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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inside a Hollow Handle Knife

After watching the YouTube video in the previous post, we decided to investigate the inside of a knife handle on our own. In the first picture is a fairly old Gorham Chantilly knife. We estimate that this knife is between 60 and 80 years old but that's just a guess. There was a crack in the blade so we didn't mind ripping it apart to see what was inside.

In the second and third pictures, you can see where we have peeled the sterling outer casing of the handle back a bit. You can see the round shaft of the blade embedded in epoxy inside the handle. We have knocked a bit of the epoxy away at this point.

The third and fourth pictures show the sterling casing with roughly half the epoxy removed. In the fourth picture, you can see a bit of the remaining epoxy in the lower portion of the handle.

The final picture shows the knife blade with the round extension normally embedded in epoxy. You can see indentations probably designed to help it grip the epoxy. There is a bit of epoxy laying beside the blade. This was taken from the tip of the handle. You can just make out some of the Chantilly design in the epoxy.

We weighed the sterling we removed from the knife. It was roughly 30% of the weight of the original knife. We don't know if that's a good working estimate for all such knives because construction techniques may differ.

Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments/Questions" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions and comments. Or, you can send us an email by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column.


Unknown said...

I had intentions of doing this with scrap sterling knives but never took the time. Thank you! I have sold many for scrap at 1/2 a troy ounce. Looks like I will be taking the time to do this myself in the future and see if I come out ahead!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I am looking to do exactly the opposite of what you did: I want to re-cement a perfectly good blade in a perfectly good sterling silver hollow handle. What kind of cement should I use? I am tending towards a good apoxy to fill the handle, but I am not sure. Also, what might I use to clean any rust from the "sprue" or the bit that goes inside the handle? Many Thanks for your anticipated advice! Susan P.

Silver Jim said...

This is in response to the previous comment.

I'm afraid I don't know the answers to your questions. Look in the right column of this blog for the label, "Repair". Click on it. The one item there has some comments attached to it. One or two of the comments might lead to someone who can help you.

dentontexasestatesales said...

I'm about to scrap some flatware and I'll let the assayers pay 1/2 troy oz per knife handle. I don't want to breath the chemicals from heating the knife or cut my self peeling back the sterling skin. On weighted items, it's worth the risk to carefully cut and remove the skin from a weighted shaker, candle holder, or compote base.

Searhing for answers said...

I am trying to determine if there is a way to find out if a knife handle is filled with lead, and if so is there a safe way to remove the lead filling and dispose of the lead once it is removed?

Silver Jim said...

I don't have any experience with lead-filled handles. I suggest checking with someone who has a repair capability. comes to mind. Here's another site: You might also check the ads that appear on this page. If you find out anything, post a comment and tell us about your experience.

silver lining scrapper said...

LED WARNING-Everyone please be careful. I have scrapped thousands of knife handles many are soldered to the blade with a lead satiated solder. We discover this when my sons routine blood test came back with a high lead level.

metalhandspun said...

The handle was not filled with epoxy. It was pitch