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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Forming a chape with a drag         Reply with quote

Hello again.

I bought this small German nicker at a flea market a few days ago. For various reasons I'd like to give it a new chape in the style of a South American gaucho knife with a drag on the end. The puņal criollo shown about halfway down this page is the general shape that I'd like to use, although probably much more detailed than I'd be able to achieve.

How do you make a chape with a drag? The only methods I could figure out are that the chape is made in a front and back half, and the drag is an extension of one or both halves, which are then soldered, brazed or welded together, or that the drag is made separately with tabs inserted into slots or between the halves of the chape and again soldered/brazed/welded.

Also, could anyone venture a guess about what metal the fittings are made of? The green patina seems like verdigris (I can scrape it off with my fingernail), so I would guess maybe nickel silver?



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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,900

PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

White brass, on your scabbard and knife fittings. The missing fitting had no additional "drag" or ball end. The gaucho trend of a fan like or other addition simply brazed or soldered on (no additional slots or tabs used or needed), although some are castings in and of themselves.




Cheers
GC
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2018 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
The missing fitting had no additional "drag" or ball end.


Understood. This is intended as a fusion style, and in any case the usual nicker-style chapes I've seen always appear to be free of seams, as if they were raised, which is not something I have the skills or tools to do.

I'm surprised at the thought of the drag being soldered just edge-on; it'd seem like a weak bond unless the drag were made of very thick metal to increase the contact area. I'm not disagreeing with you -- it's just surprising.

Thanks. I'll see what I can do. Probably wind up using either nickel silver or steel.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,900

PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan D'Silva wrote:
Glen A Cleeton wrote:
The missing fitting had no additional "drag" or ball end.


Understood. This is intended as a fusion style, and in any case the usual nicker-style chapes I've seen always appear to be free of seams, as if they were raised, which is not something I have the skills or tools to do.

I'm surprised at the thought of the drag being soldered just edge-on; it'd seem like a weak bond unless the drag were made of very thick metal to increase the contact area. I'm not disagreeing with you -- it's just surprising.

Thanks. I'll see what I can do. Probably wind up using either nickel silver or steel.

I understood your intent and confirmed what the fittings were made out of. The two examples of German fittings I showed are cast, hence no apparent seam.

I don't know to better explain that ease of assembly generally dictates as few operations of fitting as possible. The additional "drags" as you are calling these re gaucho knives are not terribly thick but at least 1mm or so, which is plenty of surface area to flow solder or braze to. There is a mostly tin but silver content low temp solder I have used a number of times (vs real silver solder) that works great at propane torch temps for thin metals (and more). There is no reason you can't go out of your way to add work but if you were to handle a few, you might see what I'm getting at. The largest in that group photo the most cheaply made. There are plenty of huge images on ebay to examine fittings.

You could, conceivably, lay out a single sheet in such a way as to form it as one piece and then solder up that seam.

The reason for these gaucho knife fittings, imo, is to keep the scabbard trapped in the belt or sash.

Cheers
GC
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2018 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay. Certainly examining some originals firsthand would be informative, but I do believe a back-seamed chape with a drag made of 1mm plate would be the most realistically attainable compromise. The other way of fabricating one, given my technological limitations, would be more complicated and prone to failure.

Alternately, I was thinking of maybe ordering a blade from Weber Messer next year or the year afterward for another project and adding a German-style chape would only cost a few dollars more. It would take away some of the artistic freedom, though.

About the solder, I have some Lukens AquaPure -- something like that? Contains silver but with a melting point of less than 500F.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,900

PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, that is very similar stuff and would be plenty strong for such an application
https://www.cooneybrothers.com/ASSETS/DOCUMENTS/ITEMS/EN/AquaPure_data_sheet.pdf

Clean and flux. Too much heat just makes it run away. If you have a piece of scrap, you can practice heating the pieces until it just starts to flow. The mechanical join of slotting or pegging would surely make a greater join but it is something that would not be under great load.

Something I have had no luck with is the gold paste solder.

My own workshop is kind of in limbo now, in condo life.

Cheers
GC
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Fri 05 Oct, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll do a test hopefully over the weekend.

Ed.: Just tested it -- good recommendation. I was eventually able to break the bond, but I'm pretty sure any accident exerting as much force as it took would crush the chape itself unless it were made of much thicker metal than I was planning, so yeah, that's plenty strong enough.



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