stacked leather and wire mesh

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by olymon, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    I'm slowly working on a knife and I was thinking of handle options. I want to go with a stacked leather one with some spacer material in. it's going to have a stainless finger guard and pommel. I was wondering if anyone has put in alternating layers of leather and wire mesh? I think it might looks pretty interesting with the varying shapes caused by shaping the handle with the wire mesh in there. Mesh with 1/8" spacing would give enough gap for epoxy to flood around it and add dimension to the shape after being filed. I might try a test just using some chicken wire and some leather to see how it looks.

    Any body ever do this and do you have pics of it?
     
  2. David Stifle

    David Stifle

    Nov 20, 2008
    I would imagine you'd end up with wires sticking up through the leather stack.
     
    Will52100 likes this.
  3. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Yeah, the leather would have to be thoroughly saturated enough to keep it solid almost like a plastic handle. If it was that solid, it would probably only add a little surface texture. It probably wouldn't be too comfortable if you didn't make it as solid as could be. I think I'll still give a test piece a try. I'll probably line up the mesh with some rods outside of the leather stack. I'm not sure when I'll give it a try, but it would be interesting to see what it looks like when shaped.
     
  4. Knife freaky

    Knife freaky

    474
    Dec 1, 2016
    Post pics with what you come up with!

    Daniel.
     
  5. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    prepared pieces
    [​IMG]

    stacked up
    [​IMG]

    epoxy soaked
    [​IMG]

    test piece clamped
    [​IMG]

    cured block
    [​IMG]

    rough shape
    [​IMG]

    shaped and basic polish
    [​IMG]

    side pic showing wire side
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    Big Sarge, Bishop of Lyons and Natlek like this.
  6. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    Photobucket does not alow posting pictures anymore unless you have a paid account. Pictures are not showing
     
  7. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Well, that sucks. They showed up on the computer I was using so I thought I was good to go. Only reason I joined photo bucket was so that I could post up pictures because the thread wanted a URL to be used to post pics. Any suggestions?
     
  8. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    imgbb.com is an easy site and FREE! Photobucket starts limiting posting photos once you've got over a certain number of photos. I've only got a few, and they still allow me to post, but I don't use them anymore.

    There's also https://postimages.org/ which seems to be decent.... ANYTHING but Photobucket!
     
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  9. Geoff Flato

    Geoff Flato

    May 23, 2017
    Imgur has been working well for me so far. Ditched photobucket when this first started
     
    olymon likes this.
  10. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Re-did the pics. Let me know if it shows up on your end.

    I think it would have looked better if I had put the3 mesh at random angles so that there were more "side" sections of wire showing. The mesh is about 3/16" openings with a .035" wire. Brass or copper would be easier to shape and wouldn't be proud of the leather too much if the leather wasn't saturated as much as I did. The stainless is barely noticeable on the surface as far as feeling all of the "points" I'm not sure if I will use this or not but I might do another test using a random wire mesh pattern instead if them being all aligned.

    Oh yeah this is the blade I'm working. The blade is an old design that my great grandfather came up with. The blade to the right is the last blade that my grandpa was working on before he passed away. I was thinking of finishing it for my son as a memento to the great grandfather he never met.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    That test piece looks interesting
    I'd go for a finer mesh. Maybe even brass
     
  12. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Yeah, I may try another test piece with the stainless weave at random angles to get more detail showing. I thought about brass or maybe copper in a finer mesh or maybe even stainless again. One thing about both of those if the slow darkening of the material with time. The stainless would always stay a nice bright contrast color against the leather stackI did find one supplier that had screen that was a combination of stainless and copper too.
     
  13. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Your images are showing up nicely now. That is an interesting handle construct, and I like the idea of copper/SS mix for the mesh. Post photos of those also.

    That is a nice design your Grandpa came up with, and your blade really looks good with NICE grinds.

    Ken H>
     
  14. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    I think this is a really bad idea.

    The end section metal fibers will show as round dots. These won't be sharp, but will be annoying as the handle wears.
    Every one of those side sections will have a very sharp point on each end from being ground at a diagonal.. Unless the leather has been made harder than the metal in the wire, it will wear faster. This will expose these needles. I would expect the handle to become more and more unusable.

    I bought some very expensive woven carbon fiber handle material a few years back called Texalium. It had the same problem ... looks great, feels terrible.
     
    Bill DeShivs likes this.
  15. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Ken H, No grinds on that blade, just plain old elbow grease and free hand filing and sanding. The only blades I've ground were fillet knives made out of portable band saw blades. Pretty crude techniques compared to you guys but I've had good results. Search my little introduction on here and my pics might still be up(maybe not, those were photo bucket ones too).

    Stacy, I worried about the wire making a hundred little pin point and sharp edged hot spots too. You'd really have to handle that knife every day in order for that epoxy soaked leather to wear down to that point though. At this point the handle has very little texture to it and you can barely feel any difference in it.

    Here is a little hand filing action big one was a leaf spring
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  16. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    It looks neat. Not something I'm going to try, but it did give me the idea of wrapping square mesh around a handle and then doing a leather wrap over it. Might should get a grid pattern in the leather wrap if the leather's thin/pliable enough and the grid pattern wide enough spacing.
     
    olymon likes this.
  17. Geoff Flato

    Geoff Flato

    May 23, 2017
    If the leather is being hardened to the point of being solid, why not use something else?
    Could be interesting to do a stacked micarta handle along the lines of John Nelson Cooper's work, but replace the brass shim stock with mesh. You'd probably want a fairly thick and colored epoxy to fill all the space in it though.

    I'm not sure how it would work, but at least micarta wouldn't wear down to expose sharp bits
     
  18. olymon

    olymon

    188
    Apr 27, 2017
    Kuraki, I don't think you'd get much definition unless the wire was large diameter and the leather was very thin. trying to get dry leather to conform to the grid spacing might be hard.
     
  19. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    You're right. But I imagine I will coat the mesh wrapped handle with contact cement, then wrap wetted leather, and then wrap something over the leather to "clamp" it. Hopefully something pliable enough to encourage the leather to conform until the cement cures.
     

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