Future Wood Knife Handle Scales

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Jeffinn
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Future Wood Knife Handle Scales

Postby Jeffinn » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:20 am

Some days I like to work with wood. Here's a few pieces that I made for future use as knife scales;
future_knife_scales.jpg

The first two pieces are 3/8" walnut with a basketweave wood strip inlaid in the scale. The second ones are 1/4" poplar wood pieces with a diamond pattern wood strip inlaid in the scale. And the third ones are 1/4" red oak with the diamond pattern wood strip inlaid in the scale.Now I just have to figure out which knives to use them on.
Jeff
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americanedgetech
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Re: Future Wood Knife Handle Scales

Postby americanedgetech » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:59 am

Do you intend to stabilize them in any way?

I ask because Red Oak in particular has a Very porous structure. When it is dried you can actually blow thru a 2" long piece like a straw.
I have been looking into the resins used, and I have a vacuum pot for de-gassing epoxies. Just something to consider...
Ken Mc.

WTB Kershaw 2120 MACHO Lockback Parts knife
I need a pile side scale. THX!

Jeffinn
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Re: Future Wood Knife Handle Scales

Postby Jeffinn » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:26 pm

Hi Ken,
I don't do anything in the way of stabilization. All of the wood scales that I make and use are costed with 3-6 coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the wood. It's water resistant, stain resistant and fairly durable so it should be adequate for most knife use. Will it hold up well in everyday use? Time will tell.
Thanks for the insight!
Jeff
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orvet
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Re: Future Wood Knife Handle Scales

Postby orvet » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:24 pm

Wood has traditionally been used for knife handles without stabilization. Stabilization only widens the variety of woods that can be used. Theoretically one can make balsa wood hard enough for use as knife handles with the addition of enough stabilizing resin.

Traditional woods such as cocobolo, ebony and lignum vitae don't really benefit from stabilization. Desert ironwood is another wood that doesn't need the process.

I have had people who stabilize wood tell me that cocobolo will ruin the resin they use because of the oils in it. Lignum vitae had so much oil in it that it is still used as bushing blocks for the propeller shafts in ships and for bushings in grandfather clocks. It won't take a finish when used as knife handles. Just sand it and polish it with fine Jewlers rouge because no finish will stick to that oil.

I have seen knives advertised as having stabilized cocobolo handles, but I question the effectiveness of it. The process is billed, in part, on the amount of resin the piece of wood absorbs. If the weight of the piece of wood only increases a few percentage points one must question the effectiveness of the process.

I would not allow the fact that wood is not stabilized keep me from using it. As long as the wood is good and hard I wouldn't let it bother me.
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