A woodworking experiment

About a year ago my parents mailed me a Henckels fork they’ve had for years.  The handle was rotting off and could I replace it?

Fork with old, rotten scales
Fork with old, rotten scales

After reviewing a lot of online material on the art of knife-handle making, I felt ready to give it a try.

First the old handle had to come off. I used the side that was still intact as a guide for the new handle.

Olive wood blanks
Olive wood blanks

After that I continued shaping the handle halves until they roughly matched the tang on the fork, then I glued and bolted them in place.

Scales mounted, glued and bolted to the tang
Scales mounted, glued and bolted to the tang

 

Here you can see that the wood isn’t quite flush with the steel yet – I did the final shaping and sanding of the handle after gluing and bolting it.

Left is the handle after I finished shaping the halves, and had cut off and filed down the bolt heads.  I had some problems with this part, namely using the grinder too fast, filing too much away on one bolt and getting another one so hot that it actually burned the wood around the bolt hole.  Anyway, I couldn’t easily fix that without starting over from scratch, so I left the blemishes as-is and continued.

Right is after four coats of tung oil and some buffing.  Not too shabby.  My parents liked it well enough that they’re sending me another fork to fix, so I’ll have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes!

Finished product
Finished product
Fully shaped and sanded, but not yet finished
Fully shaped and sanded, but not yet finished

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