Been busy in me workshop this evening..

vaguely woodworking

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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby ToneWood » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:55 pm

The plastic handle on my wife's decent German chef's knife broke again this morning. It has "full-tang" construction - the blade is quite slim & flexible, when it flexes the handle breaks around the top rivet. I'll glue it one more time. But I think, inspired by Jonny's work, I'll see if I can get some rivets (aluminium/brass?) so that next time it goes I can try carving a new handle for it (hawthorne?). I vaguely recall using mild steel rivets with a ball-pein hammer in school metalwork class.
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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby gavin » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:33 am

If this knife is full tang, it will need only one fixing and that at the end of the handle. The tang tip would protrude from your handle approx 3 or 4 mm. You would place a small ( say 1 mm thick?) washer over the tang, then pein the protruding now 2 or 3 mm of tang with the ball-pein hammer, thus riveting the washer in place.
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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby Brian Williamson » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:02 pm

gavin wrote:If this knife is full tang, it will need only one fixing and that at the end of the handle


I think I'll have to disagree with you there, Gavin. Of my three kitchen knives, one has the blade encapsulated in a rubbery handle. One has a short tang (full width, perhaps one quarter length) in a wooden handle with two rivets. The third has a full length tang (but only across two thirds of the width) in a wooden handle with three rivets. From memory I would have said I have seen few end-rivet tangs but lots of through-tang rivets.

Anyone else care to rifle through their kitchen drawer?

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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby gavin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:32 am

Brian Williamson wrote:
gavin wrote:If this knife is full tang, it will need only one fixing and that at the end of the handle


I think I'll have to disagree with you there, Gavin. Of my three kitchen knives, one has the blade encapsulated in a rubbery handle. One has a short tang (full width, perhaps one quarter length) in a wooden handle with two rivets. The third has a full length tang (but only across two thirds of the width) in a wooden handle with three rivets. From memory I would have said I have seen few end-rivet tangs but lots of through-tang rivets.

Anyone else care to rifle through their kitchen drawer?

Brian.

You're right Brian - I stand corrected. Thanks for putting me straight. I just googled images of ' full tang knife blank' and see things like this:

Image
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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby ToneWood » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:49 pm

Yes, the knife in question is like that in Gavin's picture, it goes the full length and full width of the handle.

I don't know the correct name for the first type Gavin described (perhaps it is a type of full-tang?) but I recognize the description as being that of, say a billhook or draw-knife handle. Also very similar to the Mora carving knives, although I believe their tang does not protrude and is instead held firmly in place by a long c-sectioned metal clip (the guys on the bushcraft.co.uk forum sometimes dismantle them, esp. the Mora/Frost 105, to customize the handles).

Our kitchen knife drawer is full of knives*. I think our chef's knives and paring knives are mainly full-tang like this, apart from some cheap, poor quality plastic handled ones which have shorter, slimmer tangs, presumably (should probably put them in my scrap metal bin). To me, full-tang is usually an indication of strength & quality - but it ain't necessarily so, the knife that broke was full-tang, German and our most expensive knife, it's only 20 years old (one of our newest knives :)). Big rivets also suggest strength and quality to me - but, again, it ain't necessarily so: modern knives often have fake broad heads glued over skinny, weak/rusty rivets - eventually the covers come off :(. Bread knives (we have 3 currently) all have short tangs, full width wooden handles in two cases and partial-width with plastic handle in the other. I have a nice old wooden handled Sheffield steel carving knife which is half tang (half length, full-width).

*I occasionally buy an old kitchen knife from a car boot sale or charity shop if I think it looks interesting and/or better quality than the ones we already use. The trouble is, I haven't as yet got rid of any of the old knives they replace. :oops: I really should do something about that. :)

BTW my conclusion from buying & using these various knives is: 1. don't buy knives that are clearly of poor quality (it's a false economy), 2. you don't have to spend a lot to get a good knife, (3) the more expensive knives are not necessarily better & may be worse, (4) country of origin is no guarantee of quality.
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Re: Been busy in me workshop this evening..

Postby nic » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Full tang blades mean that the tang section ( handle section ) is the same size as the handle, giving the sandwich type construction. Stick tang blades have a thinner tang that fits inside the handle. If they are long enough they can come out the back of the handle and be rivitted over. It is suprising how strong a short stick tang knife can be, epoxy is very good for this sort of thing. Often on a shorter stick tang blade a pin is put crossways through the tang ( very near the end of the tang but often halfway down the handle) and handle as a belt and braces fixing.
Many blades made by stock removal are fulltang, most forged blades are stick tang.
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