Stacked Leather Washers

stackedleather01These are build-only on the hidden tang style knife handle design and require a pommel cap. They have been used for generations of military use – the combat Ka-Bar being the most most widely known.

Starting with thick, tough, water buffalo hide, cut into round washers with a slot in the center for the knife’s tang. Each leather washer is cemented to the next, as they are stacked onto the tang, using a very strong, water proof, 2-ton, two-part epoxy glue. The pommel cap goes on last and is screwed down tight, and set using another 2 part adhesive.

While shaping and sanding, one can even add shallow finger grips to the handle if required. At this time, it may be left in light natural tan color, or dyed a black or dark brown color.

To protect the new handle from wear and tear, it must be sealed. A few coats of high quality Marine Spar varnish is the typical treatment. However, over time from rough use, it will wear off, allowing the leather to stain and dry out.  I offer an extra layer of protection with 5-6 coats of Danish Oil Finish. This product soaks in, then sets up to seal the leather on the inside, where it will not wear off.

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