The manufacture of a one-piece and type-setting handle on a knife blade, selection of a tree, digestion and installation of a workpiece on a shank.

When hunting, a knife is needed in order to chop branches to set up a hut, to cut bread for dinner, and if you’re lucky, to cut up the hunted beast. Here, perhaps, are all its functions. The main thing is that the hunting knife was comfortable, lay well in the hand, and the shape of the handle did not tire the owner during operation. How good a hunting knife can be found only in practice. 

The manufacture of a one-piece and type-setting handle on a knife blade, selection of a tree, digestion and installation of a workpiece on a shank.

Any knife, including a hunting one, includes a blade and a hilt. It is possible, in principle, to make a hunting knife completely independently, which would fully satisfy your needs. But this hardly makes sense, since it can be quite difficult to make a steel that is suitable for the quality of the blade, not to mention its processing at home..

In addition, a quite satisfactory assortment of quality blades is on sale. But the hilt, being the same important detail of the knife as the blade, often does not at all correspond to the requirements imposed on it by both a hunter-hunter and an amateur hunter. But to replace the handle of a knife with a high-quality and suitable blade at home is quite possible.

Making a single handle for a hunting knife.

Artistic hilt – with cutouts for the fingers, a bend in the tail and a guard – rather interesting collectors of cold weapons. It is better for a hunter to have a straight hilt, without frills and decor. The dimensions of the knife handle must be such that the knife fits firmly and confidently in the hand. The handle should be 3–3.5 cm longer than the width of the palm.

With proper grip, the ends of the middle, ring fingers and little finger should not touch the base of the big one, and the ends of the index and thumb, on the contrary, should overlap slightly. But the final decision is made solely taking into account the individual preferences of each hunter.

The handle can be worked out from any piece of wood, but it is best to take a piece of izobreza. Moreover, from certain places of the trunk. First of all, this is a growth in the butt, called a kapokorn or brush. It is penetrated by sleeping buds, therefore, a ring-shaped pattern appears on the cross section, as in Karelian birch.

Secondly, a simple cap, an overgrown outgrowth on the trunk. Sleeping kidneys in it almost never happen, but the structure is beautiful, iridescent. Thirdly, the inner part of the trunk, where a large branch departs from the core itself. The wood from these places is also good because the layers there are very small, and it is dense.

The manufacture of a one-piece and type-setting handle on a knife blade, selection of a tree, digestion and installation of a workpiece on a shank.

The workpiece must be thoroughly dried in the shade before processing. When it is cropped and hewn in draft, it can be connected to the blade. The blade should have a continuation in the form of a shank longer than the future handle, and the end of the shank should have a thread for the fastening nut. Firstly, it will be possible to change the handle and, secondly, to avoid lateral rivets, which are difficult to put and do not always hold well, and beauty does not add.

Before processing, the knife handle blank can be boiled in water and then allowed to dry thoroughly. Its color will change (it will become darker), and it will be easier to process. Finishing the finish is better not by varnishing (varnishing glides in the hand), but by digesting the workpiece in linseed oil.

Digestion of a wooden blank for the handle of a hunting knife in linseed oil.

Pour linseed oil in a metal vessel, for example, in a large tin can or other dish, so that the workpiece floats freely in it. The jar must be heated in a sand bath. The oil should barely boil. At this time, air bubbles will intensely come out of the ends of the workpiece. This boiling oil fills the pores of wood. The procedure should last two to three hours, or even more.

The manufacture of a one-piece and type-setting handle on a knife blade, selection of a tree, digestion and installation of a workpiece on a shank.

After drying the handle for two to three weeks, you can put it on a knife and, if necessary, process it additionally. It is much easier to do this after boiling wood in linseed oil, its structure is revealed, and it takes on a deep color and becomes harder and harder.

Mounting the workpiece handle on the shank of the blade of a hunting knife.

In order to plant the blank of the future handle on the shank of the blade, it must be drilled through. The drill should be longer than the future handle. No high precision machines are needed for this. The drill is fixed in the chuck of the electric drill, and she herself is pressed by a clamp to the workbench or table in a horizontal position.

The workpiece must be gently pushed onto the rotating drill. You will have to drill at least two holes at a slight angle to each other; then the unrealized one must be chosen with a long thin chisel. At the front end, instead of a guard, you can put a metal plate and a leather (2-3 mm) gasket. Having put the handle blank on the shank and firmly securing it with a nut, you should bring it to the desired shape with rasps, large, small and polishing skins.

Making a birch bark handle for a hunting knife.

The type-setting handle can be made of birch bark or of birch bark with layers of leather. 2-3 mm thick birch bark is boiled in water for a couple of hours to become soft, and then thoroughly dried. Then the sheet is cut into rectangles of approximately 3&# 215; 5 cm. In the center of each, cut a hole with a sharp knife or chisel, corresponding to the section of the shank where this rectangle will fit.

So you will not have to cut holes in advance, but only before putting a piece on the shank. The knife should be clamped vertically with the shank up. In order not to spoil the blade, between it and the jaws of a vice it is necessary to insert a piece of thick plywood. First put a metal plate on the shank. Then you can pick up the handle, carefully pressing each next piece to the previous.

The manufacture of a one-piece and type-setting handle on a knife blade, selection of a tree, digestion and installation of a workpiece on a shank.

We must not forget that the layers in adjacent plates should be perpendicular. You can coat them with waterproof quick-drying glue. The last piece of birch bark must be pressed with a nut through a metal plate of the appropriate shape. The threaded part of the shank should be quite long. The fact is that by tightening the nut, you squeeze the entire set on the handle, and it is slightly shortened.

As a result, it may be necessary to unscrew the nut several times, put additional pieces of birch bark and tighten it again. When the nut is completely screwed in, you can begin to finish. Cut off excess birch bark with a very sharp knife and a small file. For such a handle you do not need any varnishes, oils or other finishing materials, it is enough to clean it with a fine sandpaper.

Based on the materials of the book “Fishing tackle and do-it-yourself hunting equipment. Production and repair “.
Storozhev Konstantin.

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