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Thread: Handle materials

  1. #1
    Guide Bush Class Basic Certified
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    Default Handle materials

    This is kinda the right place for this. I was wondering what the process is for making wood into wood handles. Is it as simple at getting the wood, shaping it and pinning it to the knife? This may sound odd but the reason I ask is because I have a 1 to 1 1/2ft x 3-4in piece of, I believe, cedar that has been part of my kit for about a year. It is the only thing I have ever batoned my BK-2 with. I was thinking of using it to either re-handle my Becker or make handles for a future custom knife. Any info is appreciated.


  2. #2
    Scout Bard's Avatar
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    The knifemakers often refer to stabilized wood. You might start by Googling that term.

  3. #3
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    wildernesswikiup14's Avatar
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    I just cut the wood to size, trace, drill, pin, sand. but I'm no expert by far. That's just what I do for my knives

  4. #4
    Tracker Ben's Avatar
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    I have never used Cedar for handle scales, but I have used Myrtle and some Wormy Maple that was pretty soft. I stabilized it with a process similar to what is shown at the below link. I put wood hardener in a 1 Qt Mason jar with a air blower nozzle glued to a hole in the lid, then put the Mason jar with the scales and wood hardner in a steel coffee can that had a small hole in the bottom. I used an electric tea pot to pour boiling water into the coffee can around the water, the hole in the can let the water slowly drain out as the water transferred its heat to the jar and its contents. After about 6 or 7 go rounds the wood hardner was pretty close to boiling and I used a $8.00 brake vacuum air pump to put something like 10 or 12 PSI on the jar. All the air was sucked out of the wood with some pretty heavy bubble flow, once bubbles stopped coming out of the wood I removed the wood and let it dry on a piece of screen until it was dry. Some tips that might help that I learned the hard way are: make sure the wood is cut close to the finished size, otherwise you waste a bunch of expensive wood hardner. Make sure you dry the wood as thoroughly as possible before you try to stabilize it, you can put it in the stove and let the pilot try to dry it out, or a fruit dryer on low, or use what you have. Hope this helps man. I also posted another cool link for a Knife maker named Ariel Salaverria that uses Epoxy resin for fiberglass, have fun.

    V/R Ben.

  5. #5
    Tracker scurvy's Avatar
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    cedar seems kind of soft... it never hurts to try. .

    I did my first handle recently and my advice is : get ready for a lot of sanding, don't worry tho, it's addictive and fun. Don't rush it, take your time and enjoy yourself. . . sanding by hand with various grits of paper and staying away from the belt sander is worth the effort....

    I have a piece of the same wood I'm going to do a "Izula" handle out of soon, I look forward to spending a week on it.
    Last edited by scurvy; 04-16-2012 at 02:10 AM.

  6. #6
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    JohnP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flexxx View Post
    Ceder needs to be Stabilized.

    Cocobolo-Desert Ironwood are a couple that do not need stabilization due to how dense the wood is.

    If you do not stabilize the wood it can shrink, warp, chip and crack easy.
    Smack on advice, right there. Cedar is very soft and would need to be stabilized. If the piece you already have doesn't have some sentimental value, I would get a piece that is already stabilized or a different type of wood. There are various ways to stabilize wood, but, to me, it's more trouble that it's worth.

    I have used Desert Ironwood, bought off ebay, to handle a couple of dozen knives. Here are a couple of examples if you are interested.

    Hope this helps.



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