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  1. #1
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    Swapping Sgian Handles/Blades

    I just received a new Sgian Brew (the style with a round-tip blade with a bottle-opener notch near the tip), but I'm not entirely pleased with the handle. I have another Sgian Dubh with a proper blade and a nicer handle. As I want the Brew to be my usual carry, I'd like to try to swap the blades and handles around. Has anyone done this? Is it even possible, or would I likely end up destroying the handles trying to get them off of the blades?
    I believe myself to be always operating within reasonable boundaries of sanity.

  2. #2
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    Your success will depend on the tang of the blade (of each sgian) and how the handle is attached to them.

    If the tang is rounded and is threaded on the pommel tip (for securing the handle) it may release the blade after the cap is removed.

    If the tang is squared (and maybe not threaded) it may be adhered to the interior length of the handle by some epoxy or adhesive.

    You will get into difficulty (not impossibility) when a composite handle was used compared to a wooden or bone handle.

    Can you show us the blades for contemplation and discussion.

  3. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Tarheel For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    This is the Sgian Brew: https://claymoreimports.com/sgian-du...sheath-sdsb-2/
    0618181100-1__41395.1529348743.1280.1280.jpg

    And the "proper" Sgian Dubh: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAK46CQ
    61YsOUkp8AL._SL1000_.jpg

    And no, I'm not intending to swap the sheath with the handle. The Brew won't fit. I have a leather sheath on its way for that one.

    If it's too risky to try to swap the handles, what about just the metal bits?
    I believe myself to be always operating within reasonable boundaries of sanity.

  5. #4
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    The sgian brew link states it has a resin handle. The sgian dubh does not indicate the handle material, but I suspect it to be the same.

    I haven't asked or tried, but wonder if heating the blade would allow the handle or adhesive to soften enough to slip the blades out. Both look to have stainless blade construction. That may be to your benefit. I defer to any knife maker/forger members to chime in for further thoughts.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    The sgian brew link states it has a resin handle. The sgian dubh does not indicate the handle material, but I suspect it to be the same.

    I haven't asked or tried, but wonder if heating the blade would allow the handle or adhesive to soften enough to slip the blades out. Both look to have stainless blade construction. That may be to your benefit. I defer to any knife maker/forger members to chime in for further thoughts.
    I would think heating would likely cause the metal to lose temper, especially in the case of the actual blade. It might not be as important to the opener.

    Just an opinion but you are not likely to be able to reuse either handle and have it come out looking like anything you would want to wear. A better idea , in my opinion, would be to remove the handle and replace it with a wooden one. Perhaps then you could salvage the stone and possibly the other fittings, though they may be difficult to remove without damage.

    As mentioned above they are likely epoxied and not very likely to come apart without damage. If you were to separate the blade/opener from the handle the tang from one would have to fit the recess in the handle of the other.

    Then again maybe I am being overly pessimistic?

    Either way keep us updated on how it goes!

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  8. #6
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    25th September 11
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    If the blade is epoxied to the handle, as I suspect it is, boiling it in a pot of water should cause the epoxy to let go. Do not use a torch or any other source of extreme heat. Depending on the material of the handle, you may or may not be able to reuse it. It would be a lot easier and perhaps cheaper in the long run to just buy a sgian which is more to your liking.

  9. The Following User Says 'Aye' to MacRob46 For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
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    My guess would be that the resin handle was injection-molded onto the blade, and therefore it's probably not possible to remove the blades with the handles intact. And as they appear to be from different makers, even if you could remove the fittings, those from one might not fit on the other. Specifically there's no little indent for the crest badge on the sgian brew, so it'd just be floating on the surface and would likely look like it doesn't really belong there.

    If it's a sgian brew with a jeweled pommel and a crest badge that you want, you can get them directly from Gaelic Themes (via their parent company, St. Kilda): https://stkildastore.com/Clan-Items/...Scottish-Crest There's a choice of six stone colors, thistle or knotwork fittings, and just about any crest badge...and the sheath is included. I'd recommend simply getting one of those and selling or giving away the ones you have, rather than risk destroying both of them in an attempt to recreate it.
    Kilt n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland. -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1906

    Scotch is a drink; Scots are a people. - Stuart Rankin, 1990

  11. #8
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    If I may propose an alternative solution:

    Since you're wanting to carry the sghian dubh with the blade, but as a sghian brew, rather than attempting to swap the handles, simply turn the sghian dubh into a brew by reworking the blade. Easy enough to do with some proper file work. I'd stay away from a grinding wheel as it will heat the metal to the point where it may loosen the blade, ruin the temper in the steel, or both.
    "My beloved America, thank you for your children. If your children want to become soldiers I will train them. When they are hungry I will feed them. When they are thirsty I will give them water. When they fight for freedom I will lead them. When they are unsteady on the battlefield I will motivate them. If they die on the battlefield I will bury them. So help me God."

  12. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to CelticSire For This Useful Post:


  13. #9
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    15th August 18
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    I'm liking CelticSire's alternative, a little file work will fix that right up, although some grinding won't take the temper out of blade steel, or even mild steel for that matter. As an aside, it's common practice to dip the steel in water periodically to keep the temp down and avoid that possiblity all together. (And if you've seen any of my welds, you can guess how much practice I have with grinding ).
    Last edited by inebrius; 13th March 19 at 08:18 AM.
    #beamaker

  14. #10
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    It should also be mentioned that the amount of force to leverage off a bottle top isn’t that great, and well below the yield point that any removal of temper would cause.
    Last edited by Me cousin Jack; 13th March 19 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Spelling

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