HiddenTang Knife: Page 1
Click on any of the thumbnails below for a more detailed photo
|For this tutorial on making a hidden or partial tank knife, I picked a kind of high tech looking diving knife. Many of the techniques shown here can be modified and used on just about any other knife blank you may be considering and, as always, I encourage you to experiment.
|Trace the knife blank on a piece of paper and draw the knife handle you'd like to use. Do this as many times as it takes to experiment and come up with the handle that would look best. Hmmm. That extended tang comes awful close to the edge of the knife handle I'd like. Looks like I'm going to have to trim it a bit.
In keeping with the high tech look , I'm going to do a contrasting wood motif of a dark purpleheart and a lighter colored maple burl, epoxied together. You can see I marked the handle profile with a magic marker. That's the cast brass guard I'm going to use on the left.a
|To cut the tang down so it doesn't come too near to the inside top edge of the handle, I'm using the trusty Mototool with a fiberglass cutting disk. Makes fast work of even hardened steel.
|You'll have to widen the slot in the guard to fit over the tang from the back. Rough out the slot with a Mototool with a carbide burr bit. Finish with a file, checking often. You want a good, tight, snug fit.
|Polish the front of the guard with a worn belt. Easier to do this now than after the guard is attached . Don't worry about the sides ( we'll do those when we do the final handle shaping) but do the back also to make sure you're going to get a good, snug, square fit.
|I'm going to do a separate tutorial on soldering but for now, here's the short version: Apply flux to those areas where you want the solder to adhere and use a propane torch to heat up the guard and tang to the point that the solder melts when touching it. Don't try to melt the solder directly with the torch. Beginner's mistake! Clean up excess with a Mototool and drum sander attachment.
Again, I add my "trademarked" black-white-black fiber spacers just in case I.....you know... ...become a famous knifemaker someday. Seriously. Stranger things have happened! Superglue works fine here since the part isn't really under any stress.
Shape and sand the front of the handle
for a good tight, flat fit against the back of the guard.
Use a bandsaw or jig saw to cut the
Split the handle down the middle with a bandsaw. I used a drop of hot glue to stick the handle to the side of a 2 x 4 to make sure it was held absolutely vertically while carefully cutting. A quick pass on the bench sander will make sure the insides are perfectly flat
|Trace the tang on both inside halves of the handle. By the way, did you notice the grooves I cut in the top and the bottom of the tang when I was cutting it down? This will give the epoxy something more to grab onto when it cures.
Hey, don't stop now. Take me to Page 2