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Ward Green

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Ward
Does anyone have experience replacing kitchen knife handles? I bought a few inexpensive knives today and have been thinking about restoring knives for my next project(s). The handles can be salvaged with some work, but I think replacing the handles will be better long term. Any comments?

From where should I buy replacement pins for the handles?
Any brand suggestions for epoxy?
Any tips for sharpening and finishing?

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Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Ward, I replaced the handle of a knife recently. I used brass bolts for the pins by grinding off the threads. And you can get brass plumbing bits that will fill the hole you show in the right most handle in your picture. i used T-88 epoxy. The most work involved smoothing the handle once it was glued on but it can be done as time allows.

Roy G
 

Ward Green

New User
Ward
Thank you all for your input. Roy, thank you for the epoxy reference and good idea with brass plumbing for filling. Charlie’s, that’s a great link which will be valuable for my process. It definitely is the How To on installing knife handles: I would not have considered wood movement if not for that article. And mike, thank you for providing a link to a vendor for any supplies I may need. I appreciate your referral.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
I have several Old Hickory knives that are probably about 20-30 years old and still going strong. Why replace any of the handles and re-rivet them? All they need is some cleaning with a little sandpaper and maybe a bit of mineral oil (but oil isn't necessary for any of your old knives). The blades can be cleaned a bit with wet/dry emery paper and re-sharpened easily. I have several DMT diamond stones that you're welcome to try and one of these handy AccurRite sharpeners also works nicely.

https://accusharp.com/product/001/

But if you must rebuild them here's a few tips.......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMFblwSffD4

http://usaknifemaker.com/cutlers-rivets-in-brass-60-to-95-long.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT53KusFTkc
 
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Ward Green

New User
Ward
I have several Old Hickory knives that are probably about 20-30 years old and still going strong. Why replace any of the handles and re-rivet them? All they need is some cleaning with a little sandpaper and maybe a bit of mineral oil (but oil isn't necessary for any of your old knives). The blades can be cleaned a bit with wet/dry emery paper and re-sharpened easily. I have several DMT diamond stones that you're welcome to try and one of these handy AccurRite sharpeners also works nicely.

Hey Jeff, thanks for your comments. For two of the knives, which appear to be carving knives, I was going to replace the worn handles to give to my brothers as gifts. I took your advice for two of the heavier blades (one of them is old hickory). Do I need to order emery paper online or are there vendors in the area? The sandpaper I have hasn’t done significant restoration to the blades.

I have one DMT stone and a barbers Arkansas stone for my straight razor but that’s it. The problem I have noticed, after a little bit of elbow grease, is that a previous owner used what looks like a grinder to sharpen the knives. The grinding marks are considerably deeper than I realized. I’m considering breaking out the power tools to see how helpful they are to clean up those marks. Unless the emery paper will be better for the hardened metal??
 

Jeff

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Jeff
The knife on the left of the Old Hickory looks about like an Old Hickory too. Are the other two the "carving" knives? Here's a set of Old Hickory knives (see the additional info specs, 1095 carbon steel, rockwell hardness 57-59).

1095This is a plain carbon steel, which means it has low resistance to corrosion, and low to medium edge retention. The benefit of this steel is it's easy to sharpen, will take an extremely sharp edge and is generally available at a low cost.56-58

http://ontarioknife.com/cutlery/old-hickoryr/705-5-pc-cutlery-set.html

Advance auto and O'Reilly auto have Emery cloth for a few bucks. It can be used wet or dry but I'd use it with water as a lubricant.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Emery-Cloth/?N=5002385+3293241982&rt=rud
 

sawman101

New User
Bruce Swanson
A friend came to me with 2 knife kits he bought from Woodcraft. He furnished the blades, and a piece of lignum vitae for the scales. Couldn't find brass rivets so I bought brass rod at a local hobby shop. Brass rods come in different diameters and lengths, and as I had bought some for use in a wooden gear clock, I used those for the rivets. The scales were epoxied to the knife one side only, and when cured, I drilled the shank holes already present, then epoxied the opposite scale on, then drilled through the whole assembly, which kept it all true and inline. The brass rod was cut to length, roughed well with sandpaper, then also epoxied in place. Did most of the shaping on the belt sander, then smoothed further by hand. Gave it a good soak of boiled linseed oil, then buffed. Worked very well, but lignum vitae is one of the hardest woods known, and a bear to sand by hand.
 
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