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Scrap Wood Knife Handles
If you're anything like me, you always have plenty of beautiful exotic wood scraps left over from previous knife handle projects, scraps that are too small to serve as a full handle. I used to have some VERY expensive campfires, reminiscing about historic projects as I burned these, until I saw a scrap wood handle at a recent knife show. It was absolutely gorgeous and convinced me that these pieces could have a very useful and beautiful second life.
|I went through my scrap box looking for some decent, contrasting woods. In this photo you'll see some cocobolo, bloodwood, maple burl , rosewood and a few unidentified pieces.
|They're all different thicknesses, but I want to cut them down to pieces approximately 1" x 1 1/2" square to make them easier to glue up. Here I'm using a sliding table or "sled" on my table saw.
|And here's what you should end up with. Start mixing up the order to get contrasting woods sitting next to each other. Keep checking until you get a visually pleasing order.
|Use a good, professional grade wood glue and start gluing away. Apply clamp to assure even pressure and good contact. Light pressure is better or you'll squeeze all the glue out.
|When cured, I sand one side on the belt sander to get one good, flat "reference" side. Then I pass it through the table saw with the reference side against the fence to get a solid, square block.
|Split the block into separate scales on the bandsaw . I then trace the outline of the tang on the inside of these scales to get an idea where I'm going.
|I want to reinforce the inside of these scales to keep them from splitting when I drive the pins in and decide to use a 1/16" plywood spline. Since I don't want this to be seen in the finished handle, I use a Dremel Moto-Tool with router head attachment to inset a channel where the plywood will sit. Double stick tape holds the scale in place during routing.
|Go ahead and glue the spline in and clamp until cured. You can see here how the plywood reinforcement will be hidden inside the scales and won't be seen in the finished product.
|At this point, these can be treated as just another set of scales and you can go ahead and mount. If you're unclear on the steps in doing this, please refer to one of my previous tutorials.
|Done. I used wood pins to keep the wood look consistent. I like it. reminds me of those hard working, stacked leather washer handles from the WWII Marine bowies.
|If there's enough interest, I'll start bagging up my cutoffs and package them for your own use in making scrapwood handles. Let me know.
Leather and KYDEX Sheath
Hey, as long as we're using scraps, let's consider this: I like the look of leather sheaths and the functionality of KYDEX. Any reason you can't combine the two? Let's try it and see what happens.
|Form the back of the sheath as shown in the picture to allow for belt loop and a lip for the shoulder of the knife to sit against. For a refresher course, take a quick look at my KYDEX Sheath Tutorial'
|Find a nice size scrap of leather and trace the blade on it. I left about a 1/2" border around the outside of the blade to allow for the rivets that are going to be used. .
|I used a good industrial strength contact cement to attach the leather to the KYDEX back and used several clamps to hold it in place until the cement cured. Be sure to just apply glue to the outline, leaving the space where the blade goes clear.
|Drill 1/8" holes where the rivets are going to go, put the rivets in and peen them. Might as well do the belt loop now, too.
|I use my bandsaw to cut the excess off the back of the sheath, following the outlines of the handle I drew with silver pencil.
|Use a heavy utility knife to cut through the leather and KYDEX, following an outline just outside the rivets.
|Done. I liked the look of the natural leather so I simply waterproofed the leather with a little bit of silicon spray. All told, pretty cool.
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