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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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  #1  
Old 08-31-2007, 09:36 PM
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Question armadillo skin for knife handles?

Has anyone had experience using "armadillo" skin for their knife handles? I recently seen some small folders at the PKA show in Denver where the maker used armadillo skin, (tanned and stabilized). He gave me the name of his source, but I have not heard back yet. The material becomes hard, just like bone,, but with tan and yellow colors, and the "pattern" of the skin is there also. It is very unique, and good looking too! He also told me "Sheffield knifemaking supply" sold it,, but I could not find it on their web catalog.. Makes me wish I had picked up some of the dead ones I saw on my last trip to Oklahoma! --(grin) ---Jon


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Old 09-01-2007, 08:36 PM
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Hey Jon
If you want I could pick you up several fresh dead ones down here in Texas and ship them to you.


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  #3  
Old 09-02-2007, 08:07 AM
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Question Thats tempting!

Thanks Stan, thats very tempting! Yesterday I was out bid ($30.00 e-bay) on a basket made from an armadillo's body. I figured I could make some handles from that! We don't have 'dillos up here, if you took the guts out of the body, is the "shell" like turtle shell? If the body was just left on the road, will it all decompose, or would the shell remain? Yea, I know,, weird questions! ---JOn


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Old 09-02-2007, 12:10 PM
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An armadillo is - outside of politics - the dumbest creature on earth. It's natural defense mechanism when scared is to jump straight up into the air. That's why so many are dead along the road. Instead of keeping low (and avoiding wheels), they jump up and get hit by the bumper or grill. It's also the only creature besides humans that can get leprosy, making them a bit iffy to handle.

While the hide looks like armor, it's not all that thick and wouldn't add more to a knife handle than a piece of leather, if that. In Texas, we generally leave them to the buzzards. I don't know many guys - Stan's offer notwithstanding - willing to skin one out.

Lone Star Beer used to advertise with an armadillo and so jokers would frequently stop and place an empty in the paws of a dead one along the road. Always good for a chuckle.


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Old 09-02-2007, 06:51 PM
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Cool Alright, for those who think I'm nuts- - -

For those who think I'm nuts,, (you gotta know me first, then,,) Here is the web site with pictures of folders with armadillo skin for the handles. Yes,, it's quite thin, he has laminated the skin on to black micarta to make it thicker. I've seen it in PERSON and it looks GREAT!!
So here you go,, tell "Whiskers" that I sent you! --Jon
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:08 PM
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I did not say I was gonna skin them, Just ship em.


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Old 09-03-2007, 06:07 PM
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Cool That's a HOOT!!!!

Ha! Ha!,, I know what you ment!!! I can just see you filling out the shipping slip, "contents",, dead armadillo!! (grin, grin..) ----Jon


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Old 09-03-2007, 06:53 PM
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I was given a knife with with an armadillo skin handle. Personally, I think it's yucky.


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Old 09-06-2007, 09:29 AM
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Jon,

You might try using ray skin (called same' some places...) as it has a similar pattern to the armadillo and is a lot safer the handle, is more available, and can be dyed most any color you want.



I have used a lot of it on Japanese style handles and it cuts and works very nicely in panels or wrapped wet. Some skins have larger nodes and look a lot like the armadillo...kinda like dragon skin or something.

Anyway, a suggestion.

Brian


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Old 09-06-2007, 06:34 PM
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Cool Thanks Brian, "Stingray" skin?

Thanks Brian! Do you mean "stingray skin"?? I've been watching it on e-bay, with plans in the near future to use some! Did you make the sword? The skin under the cord wrap looks white -(?) Yesterday, I made contact with the guy who has the armadillo, and he is sending me some of that, so that is going now. But, back to the stingray skin, Japanese style knives are on "my" horizon to start making. The styles just fascinate me! The one in the picture is very unique! --Jon


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Old 09-06-2007, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwelder
We don't have 'dillos up here
Patience. They'll get there eventually!
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:01 AM
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That particular ray skin was dyed black...when you dye the stuff it usually turns the nodes a lighter shade than the membrane between the nodes. It the picture doesn't really do it justice...it's kind of a blue/grey with black between the nodes...



I used to make all kinds of Japanese sword stuff but it has "jumped the shark" with me. I have moved on to folders and given up on making the swords. I'll always make them for personal consumption as I train Japanese swordsmanship but for the public I am done with it.....

I will be using all the tricks I learned to apply ray skin to folders, though. It's a very cool material and like I said the larger noded stuff looks a lot like the armadillo skin pictures I have seen but rayskin as a lot more versatile and available. If lacquered it can be done in different effects and colors and it is really exotic looking and grippy.



I never used armadillo but it looks like something I might try except for the leprosy deal...

Brian


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Old 09-07-2007, 07:04 PM
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Cool Awesome work Brian!!!

WOW Brian,, you are tripp'en my trigger with these pictures!!! I need to get to know you! If you would, please go to my web site, and send me a personal message, that way I'll get your e-mail, and we can correspond directly!! I have more questions than I want to post here.
I also read somewhere about the "leprosy" thing,, I don't think it's as bad a problem as it sounds. Also,, this skin I'm getting has been "stabilized" 2x. I'll try to find that info and post it too. -----Jon


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Old 09-07-2007, 07:18 PM
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leprosy from armadillos,, Very rare!!

Very rare indeed! According to the info I found, you would have to eat one raw to contract it. I'll try to add the info in an attachment. You stand more chance of getting rabies from a raccoon than ANYTHING from an armadillo.. ----Jon


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Old 09-07-2007, 07:30 PM
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Cool

Sorry, I can't get the connection right, but you can go to "armadillo Online",, ( google search for armadillo), look at the F.A.Q. 's some very interesting info, #4 leprosy question.
This has been fun,, getting some very interesting reply's about the lowly Armadillo!! -Jon


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