Brass Knuckles “Knuckleduster” Handle

Authenticity in Art: The Story Behind My Brass Knuckle Designs

The brass knuckles I employ in my work are authentic steel or brass knuckledusters, symbolizing a poignant chapter in my life story. Each of my bags is a piece of art, encapsulating my personal narrative. This approach ensures the authenticity, realism, and passion imbued in each creation. My upbringing in the 1980s, amidst the vibrant yet challenging street culture of Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, profoundly influenced my artistic expression. While I have since distanced myself from that life, the losses of friends and family to those streets, and the physical scars I bear, remain indelible. The real brass knuckle handles on my bags serve as a testament to my past and the journey that led me away from it.

Crafting with Conscience: Legal Compliance in Brass Knuckle Artistry

It’s crucial to recognize that while real brass knuckles are illegal in many U.S. states, in my designs, they are permanently integrated into leather with fixed screws, making them non-functional as weapons. This approach respects legal boundaries while maintaining the symbolic essence of my past experiences.

Brass knuckles, metal weapons designed to fit over the knuckles to enhance the impact of a punch, are subject to varying state laws across the United States. There are no federal regulations specifically governing brass knuckles, but they are legal in 29 states. In some of these states, a permit is required for their legal use or possession. Additionally, certain states, counties, and cities have their own laws prohibiting the sale or possession of brass knuckles​​​​.

For instance, in states like Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, brass knuckles are legal without a permit. However, in a total of 21 states, brass knuckles are completely illegal​​. In states like California, they are classified as illegal weapons similar to a “billy” or a “blackjack,” and their possession or use is prohibited. Violations can lead to serious legal consequences, including imprisonment​​​​.

By permanently fixing the brass knuckles into my bags and rendering them non-functional as weapons, my designs adhere to these legal stipulations. This ensures that while the bags retain their artistic value and personal significance, they do not contravene the varied legal restrictions placed on brass knuckles across different states.

Securing Artistry: The Thread Locker Process for Ensuring Durability in Design

In my design process, I use Thread Locker on screws to ensure a permanent seal. This specialized adhesive is formulated to prevent fasteners from leaking or loosening due to vibration, crucial in maintaining the durability of my creations. The choice between different types of Thread Locker, namely red and blue, depends on the desired strength and removability. Loctite Threadlocker Red 271, which I use, is designed for a more permanent bond. It provides a strong hold, ideal for heavy-duty applications like structural bolts, auto suspensions, frames, or heavy machinery. This industrial-grade threadlocker can only be removed by applying localized heat, specifically heating the parts to 500°F​​.

To remove this type of Thread Locker, it requires heating the fastener with a blowtorch for a significant amount of time. This process weakens the bond, allowing for the removal of the nut and bolt. This high-strength threadlocker is designed to withstand rigorous conditions, ensuring that once applied, the components remain securely attached unless specific measures are taken to remove them​​.

For more information on the use and removal of Thread Locker, you can visit Loctite’s guide here.

Reinforced Durability: The Dual Bonding System in Brass Knuckle Artistry

In addition to securing the brass knuckles to my bags with screws and Thread Locker, I further reinforce them with a layer of epoxy cold weld. This type of epoxy, comprised of resin and hardener, forms an exceptionally strong bond when mixed and applied. Epoxy adhesives are renowned for their high PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) ratings and superior Shear Strength, ensuring the bond remains intact under multi-directional forces. This durability makes epoxies suitable for various applications, including DIY projects, auto repairs, and crafting​​.

A notable example is J-B Weld, often referred to as “The Original Cold Weld.” It was developed as a robust alternative to traditional torch welding, capable of withstanding harsh environments. Its two-component system uses reactive chemistry to create the strongest possible bond, comparable to the reinforcing properties of rebar in concrete. Once set, this bond is tougher than steel, making it an ideal choice for ensuring the long-term durability and integrity of my bag designs​​.

By combining this high-strength epoxy with Thread Locker, I establish a dual bonding system that virtually eliminates the possibility of detaching the brass knuckledusters from the bags. This method not only preserves the structural integrity of the knuckle dusters but also aligns with the artistic vision behind my designs.

Here is a video explaining my process of installing these brass knuckle handles.