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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:47 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Red face African Black wood

Got some awesomw black wood from jdale and have nevere worked wigth anything like it. I -noticed how dense it was right away and thought it kinda resembled an oak or walnut. Just kinda curious if anyone on here has any expierence finishing this stuff and what might be the best way to do so.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:15 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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I use a LOT of Blackwood. Personally, I thinks it's about as close to the ideal knife handle wood there is. It's easy to work, carve, texture, and unlike ebony, it rarely will check or crack.

When finishing Blackwood, keep it simple. Don't try to use any "coatings", just take it to a 600+ grit hand finish, then give it a light buff with pink no-scratch compound. The only "final" finish I use on it is a good coat of caranuba wax.

Again, personally, I've used both plain and stabilized blackwood, and find that I like plain/unstabilized blackwood much better.....the stabilized blackwood always seems to end up with a "hazy" finish, and did not have the "depth" of unstabilized blackwood.

"Nobody cares what you know.....until they know you care."
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Thanks Ed that's kind of what I was thinking of doing but wasn't sure. Haven't ever used anything quite this exotic. I accidentally deleted your shop number And was wonder if you could pm it to me again. Would love to talk one of these days.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:36 PM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
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I just wanted to agree with Ed, it is by far my favorite wood for knife handles and a joy to work with.

A good friend told me one time about forging "What is there not to like, you get to break all the rules you were told as a kid, don't play with that it is sharp, don't play with fire, and don't beat on that"
Wade Holloway

See some of my work.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:39 PM
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Gary Mulkey Gary Mulkey is offline
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Location: Branson, Mo
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I can't disagree with the views here about using blackwood but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is a joy to work with. It is the only wood that really hurts my sinuses when breathing the sanding dust. Even ironwood & snakewood are mild in comparison for me.


You're the first that I have heard of to try stabilizing it. Does it actually absorb enough of the resins to make a difference?


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Old 01-15-2017, 12:33 AM
TheKnifeFanatic TheKnifeFanatic is offline
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: South Africa
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Coming from South Africa, I mainly work with the woods that we get here... African blackwood is definitely one the hardest woods here (and worldwide!) and I general tend to stay away from it for there is a huge variety of other native woods that I personally think are more decorative and easier to work with such as white stinkwood, iroko, tamboti (this is the best, even though it is toxic to work with!)
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:32 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I love African Blackwood too. Just be aware that the saw dust from it will stain clothes so don't go sanding it wearing a good T-shirt or it will become a shop T-shirt real fast.

Also has anyone read anything concrete about it and the rest of the Rosewood genus going on the CITES schedual?


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Old 01-20-2017, 08:04 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Doug I haven't seen it going to the CITES deal yet and Woodcraft still sells it. It is a very hard and nice wood. Only desert ironwood is supposed to be harder, but they both wear out my band saw blades rather quickly. Made a handle for my g-son and turned out nice.
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