Knife handles...

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
Anyone changed or installed a knife handle?

Specifically stag deer antler blind?

I have always wanted always loved stag specically crown stag antler handles on a honkin big bowie.

But also "tine" handle smaller blades.

I looked thry boxes of aners and altho I have plenty of stock for tine handles I mount and display all that could be used for real hand filling handles.

eVay has many folks selling antlers. Most are quite proud of what they have... But I found a few to my pocket books liking and ordered them.

This isnt my first but my first crown stag attempt. Ill epoxy and pin.

Here is my first.


Here is the candidate..

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Jeff H

NW Ohio
Brian, if those don't work out, I have plenty and I ain't "proud of 'em." I'll set you up with a "price" everyone loves.;)

I've done a lot of knife handles and have been around several successful knife makers for a long time. I can possibly help, and if not, I can hit one of the other guys up.

Looking at what you have, I'd consider narrowing that tang some from the top and add several 1/8" radius divots along the top. You, being a resourceful type will be able to figure out how to cut the mortise in the handle, with some clearance for epoxy. I personally like Devcon 2-part epoxy, which comes out white, and can either provide a light contrast or hard to notice blend with natural colors. I'm sure JB Weld would work as well, but I've come to trust the Devcon for flat scales on full-tang knives, which present a challenge for adhesion under flexing of thinner blades.

I'd add a brass pin where the hole in the tang is. You can anneal and peen one end, shape it with the drill press and abrasives, make a careful guess on the length, anneal the other end and then peen that end after insertion. Give yourself a chamfer or funnel in the handle to avoid splitting when the pin starts to swell when peening. You'll need to be creative to make an "anvil" for the pre-peened end. Just anneal the very ends so the pin doesn't try to bend in the hole. A little is OK - if it bends in the right direction.

Any questions, just ask. I'm not a knife-maker, but I've reground a lot of them, reshaped them, and put handles on a bunch more and reshaped those as well. I MAY be of some use, or you may already know what I do.

I do still have some brass and "German silver" rod and tubing if you need anything like that.
 
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JonB

Halcyon member
20+ years ago, I had set forth the plans of the idea to make knives when I retired. Sometime back then, I bought a few knife "kits" and those kits are still in the box. I retired in 2016. I hadn't made one knife, before or after that date.
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In the late 1990s, I did however, glue (no pins) some antler scales on two different Western knives. I like the western knives and "had" a pretty big collection of them at one time...most are gone now. Both of these knives were heavily rust pitted and leather washers missing. Mostly it was an experiment. I left the bolster and alum tang on them, and just cleaned them up. All I did with the steel was use some fine sandpaper and a diamond eraser. I did the same with the steel blades, but they got polished, all by hand, no power tools. The pitting was uniform enough on the blades, so I left that, cuz I'd probably have to grind them into dust to get rid of all the pitting, LOL. I got use to the "distressed" look, so I was happy enough.
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The two knives are shown below. Please keep in mind, this was an experiment and was a handyman's attempt to make two Knives at the end of their life, useable again...Nothing more. They were carried and used some (by my Dad and I), and the epoxy has been holding up just fine. I did the one of the left First. My Dad thought the scales were too skinny and too slippery, so I made the on the right for him. I still have the original tube of epoxy, but since it's over 20 years old, it might not be usable...but I was happy with the grey color.

westerns right side 2022Sept21 640px.jpg

westerns left side 2022Sept21 640px.jpg

westerns bottom side 2022Sept21 640px.jpg

westerns top side 2022Sept21 640px.jpg
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
Entirely useable Jon! I have one stacked leather and one screw cap like yours that are candidates "down the road". I also have a Sharp Finger I like and just had sheaths made for that I might do antler scales on. But also "later" and if I enjoy these tasks.
Basically I dont like ta sit still but and limited by obvious to what Im able to do.


Awesome. JEFF!! Yes Please & Thank you!

I will be pinning it. I have a couple brass sticks hoping correct dia.

R.C. on epoxy, I have a couple kinds. My Fav is a shafting epoxy, used for Golf Club Heads. But it gets mighty hot. Its crazy strong. JB versions are /is all over my wall. Plus much better stuff I use for bedding.

I dont have these antlers yet... I choose cause looks and shape. They appear to be large enough but wont actually know till
In hand later in Oct. they are coming slow boat... I have a couple sets from a SC seller. No one wanted cause they was well gnawn. Hahaha But NOT where I liked the looks!! So I do have those. YES gratefully accept antlers! I can send shipping fees. (They can be bulky) But you know what I need/want so you can chop them to make
Smaller.

I have watched a few options on handles from removing ALL pith and filling with epoxy to just repeated heating & insertion to "burn" a hole.

I kinda like a lil of both... But more drilling and epoxy!! (Then pin) plus Ill have better positional options. All tips welcome!!

CW
 
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CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
Got home from visiting wife and decided to tinker...

Chopped antler...

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Then taking Jeffs advice, I cut off top "waves" and ground under side.

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Tomme boy

Well-Known Member

If you are going to be drilling or burning out the hole, this will really help with the final fitting of the tang.
 

Tomme boy

Well-Known Member
If you want a cheap version of that broach, use a jig saw blade. Might not be long enough though. A drywall saw will also work if you grind the spine down to fit it though.

I made a end cap out of epoxy and fumed silica for one knife I made. It turned out perfect. It looked just like old ivory. Sadly I don't know where this is at. Walnut in the center then aluminum spacer then white oak bolster. blued with bleach and cold blue.

Your going to get me to make another one now. I can see it.
20180404_150528.jpg
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
I finished the larger blade up yesterday.

I ended up needing to re shape the tang narrowing and ultimately shortening. I found I was getting dangerously close to surface of the antler.
I also cut a recess so the blade would drop inside the handle just about .050 mostly just to obscure any gaps. Lastly I beveled the sides.
I mixed up epoxy and filled the hole... Well attempted to so quickly mixed second batch of epoxy and finished up.

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Jeff H

NW Ohio
Nice work!

That blade reminds me of the Rifleman's Knife I used to see in Dixie Gunworks, Crazy Crow, or one of those catalogs with authentic-looking stuff. That handle looks right at home on that blade.

EDIT: For anyone wanting to try this without making a large investment, there are a lot of Scandinavian knife blades available for cheap and they have always been good quality - up through excellent quality blades. Most are stick tangs and CW's instructions would apply.

@Tomme boy , that little knife would probably cover anything I'd need to do short of an axe. Neat little knife.
 
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fiver

Well-Known Member
one of my good friends has been making knives and all sorts of antler stuff ever since i first met him in the mid 80's.
he broke down and built a pretty dang nice shop with a bunch of saws and sanders etc. just so he could cut, chop, and glue antlers to stuff.

anyway when i do an antler knife i do it sort of different.
i like to drill a guide hole in the marrow then boil the antler till it's all soft.
then i heat the tang on the blade with a torch and work the two pieces together.
no glue needed.
 

Missionary

Well-Known Member
Thanks fiver ! I have not read that method before.
Once all is cooled have you had a handle move, rotate" under hand pressure ?
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
From videos I watched the center of the antlers (marrow, but not really) is not as hard as outter antler and with heat acts like a very thick glue. Adhearing to the blade. I wasnt 100% trusting so I went epoxy. But its good ta hear a trusted conformation it works.

CW
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
i haven't used the last one i done very much.
the blade itself is kind of soft even after flame bluing it.
i probably need to get it red hot and oil quench it.
the few i made before that are with the brother and BIL's, they use them for deer hunting and such and i've had no complaints from them.

i have no real use for any blade over 3"s unless i'm filleting a fish or boning something out, and even there i can use a 2-3" blade with no set backs.
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
Well the ROE deer antlers arrived today. They are early was said to be in NOVEMBER!! They are beautiful but I made a good call using a whitetail as these are much smaller then expected. Overall good size for Roe deer but thin kinda svelte not as heavy. But will make very attractive and gnarly grips!! 1500F5D7-BF29-45E1-97E8-69663906A7D3.jpeg

I have another set of Whitetail antlers here tomorrow. Hoping they are large enough. So hard buying from pictures...

CW