View Full Version : what do you think about lapis lazuli for a handle material?

Dennis Bible
09-03-2001, 11:54 AM
What do you think about lapis lazuli for a handle material? How fragile is it? What other properties does it have?

Bob Warner
09-03-2001, 12:05 PM

Are you talking about the reconstituted stone you can get from the knife supply houses? I have used it in the past and found it to be very brittle. You must get everything perfectly flat or it can break on you. It is not forgiving if you drill your pin holes too small either. It makes a nice looking "Decorative" knife but can't take much abuse. It is softer than your pin material will be so buffing can eat it away fom the pins so be careful there. I would suggest hand sanding to about 1000 grit and gently buffing.

Go for it, just remember it is brittle when worked.

Dennis Bible
09-03-2001, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the info. It sure does look good though.

09-03-2001, 01:26 PM
I say if done right it makes a knife look quite fancy.

Les Robertson
09-04-2001, 12:34 PM
Hi Dennis,

Lapis is an excellent material for fixed blade knives.

It is about a 5 on the hardness scale, and it is best worked with Lapidary equipment (you don't need it, but it is worth it to buy the diamond wheels).

For folders it can be tricky to use, especially if there are some inclusions. These will fracture the scale if the drill bit hits them.

I saw the pics you posted on BF. That is the pre-fab Lapis. This is Lapis pieces ground up to a fine powder, mix with coloring and add super glue or other adhesive. Real Lapis would more than likely be cost prohibitive for those knives.

Depending on the grade of Lapis a set of scales can run $300 - $1,000.

I used to buy a lot of Lapis for knives. I would buy several pounds, then figure out what knives would be made with it, then have it cut.

As with Ivory, working with stone, you can loose thousands of dollars a year in material due to inclusions or cracks that you don't see on the surface.

It is one of my favorite handle materials, but expect to pay top dollar for it.