EPOXY CAST METHOD
This method gives a perfect fit to a tapered tang and the handle can be taken off and put back on. It’s nice because it’s fast, requires little effort and the handle aligns exactly the same every time with a tight fit and no play. This also allows you to shape the handle accurately after the fitting. In this scenario quick set epoxy is used as a cast filler.
#1. Drill an appropriate pilot hole in the handle block. Measure the tang and mark it at the top of the handle block.
#2. Scrape the rectangular hole out following the lines. I’m using a scraper made from a round file.
#3. Once the wood piece loosely fits the tang and slides all the way up to it’s final position, grease or wax the tang as a releasing agent. Fill the tang hole with quick set epoxy and slide the tang in. If the hole goes clean through the handle piece, cover the end of the hole with tape, so the epoxy doesn’t run out. It’s better to use more epoxy than you think you need rather than not using enough.
#4. Once the epoxy gets “leather hard” (won’t sag or run and isn’t very sticky), clamp the blade in a vice and release the handle block by pulling straight back on it. Immediately slide it all the way back up to the guard or it’s final position. Repeat the releasing process several times as the epoxy completely sets, to make sure it doesn’t get stuck.
#5. Clean off the excess epoxy and check the fit.
Note: If the handle is to be epoxied permanently in place at final assembly, be sure and thoroughly clean the releasing agent off the tang and out of the tang hole with an appropriate solvent or degreasing agent and a swab.