Handle repair

Discussion in 'General Workshop Discussion' started by Bruno, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Bruno

    Bruno Administrator Staff Member

    I would normally never touch a job like this. A butcher's knife (from a professional butcher) who used it for many years. The handle is shot. It's from the friend of one of the old guys 2 houses down the street. He asked me if I could fix it.

    If you've ever examined a handle like that, you know that it's pretty much impossible to make something that fits exactly over the half tang. And I didn't want to say no, so I told him that the most economical way to fix it would be to fill everything with epoxy and sand it smooth. He asked his friend, and tonight he came back with the knife and asked me if I could do that.

    Normally I would not even consider this, but it's one of the old guys here and a) I want to keep my neighbors happy about having a smith in the street, and b) aside from that, I don't want to be a douche about this not being 'good enough' for me.

    I've been looking at this thing and thinking about the best way to epoxy / stabilize it, regretting that I ever said yes. Honestly, no matter what I am going to do, this is going to look like shit. So I have been thinking and while it would be impossible to make something decent in a solid block, I could easily make a new handle block with wood on each side, and a middle piece of wood, thickness of the tang, to fit perfectly.

    Then glue everything up, join everything using corby bolts, and it should look perfect as well as be rock solid for the next decade or so. The old guy insists on paying for my time, but I'll just charge materials and some change. I'd much rather write off my time as goodwill on this than have a but ugly expoxied pos handle be known as something I 'fixed'

  2. 32t

    32t Member

    Does this involve your New Years table for the neighborhood?...

    As I read this I keep thinking does he want it copied, replaced or preserved.

    Copied, is the type of handle you say is hard to replicate but can be done.

    Replaced, we know you can do that well.

    Preserved, is easily done with a new soak in oil/finish and leave it in its present state.

    I don't think that yo can cross the lines between these 3 choices.
  3. verndahl

    verndahl AKA tintin

    sounds like you've come up with the easiest fix . Another method would be to use 2 pieces and carve a pocket for the tang. I'm sure it will come out better than original however you do it.
    RezDog likes this.
  4. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    There is a product over here called plastic wood by a company called Dap. It's a professional grade heavy duty cellulose wood filler. It has real wood fiber in it and is machinable when cured. Sands, drills, stains, you name it. In moderate coats it can be built up to replace the broken part even and shaped to match.
    I am not sure if it is available to you however, or what a comparable product would be. It does take gel stains very well.

    Beyond that, I'd say a new 3 piece handle like you mentioned would be the best bet.

  5. Bruno

    Bruno Administrator Staff Member

    Carving out a slot is not something I'd attempt without a mill. Otherwise it's impossible to get it straight and clean. He mainly wants to keep the knife. I think I'm going to try and drill out those pins to that the handle itself can stay whole.
    Charlie Lewis likes this.
  6. Mike Blue

    Mike Blue Member

    Do you have some top and bottom pix Bruno?
  7. Bruno

    Bruno Administrator Staff Member

    I'll post pics when I get home.

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