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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this great Dexter cleaver in a discount bin for $5. Its a great knife, but the handle looks like my dog chewed it. I can probably shape a wood handle, but how do I put it back together? Anyone know how to remove and replace the posts or rivets or whatever those things are?

What wood should I use? Rosewood?
 

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Setting the rivets is not a difficult task either...just take care and time...of course, if you were here and not there, you could use my aircraft rivet sets and drivers, and make it look factory, but what would be the fun in that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Or if you want to try something "different" don't use rivets, use wood dowels. I used to sell alot of wood to guys for knife handles, never made a knife so I thought I would try. I made this little boning knife and put 1/4 sawn sycamore for a handle and made a sheath from the same.
I just used bamboo dowels (went to a Chinese place and grapped a handfull of chopstick while I was picking up a to go order :laughing: ) and glued then in with TiteBond. I have caried this knife on my belt and used it alot, the handle is still good and solid.
A cleaver gets more impact use, but I have used that little knife pretty hard too. I think the wood "rivets" look better.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=282&limit=recent
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Or if you want to try something "different" don't use rivets, use wood dowels. I used to sell alot of wood to guys for knife handles, never made a knife so I thought I would try. I made this little boning knife and put 1/4 sawn sycamore for a handle and made a sheath from the same.
I just used bamboo dowels (went to a Chinese place and grapped a handfull of chopstick while I was picking up a to go order :laughing: ) and glued then in with TiteBond. I have caried this knife on my belt and used it alot, the handle is still good and solid.
A cleaver gets more impact use, but I have used that little knife pretty hard too. I think the wood "rivets" look better.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=282&limit=recent
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=283&cat=500

That is so creative to use chopstixs for dowels! That would be cool to use maple for the handle and bamboo for the dowels and then have it match my butcher block.

Okay, I officially love this site!! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Daren,

Got a scrap of birdseye or curly maple for my knife that you could throw in the box with that Mulberry bbq wood? Doesn't need to be much. I'll gladly pay you or send you some sauce in trade. (Was planning to anyway.)

Todd
 

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.did you come up with that one on your own?
Yep, I was not even sure if it would hold up, but liked the look. Turns out the bamboo is VERY strong laterally/shear strength. Actually it is an amazing plant in general, some species can grow 12" in a day. You could (if you had the patience) set and "watch the grass grow", 1/2" an hour. Bamboo is cool because it is food AND shelter. Where it grows natively is it used for construction, and I love bamboo shoots in food (I already said I do Chinese take out, but I also have a wok and can whip up a killer stir fry)

Todd, sure I can do that... it's all taped up and ready to go and postage paid for (I have an online shipping account and was doing some of that work today, shipping yours was one) I will just pull a chunk of mulberry out of the box. I have some scraps of curly maple, how thick is the wood on the handle now? I have different thickness pieces laying around. It'll cost you a jar of sauce though for sure :laughing:. This stuff is kinda special, but that is just such a great idea you have...a fancy maple handle to make a set with your cutting board, that will be something to be proud of. I tried to get a picture of what I am talking about, but it does not photo well and it IS just a piece of raw wood, with a finish on the curl will really pop.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=284&cat=500
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had to eyeball it quickly this morning. Handle looks to be 2 1/2" wide at the very end, 1/2" thick and 6-7" long. Brass rivets are about 1" wide. I'll have to turn some bamboo to make custom dowels I think.

I'm 100% into the idea of this project now with the maple & bamboo. Two concerns before starting are 1) removing the current handle as I'm not sure if it is glued down somehow to the steel, and 2) getting the handled formed & flush with the curves of the steel. I don't want to remove the aged patina of the steel. Lots of character there. I may form a template using my oscilating drum sander and then form the handle either by router or by hand. Most critical part of any project is the planning, even on a project as simple as a knife handle. That's why the woodworker appreciates the project and the mistakes more than anyone else.
 

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Brass rivets are about 1" wide. I'll have to turn some bamboo to make custom dowels I think.
That is probably just the head, I bet the shaft is alot smaller. Once you grind them off, you will know what size you need by the holes in the cleaver tang.
I stuck this wood in the box, it's dark because I soaked it with water to show the curl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is probably just the head, I bet the shaft is alot smaller. Once you grind them off, you will know what size you need by the holes in the cleaver tang.
I stuck this wood in the box, it's dark because I soaked it with water to show the curl.
I can hardly wait. This will get started next weekend when I'm back in town. Going to St. Paul, MN this week for work.
 

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I would center punch the rivits, drill them out with a bit smaller than a quarter inch. I would do my best to drill the center of the rivits.
The handle may/maynot be glued to the tang. if it is.....just break the plastic off, and sand smooth. You will probably want to make a template first before deconstruction starts.
Love curly maple wood in the pictures above your last post. You will probably have to router a channel in both halves of the new stock before you shape your handle halves. Dang, wished I lived closer as Im sure I could give you a hand to make a beautiful handle for your big old knife.
Another thought. Go to Blade Forums, i hang there a lot......and im sure someone much smarter than I could awnser all your concerns.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got the cleaver done tonight in just a couple of hours. This is probably the first project in some time where I didn't make a stupid mistake. :laughing: Everything went pretty smoothly, and I'm happy with how it turned out.

Really appreciate the curly maple that Daren sent me. I only needed one piece, so I'm using the second piece to make a matching handle for the other knife I picked up for $2 in the used bargain bin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ended up using a walnut dowel to pin the handles. It was the easiest thing to do since I already had the dowel on hand. Easier than turning my own Cherry dowel.
 

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Ended up using a walnut dowel to pin the handles.
I would have used walnut too for the contrast, I was going to suggest it but I figured it was your knife I would just butt out. I sent big enough pieces, hoping you could get more than one handle out of them. Pretty cool looking now. :thumbsup:
 
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