wa rehandle project

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Joined Apr 25, 2014
Thanks! This was our first project like this.

for anyone interested in trying such a project: The wood is impregnated with a stabilizing resin already. Not strictly necessary for a hardwood, but it should help with not warping/cracking. Thats more of a problem for western handle scales pulling away from the tang then on wa handles. Fit the wood into the horn with a mortise and tenon joint, then epoxied. To make it shiny, we took it up through 1500 grit sandpaper, then a finished with linseed and beeswax. The blade is burn fit in so I have the option of moving it to another knife eventually. I might use hide glue, which is reversible too, using moisture and heat.

It just feels more solid and heavier than the burnt chestnut D shaped handle I replaced. Burnt chestnut varies in quality I guess, because the octagonal ones from JKI , I like a lot.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
How are you shaping that, a plane and sanding block?  I was under the impression that you didn't have a belt sander.

Rick
 
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I didn't originally.  Then I started picking up tools when I started those forgecraft fixer upper projects.  I now have a 4x36" belt sander and a drill press.  Soon a band saw.  Then a forge! just kidding... maybe

I'll say you get what you pay for with harbor freight.  I spent almost an hour getting the belt to track.

I do like working with hand tools as much as possible, especially on western handles.  Sanders make a ton of heat.  At some point the epoxy stops working, so you have to stop and cool it down a lot. 

That's why I like the simplicity of wa handles.  It's not a bunch of metal and spacers and wood and pins all held together by epoxy; it's just one solid block of wood mostly. And it won't warp on you and pull away from the tang like western scales either.
 
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First time working with horn too.  Wasn't sure if it would work with a plane.  Filing and sanding worked fine.  I read some people heat it up and it becomes malleable, but I didn't try.
 
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Yeh and the HF sanders are also prone to throwing bearings.  I thought maybe without a sander you would rough plane the handle, rough file the horn and then put everything together and finish sand with a block.  Bit of a pita though.

Came out looking great.  How many hours it take?

Rick
 
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It was in between beer and bbq over a weekend. I'd guess 3 hours not including epoxy curing time or linseed oil/beeswax drying time.
 
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