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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 01-20-2001, 09:37 PM
Don Cowles
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Something different


Well, I have started making a couple of Talonite knives, grinding them in two of my familiar patterns. This is tough stuff, folks. Need carbide drills, and can't cut it with a bandsaw. Tapering the tangs is a real experience!

I went slow drilling the first few holes, and things were going fine, until the drill slowed way down on one hole, and began to glow a brilliant orange. Then some beautiful purple spirals began to climb out of the hole, and I understood the problem. One of the HSS (67 Rc) tool bits I had been using as a parallel had shifted under the drill bit. It has a hole in it now, and the drill glows red on every hole. Takes a lot to dull a carbide bit, but I managed to pull it off.

By the way, Talonite runs about the same cost per blade as Devin Thomas stainless damascus! Ain't near as pretty, either, but if it makes a super tough cutting instrument, it might well be worth the price of admission. More down the road; I'll be reporting!
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2001, 02:06 PM
JerryO13
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Don,

I think the real plus of Talonite is it is rust free. It shoulds be a great material for salt water environments.


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  #3  
Old 01-22-2001, 02:31 PM
Don Cowles
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Agreed, Jerry- I have a dentist customer who wants me to make him a dive knife. I will beat these prototypes to death (if I can), run 'em hard, and put 'em away wet. I want to see what happens. I still think I will try to make them look pretty, though. I am planning on 416 bolsters, and probably micarta for the handle on one, and stabilized Osage Orange wood for the other. Gee, I love this stuff!
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2001, 06:42 PM
JerryO13
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Don, doesn't the wood defeat the purpose of a dive knife?

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  #5  
Old 01-22-2001, 06:46 PM
Don Cowles
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The two prototypes are not dive knives, but I'll put them through their paces anyway. They are two of my "straight pocket knife" designs.

I am testing the stabilized wood as much as the Talonite. I pay quite a bit to have every pore filled with acrylic, so it will be interesting to see how it responds to getting soaked. If it swells or splits, I will have a new and different understanding of the value of the stabilization process.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2001, 06:50 PM
JerryO13
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Don, keep us informed and remember talonite doesn't hold up to lateral stress's as well as steel. So no prying!



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  #7  
Old 01-22-2001, 07:59 PM
Don Cowles
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I promise, Jerry!
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2001, 08:19 PM
Roger Gregory
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Don

I have a Tom Mayo Talonite knife and I love it. On reflection I should have gone for the Micarta handle but I chose kingwood. My sweaty hand means I have to polish the handle too often! It's great to take sailing, no worries about water, just about dropping it.

The only Talonite knives I've looked at carefully are Tom Mayo's and Allen Blade's. They both use concealed tangs. Are you making full tangs? I'm looking forward to seeing the first, hopefully before you dunk them in salt.

Roger
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2001, 08:28 PM
Don Cowles
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Roger, I am definitely doing full tangs. That is the strongest possible construction.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2001, 10:14 PM
primos
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With careful thermal treatments, hidden tangs are quite strong too.



The knife pictured above is a hidden tang camp knife like the one pictured below, except it's a 10 inch blade. The one below is 12 inches. It takes a lot of force to bend those suckers -- 1/4" thick at the ricasso.



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  #11  
Old 01-23-2001, 07:29 AM
Don Cowles
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Terry, as you proved, there is no doubt that hidden tang knives can be extremely strong. I was speaking in superlatives, though- if you made your hidden tang as wide and thick as the blade, it would be even stronger, no?

:cool:
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2001, 09:05 AM
primos
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Well, maybe. The point I was trying to make is that at some point it all becomes moot. It's like with computers. If one cpu processes a large set of instructions 2 nanoseconds faster than another, then it is the faster of the two. But 2 nanoseconds is not perceptible by humans, so it doesn't make much difference.

Now if we're talking about what I call stick tangs, then there's more of an arguement about strength. To me a stick tang is where you have a blade that is, oh let's say 1-1/4" wide, and the tang has been ground down to 1/4 inch so that it will fit a 1/4" hole bored through the handle material. This type of construction would not be as strong as a full tang.

The method I use on hidden tangs is quite different. I file two small shoulders at the back of the ricasso to serve as a stop for the guard. That is, at the blade/handle juncture the tang is almost as wide as the ricasso. This is one area where you really need the strength to resist lateral forces. With this method, I obviously wouldn't bore a 1" hole in the handle, because the handle would have to be about 1-1/4" thick. So what I do is this:

If the handle is in block form, I spit it down the middle, trace off the tang, mill out a slot to fit the tang, then put it all back together. The result is a nice tight mortised slot for the tang. With scales, I do the same thing minus the splitting part.

By the way, this is in no way meant to be a confrontational post. It's just general conversation -- just food for thought. I consider most everyone here in the forums to a better knifemaker than me. I'm just a hobbyist. I probably should wait until I'm as good as you guys to voice an opinion, but heck, I want to play too.

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  #13  
Old 01-23-2001, 09:52 AM
Don Cowles
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Terry, I think debate (what we are doing) is considerably different that confrontation or argument. I always learn something in a debate.

In this instance, I learned that "hidden tang" does not mean "stick tang"- I guess I always heard what you are referring to as a "mortise tang." I think we are of the same mind- more steel in the handle provides better lateral strength.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2001, 11:02 AM
primos
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I may well have my terminology wrong. I just figure if you can't see the tang, it must be hidden.

I've enjoyed our brief little debate. You know, we all get along so well here, it's almost disgusting. :

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  #15  
Old 01-23-2001, 12:29 PM
JerryO13
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Interesting, Johnny Stout is making me a bowie and it will be hidden tang as well, but he also told me not to worry that it would be very strong even though hidden. I guess it's safe to say that all stick tangs are hidden but, not all hidden tangs are stick tangs.
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