Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kitchen Knife Handle

A while back I found this kitchen knife in the street that was missing a handle.  It seemed in good condition, so I decided to fashion a new handle.  I used this handle I was given from a broken brass hammer.
First, I had to open up the holes in the knife to accommodate the copper rivets I wanted to use.  I had considered using bolts or pop rivets, but I wanted this thing to look luxurious.  Here I used a carbide end mill to open up the oval shaped hole.  The carbide was necessary since the knife was hardened, and my high speed steel end mill didn't cut.
The round holes were nearly the size I needed, so I tried drilling them out.  It worked with minor success, though dulling my drill in the process.
Next drilling corresponding holes in the handle after cutting it to length.  The handle was held with a rag in the vise since the sides weren't parallel.
Then with a bigger drill, countersinking the holes so the rivets would sit flush with the handle.
Slicing the handle in half with a hacksaw.  I figured this would cut straighter than the wood saw.  The blade was the coarse tooth one I use for cutting aluminum.
Then with the belt sander, cleaning up the handle halves: smoothing the saw cut, and modifying the contours to better match the blade.  It was here I realized just how dirty the original hammer handle was.  Notice how much darker it looks in the beginning than the end.
Copper rivets cut from some scrap wire, then deburred on the belt sander.
Then, very carefully, hammering the rivets through the knife and handle.  The challenge here was to make it tight enough without cracking the wood.  Making sure to hammer them straight up and down helped a lot.
Close up of the finished handle.  Fancy!  This is actually one of the best cutting knives I have now.  A very worthwhile repair.

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