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Old 06-20-2019, 12:28 PM
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Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
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Default Hoof Knife With a Stacked Leather Handle

It was time to trim a couple of the old mares that mow my pasture and when I got my tools out, I had 2 knives that needed sharpened and one with loose rivets in the handle. All simple problems, I still decided they called for desperate measures. In other words, I was bored

I made the handle guard and buttcap out of mild steel. I made a quick punch roughly the size my tang would be, and hot punched square holes in each end of a bar, to later be cut off and make the pieces I needed.

The blade was forged from a piece of leaf spring. I drew the tang out first, then heated the other end up and knocked a quick bevel into it to get it ready for grinding and bent the tang to the sweep I wanted my handle to have.

Hoof knives have a chisel grind, so the grinding was pretty simple. I flattened the back of the blade first, then hogged a bevel into it.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:33 PM
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After the rough grinding was done, I bent the tip of the blade over and made sure it had the right sweep. Then I heat treated it, and started finish grinding on it.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:40 PM
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I had a bunch of small scraps of leather I had been avoiding throwing away, and I cut them up into rough squares and punched holes in the middle.
They were all buttered up with epoxy and slid over the tang to make a handle. I used a workmate bench to clamp the 2 end caps together while it dried. If I do one of these again I will thread the end of the tang, and the buttcap so that I can screw the cap on and compress the handle without fiddling with clamps.

After that mess had dried sufficiently, I cut the extra tang off flush and welded it and the cap together. The leather got a trim on the bandsaw and then I started sanding the handle to shape.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:44 PM
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Here it is sanded to 400 grit with a slack belt and then a quick burnish with some paste wax. I didn't try to put a perfect finish on it because, well its a hoof knife and it will get a steady diet of shit, and stones, and abuse.

It sharpened up nicely and trimmed 2 horses without needing a touch up so far. I do have to get used to using a wider bladed knife, but overall I really like it.

Thanks for following along
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:15 PM
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Very nice work. Never saw one with stacked leather. I like the looks much better than wood.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:46 PM
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Looks good. Is the handle hard, with the epoxied leather. Just curious. I seen pictures that an old classmate did to a old knife similar to your handle.

How would epoxied leather be on a hammer handle?


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Old 06-20-2019, 05:37 PM
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Thanks guys, I like the grip on it really well so far. The guy that shoes our show horses checked it out and he picked it up hesitantly and kind of rolled it in his hand and then said he liked it too.

It is very firm, with the leather compressed. The epoxy I used wasn't thin enough to saturate the leather so its not like a stabilized chunk, the layers are just glued together and compressed fairly tight. If you look up estwing hatchets and hammers they offer (or at least they used too) a handle made of stacked leather like this. This has a similar feel. The downside on hammers is the hammer seems to outlive the leather handle most of the time.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:37 PM
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Nice work.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:43 PM
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lol That leather handle process is really an ugly duckling show & tell in itself.
That stack of leather pieces really does start out looking rough compared to the way it turns out. Very nice.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:50 PM
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Very nice. I would never need one however, it's nice to look at.

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