My knife project-in progress


May 27, 2009, 11:50 AM
I'm not sure what company made this bowie knife, but it says
Original Bowie Knife by the top of the blade and SABRE 631 STAINLESS JAPAN by the guard. I found this knife behind my grandmothers house a few years ago and it was in rough shape. I've cleaned it up some but recently it's handle fell off so I've been using tabe and suede as a cushioning for the tape grip.

Seeing that the taped handle looked ugly, I made my own handle for this knife. I bought a 1" thick dowel at menards, cut off around 5-6 inches, the cut it down further to match the tang, but being a 1/4" longer.

Then I used a bench grinder to shape the wood into it's rough shape I had planned out. I then drilled out the wholes in the tang where the cutler's rivets when in, and drilled, counter-sunk, and screwed together the handle onto the tang. I then used wood putty to cover the imperfections like the spaces between the guard and handle, and in between the pieces of the handle. I've still got the staining to do, which will probably be a Red oak finish like my Mosin M44, included are pics of the knife as it is now (prestained) and a picture of my mosin to give an example of the color.


Mosin for color reference

If you enjoyed reading about "My knife project-in progress" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 27, 2009, 07:39 PM
Holy crap! I am doing almost the exact same thing with the exact same knife! I've had it for 20 years. I bought it for $5 from a friend whose parents tod him to get rid of it. It came with a plastic fake stag handle that broke and I replaced it with 550 cord. Now I'm putting a wood (aspen) handle on it.

here's a pic.

Smokey Joe
May 27, 2009, 07:40 PM
L. J. Mosin-Freak-Buck--Thanks for sharing! Reviving an old knife is a satisfying project. We'll need to see it again when it's finished, of course!

What are you and KBT 1911 doing about sheaths?

Black Toe Knives
May 27, 2009, 08:03 PM
I bought that same knife at flea market a few weeks ago. The blade is actually some good steel. Mine is great shape with Jigged Bone handles with the sheath. Did you make the guard?

May 27, 2009, 08:08 PM
Wow KBT, this is amazing, lol. Who would know? I didn't think I'd find anyone who had the same knife. I should put a picture up of a taped handle that I did for it...

Smokey Joe, you bet there's gonna be pictures when it's finished. As for a sheath, I'm not quite sure. I'm not too familiar with making a sheath out of wood. The handle turning out so good was a stroke of luck, lol.
I could use some suggestions on how to make a sheath if anyone has some ideas.

But the handle is currently soaking in it's stain, Red Oak 215, same as theMosin above. Should be ready for pics Friday, but the good pics next week. My step-dad taught me a little trick with tung-oil, which will go on after the stain dries, is that you let it cure for two to four weeks and go over it with some really soft steel wool. Used the same technique on the Mosin.

Here's the handle(s) on it before:

Electrical tape on original wood (before the wood broke and fell off)

Suede and Elastic string (after the wood broke off)

With Suede and Cardboard sheath (I was good with converting random supplies into a functional item)

Suede wrapped with electrical tape, with another knife

May 27, 2009, 08:12 PM
Black Toe, The guard was on the knife when I found it in my grandmothers alley. But it looks like it was machined by hand so, Might be just a clever add on.

May 28, 2009, 05:35 PM
Mine had a double guard that was either pot-metal or plastic and it broke when I was chopping some stuff once. Your guard was probably added later.

Black toe, you're right, the steel is great. Believe me, I've put it through its paces. I used it as a stake a couple of times with the paracord handle as rope.

Smokey, here's a pic of some sheaths I made of wood. I'm going to do the same thing with this one. You just take 3 flat slabs of wood, make a cut-out of the blade in one and sandwich it between the others with some epoxy for a couple o days. Then shape it. I'm working on th eleather frogs for carry and I'll post pix when they are done.

May 28, 2009, 11:42 PM
Interesting... I'm going to look into making a sheath like that. I've got to add the last bit of stain in themorning, then I'm going to finish it with Tung Oil, then let it sit for a couple weeks. Should be good to go then. Will post pics.

May 29, 2009, 05:12 PM
Should have some pictures of the finished project Sunday. I'll keep you guys posted.

May 30, 2009, 12:41 AM
Well, I decided to take some pictures tonight right before applying the tung oil, it's turning out nice, but the finish isn't getting as dark as I'd like, but it's still nice. I think the problem lies with the fact that I'm using a dowel I bought from menards made from who-knows-what kind of wood.

May 31, 2009, 01:40 PM
I think it looks cool. Is that a lanyard hole at the butt of the knife?

I rarely use stain. I just sand and coat with clear urethane. Ususlly Helmsman from Minwax.

I like Light colors though.

May 31, 2009, 02:41 PM
Here's the finished knife, I like the way it looks, and the visibility of the grain.

June 1, 2009, 10:27 AM
Looks plenty functional, and a darned sight better than your old wrapped handles. Good work!

Next time, though, try starting from a nice piece of oak, maple, walnut, whatever... Something with more character than generic asian hardwood dowel....


June 1, 2009, 02:25 PM
Hey MosinFreak nice knife and nice LotR Rise of the Witch King hahaha! :D

June 1, 2009, 02:47 PM
Lol thanks all. There's no lanyard hole in the knife, I find lanyards pointless.

This handle's only temporary, I've got a nice piece of oak that I'm going to do the old fashioned way, widdling away until it comes to shape.

June 1, 2009, 03:01 PM
Good project. :)


June 1, 2009, 03:35 PM
thank you.

June 1, 2009, 03:54 PM
If you've become comfortable with the process, you could always try using some scales next time, too. You can often find nice scales fairly inexpensively. :)

June 2, 2009, 10:56 AM

June 2, 2009, 11:37 AM
2 pieces of wood/bone/metal/horn etc. pinned, one each side of the full tang. Similar to a typical pistol grip.


June 2, 2009, 01:23 PM
That's essentially what this knife is. I took a dowel and split it in two, the used screws to fasten the handle to itsself and the tang.

June 2, 2009, 02:04 PM
Close.... Your handle fully encloses the tang.... Scales would leave a visible line of steel all around... THey're flat, you see!

I've always preferred a fully enclosed tang, more like you've done, if there's to be a separate handle at all. But that's simply personal preference...

I've only put a handle on one knife I made... The rest are one piece with handles forged integral with the blade. I hate parts that can come loose. Even if that's exceedingly unlikely.


June 9, 2009, 09:52 PM
I like it! Lanyards are OK if you are using it in a place where you might drop it in a creek, otherwise, I don't like 'em either. I think I'm going to cut a groove in my handle so the tang will be fully enclosed on one side and scare up some brass rivets to hold it in place. I even thought of doung narrow scales in wood with a leather wrap, but not sure yet. I just got my guitar out of the shop so I'm too distracted to work on knives this week.

June 10, 2009, 01:16 PM
Lol I hear ya.

Black Toe Knives
June 10, 2009, 09:07 PM
Good Job! Easiest way to put handles on are use a good super glue spread a good coat on the handle. I put one side on then drill the holes using the tang as my drill guide. The put on the second side. Drill the holes in it. Use a 3/16 brass rod you can find at any hardware store. Super glue the 3/16 rods in the holes. Your handle will have to be beat off or ground off. Don't worry about the pins or the handle coming off.

June 10, 2009, 11:44 PM
Oh, I just used drywall screws and wood filler, lol, but thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "My knife project-in progress" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!