Wrap Test #8: Hillbilly faux-carta


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Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 12:54 PM
Recently I procured a couple of the OKC, Old Hickory 7-14 butcher knives.

These are the biggest traditional knives that OKC makes.
1095 steel, usually well heat treated and free from gross grind defects. Nominal .10" thickness, both of my examples miked at .11"


Feeling frisky I knocked the off the scales of one of the examples and wrapped the exposed tang with fiberglass resin soaked cotton fabric then machined the resulting composite material to shape in situ.

For a prototype, it came out fairly well. I had the usual process time issues (lack of pot life in this instance :cuss:) but the process itself was fairly easy, though messy.

The main concern seems to be keeping adequate, equally distributed pressure on the grip while waiting for it to cure

I used a tape wrap and had some minor surface voids caused by folds and overlaps. In the future I will use plastic stretch wrap covering, which should do a better job I think.

Haven't touched the blade shape yet....so many possibilities. :evil:

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JShirley
June 8, 2013, 01:03 PM
Find a good way to install a guard, and I'd love one.

rcmodel
June 8, 2013, 01:11 PM
I used a tape wrap and had some minor surface voids caused by folds and overlaps. You might be able to vacuum bag it if you have a seal-a-meal or something.

We used to fiberglass Styrofoam wing cores for model r/c airplanes.

I picked up an old vac pump used to service A/C systems at a junk yard.

Anyway.
You could glass a wing and bag it in a clear plastic garbage bag with the vac pump and they came out looking like something the Lockheed Shunkworks built!

You smooth out all the wrinkles in the bag as the pump sucks the air out before the resin kicks over..

Absolutely glass smooth and prefect with no air bubbles anywhere.

I did have to put a regulator valve on the pump as it was powerful enough to crush the Styrofoam core at full vacuum.

rc

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 01:15 PM
Find a good way to install a guard, and I'd love one.

I'm ahead of you. :D

The process requires something at the north end of the tang to act as a stop when you start building up your composite layers, I used half a roll of electrical tape on this one.

I would have used a guard but we were having a thunderstorm and I was afraid of losing power....as we do every time it rains.


Fixing it would be pretty easy:

1. Cut slot in brass material
2. Fit slot to tang.
4. Slide into place
5. Braze/coldweld into place
6. Build composite wrap as normal


The wrap should lock it down and preclude any sort of rearward failure.

Coop45
June 8, 2013, 01:45 PM
Nice job!

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 02:10 PM
Nice job!

Thanks!

It feels pretty good in the hand. To me, the subjective feel is a bit like a leuku,although one with a flatted grip.


I'm gonna go flog some briers for an hour and see how it does.

Gordon
June 8, 2013, 04:01 PM
I think it looks very good and functional.What I can not understand is, no offense, but with some one with the immense talent you have as a knife builder would you use your time for a project us less talented would profit by ? Fun?

Texan Scott
June 8, 2013, 04:04 PM
Interesting choice of fabrics for the handle. Does Steve Tyler know you have one of his scarves? :p

Seriously, though... what resin are you using for the wrap? I'm looking a hand-laying a non-synthetic fiber cloth over a tortured plywood sheet form (small boat) and I'm really interested to know what you saturated that cloth in.

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 04:09 PM
Well, folks.

It sure ain't gonna fall apart! I put in a solid hour of work with it, finished up by some full force hurling at the side of the barn from a safe distance.

No loosening. No visible damage other than some scuffs.

The grip does a wonderful job at absorbing shock, no sting at all on hard cuts.

The butt end is a wee bit thin, probably add a few more layers and give it a slight swell as it is now it wants to over-rotate slightly outward on when held in hammer grip

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 04:12 PM
the immense talent you have as a knife builder


:eek:

You might be confusing me with Sam "1911" Owens.




Fun?

Mostly for the chicks.

:neener:

Deltaboy
June 8, 2013, 04:33 PM
Cool work I am thinking about Making some Black walnut finger groved ones for one on my old hickory butcher Knifes that handles have seen better days.

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 04:34 PM
Interesting choice of fabrics for the handle. Does Steve Tyler know you have one of his scarves? :p


It is horrific isn't it?

Blame my wife and her eccentric fashion sense.

I raided her fabric stash it was all she would let me have.

It was very very thin, and 100% cotton as far as I can tell.


Seriously, though... what resin are you using for the wrap? I'm looking a hand-laying a non-synthetic fiber cloth over a tortured plywood sheet form (small boat) and I'm really interested to know what you saturated that cloth in.

I used a generic fiberglass resin from 3M, in the big blue can. It is a horrible gloppy mess, but working with it isn't so much difficult as it is annoying.

Wear a respirator.
Have plenty of airflow.
The fumes will kill you.

After shaping the grip and final sanding I rubbed in a light coat of cyanoacrylate with a gloved finger in order to give it a slicker finish.

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 04:38 PM
Cool work I am thinking about Making some Black walnut finger groved ones for one on my old hickory butcher Knifes that handles have seen better days.

Just a warning:

The scales are held on by compression rivets, no problem to remove but you only have one round pin hole (the rear is a slot) so you are going to have to drill the tang to fit pins. 1/4" works nicely.

No big deal, but the tang is hardened you are going to need carbide bits to cut it.

Sam Cade
June 8, 2013, 04:41 PM
...Texan Scott:

ugaarguy
June 8, 2013, 11:20 PM
Hillbilly faux-carta
Sam, there's nothing faux about it: You literally made linen Micarta. You also did a darn good job for just playing around and experimenting with some spare (if eccentric) fabric.

Sam1911
June 8, 2013, 11:25 PM
This is really cool! Tie-dyed micarta! :) (Heck, you could use green, brown, and black fabric for "tactical tie-dyed!" :D)

By the way, I have managed to draw the temper of part of a blade I wanted to drill a few times, but it can be tricky. It sure beats messing with drilling through hardened stuff!

rcmodel
June 8, 2013, 11:28 PM
I have managed to draw the temper of part of a blade I wanted to drill a few timesI have too.
Spot annealing with a small torch tip to be exact.

But it depends on the steel, and you knowing what steel it is.

Air-hardening steel can end up harder then woodpecker lips, and harder then it was before you tried it!!

Carbide drills are the bee's knees if you want to avoid all kinds of problems.

If you already have a hole where you want it, but it's too small?
Grind it bigger with a carbide bur in a Dremel or Foredom grinder.

Trying to drill an existing hole larger with a carbide bit will break it before you know what happened.

rc

Sam1911
June 8, 2013, 11:29 PM
All true, of course.

hso
June 8, 2013, 11:56 PM
I know some folks that have laid up "custom" micarta in a similar manner, but none were nuts enough to do it as a direct wrap onto the tang. Points galore for that.


I saw the monster OH at the Ontario booth at blade and had a similar thought that it would make a great honking hacker.

Gordon
June 9, 2013, 12:18 AM
What ! TWO talented Sams? Hmmmm maybe why I named my son Samuel!:o

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 12:35 AM
I know some folks that have laid up "custom" micarta in a similar manner, but none were nuts enough to do it as a direct wrap onto the tang. Points galore for that.


I figured that laying it up directly on the tang offed considerable advantages in both performance and ease of manufacture.

If I do it this way I don't have to futz around with bandsawing the scales and locating the pins, drops the parts count and should make for strongest possible assemblage using these materials AND opens up the possibility for handle shapes not practical using scales.

I'm not saying it is indestructible, but man, it is tough..and could no doubt be tougher with properly spec'd materials.



I saw the monster OH at the Ontario booth at blade and had a similar thought that it would make a great honking hacker.

Did you perchance to get a card with direct contact info for one of their sales-folk?

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 12:39 AM
I have too.
Spot annealing with a small torch tip to be exact.

I've had some success with by chucking a nail into a drill press and laying the head of the nail against the hole and just letting it rip.:what:

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 12:47 AM
Heck, you could use green, brown, and black fabric for "tactical tie-dyed!" :D


Just wait for it. :evil:

Gordon
June 9, 2013, 01:47 PM
Probably get some flack but one of the big attractions to Mad Dog knives for me has been Kevin's total use of laid up composite directly on the 3/4 tang. FYI he uses clamps to compress his layers of composite materials between the epoxy . Then they are contoured and sanded to finish.The trick he told me was besides everything chemically clean, was to get out all the air bubbles.

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 01:58 PM
. FYI

I've seen his process.

http://www.edgedspecialties.com/mad-dog-knives-shop-tour

Texan Scott
June 9, 2013, 02:28 PM
Somehow I expect that getting cloth to adhere to stressed wood will be a lot easier than getting it to adhere to an untextured piece of steel. I'm thinking burlap. Easier to saturate, just a lot more sanding and topcoat.

I'm liking the red and yellow polka dot... you could make a complete set of kitchen knives, each with a completely unique handle. You could probably get some pretty wild fabric remnants at the local craft store. Someday, when the clerk asks you what you actually DO with it, you can put a crazy look on your face, giggle/ snort through your nose, drool a bit, and say "KNIIIIIIVES!".

Be sure your wife gets it on video, and YouTube it. I will pay you my ugliest necktie to see the woman's reaction. :D

Also, maybe now you can guess why my wife hesitates to take me out in public. ;)

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 02:36 PM
So, version .02b.

Laid up more material over what I had already done.

Got carried away and ended up with a lump the size of a softball.:rolleyes:

Used plastic wrap under the tape to compress the wrap while it cured.


Better, but still had surface voids. Not a huge deal but necessitates making the wrap larger and machining away more material that what I would otherwise have to.

Version .03b (still need to choose a blank) will use lateral compression via greasy bench vise and wood blocks. I think I might be able to mould in the flats pretty close to finished.
Also going to try to machine out an integral guard. I think the composite is tough enough for it.



Roughed out the new grip shape

Lots of swell toward the pommel to lock in the hand and give purchase for hammer-grip heavy chops.

Tapered toward the north end to facilitate 2-finger flicky-flick snap cuts for light vegetation.

POB is roughly 1.5" above the grip. Very neutral.

Bashed the grip against my shop anvil a couple dozen times then hurled it at the barn wall a few.
I think it is good to go, no delamination between the original layup and the new, no loosening of the assembly. :D

ugaarguy
June 9, 2013, 03:31 PM
Also going to try to machine out an integral guard. I think the composite is tough enough for it.
Ya think...?
Bashed the grip against my shop anvil a couple dozen times then hurled it at the barn wall a few.
I think it is good to go, no delamination between the original layup and the new, no loosening of the assembly.
You're doing well. Keep us updated.

I'm liking the red and yellow polka dot... you could make a complete set of kitchen knives, each with a completely unique handle.
That's a great idea. You could seriously sell those on Etsy or some other craft site. Just find a non-toxic epoxy, and make sure that you note the handles are made from recycled fabric scraps. Then market yourself as some hippie artist who got into knives after using them in your organic vegetable garden when you moved to the hills of Kentucky to get back to nature. :evil:

hso
June 9, 2013, 04:41 PM
I figured that laying it up directly on the tang offed considerable advantages in both performance and ease of manufacture.

Maybe, but you need to put it under pressure and let it cure quite a while so you don't end up with voids.

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 05:38 PM
Maybe, but you need to put it under pressure and let it cure quite a while so you don't end up with voids.

I'm only getting surface voids in the final couple layers of wrap due to irregularities in the final covering.

Each strip of cloth is wound around the tang with as much tightness as I can manage, that coupled with resin shrinkage I'm not terribly concerned about internal voids.
Before I started the project I did some softball sized wraps on a couple paint sticks then sectioned them in 1/2" slices and they were solid.

Thus far I've been using a pretty fast resin intended for automotive use. Nominal pot life is 15 min but I'm getting less than that in the heat of my shop.

First batch I did I mixed 8 oz in a 16 oz ( d'oh) container intending to transfer it. I didn't (d'oh) and it kicked off in a very impressive manner in less than 5 min. :cuss:

Full cure time is running somewhere around 2.5 hrs

RTR_RTR
June 9, 2013, 06:05 PM
Do you know what makes the handle stick to the tang? I.e. does the fiberglass resin bond to the metal, does it leak through the rivet hole, does it maintain the compression it had under pressure once dry, etc?

rcmodel
June 9, 2013, 06:24 PM
I guess you have never glass-bedded a rifle stock and forgot to use enough release agent on the metal have you? :D

It's stuck till the cows come home if the knife tang was clean of any oil or greasy handprints.

rc

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 06:27 PM
I guess you have never glass-bedded a rifle stock and forgot to use enough release agent on the metal have you? :D


I have. :banghead:

When I stub my toe, I scream ACRA-GLASS!

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 06:34 PM
Do you know what makes the handle stick to the tang?

Not only is there surface bond, the shrinkage of the polyester resin causes it to "grab" the surface mechanically.

I'm hedging my bets and giving it something extra to hold on to.

Wolfebyte
June 9, 2013, 06:35 PM
One of the guys over on the 1911 forum had a thread a couple of years ago where he was forming his own micarta using different colors of denim.. they were clamped between sheets of plastic wrap and 1x4's to dry. Always wanted to try that as a knife handle, and now I've lived it vicariously through you.. Thanks!

Sam Cade
June 9, 2013, 10:19 PM
v.03b just out of the blocks.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

ugaarguy
June 9, 2013, 11:11 PM
Looks like nice fatty, marbled, raw, ground beef. Yum :D

Jaymo
June 10, 2013, 12:03 AM
The sectioned pic looks like scrambled eggs before you cook them.
Now, I want an omelet.
I've been thinking about making my own fake Micarta.
I have my wife's old breast pump, from when my last son was a baby.
If that doesn't pull enough vacuum fast enough, I have an AC vacuum pump I bought for some reason I've forgotten.

BTW, per Bondo's tech dept, you can cut the polyester resin 25% with acetone to make a better penetrating resin. I've been looking into using it to stabilize wood for knife handles.
They said that you have to increase the amount of hardener by an equal percentage, to get it to harden right.
IOW, if you use 3 parts resin and one part acetone (75/25) you have to use enough hardener for 4 parts resin.
Just thought it may be useful knowledge for those of you who actually have enough time for such endeavors.

Deltaboy
June 10, 2013, 12:22 AM
Just a warning:

The scales are held on by compression rivets, no problem to remove but you only have one round pin hole (the rear is a slot) so you are going to have to drill the tang to fit pins. 1/4" works nicely.

No big deal, but the tang is hardened you are going to need carbide bits to cut it.
Thanks Sam I replaced handles on OH Knifes before and yes you have to drill a second hole .

Jaymo
June 10, 2013, 12:35 AM
I've thought about using my single sided spot welding attachment to spot anneal.
As mentioned above, air hardening alloys will preclude this method.
One of my blacksmithing books shows chucking a nail in a drill press and running it against the spot where you want to remove the temper.

TimboKhan
June 10, 2013, 02:38 PM
v.03b just out of the blocks.

I like that one! I like it a bunch, actually.

Sam Cade
June 10, 2013, 02:44 PM
I like that one! I like it a bunch, actually.

Me too :D

At this point every wrap is a surprise when I cut it.



I'm headed to the shop to finish roughing it out right now.

Sam Cade
June 10, 2013, 03:19 PM
Game of Thrones break.... :D

Initial cut for the guard made with coarse 1" belt.

Man, this stuff is murder on belts.

Bandsaw to take off the rest of the falloff on the knuckle side and then it is back to shaping with the beltgrinder.

Sam Cade
June 10, 2013, 06:02 PM
And the finished product.


Ontario 1-18 machete.

Stripped.

Convexed.

Spearpointed.

Rehandled.

As close to optimum as I can make it.

Sam Cade
June 10, 2013, 06:04 PM
I might be done for the evening since bees are swarming my shop.

rcmodel
June 11, 2013, 12:59 PM
Hose them with wasp spray and make a knife handle out of clear resin & bee bodies!!

That would be pretty cool I betcha!

rc

Sam Cade
June 11, 2013, 01:27 PM
Hose them with wasp spray and make a knife handle out of clear resin & bee bodies!!
That would be pretty cool I betcha!


I have seen a poured lucite tabletop done with cicada husks. It was, indeed, pretty cool.

hso
June 11, 2013, 03:00 PM
If those are honey bees RC's idea might not bee so cool.

RustHunter87
June 11, 2013, 03:29 PM
Thats ah lotta bees man!
I have been kinda following this thread some what and just wanted to let you know i think its great.
How hard it is to work? you say it eats up sanding belts, have you tried a grinder?

Sam Cade
June 11, 2013, 03:58 PM
How hard it is to work?


With the fabrics and resins I've been using it cuts a little faster than canvas micarta, doesn't seem to heat up nearly as much,doesn't stink as bad (micarta outgasses some horrible stuff) and is very dry feeling on the belt. Not gummy or grabby at all but loads the belts something terrible. Shapes very well with coarse grits. You don't ever have to "fight" it.


you say it eats up sanding belts, have you tried a grinder?

Its a combination of the loading and me leaning in and manhandling my belts to compensate. I have really, really cut a lot of this stuff the last week.

I'm using a couple different belt grinders.

A homebuilt kludge running a 1x30" at 3600 FPM and a 2x42" at 4400 FPM.

Most of my belts and discs are X-weights from Direct Abrasives in Minnesota.

A bench grinder with a stone wouldn't fair too well on this stuff. I don't even have a stone mounted in either of mine anyway, wire wheels all around. :)

rcmodel
June 11, 2013, 04:04 PM
Have you got a rubber belt cleaning block?

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Horn-19547-12-Inch-Abrasive/dp/B001DDTIYW/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_y

rc

Sam Cade
June 11, 2013, 04:25 PM
Have you got a rubber belt cleaning block?


Yup.


On a related note, the last one (rubber on a stick type) I got from the mom-n-pop hardware store was so old it shattered when I dropped it. I don't know how they keep the doors open. :(



I just got a shipment of belts and other fun stuff in, including some 40 grit "hogging" belts. ;)




I'm going to try and bump up my process efficiency the next week and do some more materials research.


mmmmmm..... 80 grit with 320 on the side. Delicious.

Haha... Wrong picture. Christmas at my house. :D

Sam Cade
June 11, 2013, 04:30 PM
There we go. :D

Deltaboy
June 11, 2013, 11:55 PM
Grind them good Sam.

Sam Cade
June 12, 2013, 12:17 AM
V.04b.

Rehandled Gerber "Pee-Drinker" Parang

Used a splotchy golden yellow cotton fabric. :evil:

Clamped on the flats with woodblocks, edge and spine with high density foam.

Sam Cade
June 12, 2013, 03:25 PM
Final on Gerber Pee-Rang.

Grip feels fantastic. :cool:

Shame it is on an inferior blade.

JShirley
June 12, 2013, 04:39 PM
Sam,

You should drill through that Ontario lanyard hole, so a lanyard would still be an option (there is a metal ring there, right?).

Looks good- I'll get that denim out to you tomorrow.

John

Sam Cade
June 12, 2013, 04:49 PM
You should drill through that Ontario lanyard hole, so a lanyard would still be an option (there is a metal ring there, right?).

That was the plan but I stupidly forgot to make a template of the bare tang so I could locate my holes.
D'oh.:D

I thinned it down quite a bit from the backside so that I could put a shop light behind it and locate the hole via illumination.

Next time I wrap one the ....spur... will be wrapped as thickly as the rest of the tang.

RTR_RTR
June 13, 2013, 02:52 AM
The contour on the 2nd to last grip looks very nice. I also really want a lucite coffee table filled with insect carcasses now. Thanks

Deltaboy
June 13, 2013, 10:03 AM
Good job Sam.

heron
June 13, 2013, 04:24 PM
This reminds me of the first knife I ever made -- so bad I threw it away, but for the handle, I built up layers of epoxy until it had pretty much the shape I wanted, then I carefully laid leather boot-lace onto a final layer of wet epoxy. Looked cool and felt good, but I couldn't tell you whether it could be trusted or not.

No, I had no idea what I was doing.

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