters.... after bolsters are on and handle scales are dressed to match up ill then drill holes like I just mentioned.

one thing to look out for with some materials(some woods, ivory, and pearl) this way is not to try to drill too much too fast. take smaller bites with the drill and let it get the material out of the hole before it clogs up the drill and is basically trying to burn its way through. that will blow out the hole and leave you with a nice crater to have to deal with. this is more of an issue the smaller the drill gets. (3/32 - 1/16)

just adding a little more info to all the other great advice here.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2015, 02:50 PM
jdale jdale is offline
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Full tangs without bolsters are easy. I tape my scales together with the finished sides together, tape the blade with pre drilled holes on the wood block and drill through all at one time. With the finished faces together I always get nice clean hole edges. Cut the front of the scales to the desired shape of the handle and attach. I put a tutorial on YouTube a while back about this topic.

Edit: as I went back to look at the first post again I realized this was from the stand point of hidden tang. I have done both methods: handle and pin, and handle then pin. Handle then pin is far easier, just make sure you have a good drill bit. I drilled into one knife then realised the drill bits point was offset and I ended up with an oval pin hole

Last edited by jdale; 06-24-2015 at 02:55 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:26 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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I do exactly as Ed described - and for the same reasons.

That's not because I slowly developed great technique over the years - it's because I listened to advice from guys who did spend years learning. I noticed that when I listened, things worked out much better for me.


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