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  #1  
Old 10-15-2016, 10:04 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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through tang

hey guys so I glued up a new hidden tang knife still not the best fit up in the front of the guard I deffinitly need practice at that but this knife is for me not anyone else so it doesn't bother me too much as long as I get it better next time. I have only done 2 or 3 of these. once I am done with this I have a knife I have to work on for a friend and then I have a few that will be for sale I need to do sheaths for. but once I get those sheaths done ill have 7 or8 ready to go out the door so then ill have a lil time to go practice some more. Or maybe I will work on the next hidden tang lil by lil as I do the sheaths that might be good cause it will force me to slow down. anyway I have been wanting to attempt a through tang the kind where you weld or braze a threaded rod so it goes all the way through for a but cap or pommel. so I was watching a video today and something didn't make sense in the past all the videos and pics I have seen of this you have the blade itself then a short tang where the threaded rod get welded to I have even seen it where the tang is wide and a notch cut in the end that the threaded rod slips in the notch and gets welded (that seems to be the strongest type of joint to have. well the video I just saw this guy didn't have a tang at all really he welded the rod basicly right to the back of the shoulders of the blade. now he said "i do it this way because I have more surface area to weld and the joint is stronger at the shoulders" I don't think there is any more sureface area created by welding it there and I would think the joint would break easier up there than if it was place down a tang a lil bit....am I right in this assumption for you guys that have ddone a through tang like this how did you do it? did you find one way better than the other?
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2016, 11:11 AM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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Your correct, now in the video was he welding or brazing? If he'd welding on an already heat treated blade the joint will be weak and prone to breaking, not to mention the heat will ruin the temper on the lower blade. Brazing takes less heat but you still have the problem of ruining the temper.
Now one could conceivably weld one that way before heat treat, forge the weld and it would hold but wouldn't be as strong as having a tang since you risk weld inclusions and defects.

My preference is to silver braze. V notch to tang and threads to increase the surface area. Do it right and you'll be able to bend the threads over without breaking the joint.
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2016, 01:57 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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I never weld or braze my tang to the blade, Never.

I am an expert TIG welder and know how to do it and JM is correct, you can't weld that close or braze that close to the blade if it's HT. I have welded tangs, before heat treat and preheated the blade to 400-500 degrees before welding. You can't braze before ht as the braze would melt if its a stainless steel like you use Dave. I just cut the tang as long as I need and make the end 1/4" wide and the thread it 1/4-20 for the pommel or 3/16" for a 10-24 thread. Obviously you thread it before HT Dave. Remember that big dagger I made Dave? I used my angle grinder and cut the hidden tang using a cut-off wheel. That tang actually tapered from almost one inch wide to 1/4 inch at the end. I not only threaded the pommel, but tapped the wood too as I threaded about an inch and a half of the end of the tang. Overall length was 19 inches. The secret to making the guard to fit well Dave is just drill out the slot small and slowly file until it fits. I mill it out a little until it measures precisely the width and just short of the final length of the tang at the shoulder then file the corners and some of the angle as I never leave a sharp corner shoulder on my hidden tang knives, but leave them a little rounded. Do you have a pair of digital calipers Dave? I actually prefer hidden tangs as they are easier to put a guard and handle on. Well maybe not guard.

If you are going to mig weld it Dave then weld the tang on about one inch or more from the shoulder at the least and heat the parts to about 400 degrees and for 440C 500 would be better. Now I think about it for 440C to weld turn your oven on to 800, tack weld it and stick it in the oven, when it warms up pull it out and weld it both sides and stick it back in the oven and turn it off and let it slow cool. Grind the weld off later, but silver solder is better.
440C that you use can be brazed or soldered after HT, but you must keep the heat away from the blade Dave. (A wet rag with ice on it?) That's why I said at least an inch from the shoulder, but longer is better. I just use a one piece tang and thread them as I do not trust even a good braze or weld to hold my whole handle on and 440C is tricky to weld too. You have a flux core mig welder and a stick right? You can buy some Ni-rod for the stick, but I seem to remember you said you aren't very good with it. Have you already cut the blade out Dave? If you haven't do you have a tap and die set? I'll bet your Dad left you some. Don't worry if the material isn't 1/4 inch thick as you just leave it 1/4 wide & thread the outside edges, if the material is 3/16 then just thread it 10-24 NC or 10-32 NF. Fine threads are the strongest. I made a filet knife out of O1 with a hidden tang and did the same thing, also filled the handle hole with clear caulking so no saltwater could ever get in there.
Strongest is just make the tang go all the way through. Some people don't think hidden tangs are strong and I just point them to Katanas and other swords that are all hidden tangs. Most knives don't get hit with that much force.

Last edited by jimmontg; 10-15-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2016, 05:10 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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That video sounds like one more person in a rush to teach something so he can be an 'expert'.

If I weld a tang I do it before HT but I prefer to just do it as Jim described and simpley make the tang as long as I need it to be and thread the end of it ...


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Old 10-15-2016, 05:49 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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thanks guys JM yeh he was welding it but I agree with what ray said this guy deffinitly aint a expert so idk if it was before or after HT. I just hadn't seen it that far up before and regardless if you weld, braze, solder whatever if the joint is up by the shoulders it seems if you do wack the knife around more pressure will be up by the shoulders than if it was down the tang some. that's why I asked. JIM yes you remember right I have a stick welder and a MIG/FLUX core and I am much better with the mig I can stick weld but about 85% of the time my hands are to shaky to do it good due to medications. oh and jim I haven't cut this knife yet its a plan I have after I finish one for my friend as I think I need more practice with hidden tang and I never did a through tang so I really want to try it and my listening to you guys making the tang long and thread it seems like the best idea and I do have a bunch of taps and die's I would have to play withit I have taped holes but never threaded the "male" side of things. so say I try to thread the end of a tang to 1/4-20 I would have to leave the tang bigger than 1/4 as its a rectangle then grind it to 1/4 diameter but make it round right? then just run the die over it.... JIm I agree about the swords I have a couple high end katan's not the junk look good ones (I do have 1 of them) but I have ones that would easily serve a samurai right and cut a opponent in half no problem. anyway the knife I am working on now (glued it all up last night) but when my buddy saw the tang he asked would that be so much weaker than a full tang. I used the same analogy I told him look you see that katana its a hidden tang and your not going to break it as long as it is done right its strong enough yeh maybe if you took a hidden tang and a full tang in a lab setting and put it under TONS of force yeh maybe that hidden tang would breal first but no person is going to be able to put that much pressure on it. anyway when you guys say silver braze your talking about the high % stuff right? I know it comes in different percents but the high stuff is really expensive.... silver solder??? silver solder is strong enough????
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2016, 06:19 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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The thing about doing the bolt through is unlike a full tang the handle itself becomes part of the support unit. In other words with a full tang and a side force the tang has little to no support from the handle slabs. While the bolt through is supported like the concrete telephone poles, they would collapse but with the cable under tension the unit holds together stronger than either could separately.

As far as the silver brazing, stay silve 45 or 56 will work. It isn't cheap but it doesn't take very much if your joints are right. The tensile strength is equal to a 7018 but since you haven't reached the steels hardening temperature or melted the high carbon steel there is no chance of hard zones that will break. The reason I prefer to braze is it allows me to use threads much larger than the thickness of the tang. So a 1/4" Bowie can get 5/16 threads, that makes it that much stronger.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:34 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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The threaded section starts out square when you cut it out. All you need to do is slightly grind off the corners. The more metal you can leave on the better because, as James said, the sides are flat. So yes, full round is 'stronger' but you're back to the tons of force argument with the through tang - if you do the threads right on the flat tang then the two sides you do have will be more than strong enough ...


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Old 10-15-2016, 08:15 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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James is right on the strength of a good silver solder, I used to do copper heat exchangers (radiators) with a 460 degree solder. The proper flux is important, but not super crucial, most any solder flux will work. Being a TIG welder which is the most skill intensive, but also the best controlled weld you could do I studied metallurgy and for high carbon steels you must understand that they'll crack if done wrong. The weld cools too fast and becomes harder than the base and boom, a crack appears. Thus the need for a preheat if welding is the way you decide to go. Remember to fill the hole through the handle with epoxy and it is like a plug of plastic holding it all together as well, but a hidden tang is a good way to make a handle with gemstone spacers or different woods like I did on that dagger. It gives you more options and if you are using a softer material like stag antler it is almost a necessity. Many of the natural materials like warthog tusk ivory don't hold up well as scales and work better with a hidden tang. I have a piece of walnut that is telling me, hidden tang.lol

I found through experience if you use the acrylics you have to go hidden tang as it is soft and very hard to get even with a full tang's metal edges, the metal sticks out and is just a bunch of extra work. I have some kirinite and when it's gone I'll never buy the stuff again. I go full tang with that stuff now after spending a lot of extra time getting the edges even. If somebody want's kitchen knives for the dishwasher they are getting G10.

Last edited by jimmontg; 10-15-2016 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:17 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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JIM yeh I know tig welding is one of the best that's one I never tried. RAY basically your saying if you can put enough threads on the corners of the tang that it will hold good it should be ok, so now if I get it right I could either just thread the tang itself and use that...I could try and weld it with my mig welder or maybe the stick welder but as I said I shake sometimes (it seems I shake right at the moment I am trying NOT to shake LOL) I mean I could do it with the stick welder but as I said I think the mig might be stronger just because I can control it and can make a better weld. OR as JM said I could use stay silv 45 and 56...I have done a lil brazing with silver but the stuff I have is much less % (I forget exactly what % it is but deffinitly lower maybe 12%) but JIM you mentioned solder now my knowledge of solder is that it is MUCH MUCH weaker than weld OR braze. I have a ton of solder stuff but the stuff I am talking about is all the left over stuff my dad used when he had his own company buying selling modifying and fixing CB radios. so this stuff is to solder electronics stuff and I don't think it would come anywhere close to having enough strength to hold a tang on a knife I mean this stuff is so soft you can wrap a coil all the way up your finger no problem. so am I missing something? is there different type of solder that would be stronger? I have a bunch of different types of solder but all of it is for electronics stuff and I don't think strong enough. now thinking about it (never bought it because like I said I have a ton of solder) but I have seen a spool of solder in home depot that has the name stay silv on it and it was on the thicker side of solder I have seen but again in a spool so very soft and flexible...would that stuff be different???
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:08 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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The solder for the electronics is strong enough.

All the solders are soft on the spool as wire, but what you do is grind a notch where the all thread fits in and solder it into the notch and believe me it will be plenty strong.



This is one example, though it looks like it may have been welded, but you make a notch just barely wide enough and solder it on both sides. Look at the ratings on the containers or spools of some of those electronic solders and you'll see ratings like 30,000-50,000 psi breaking strength on them. Just because they were made for electronics doesn't mean they're weak. Also you can leave your hidden tang let's say 1/2 inch wide and cut notches in it and the epoxy will fill in the notched areas. You have carbide drill bits so you can pin the tang as well like I did with that dagger I made. The threads at the end of the end of the tang do not need to be the only thing that holds the handle on. Don't forget to use flux for the solder.

Last edited by jimmontg; 10-16-2016 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:31 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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See the pins near the guard?



You can do the same Dave and that last piece of wood just before the pommel is threaded too as it's a hardwood (tulipwood) and takes threads and of course epoxy is throughout the handle and on all the threads. You can make the pommel out of wood if you want, I did that once with some Desert Ironwood. I put the pins in as a decorative touch as they are small mosaic pins, but they also are holding the tang to the guard. The material started off as 1/4" but was thinner so I had to grind the sides of my threads so the guard would slide down. I still had about 70% of threads left so that isn't a problem. Went from .250 to .220 by the time I was done. Remember that Dave, if you solder bigger threads than the thickness of the material, be sure and put the guard on first or you will have to grind the threads so it will slip down the tang.
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:28 AM
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As Jim explained, solder is plenty strong enough. So, extending that thought, if solder is strong enough then just imagine how much stronger the steel of the tang is even with only two sides threaded. Why do everything the hard way Dave? Just thread the darned tang and move on ....


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Old 10-17-2016, 08:50 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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jim yeh I didn't think solder was that strong but I do belive you (I don't think you would try to sabotage me lol) but as you said glue pins threading the wood ect all ads strength
ray yeh your right I was planning on doing a knife for a friend then doing this through tang but he hasn't come over to look at the design as there were some specifics he wanted so I may start the through tang first...or actually now that I know how long I have for the KITH I may start that one before anything else so I am not it a rush with it. either way I wanted to know what the options were on a thrugh tang and what you guys thought of them wich you guys all answered great and ray I tend to agree about just threading the tang it doesn't seem any harder than the other options may even be easier and I know welds brazing ect.. if done right can be stronger than the material it self but that's in perfect conditions and I tend to think the less joints there are the less places for it to fail. and like I said I have the die's to thread so it shoulndt be to hard to do....either way you guys answered all my questions so thank you
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:59 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Smile Neat thing about hidden Tangs.

Is you can use different spacers and materials like I always do on hidden tangs, not to mention having to drill a 6" hole through a single piece of wood requires oversize drill bits which I have, but the handle just looks better with different materials and spacers. I'm going to use some gem stone on a hidden tang for the first time on one. A hidden tang lends itself easily to different styles and materials.
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