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Thread: Removing Knot from a Ceramic Handle

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    Default Removing Knot from a Ceramic Handle

    A few months back, I picked up a ceramic handle with black badger knot. I'm really pleased with the handle; but the badger knot appears to have clipped ends, which bothers me. So I am thinking to swap it out with a similar-sized black synthetic knot.

    I used a two-part epoxy adhesive to install the knot. To loosen this, I'm thinking to add acetone, but I'm not really sure if this will work, or if it risks damaging the handle. Any alternative advice or confirmation that acetone should work would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Brontosaurus; 02-13-2017 at 12:13 AM.
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    I love Burls....... and Acrylic HARRYWALLY's Avatar
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    There's an excellent video that 10Pups made a while back. I'd try his way before you go at it with acetone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXZ5tm4HEQg&t=322s
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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    Thanks. That's great. I'll give it a shot.
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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    Just to say that I clamped down on the knot with the bench vise as shown in the video; and after around four tries, the knot popped out like a charm with no damage done to the handle. Thanks so much HARRYWALLY!

    P.S., Hairs are loose on the crushed knot, so I think I'll use them to apply the HHT as needed, instead of raking over my thinning scalp needlessly.
    Last edited by Brontosaurus; 02-13-2017 at 04:27 AM.
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    I love Burls....... and Acrylic HARRYWALLY's Avatar
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    Excellent! Glad it worked.

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    And now, my little knot replacement story has taken a new turn. With the badger knot, I glued a penny between the knot and the ceramic handle to raise the bristles a little. That was fine with the badger's inherent bloom, but the synth knot as received need to be set in a little. I did brief internet search for dissolving hardened epoxy, and tried an acetone soak and a soldering iron as recommended. Nothing. So then I headed to the hardware store and asked the owner there for a suggestion. No recommendation. But luck was with me as a customer overheard me and offered some advice. He said that hardened epoxy breaks down under heat. We discussed this a little and arrived a lit candle as a source of heat. So with the windows open, I applied candle flame to the penny in the handle, and then tried to break the epoxy seal by prying the side of penny with a small flat-head screwdriver. Repeated short bursts and bingo! The hardened epoxy broke and the penny dropped out. The candle soot on the handle cleaned up with sponge and soapy water.
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    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    While I haven't been working with ceramic handles your experience is certainly something to keep in mind. I had suspected that heat may be at play in breaking down epoxy, a suspicion formed in dealing with some knife scales my mother-in-law ran through a dishwasher, but proof is always nice to have. Thanks and you can be sure that this is info I'll be filling away for when needed!

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    Junior Tinkerer Srdjan's Avatar
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    Heat guns are used to dissolve epoxy, but that isn't exactly applicable in this case.

    Fire wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm glad it worked for you!

    Here's another approach, much safer I think... If you would to steam the knot for 15-20 minutes, allowing enough heat around it, I would assume the epoxy would loosen up enough to just pull the knot out. For reference, this is how I steamed a pair of razor handles, something similar applies here in terms of trapping the heat (what you see is a partly covered pot of boiling water):



    In case of ceramics, this may damage the artwork, if it was painted, or stamped on. Properly glazed (baked) ceramics won't suffer, but still should be gradually heated.

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    That seems like a good argument for avoiding a hot-water soak. Actually, the guy in the hardware store first suggested a heat gun. But as that would have involved yet another purchase, a candle seemed more economical. These were short blasts of heat, concentrating on the metal. The ceramic was glazed, so it was not affected in any way.
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