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Hidden Tang Problem

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by poppa bear, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Hello all,

    I've been trying my hand at a hidden tang but every time I set the tang in the handle and do a chop test with it the handle cracks, brakes or just falls apart.

    I was hoping I could get some suggestions on how some of you make hidden tangs.

    I have tried hard woods of all kinds, pinning and peening, epoxy, etc and have had no luck.

    Pb
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    right off hand I would say the fit of the tang should be very close to the handle material. The one I played with the handle half would stay attached once the tang was placed (snug fit).
    The epoxy should be to hold it in place and not carry much load, unless using an epoxy like T99 made for that kind of loading.
    Second the tang should be 75-90% of handle length or 100% if secured with a nut or pinned.
     
  3. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    OK now how to secure with a but to a square tang of a forged knife
     
  4. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I've threaded the very end of the tang with a die, say 10-32. Then you can screw a cap or nut on to hold the butt.
    Like John says, make the tang fit tight into the wood at least 3/4" of the way in. You can drill it close and burn it the last bit by heating the tang (carefully) with a torch and plunging it into the wood.
    The reason you need to be careful when heating is that you don't want to kill the draw (temper) on the blade and soften it.

    If you do pin it, use a very thin shim between the front of the block and the guard, say 0.02" then drill your hole in the block. Slightly chamfer the pin. Taking out the shim when pinning will cause the pin to pull the tang into the block hard when it's tapped in.

    G/flex epoxy is also very shock resistant.

    Do you have some photos of what's happening? Maybe we can see something obvious and help.

    Dan
     
  5. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    As already mentioned, if it is not a thru tang you want it to go as far into the handle as possible. A small bird and trout or pairing knife doesn't necessarily have to go as deep as a bowie or a camp chopper but the longer the tang is the better. I also feel it is very important to fill the handle with epoxy during assembly so that when you push the tang in epoxy oozes out. My theory is if I don't make a mess I did


    Dan. I'm not sure if I'm missing something. If you have the shim in when you drill, when you take the shim out you will have a gap the thickness of the shim when you put the pin thru the handle and tang. I may be misreading it but I think I actually do the opposite. I drill and then add the shim after it is usually too tight but then I elongate the hole in the tang until I can get the pin in nice and snug.
     
  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Yes, yes take the shim out for marking and drilling. Add the shim to tighten things up. My mistake in describing the operation.

    One layer of fibre spacer is plenty.

    Dan
     
  7. poppa bear

    poppa bear Member

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    Thank you for the input as I now see what I did wrong,
     
  8. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Ah. OK. That is the way I usually do it too.

    Glad you figured out the problem Poppa.
     
  9. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Sorry for that. I had people coming in my office and bugging me while I was supposed to be thinking about my post. LOL

    Dan
     

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