Well, with all my excitement and enthusiasm I kinda jumped too far with this one. From the moment I glued the pieces together the problems started mounting up.
First of the glue I used didn't have the finish I wanted. Rather than a solid glued finish I was left with rubbery sort of finish. It was a new glue that I haven't tried before. My reason for trying it was that it claimed to be weather proof, which I am sure it is but its not as strong/ solid as the regular wood glue I normally used.
The other problem that I could have prevent was to make sure the pieces of wood and leather were squared off when they were fitted on the knife. Not perfectly squared but enough for you to properly draw out and plan the handle shape on the sander and to also save you the hassle of sanding off all the excess materials when glued. It's much easier taking off excess material as individual pieces.
Regardless I went ahead and started shaping the handle on the belt sander. There was a lot of excess to take off and I hadn't planned exactly what I was going to do. I had my drawing which looked perfect to me but never really tested the shape out on cardboard nor did I take any measurements to see how the drawing works in reference to the actual piece.
Anyways, to make a long story short I sanded too much off, panicked and then went for a totally different handle design which in the end looks terrible and simply doesn't work.
Frustration and that feeling of "I told you so" lingered in my head for some time afterwards. Details I know I should have done but didn't and now I am left with a mess, a dodgy knife handle and more work ahead of me to make this piece of steel into something beautiful and useful.
On the bright side, there was some lessons learnt. Plan, measure, test, plan, measure and concentrate!!
Above are some pictures of the knife. You can slo see how the wood and the leather didn't glue properly together and afterwards how the knife easily separated with a bit of force. This was good because it meant less work in preparing another handle.