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Old September 29, 2015   #1
Worth1
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Default Replacing handles and other tips.

It has come to my attention from looking on line and Yuotube our society and culture has almost completely forgotten how to do things with hand tools.

What is sad is I see kids and adults making so called hand made things and they are not much more hand made than something stamped out of a factory.

They use fancy sanders and such to sharpen things to shape things and to sand things.
The end result many times is something that just doesn't come up to par with what a quality piece should look like.
Don't get me wrong there are some true craftsman and craftswomen out there that deserve recognition.
Most of the time these folks are much better than me.

What I have seen is what I cal the power tool trap people get into.
They want it fast and they want it now.
I am not like this and have discovered that sometimes it takes longer than if you would have correctly used the tools of old to do things.
Today I will try to show you that often you dont need to replace an old knife handle but just need to restore it.
All of it will be done with simple tools anyone can afford.
The most expensive tool you will see used is a good vice.
I have had mine for many years and it has served many tasks.
From delicate gun work, holding things to weld and even on the drill press.
Sometimes I have even used it to keep things from blowing away.
Mine is an old American made 5-1/2 inch Craftsman.
Why I like to do stuff like this is because it isolates me from the problems of the world and gets me totally involved in what I am doing.
It is relaxing.
I dont claim to be a master at any of my work but I do feel I do somewhat okay.
As always if you have questions, advice or something to contribute please feel free to do so.
Enjoy.
Worth.
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Old September 29, 2015   #2
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Here you will see regular push filing and draw filing and the proper angle to hold the file.
If you are right handed hold the handle in your right hand and the file at about 45 degrees and push the file along the surface to be filed.
Draw filing creates an extremely smoth surface and the file is held at a 90 degree angle to the work and pulled towards you.
The handle will be on the left side.
You can put the handle on the right side and push.
IMG_20150929_32668.jpg

IMG_20150929_34361.jpg
Finished surface after draw filing.
IMG_20150929_51427.jpg
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Old September 29, 2015   #3
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After using the file I like to use 240 grit sandpaper and then 400 or 600 grit.
Sometimes I use 0000 steel wool at the end.
What ever you do once it is sanded or wooled you should have a polished shiny look to the wood.
At this time many people think it is time to oil or varnish the wood.
Nothing could be worse to do in many cases.
You will find yourself putting on more and more coats to get that nice smooth look.
What I and many others do is what is called to whisker the wood.
What you do is wipe the wood down with a damp cloth and let it dry.
This will raise wood fibers that you dont see as they are embedded in the wood from sanding.
After it dries you will again feel as thought the wood wasn't sanded.
Sand or wool again and re-whisker the wood.
Keep doing this until you get no more whiskers.
Sand or wool one more time, clean and now you are ready for the oil.
The hickory handles I am doing lake about 3 whiskerings.
Some woods you will never get it to happen it is just too soft and open grained.

The oil I use is raw tung oil with japan drier or turpentine in it.
DO NOT let the rags you use to do this sit in a pile they can and will catch on fire.
I keep mine in a closed jar.

What they sell at homedepot lowes and other places called tung oil finish is not tung oil.
I remember my first experience with it, what a nightmare.
It isn't that it is a bad product it is the fact that I was following procedures for real tung oil.
Raw tung oil is non toxic and smells like nuts, because it is made from tung tree nuts.

Worth
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Old September 29, 2015   #4
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Worth
Great heads up on the turpentine soaked rags. It's easy to forget and get in a hurry. A good friend who guides in Alaska just lost many sleds, wheelers and 2 buildings to fire. He had changed oil on equipment, threw the rags in a pile and hopped in a plane to pick up a client. He was not gone long and was able to save his lodge. A $200,000 accident. Yes spontaneous combustion happens more times than it should. Sorry to get off topic.
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Old September 29, 2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbebs View Post
Worth
Great heads up on the turpentine soaked rags. It's easy to forget and get in a hurry. A good friend who guides in Alaska just lost many sleds, wheelers and 2 buildings to fire. He had changed oil on equipment, threw the rags in a pile and hopped in a plane to pick up a client. He was not gone long and was able to save his lodge. A $200,000 accident. Yes spontaneous combustion happens more times than it should. Sorry to get off topic.
No need to apologize it is directly on topic.
They had a report on one of those night time TV shows about rags catching on fire.
The stupid part was they inadvertently gave kids the formula to do it by doing it on TV.
This stopped some stores from selling Japan drier for a while.

Worth
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Old September 29, 2015   #6
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One of the advantages of the oil finish is if done correctly it is far superior to modern varnish Poly type coatings.
You want to mix 50% oil to 50% paint thinner or turpentine.
This will allow the oil to soak into the wood.
Do this several times and then start applying 100% oil in very thin coatings and wipe any excess away.
This can even be done on food grade products as the turpentine will evaporate and leave only the non toxic oil.
Repair and maintenance is easy and you have preserved the wood.
Unlike Poly coatings that only cover the outside and are almost impossible to repair.
Contrary to popular belief gun stocks done this way are very stable but be prepared to put on around 100 coats of oil depending on how dense the wood is.

Worth
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Old September 29, 2015   #7
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One more knife to go at the very bottom.
Every day the get a coat of oil on them.
Worth
IMG_20150929_17571.jpg
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Old September 29, 2015   #8
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Out in the barn the other day, I found my knife like the 5th one down in post #7 - its handle has been wrapped with black electrical tape...
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Old September 29, 2015   #9
Worth1
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Out in the barn the other day, I found my knife like the 5th one down in post #7 - its handle has been wrapped with black electrical tape...
Salt I used to come home for years and find these knives siting in the sink soaking and rusting.
It would tick me off to no end.
Mind you it wasn't my wife doing it.
I took me years to realized people that were raised in a stainless knife world have no business with a carbon steel knife.
So what did I do, I have a visitors knife.
A cheap Betty Crocker serrated knife.

To this very day when I go to visit this one person I bring my own drinking glasses one for water and one for beer and my own sharp kitchen knife.
I hate a dull knife I cant stand to see people use one and I wont drink out of plastic a bottle or a can.
I can taste plastic and I got a bee in my mouth from drinking out of a can.
I also bring my own water because theirs is horrible.
Very weird.
Worth
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Old September 29, 2015   #10
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I still treat our silverware/knives like they have wooden handles and blades that can rust. I guess it's just a habit from back when.

You just reminded me of a friend of mine on the brick job. It was Summer-HOT and the homeowner brought out some Cokes. Being polite, we accepted the drinks. I put mine in an ice chest after the homeowner left. My friend opened his and drank half of it. We ran a course of brick and he went to drink the other half. A bee stung him inside his throat! He was in PAIN.

You know, It's funny what people eat and drink out of. My wife likes Styrofoam cups - not store bought in a pack, but the ones you get at the local quickie marts with a drink. I finally got rid of our glasses to make more room for her cups. We have holiday sets, but they sit in a box most of the year. Me, I'll drink out of whatever is clean.

I've seen people bring into steakhouses - dirty looking plastic mugs. At first I thought they were bringing in alcohol, but they never acted like it was. (There were a lot of dry counties around here until just a few years ago).
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Old October 1, 2015   #11
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Nice collection of knives Worth; are they Ontario Knife Co. (Old Hickory)? I love how patina develops on carbon steel blades with age.

I've never tried tung oil, but love working with linseed on my wooden handle tools. It has a calming effect, kinda like a walk in the garden.

-Jimmy
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Old October 1, 2015   #12
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misfit View Post
Nice collection of knives Worth; are they Ontario Knife Co. (Old Hickory)? I love how patina develops on carbon steel blades with age.

I've never tried tung oil, but love working with linseed on my wooden handle tools. It has a calming effect, kinda like a walk in the garden.

-Jimmy
Jimmy they are made by forgecraft.
I used to use linseed but went to pure real tung oil some time ago.
The reason is linseed oil isn't water resistant and tung oil is.
Linseed oil goes rancid tung oil doesn't.
Tung oil is fantastic once you figure out how to use it.
Here is a link to tung oil.
Worth
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...9ART53iKRQsalg


This is who I buy it from it isn't cheap.
http://www.realmilkpaint.com/products/oils/
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Old October 1, 2015   #13
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A little free form art from mesquite wood.
I had no idea where I was going with it.
I call it rustic spoon done several years ago.
There is also a mesquite stump I am working on.
Worth

IMG_20151001_20196.jpg

IMG_20151001_2963.jpg

IMG_20151001_39738.jpg
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Old October 2, 2015   #14
Worth1
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Let's start from scratch, here I have a 27 inch machete that needs dressing up and a new handle.
I have three choices walnut mesquite or white oak.
Worth
IMG_20151002_47209.jpg
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Old October 2, 2015   #15
Worth1
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Working by myself hanging large heavy electrical panels I have learned how to make holes match up.
One of the most important things to have are what the call centering bits.
You will see one in the first picture.
Regular bits flex these don't.
They are also ground for standard counter sinking.
I think the rest is self explanatory.
I like do do this in the beginning in case I mess up something and don't have to throw away a bunch of work.
Worth
IMG_20151002_43805.jpg

IMG_20151002_4553.jpg

IMG_20151002_32611.jpg

IMG_20151002_51820.jpg

IMG_20151002_5733.jpg
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