Mora Knife Handle

I have completed my Mora knife handle. A couple of weeks ago I bought a Frosts Mora laminated carbon steel blank from, and decided that instead of putting on scales, I would affix a solid piece of wood. I selected Locust wood, for its hardness, rot-resistance and - I realized after cutting into a log of it - the beauty of its grain.

The thick branch I used appeared to be solid - it had been trimmed by tree surgeons from the neighbour's tree. I used my Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe to trim off the bark and sublayers and then to roughly hew the edges out.

Sitting in my newly built shed yesterday, I got to work.

In order to get the tang through the piece, I used my cordless screwdriver/drill and used something like a 1/4 inch drill bit to drill out a passage. I played with the tang until it fit in tightly, such that it wouldn't even go all the way down. That way I could be assured it would tap in snugly later.

I asked my dad to cut out a slot in a Turkish coin I got from Spring, as he has the tools for his model-building at his home.

Then I assembled the coin as a ferrule (I think that is the term) and put the tip of the blade into a 2x4. Mixing some 5 minute epoxy, I ran the glue up and down the tang, and dropped some into the handle. I gently tapped the rough handle onto the tang until the coin was seated tightly against the blade shoulder.

I carefully wiped the glue from the blade and handle where it had overflowed, and waited for about an hour until I returned. I then stealthily extracted a small box of Baklava from the kitchen, along with a can of Coke and sat in the shed munching and sipping away and enjoying the day.

After an hour or so, I leaned a rasp against a hole in the top of my work bench, wrapped the blade in a thin sponge to protect my fingers and began to wear down the handle until it seemed to be the right dimension. From time to time I would give it a quick sand to help me reveal any pits or grooves, and after an hour or so I had the handle in mostly the correct shape. I simply tested it by grip to get the right contours, and sanded it using 400 grit all-purpose sandpaper.

I wore the coin down also using the rasp and finally with the sandpaper and soon it matched the contours of the handle at the blade shoulder.

Finally after another careful sanding with 800 grit sandpaper, the tight, hard grain revealed itself. The red heartwood contrasts with the honey colour of the main grain. There is a wonderful swirl across the top and bottom of the handle, reminding me of swirled ice-cream.

I drilled a hole in the back for a lanyard, and put in a length of 550 paracord, and tied it off roughly. I am thinking of making a Turks-head decorative knot to finish it off.

The final step is to coat it in boiled linseed oil, find a sheath for it and give the blade a good strop.



Most Popular Posts