I would like to know the purpose of tapering a knife tang. Is it just the obvious reason to reduce weight in the handle area or is there another
reason? I can understand why you would need a taper on a hidden tang knife to be able to slide the guard down to the shoulder, but wondered why you thinned the tang in a full tang blade.
Balance , weight reduction and for a lot of people aesthetics and a show of skill from the maker
Thanks for the info Jimmypie, not an easy thing to achieve I would imagine?
I put a very rough "how to" in my makers section , the thread "on the grind" , I'm no expert at all , this may help you .
Click the spoiler ,
Adding a deep hollow to the tang prior to tapering
If you haven't cocked it up after a few grits it should look a bit like this
Thanks for all the help on this guys. Blimey!! Guess I'll concentrate on straight grinding techniques for a while before I delve into the deeper
delights of tapered tangs!
Woolfy, you should give it a try. It's not as difficult as you might think.
The bigger the contact wheel you do the initial 'groove' with, the easier it is as you've got less material to remove when you grind it flat.
Unless it's a very narrow handle, start with a 10" wheel to make the groove. That way, there's only the 'perimeter' of the handle to flat grind.
As for a brass wrapped tang...that's a bit of a Loveless-ism. It's actually a frame handle using brass rather than the same material as the blade.
Thanks Ian, very encouraging, I've taken a look at some of your work and am very humbled indeed. Fantastic quality I can only hope to achieve with a lot more work and dedication. I realised as soon as I started looking at this subject that I needed a wheel. I have spoken to my supplier a guy from Greece called Nick who hopefully will be supplying me with a 10" wheel when he gets around to it!
My small Record Power pillar drill's just given up on me so I have to buy another, hopefully, more robust machine soon as well. I don't sell any of my knives and sticks, (I'm retired) so laying out dosh for all this kit hits the old bank balance a bit!
It does take a while (and a lot of money!) to build up a good workshop, but I think it's more about practice than tools.
They do make life easier, but there's also some very fine knives made using just hand tools.
I can't remember his name, but there's a US maker who makes some exceptional knives at a small table under his stairs using files and abrasive paper.
When I first got serious about making knives I made my first 70 odd knives using a £19.99 'Kinso' belt sander/grinding wheel combo.
It was too fast, nearly stalled if you pushed too hard and was virtually impossible to track accurately.
I used to use the bottom 4" wheel to hollow out tangs and a piece of wood cut into a 10" radius with a steel plate pinned to it, cable tied to the platen for hollow grinding blades. It did the job though.
I then moved onto an Ali Minigrinder and the standard of my grinding went downhill until I got the hang of using a different machine.
The same thing happened when I got a Maxigrinder.
If archaeologists ever dig up the field in front of my house, they'll be wondering how so many badly ground knives got there!