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  #16  
Old 03-01-2017, 08:12 PM
rusty rat rusty rat is offline
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Thanks Ray and all, I really feel kinda stupid. I got so excited about the various woods I didn't think/read. So should most every wood be stabilized for Scales? I tend to research stuff to death, but messed this up big time. Except for burls, I thought you could just put wooden scales on and you were good. I just thought if it was offered as, pre-packaged, for lack of a better term. I thought if they were offered as scales instead of blocks the preliminary stuff was done for us greenhorn.

Thanks again guys you really saved me.
RR
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2017, 09:00 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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You can, and probably will, get a lot of different answers to that question. For me the answer is simple: I don't know anything about species of wood, oil finishes, water based finished, fillers, stains, etc etc etc and I don't want to know. More to the point, I don't want to spend time on it or have to have a 100 different cans of chemical crap on hand to finish all the types of wood I might use. The simple way around all that is to use stabilized wood. Bonus: unlike any other finish you can put on any kind of wood you cannot wear the stabilizing off a piece of professionally stabilized wood. Sand smooth, buff, you're done. It may get dull with use but it won't wear off as it is in every cell of the wood. If it gets dull just buff it again.

It does cost more, especially for the fancy woods but you can buy plainer woods that are stabilized at less cost or you can send whatever wood you have to K&G and have it stabilized and save money. For me, it's a no brainer ...


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  #18  
Old 03-01-2017, 11:26 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Just be aware that not all woods can be stabilized. The oily dense woods, such as the ones in the Rosewood family, won't except the resins. The good news is that those woods pretty much just need to be sanded out to a fine grit and buffed. The bad news is the wood in the Rosewood family may be getting hard to find due to new regulations. There are some woods, like Osage Orange, that can be stabilized but why. They can sanded out and buffed with a little wax. Then there are soft woods, like cedar, that are too soft to use without stabilization and, of course, I would't use a burl without having it stabilized. Nor would I use an Ebony without having it treated. Of course that leaves a lot of woods somewhere in between. You just can't get around knowing your woods.

Doug


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  #19  
Old 03-02-2017, 08:59 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I knew something was "OFF" I couldn't see a soft leather sheath breaking a stabilized wood.....Again man no big! we all make mistakes....Ask Ray how many times I drove him crazy because I read something wrong ....lol....Personally I don't like un-stabilized wood I only did it twice and just didn't like the results but I am not a expert in wood finishing either.,,If I were you stick to the stabilized wood at least for now, Stabilized burls have a great look to them
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2017, 07:36 PM
rusty rat rusty rat is offline
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I am definitely sticking to stabilized woods, I hate to do things twice and so far I haven't felt the love for the synthetic materials yet. Don't get me wrong, I see the merit of them, especially in harsh environments or really hard use. Hey I just like the richness and warm of wood. I'm still wrestling with whether or not to knock the scales off now or use the knife and change them out when they fail. I also need to figure out how to post picts here, I'm tech challenged.

This is a great group, I'm glad to be a member here.

Dan, aka rusty rat
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  #21  
Old 03-02-2017, 07:48 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Dan,

You may need to be here a little longer before the system will let you post pictures, but maybe not. Try and see.

To post a pic, use the Go Advanced button below the box where you type your post instead of the Post Quick Reply. Look down that screen and find the Manage Attachments button, follow the prompts. There is a limit on picture size so if you're using a smartphone you would need to edit the pics to something a good bit smaller than the huge billboards that a phone usually makes ...


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  #22  
Old 03-03-2017, 12:21 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Dan, or Rusty rat

Sheffield Knife Supply still has Dymondwood, but Dtec bought all their single set scales. Dymondwood is like stabilized, but birch plywood impregnated with dyed polymer/plastic(different colors). It's been around since before I made knives in the early 90s. Great stuff and cheaper than stabilized and still sold in slabs. Factory burnt down and what's left is what's left. It is as good as any stabilized, but can be gaudy colors. Don't buy it from USA Knife Makers as they charge way too much.

Dtec sent me a knife made from a new material called Gwood that is a mix of G10 and wood, I think it looks good, btw Dave the knife is outstanding in performance, not sure I'm sending it back.

As Ray said some knives the use determines their handle and steel too. A skinner? I will use an exotic hardwood. A kitchen knife a synthetic. Don't forget bone or antler either. I made a Damascus knife set and one will have zebra bone with the knuckle as the end of the handle. $400,lol.

If you would like some WIAC or WOOD IN A CAN it's out there, but doesn't really look like wood. Corian from countertops is available, different stroke for different folks. Be careful with some of the acrylics as they can be a little brittle and on a full tang, hard to make even with the metal.

Welcome to the world of making knives, do what pleases you or your customers and tell some of them I'm sorry I don't do that and charge too much if they insist.
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  #23  
Old 03-03-2017, 07:01 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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HaHa....Jim I couldn't help my self when I knew there was no more dymondwood being made I had to take it and buying all of them was a incredible price, FYI there is no more "dymondwood" being made any more (even tho as you pointed out there still is a little around here and there) But new versions have poped up dymalux being one.
The Gwood stuff I am REALLY starting to like more and more, Although the color combo I sent to you isn't the best I think its a lil to much, They do make a couple different colors but from my understanding its still new so I am sure more colors will be coming soon. its Basicly just a multi color G10 but also layers of wood sandwiched in there too.
That outstanding performig knife jim, I told you keep it if ya want personally I don't like it all that much I sent it to you as a test blade beat it up keep it what ever you want to do
I have never used any bone or antler (you think I would have by now) but I have a piece of camel bone I got as a freebee I am planning on using for this KITH should be interesting,
Some of the cheaper acrylics can also get "rubbery" when you start grinding them if you go to thin them down between reducing the thickness and the heat from the grinder can start to warp and bend....you have to be carefull. you can always heat and bend it back , but if it bends a lil while your grinding and you grind it un even or you make "nicks" in the wrong places sometimes it can be a pain to fix...that's the reason some of the stuff is so cheap and I think that's also why that type of stuff will NEVER come in less than 1/4 and most of the time close to 3/8th. Personally ill pay the extra couple bucks for the g10 or something similar and not have to deal with that stuff any more But some of it can look cool if done right....The polished dagger pic that's in my album that I did a year or maybe more now has a blue and white handle material and its the stuff I am talking about....looks cool but I don't know ill pass
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  #24  
Old 03-03-2017, 08:32 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty rat View Post
I am definitely sticking to stabilized woods, I hate to do things twice and so far I haven't felt the love for the synthetic materials yet. Don't get me wrong, I see the merit of them, especially in harsh environments or really hard use. Hey I just like the richness and warm of wood. I'm still wrestling with whether or not to knock the scales off now or use the knife and change them out when they fail. I also need to figure out how to post picts here, I'm tech challenged.

This is a great group, I'm glad to be a member here.

Dan, aka rusty rat
There are a number of us that simply do not embrace synthetic materials. They have their place and the case could be made they are superior to natural wood in some respects or applications.
I'm one of those people. Part of the whole purpose of a knife for me is to be functional but also to have attractive wood scales. I have used Micarta, but for me, the wood is part of what the knife is. It is a part of the knife's "personality" if you will.
As Ray noted above, you probably will get a lot of differing opinions. For him, stabilized wood is a no brainer. I respect that. IIRC dtec uses mostly synthetics, I respect that.
Here is my opinion.

Take note, stabilized wood is not the same animal as natural wood with some type of oil finish. Some people who are afficionados of natural wood, have used the term "plastic" wood to describe stabilized wood. I've used both K&G stabilized wood and natural. I've seen some knives with stabilized wood that looks pretty good, and some that looks as fake as a $3 bill, the wood that is.
Meh, I don't have really strong opinions but the stabilized walnut I HAVE used, I wasn't overly impressed with. It is on my personal most used knife but I believe some of the grain pattern is lost or muddied you might say.
Some woods absolutely need stabilizing such as anything punky with spalting and especially burls. Some woods simply don't need it or can perhaps achieve some slight benefits.

Stabilized wood, IN MY OPINION doesn't carry that look and warmth of natural wood. Caveat, I have handled but a few knives with stabilized wood.

Gunstocks, axe handles and other wood implements have been finished with natural and synthetic oils for at least several hundred years and are plenty stable for the lifetime of the tool. Heck there are hundred year old butcher knives and spoon handles that have a naked hickory handle with NO stabilization. How many times have you seen an axe handle, pick handle or shovel handle rot off or fail for lack of stabilization? I'd suspect they get harder use than 99% of the knives out there.

So that's one of the beautiful things about knife making, there are many ways to go depending on our personal tastes and desires, AND THE PURPOSE OF THE KNIFE. Stabilized woods are a wonderful resource, no doubt. Natural woods are many and varied. Oil finishes can be simple or an involved process to produce a warm, rich, hand rubbed finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. Some people carry the craft of blade making into the handle finish as well. Others just fit it and forget it with stabilized wood...not worth the trouble for them.

You may want to investigate some woods that give the best of both worlds. I've been more and more attracted to Cocobolo wood lately. It has a very attractive, contrasty grain and an oil content that negates the need to stabilize. It can also be found with variable colors of beige and orange-ish graining. It can be polished and buffed to a nice semi-gloss finish without looking artificial, and it still maintains that natural state and warmth that attracts those of us that like natural wood. It is also tough and durable. Be aware, like a lot of wood, Cocobolo dust can be toxic if breathed and can cause irritation on the skin. Once it is finished, handling it has no greater risk than any other knife material. Just wear a respirator when sanding and finishing. Padauk is another nice wood with some of these characteristics.

At the end of the day, it is what YOU want that matters. Like I said, some of the stabilized woods are great and no doubt, there are some magnificent burls to be used...if stabilized. But the craftsmanship can be carried a step further if one wishes by a hand finished wood that is not "artificially inseminated" with various proprietary polymers that change the nature and character of the wood. I also like the ability to use some local stuff with interesting grains, and the ability to make that grain "pop" with the use of stains to darken some lighter woods.

And sometimes I use stabilized stuff.

Anyway, that's where I am right now. I may change one day and as always, YMMV.


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  #25  
Old 03-03-2017, 06:45 PM
rusty rat rusty rat is offline
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Wow, what great information you all are sharing. Great Stuff!

My "knife making" so far has been just putting scales on a bought blank. Unfortunately there is still snow on the ground so I am limited to only work I can do in my finished basement without making too much of a mess. Once the snow leaves I will buy a steel blank and try my hand at material reduction with hand tools, heat treating with a brick forge etc. Currently no budget for a grinder etc. I also believe I guess in learning from the ground up/old school ways.

If I can post a pict, I'll show you all the offending knife handle.

Dan
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  #26  
Old 03-03-2017, 07:05 PM
rusty rat rusty rat is offline
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I had to resize the image. Fingers crossed. Seriously tech challenged here.
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File Type: jpg Rosewood.jpg (318.8 KB, 10 views)
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  #27  
Old 03-03-2017, 07:11 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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You did good with the picture and that knife isn't half bad either. The wood looks more like walnut to me but about all I know about wood is that it comes from trees. Sure hope you didn't suffer any reproductive harm from using that finishing product ....


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  #28  
Old 03-03-2017, 08:16 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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I agree with Ray, that looks a lot like walnut. And i cannot imagine why those scales would chip.
Good looking knife by the way.


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  #29  
Old 03-03-2017, 08:33 PM
rusty rat rusty rat is offline
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Sold as Rosewood, but I would know. Just as an FYI, posting pictures here is by far the easiest I have ever tried to use.

OK is so I guess this is the support group for knife making right? I see this turning bad. I confess, I have a bunch of scales coming my way. I love wood. I can't wait for the snow to go because I have patterns I want to try.

All the Best!
Dan
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  #30  
Old 03-03-2017, 08:54 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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QUOTE: Just as an FYI, posting pictures here is by far the easiest I have ever tried to use.

See that, Jim? Eh? Eh? Easiest he's ever seen.

Yes, this is like the AA for the knife addicted. We'll be your sponsor. Unlike the AA though, our 12 steps is about how many it takes to from the smithy to the shop...


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