Rob Brown Custom Knives
Tapering Tangs
Rob discusses his technique.
Fitting Guards
Rob reveals the secret to a clean fit.
Fitting Bolsters
Rob discusses the method used for his curved bolster design.
Mirror Finishing
Rob has become known for his mirror polish - here's how it is done.
Tapering Tangs by Rob Brown
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A good "Norzon" 50 grit disc should last for flattening ±25 tangs if it's not used for any other grinding. I use contact adhesive to stick them down to ensure they are truly flat. Both sides of the disc are used allowing me the option of a sharp disc or slightly dull disc for fine adjustments to the grind lines.
Image 12
The tang now "flatter" ground than can normally be achieved on the platen, alone which allows a neater fit of handle material and assists tremendously if bolsters are being used on the tapered section. Chamfer all holes in the tang and remove burrs around the edges.

Image 13
The blade has now been rough ground on a 36 grit belt. The ricasso is being finished on a 220 grit 200mm diameter disc at 950 r.p.m. (cork not shown).

Image 14
Mark out the position of the guard, the ricasso width and shoulder of the main blade bevel. As can be seen the taper tang must be readjusted to line up with the back of the guard.
Image 15
Close but no cigar. You can now finish your blade grind, the shoulder grind, round the ricasso and cut the guard notch in the tang. Which reminds me - you can't replace that cork either - so here's to your next tapered tang.
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Copyright © 2001 - Rob Brown
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