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How to Attach Knife Handles – Beginner’s Guide

Easy way to attach scales

In the video above, we go over how to easily attach handle scales without all the fussing about.

First thing you want to do is protect the blade. We’re just using some painters tape for this.

Get yourself a pair of scales. You can use double sided tape for this but I prefer to use super glue. All you’re doing here is just using the super glue to glue the two scales together. If you’re using hybrid scales, make sure you get the alignment correct. Deburring your pins is it always a good idea.

Now that you have the scales glued together, it is simple as putting your first pinhole in. What this will do is it will align your scale so make sure you have the knife sitting exactly where you want it to sit on the scales. So I just start the pinhole. Now I’ll be putting it all the way through and then test fitting it.

Just make sure that your drill bench is always flat when you do this it always helps with a fit up at the end. Now that the first pin hole is in, I’ll put the brass pin back in and then align the back hole and take it out just to finish off the hole. I’ll be putting the pin back in and then just making sure the scales fit back onto the handle properly and as you can see, it’s perfect now. I’ll just be drilling the last hole.

Just a note on this this isn’t a very powerful drill. It’s just a cheap, railroad stand drill so I’m not using any sort of clamps. Just remember don’t do this with any sharp things because it can catch and flick back.

Now that you have all your three holes aligned, I just rough out the scale outline. I’m just going to take off a bit on the 2×72 and put the front of bolster transition in here. This part isn’t completely necessary, the only necessary part is to do the bolster transition – that is the most important part because you cannot do that after the blade is glued. I swap out for finer belts to clean up the transition a little bit because you can’t sand this as well when it’s on the blade.

Now you’re ready to start the transition to gluing up. I just very gently pry the glue apart and then I’ll clean them up on a high grip belt. Just remember to keep the even pressure you don’t want to eat into any corners because it will cause it to sit unevenly when you do glue up on your handles.

Wax and grease remover is always important to prep the back your scales and for the knife blade, this part is mandatory – always do it!

We like to use the West System G-Flex. It is a 24-hour cure but it is really nice. I always like to do a dry test fit up before I do any gluing and I like to have everything ready and a nice and clean bench just so it avoids any hiccups. You don’t need to go overboard with the glue, just a nice even coating.

This isn’t necessary but I do dip the pins in the glue before I put it into the holes – not necessary but I do it anyways.

Now I’m putting the scales onto the blade. These are only very light taps you shouldn’t need to be hammering away here if you’ve done the drilling properly.

The final part of the fit up just slight tapping. You can see it just goes in perfectly. This is the best way I’ve found to put on full tank scales. Well the best way I found, there may be better ways but if you like it or have any recommendations let me know.

And don’t forget to clean the bolsters!

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