Knife handle fix

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Houndsman, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Houndsman


    Sep 11, 2020
    I've been working on a hidden tang knife for a while now. I am new to putting handles on knives and have somewhat limited tools and a limited budget as I am a college student. I was a little sloppy when drilling out the slot for the tang and when I sanded the handle down some of the epoxy is showed. I guess when drilling pilot holes they went off course and created little channels that the epoxy filled. I'm not too worried about strength as I am using high quality industrial strength epoxy (Gflex 650).

    I'm looking to hide the epoxy spots as aesthetically as possible. Any suggestions? I have spent a fair amount of time on this piece and I'm really pleased with the wood and don't want to have to start over and buy the materials again. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  2. Houndsman


    Sep 11, 2020
  3. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Channel out some of the epoxy, and mix super glue with saw dust from the handle material you used and fill the void.
  4. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    There is nothing you can do to fill or camouflage that.
    Replace the handle, or cut that area out and replace it with a contrasting spacer.
    tkroenlein, AVigil and Drew Riley like this.
  5. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2007
    I'd just chalk it up as a learning experience that's been bought and paid for, and go ahead and redo the handle with something else. The time and effort it would take to fix well enough to hide your mistake, could just as easily be halfway done with another handle.
  6. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Either redo or use it as a dirty user and learn from it.
    I use a simular mistake here as a kitchen knife
  7. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    You will spend far more time trying to mickey mouse a fix, then it would take to just replace the handle.
    Hengelo_77 likes this.
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Don't feel too bad. I bet every one of us has ground into the tang hole and exposed the epoxy at least once. I have a friend who does it so often he dyes the epoxy to match the wood so it won't show much when it happens.

    One possible fix it to make an insert. Cut a shape (arrowhead, for example) in a contrasting wood like ebony or walnut and then carefully inlet the area so the piece fits just right. Epoxy the insert in and when it is dry sand flush.
  9. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Finish handle as it is and then use torch to light burn wood , then apply some oil .......
  10. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    You could dye the wood a dark brown. Should make it less obvious.
    Natlek likes this.
  11. Hubert S.

    Hubert S.

    Dec 14, 2019
    You could drill fifteen more holes at odd angles in random locations, fill them with dyed epoxy and make them a feature.
    tkroenlein likes this.
  12. C_Claycomb


    Dec 11, 2000
    Wow, I know that look! I did that on a lovely piece of stabilised quilted maple. The epoxy was black and boy did it show. That was a knife that I filed the blade from O-1 steel and heat treated in a little one-brick forge in my kitchen. I know exactly what it feels like to have got that far with limited tools. I finished the handle for the exercise of it and was ready to hack it off and start again when a friend saw it and loved how it felt in the hand. He didn't care that it wasn't picture perfect. Think he still has it.

    The suggestions about darkening the wood seem good, but to really make it hidden is going to be more work than it is worth. I wouldn't scrap it though! At least not until you have had a good while using the knife with that handle shape and learned all you can about how it feels, what you would change or improve.

    Very best of luck

  13. scott kozub

    scott kozub Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 1, 2018
    That doesn't look like like an expensive piece of wood. Take it off and add redo it if giving it away. If you're keeping it leave it and abuse it. It will still function just fine and look ok Heck if you want to replace it ill send a new block in the mail to help you out.
    Hengelo_77 likes this.
  14. tkroenlein


    Dec 10, 2016
    Find some fancy braided smaller diameter cord. File a nice, clean channel just as deep as the cord's diameter, centered up and proportioned right over the ugly spots. Wrap that cord neatly into that little channel and tie it off tightly. Coat lightly with epoxy to hold it in place.
  15. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    TK has a good idea.
    tkroenlein likes this.

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