How to make a handle for the knife - instructions and photos. How to make a knife handle step by step. How to make knife making handle material.

Sometimes knife handles break or just become old and a new handle would be nice. This video is going to show us how to replace a old handle with a new one. For this project you will need: Mahogany board from a used pallet Jigsaw Backsaw Sandpaper Steel file Drill Brass rods Cut the new handle out of mahogany by tracing the shape of old handle.

Make sure to make the tracing slightly wider than the knife. When the handle is cut out, split in two with a backsaw. Now you are ready to sand the mahogany handles.Carefully drill holes into the knife for the handles to be attached. Test the rods you will be using in the holes you have drilled making sure the rod fits snugly through the blade. Smooth the handle as one piece with a file. Now sand both pieces smooth.

Attach one side of the wood. Drill a hole through the wood, lining up the holes on the blade so that they match. Use the rods to line up the two handles and repeat the process for the second part of the handle. Insert the rods into the three holes then cut the rods to fit the handles. Using a round file make finger holds on the handle. Pull apart handles leaving the rods in place and line up the holes on the knife with the holes in the handle. Press together making certain there is a snug fit, your new knife is ready to use.

As some of you have seen, shop staff here at Pier 9's Workshop have dived deep into the exciting art of making Knives, particularly beautiful Knife handles.

We have made Kitchen Blades, Hunting Knives, Fishing Knives, Retractable blades and rumor has it a mystical samurai dagger is in the works. Please remember it is important to follow all Shop rules and to treat shop staff in a respectful way.
This Instructable will detail all the steps you need to follow to make your very own custom knife.

Classes Required:

Basic WoodShop.
Basic Metal Shop (For metal Pins)
Paint Booth for Epoxy.

Machines used:

Wood shop Sanders, Wood Band Saw, Metal Band Saw, Metal Sanders, Scribe, Files, Drill Press, Clamps.

Necessary Materials

Knife Blade
Scales (Material for handle; wood, plastic, stabalized corn cob, mammoth tusk, stone ect.)
Masking Tape
Sand Paper (200-600)
Optional Materials

Pins (Mosaic, Solid, or Rivits)
Color spacers (Small spacers that add a line of color between your wood and metal Knife handle.)

Good websites to purchase materials:

Coming Soon.


Make sure to get the correct size pin for the Knife blade you chose.

Once you have received your materials lay them out on a clean surface. Unsheathe your blade and cover the sharp section of the blade in Masking tape. This will protect you from cutting yourself and protect the blade from getting scratched.

Prepare your Handle Scales and cut them down to a square with .5-1 inch of extra material around the blade handle. Using a Pencil trace the edge of the blade handle onto your Handle Scales.
Cutting Handle Material to size

Next, use the Vertical Band saw to cut out the shape of your handle. Make sure to leave an eight of an inch of extra room so you don't cut away too much material. That will be done on the sanders.

Knife handles come with predrilled holes. These represent where you can insert your pins and the size of pin you can use. Hopefully you ordered the correct size pin. If not you could drill larger holes using the Metal Drill Press.

Tape your two scales together and then tape tape your blade handle ontop. Mark the spots on the scales where the pins will go. You should drill the two scales together, so that you know the pin holes will line up. If you don't do this step correctly, you will have a challenge assembling your knife.
Next choose the drill bit just slightly larger than your sellected pin. 1/8 inch pin (.125) would use a slightly larger drill bit (.128-.132). Clamp down your Scale and drill a straight vertical pin hole. Drill hole nearest the blade first, drill hole at opposite end, and then drill center hole last. Now repeat with your second scale.

If your Knife came with Rivets instead of pins you must countersink your hole to the desired Depth. You can use a caliper to determine the size of the rivet head, which represents the size of the countersink hole you must drill.

Before you move onto Epoxying your blade together. Shape and sand the section of the scale that will touch the sharp edge of the blade. Once Epoxied, this section is difficult to work on the sanders without damaging the sharp edge of the blade. Also, remember to line up the two scales symmetrically if you want the front of your Handle to match on each side.
If you are adding a color spacer to the blade you must drill the holes in this piece as well. You can tape the spacer to your scale wood and Drill them together on the drill press. Cutting your Pins to size.

Put your handle together and let the end of the pin stick out of the handle an 1/8th. Mark 1/8th on the long side and cut out the desired number of pins on the Metal Band Saw to the right length. It is better to cut your pins longer than closer. It can be a bummer to realize you cut your fancy mosaic pin too short.

Epoxy the Blade Handle Together.

Next, in the paint booth, bring two clamps and set a fresh piece of paper down on the table. Lay you parts out and make sure your Pins go into the holes you drilled. Practice putting your Knife together, you will only have a short period of time to assemble and clamp your Knife together once epoxied.
Next, prepare your epoxy and using a brush apply a light and constant coat of Epoxy over the first Scale handle. Attach that to the metal blade handle. Then push the pins through the drilled holes to bring the wood and metal into place. Finally Epoxy the other half of the handle scale and connect it, over the extruding pins to the other side of the metal handle.

Once all the layers have been epoxied take two clamps and clamp the knife handle together. Check the time and let sit for at least 5 minutes. If there epoxy has squeezed out onto the front metal of the knife you can remove it now before it dries.

After the epoxy has cured you can remove it from the clamps and move onto sanding the blade into shape.
Sanding your blade handle into shape.

Now you are ready to create the shape of your knife handle. Plan out the flow of how you want your knife to be shaped. Do you want it to be a wide Knife handle or a thin knife handle. Will it have sharp edges or no edges at all. You can plan this out before hand or just begin sanding and decide as you go.

I used the sanders in our Pier 9 woodshop. A belt sander, circle sander and our spindle sander was very useful.

I started on the outside edges and sanded the wood down until it was flush with the knife metal. You can then form the rest of the handle by rotating the knife handle over the circle sander. You will need to sand down the metal pins that are sticking out to make sure they are not sticking out of your handle.

Once you are happy with the shape you can finish up with some other wood working tools and move onto polishing your handle. You can now polish your handles using your the wood polish of your choice. I used 400 and then 600 grit sandpaper to wet sand the blade to a smooth surface. Depending on how smooth a finish you want you can go above 600 grit.

Apply a your wood polish across the wood and then sand down. Repeat and let sit overnight with a coat of polish on it. Continue until you are happy with your knife. After your handle is dry from the wood polish, you can add any other finishes you like and remove the tape surrounding the sharp end of your knife blade. You have now finished your Knife blade handle, congratulations!

The pithy core of an antler tine can be softened and allowed to reharden to form a tight bond to the knife tang. The procedure is simple, but the time from beginning to end is long. If you're patient, you'll be pleasantly satisfied with the results. Start by taking an antler tine that will fit the size of your knife blade. Submerge the antler into a bucket of creek or rain water.

Now begins the waiting period. Soak the antler until the pithy core softens. I had to leave my antler in rain water for about a month before I could begin to mount the blade. Test the pithy core every now and then by pushing your fingernail into the core. If the pithy core indents from the pressure, then the antler tine is ready for the next step. A word of advise: It's best to soak the antler longer than necessary to be sure the pithy core has softened throughout the antler.

When the core is ready, you may notice an odor coming from the antler. Submerged in water for so long, bacteria has begun to work on the antler. The antler is still good. The smell may be unpleasant for some. If it bothers you, work outdoors or in a ventilated area. Drying out the antler after you've completed your work will get rid of the odor.

Next, cut the tang of the blade with a hack saw into a wedge shape to help facilitate the insertion of the antler tine. Also, cut the length of the tang to fit into the pithy area (see the "words of advise" section below concerning the pithy area and the tang). Tape the blade and point with enough duck tape to keep from accidentally cutting yourself on the sharp blade.

Clamp the blade in a steel vise with the tang sticking up. The clamp should come all the way up to the blade, just before the tang begins. This will keep from bending or breaking your knife during the insertion process. Also it would help to place a soft material, like cloth, between the clamps and knife to keep the blade from getting scratched. Wear leather gloves for added protection. The vise will keep the blade steady for the next step. Position the antler tine over the tip of the tang and PUSH the antler into the tang. Do not wiggle the antler from side to side. It will widen the hole in the pithy core or it might break your tang as you insert the antler further. Use your body weight as leverage and gently push the antler into the tang. With a bit of elbow grease and patience you'll eventually push the antler tine all the way down to the hilt of the blade. Occasionally check the vise to see that the blade is not moving or loose. Take your time and do a good job.

More words of advise:
1. Be aware that the end of the antler tine is solid and does not contain any pith. You must compensate for that portion of your tine. The pithy section will start to narrow as it gets close to the solid portion of the tine. Do you have enough width and length of the pithy area to accommodate your tang?

2. Do not restart the procedure after you have started by pulling the tang out of the antler for whatever reason (example: the blade is going in crooked). The pithy core is not like rubber. The hole will not close up after you pull out the tang. Starting over will only widen the hole and will give you a loose bond. Think about what you are going to do ahead of time so you won't make a mistake during the procedure.

3. Once you have worked the antler onto the tang, be careful in easing the final part of the antler down the tang. DO NOT bend the tang from side to side. It will break.

After you've inserted the tang, let the antler tine dry out completely until the odor disappears. The bond is just as good as using epoxy. It's natural and strong.
Another alternative to soaking the antler for a long period of time, is to boil the antler in water. As the antler is boiling, check the pithy core every now and then to see if it has softened. When it's ready, remove the antler and continue with the mounting process. Is boiling better than the soaking method? I haven't done any comparison tests with a boiled antler and a soaked antler, but my guess is that boiling the antler too long will tend to make the antler brittle. If you just boil the antler until the core has immediately softened, it will make a good knife handle. It's just a matter of how patient you are with this project.

The quality of production gear, knives, and flashlights has never been higher. But there is something so nice about a truly unique piece. Even if the gap between custom and production is narrowing, often the reason to buy a custom is to get something made just the way you want. There is also a bit of exclusively that is hard to ignore. Lots of folks have a Spyderco Dragonfly, but with a custom, it's likely a one-off made just for you. On the other hand, customs are expensive and really most of the time you don't get to actually do anything other than say what you want. That urge to tinker is strong, and so a few months ago I decided to take a production knife and make it my own.
It's important to start out at the shallow end of the knife modifying and customizing pool. You're not going to do be doing a Ron Lake interframe inlay right out of the gate (or ever, quite frankly. That is a skill set fewer and fewer people possess.). Choose something you can handle, like a knife to rehandle.

It is an excellent fixed blade with two flaws: a thin handle and an awful sheath. The plan was to remove the filthy orange handle scales (that's the mildest damage a fixed blade sees during review testing), put new ones on, and then get a replacement for the sheath. The sheath that came with the knife was a laughably bad contraption of a thing. It was loose and floppy on your person and way, way, way too snug on the knife. It was also positively ginormous for what it was. I don't have a KYDEX press, so that part of the modification would have to be farmed out.
Handle scales are pretty straightforward and make a good starting point. They are easy to remove, and once off, they act as a template for your new scales. Just drop them on a piece of material and trace around them. That's it. Choosing the handle material is a bit more difficult. G10, Micarta, and Carbon Fiber are all readily available from knife supply stores, but they have one major drawback: dust. Cutting into these resin-impregnated materials leaves a fine cloud of lung-harming dust. Wood, on the other hand, is less dangerous (still wear breathing protection though).

It's best to use a very tight grain, very hard wood that is less likely to move or expand. If you can, get some stabilized wood or opt for a species that doesn't need stabilization. Very hard and oily woods like desert ironwood and cocobolo make ideal handles.

Holly also works well, as would olive wood, osage orange, fiddleback, or curly maple. All provide a very stable platform and have impressive grain structures that look good in small batches (a table top of desert ironwood would make me crazy). I bought two “turning blanks,” one of each of cocobolo and desert ironwood. I decided to use the cocobolo on the fixed blade as ironwood tends to lose its pattern and darken over time, a process that is accelerated by hand oils and sweat.
I am lucky that my other hobby, other than writing and obsessing about gear, is woodworking, so I had all of the tools I needed: a band saw, some sanders, and a drill press, but none of these tools are required. You could, in theory, do everything you need with a Dremel, some sandpaper, and a drill. If you don't have a band saw or access to one, buy knife scales instead of turning blanks, as they are already sliced down to size. It is more expensive per unit weight, but they have already band sawed it for you.You can find knife scales or turning blanks at any woodworking store, like Woodcraft or Rockler.

Step 1 : If you bought knife scale blanks, you can skip the first step. If not, then you need to slice the turning blank into two exactly equally thick slices. You'll be surprised at just how thin G10 is on most knives. I left the pieces a bit thicker so I could contour them more. Here are the scales as they are about to be introduced to their weight loss program, aka the band saw.
Step 2 : After you have two thin slices of wood, tape them together with very strong double sided tape. You want them to feel and move like a single unit. This is the most important part of the process; they must be really stuck together.

With as thin a marking device as you can find (I prefer an extra fine Sharpie), trace out the original handle slabs on the double stacked wood. You only need to do one side, and don't worry about the pen marks, you'll sand them away later.

With your template traced out, hog away material either with a band saw, a hand saw, or the wood cutting wheel on a Dremel. A hack saw works find here, but it's slow and tedious work. Remember to cut to the line, not on or under the line. You will put the finishing touches on the edge later, you just need to get a roughed out shape here.
By the way, if you are into woodworking and debating if a band saw is a good purchase, buy one now. I held out for a decade, thinking my table saw was good enough. The band saw could be my only wood cutting tool, quite easily, and it is many times safer than the table saw.

Once you have the general shape, smooth it out by sanding exactly to the trace line. Take your time here, especially if you are using a power tool. I used a belt sander turned upside down in a homemade jig and a drum head attachment on my drill press. If you are using a Dremel, be careful. One movement of your hand and it could all be for naught.

Once you have the basic shape smoothed out, then mark, drill, and countersink the holes for the bolts. In woods as hard and oily as desert ironwood, regular drill bits are laughed off like they are made of foam. Most fixed blade handles that are of the “slab” variety are attached with a little bit of glue and some bolts. Save the bolts and countersink the holes to allow the bolts to accommodate the new, thicker handles.
Contour the handle slabs. You can use a sander here, but I found it was more precise and therapeutic to use sandpaper. Start with 60 grit then move up to 120, then 320, and finally 600. If you are using ironwood or holly or another species that can take a polished shine, prepare to go higher than 600. Desert ironwood is so hard and so oily it can basically only be polished up, as varnishes and oils get rejected by the wood.

CRITICAL STEP: Very, very carefully separate the two slices of wood. Do not pry if you can help it, as the wood is probably pretty thin. Try twisting them off if you can.

With a little (very little) bit of wood/metal glue on the back of the handles, set them in place. Using a clamp to hold them there, use the original bolts to connect the new scales to the handle.
Wipe down the handle with paste wax or other finishing product if the wood will accept it. If not, then polish it up and admire.

One thing I would do differently is that I would not try to letterbox the handle scales like on the production Skyline. It made the entire process more difficult and time consuming, and with the ability to contour thicker slabs, it was unnecessary. Usually letterboxing is a cheap way to make a handle feel more three dimensional. I can do that for real now, so why bother?

From cutting and marking in the shop, to hunting and camping, to preparing a simple meal, a good knife is indispensable. Mass-produced knives can be found for every budget and use. But custom knives, which are often far more attractive, tend to get expensive very quickly.

Of course, the ultimate custom knife would include a hand-forged and hand-sharpened blade. If you're not up for the expense and dirty work of such an endeavor, you can still experience the pride of a well-crafted and functional addition to your tool collection. All you need is a knife kit.
A knife kit consists of a prefabricated blade and pins, which allows the maker to select handle materials, assemble the knife, and shape and polish it to perfection. It requires minimal tools, good attention to aesthetic detail and a few hours of shop time. Once you've gained some knife-making experience, there are hundreds of types of knives (and swords, and spears) available as kits from a number of sources.We suggest starting with Woodcraft's drop point knife kit, an affordable but good quality model with a popular blade style most often used for hunting.

The kit consists of a highly polished 8-1/4" hollow-ground blade that is 11/16" wide and 5/32" thick, made of 6A high carbon stainless steel for good edge holding, and three 5/32" brass pins. The knife handles or “scales” can be made from any quality hardwood. I used some ebony that I had on hand, and I really like the black contrasted with the polished silver blade. Whatever wood you choose, you will need two pieces 3/8" thick, at least 1-1/2" wide and 5" long.

The blade comes pre-sharpened. Protect the edge from damage and yourself from getting cut by covering the blade with masking tape from the tip all along the cutting edge.Use as many layers of masking tape as you need to keep the blade guarded.

Select wood for your scales and determine which sides will face away from the handle portion of the knife blank, or the “tang.” Using the blank, trace the shape of the tang onto each scale (Fig. 3) . Make sure to trace the tang in the proper orientation to keep the best woodgrain on the visible outer side.

Cut out the scales on a bandsaw or scroll saw. Cut to the outsides of the lines you traced - you will sand up to them later.Using 120-grit sandpaper, sand the side of the scale that will be attached to the tang. Sand and polish the top outside edges of the scales (nearest the blade) with a belt sander and buffer. This is important, because after the scales are glued to the tang, you will not be able to sand and polish these areas without marring the tang and blade.

Place one of the scales exactly where you want it on the tang, clamping securely. Drill three holes for the brass pins with a 5/32" bit, using the blade as a template. Test the pins in the first scale before adding the second one. Now align and clamp the other scale and drill through the second scale using the holes in the first scale as a template. Clamp the assembly firmly to the drill press, as shown.
Dry-fit both scales on the knife tang and push the brass pins through the holes, making sure everything fits together and that the pins extend through both scales and are flush with or slightly proud of both scales. Disassemble and clean the tang and the insides of the scales with acetone. Mix enough epoxy to evenly coat both sides of the tang and the pins. The epoxy acts as both an adhesive and a sealant. Position the scales on the tang, aligned with the holes in the scales.

Coat the pins and push them all the way through the holes. Now clamp the scales to the tang and clean off any glue squeeze-out using a rag and acetone. I find it a good practice to let the glue dry overnight if possible.

After the epoxy has thoroughly dried, remove the clamps and begin contouring and shaping the handle. A drum sander is handy for this shaping phase. The most important thing is that the handle both looks good and fits well in your hand. You'll know you're finished when it looks and feels pleasing.
Finish sanding using 220-grit and 400-grit sandpaper and polish the scales using a buffer and red rouge polishing compound.Polish the knife to a soft luster.

The techniques used to assemble leather and birch-bark handled knives are very similar, though the finishing techniques are rather different. This tutorial will focus on producing a leather-handle, but will also bark handles.

The choice of blade is more or less infinite, provided it has a stick-tang, and has either sufficient length to set a rivet (5mm longer than the handle for a simple rivet and 10mm for a rivet washer) or alternatively it has a threaded end to take a lock-nut. Solingen blades sold here are ideal for the lock-nut arrangement. Most of the blades shown in this picture are good for riveting, but the two at the top are too short. These are both high quality hand made blades, so don’t assume that a blade will work, though factory blades are more consistent. Photos are often clipped, not showing the full tang length, so tell the supplier what you need the blade for.

You can’t make an entire handle out of leather. The end pieces play an important support role, they can be metal, horn, antler or wood. The 3mm brass or nickle silver bolsters and butt washers shown at the top are available here and work well, or you can make your own, as I did here. Moose antler is strong and attractive. I use rosencrans to avoid marrow which may weaken the handle. A strong ebony, or buffalo horn section will also work well at either end.
The last 10-15mm of the tang has to be filed (or ground as here) to fit through the butt cap and to form the rivet later on. If you have a strong material for the back section, you won’t need a rivet washer (pommel) to set the rivet, you can countersink the rivet and finish it flush. I’ll go into this later. If you make your own butt cap, drill a 3mm hole for the thinned-down end of the tang to project through.

The solid front piece (bolster) should be finished perfectly before fitting it to the tang, it is much easier to do this now than later when the knife is put together. Most hand-forged blades have a curve where the blade joins the tang. This reduces the likelihood of stress-fractures, so don’t file the shoulder of the blade flat to fit the bolster. File the inside of the bolster to fit the blade! Why buy an expensive blade and then make it more likely to break?

The bolster should be fixed firmly to the tang before you do anything else. Wrap the blade and the front of the bolster carefully with masking tape, then smear with Vaseline; this makes it less likely that you will get epoxy in the wrong place. Use rapid set epoxy, but leave it overnight to cure.

The leather you use should ideally be 4-4.5mm thick, I usually use thick shoulder leather. It will be compressed to some extent, so you don't want it to be too thin. It is best to sand off the glossy side of the leather before you make it in to a handle. This isn't essential, but it improves the line of the finished handle. Cut the leather into small rectangles of about 35mm x 25mm. Draw in the centreline and use the tang itself (or a calliper measurement) to mark the position of the hole, so that it falls 1mm or so either side of the top and bottom faces of the tang (Fig 6). Each piece of leather should be made to fit the tang in the position that it will sit.
The tang on this knife was just over 3mm thick, so I used a 4mm drill bit to punch in holes at the top and bottom of the proposed slot, then cut the remainder out with a sharp knife. If you do this sloppily, just drilling a big hole in the middle of them all, and pushing them on you will regret it later, when the sections start to slip and rotate. This is a 35 piece handle, each section requires careful attention. You only need one piece to be out of line or twisted around to cause problems. As soon as you have marked the leather pieces for drilling, it is important to develop a system to keep them in order. After drilling and cutting, I gently buzz them with a barrel sander to smooth the faces.

Make sure that you test assemble the handle several times under tension in your clamp. I used the clamp sold here in the tools section, but you could make your own, look at the Saami knife tutorial for ideas. If you are using spacers, make them symmetrical, in other words, if you have 8 leather pieces between the bolster and first spacer, there should be the same number between the back spacer and the butt cap. The small pile of spares is are important for two reasons: Firstly because you are likely to mess up one or two pieces during the gluing process, throw that piece away, because it is probably covered with epoxy and will make a mess.

Move on to the next piece, it will still fit and you can use pieces from the spares pile to fill in at the end. Secondly, these "spares" will be glued together to form your practice block. This is an absolutely essential part of the process.

Before you do the final assembly, tape the blade and grease the top of the blade and the front of the bolster with Vaseline; this prevents the epoxy from getting where you don't want it! Assemble the handle one piece at a time, applying only a small smear of 24hr epoxy all around the skin side of the leather, then press it down firmly on to the pile. Don't saturate the leather with epoxy, just lightly glue the pieces together and to the tang. Fix the top clamp bar in place and compress the pile.

Don't try to squeeze the life out of it, you should compress the pile down about two or three thicknesses of leather. Fill the top hole with Vaseline, again this prevents any epoxy that might squeeze out from causing grief. Very little glue should come out under compression, this is not a messy process if you do it properly. The spare pieces of leather should be clamped to make your practice block for finishing.

You will need to rivet the knife tang to the butt cap. Rivet washers are the easiest to set and make the strongest form of rivet, because they press over a greater surface area. They are essential if you are riveting into soft antler marrow, but rosencrans, any decent hardwood or metal will take a simple rivet, or a flush countersunk rivet.
For a thick metal butt-cap, I would usually countersink the rivet, but in this project I am using a rivet washer to show how it works. Both are formed in the same way by even tapping with the round face of a ball pein hammer directly to the centre of the tang-end. If you do use a simple rivet, countersink the butt-cap slightly.

The leather pile should be compressed in the clamp for 3 days to ensure that it compacts evenly. When you remove the clamp, you need to set the rivet. The length of tang that should be left above the rivet surface is equal to its diameter.

This will always make a good rivet. Tap accurately with the hammer until the metal deforms to make a strong rivet. It might take 5 minutes, but it will work. Don’t rush it.

A belt sander makes shaping very quick and easy, but leather knives are easy to shape by hand, because the material is still quite soft. I always let the sander scorch the handle at the beginning of shaping. The heat hardens the leather and the scorching is only on the surface and is easily removed with further sanding.

Shaping should always be completed by hand with strips of abrasive as shown. This ensures a smooth and even surface. Some leather grease can be used to lubricate the surface of the leather. If you want a hard glossy surface, treat the leather with super-glue then sand it smooth with grits from 240 to 800, then treat with CCL knife handle polish. Birch bark handled knives can be finished with CCL oil without the need for superglue first.

My favourite more traditional finish is much slower than that. You need good quality soft leather grease such as Gold Quality Laederfedt and some gum tragacanth will help achieve a tough smooth finish. Sand to 240 grit using a light action. Now rub some grease into the leather with your fingertips, then leave it for half an hour. Wipe off any excess, then sand lightly with 320 grit abrasive. Rub in some more grease, wait half an hour and sand with 400grit abrasive. Repeat this for 600, 800 and 1000 grits, then substitute a drop of gum tragacanth in place of the grease. Rub this in very hard with vinyl or latex gloved fingertips (helps the polishing). Leave for half an hour, then sand with 1200 grit abrasive.
Do the same for 1500 grit, then leave it overnight. The next day, rub in some leather grease very gently and sand with 2000 grit abrasive and repeat for 2500 grit. If you have a buffing machine, you can buff the handle with pure bees-wax after the gum tragacanth stage.

You can do a lot with stacked leather if it is compressed properly. The knife with the reconstituted jade spacer and butt cap has been used heavily for several years, with no problems for the handle, the rather deep guard is completely solid. That is more than you can say for the blade though. I don’t recommend the use of reconstituted stone spacers in leather handled knives. The dust produced by sanding clings to the leather fibres. This knife has a strong rivet washer underneath the jade cap. The knife at the bottom is interesting because it was made the old-fashioned way with no glue at all; it is held together entirely by the strength of the rivet. You might like to try that for a later project.
How to make a handle for the knife - instructions and photos. How to make a knife handle step by step. How to make knife making handle m