The Heritage Blade: Extra Steps

How to dress up the handle of your new knife.

Photo courtesy of Mark Weiss
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Mark Weiss

Follow these steps to dress up the handle of your knife:
Materials:

  • 2 small-diameter brass pins
  • 2 brass rivets
  • A piece of cardboard

Directions:
Before inserting the tang into the handle...

[BRACKET "Step 1"] Make a cardboard template of the blade and tang.

[BRACKET "Step 2"] With a carbide bit, drill a test hole in a part of the tang where you don't intend to insert a pin. By testing the steel this way, you'll be able to tell if it is tempered too hard to drill.

[BRACKET "Step 3"] If the steel is soft enough to drill, position the tang in the handle, superimpose the cardboard template over the handle, and mark the positions for your pins by pricking the handle with a sharp nail poked through the template.

[BRACKET "Step 4"] Using a bit just wide enough to accommodate the brass pins, drill holes through the handle until the steel underneath is marked by the bit.

[BRACKET "Step 5"] Remove the tang, then drill out holes in the steel at these marks using a larger 3/16- or 1/4-inch carbide bit.

[BRACKET "Step 6"] If the steel is too hard, mark the handle through the template so that your holes are located near the edge of the tang, then take out the tang and cut notches for the pins in its sides using an abrasive cutting wheel.

[BRACKET "Step 7"] Fit your brass rivets into these holes or notches.

[BRACKET "Step 8"] Reinsert the tang into the handle, and with the finger guard in place, epoxy the tang in position.

[BRACKET "Step 9"] When the epoxy has cured, finish drilling the pin holes through the soft brass rivets and on through the other side of the handle.

[BRACKET "Step 10"] Tap the pins through the handle before the epoxy sets and peen the ends to secure.