Q. Forty-three years ago we got a lovely set of Sheffield steak knives with horn handles as a wedding present. Not being very wise, we did not treat them well in the beginning and put them in the dishwasher. Now several handles are loose and several metal taps on the bottom have disappeared. We tried gluing the handles without much success. The blades are still in great shape. Is there someone in the area who might be able to repair them?
A. Across the country, there are many practitioners of the craft of making knives by hand, a task that includes everything from shaping the blades at a forge to carving and attaching the scales, the technical term for the part of a knife handle that’s made of wood, plastic, bone or, on your knives, horn. The scales often come as pairs so that the knife’s tang, an extension of the blade, can fit between them. Glue or rivets or both hold the assembly together.