Author Topic: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......  (Read 1506 times)

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Offline wsdstan

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Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« on: February 13, 2020, 07:17:06 PM »
I need advice on repairing or replacing the scales on a older custom knife.

This knife was made by Wick Ellerbee some time ago.  I know it is an older one as the signature on the blade is his early one.

The scales are dyed bone I think and there are several cracks from the pins holding on the scales to the edges.  The crack by the rear pins goes all the way from edge to edge through the pins to the edges. You can feel the cracks with your fingers but they are still pretty intact. 

I thought about putting a clear epoxy on them but doubt that there will be any penetration.  Removing them and making new ones is an option although one I would prefer to avoid as this knifemaker is no longer taking orders and I would like to keep it as he made it.  Another option would be to forget about it and leave it be.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.





If you look closely at the first photo you can see the crack that goes all the way across.
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 08:38:41 PM »
Tough call on that one, Stan.  If it were mine and I didn't really use it, I'd probably leave it alone, but then there's the other anal side of me that would be looking for a good knife maker to replace the scales because I know it wouldn't be something I would tackle on my own.

Sorry, I know that was absolutely no help with your dilemma.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 10:06:41 PM »
Nuke it is more help than you might think.  First my tendency is to get anal about cracks in a knife handle even though it is a knife that I do not use much.  Processed a turkey I harvested with it just for fun but I bought it to be part of my early American kit with the flintlock, pouch, and tomahawk.  So your saying just leave it makes sense to me as it is simply good to hear someone say what you know is right.  You are right on not doing it myself as I would likely wind up after destroying the handle have to send it off to someone to fix.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 04:18:46 AM »
If it's not a user, leaving alone is an option.  If the crack is too much of an issue, super glue might penetrate and then a light sanding with fine grit paper.  Finish it off with some white buffing compound on a soft wheel (one stuck in a hand held drill works fine if you don't have a buffer).

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 07:48:47 AM »
Thanks Crash, that is exactly something I would be comfortable doing and I have all the stuff to do it out in the frozen wasteland of my shop.  Good reason to fire up the woodstove.

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2020, 08:28:29 AM »
Crash that worked very well.  The slight rough edges are filled in and you cannot feel the cracks when you run your fingernail down the scales.  Thanks for suggesting that and we will see how it holds up with light use.  I appreciate your thoughts on this.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 04:50:20 AM »
Glad it worked.

Offline Dabberty

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 01:39:20 PM »
I'm too late i see, but I would:
-drill/hammer out the pins
- take of the scales
- glue the cracked ones together
- glue scales back on the tang, with or without and thing additional liner
- add new pins
- buff it smooth again
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Repairing or replacing knife scales.......
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 04:19:25 PM »
Thanks Dabberty.  I will do just that if the interim fix doesn't hold up. 

One reason I did not want to replace the scales is that they are bone which would be more difficult for me to duplicate.  Your method solves that problem.  Frankly, I had not thought of doing it the way that you suggest.  What you are suggesting would likely work well.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)