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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 12-27-2004, 01:18 PM
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Re: Gentleman carries-Handles?

Hi,

I wanted to ask about handle materials suitable for gentleman carries and this I figured was more of a fit and finish question so I opened a new thread for it.

So, going out through the net I found that most gentlemen carries lean toward mother of pearl, its variants and ivory. Bark is more common, but the interior seems to be used if it's scrimed (sp?). Any other suggestions on this?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:19 PM
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Don Cowles Don Cowles is offline
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Ironwood, snakewood, African blackwood, and ringed gidgee are also popular.

I have used a lot of walrus and hippo ivory as well.


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Old 12-28-2004, 08:22 AM
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Thanks again Don. I've worked with each of these woods but the ringed gidgee. Unfortunately I haven't the chance combined with the funds to work with much ivory. Mostly interior tusk sections of mammoth ivory. I'd love to give some of the others a try. How about mammoth tooth sections? I met a gentleman at Spirit that had a very nice selection of scales stabilized with paleo museum system (Paleostable maybe?). His prices were about what I'd pay for a good piece of plain bark the same size. He did say they were not as stabilized as wood but they were as good as he could make them.

Jim
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:56 PM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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I haven't made that many Gents' knives, certainly compared to Don Cowles.

There is another factor to consider and it may or may not make sense to you. Since most Gents' knives are quite small, it depends on whether you are going to select something "spectacular" for the handle or something simply "high-end" with a prestige factor. It can be both.

Woods will need to be heavily figured or burled with tight grain to show best on a small handle surface area. Some of the popular woods with fiddleback / curly patterns might disappear and look oddly plain on a small knife. Pearl needs to be the AAA or exhibition grade stuff. Mammoth ivory and "modern" ivory can be plain looking but the bark cuts or coloured versions can be both high-end and good looking (though not my personal taste).

Those with rare talent can make straightforward materials very beautiful and desirable. Just have to look at what Chris Reeve Knives do with Titanium on their worked and patterned Sebenzas. Hell, I think Jens Anso can make canvas Micarta look awesome on a gents' knife !

Man, I can really carry on, can't I ?

I was trying to find www.ivoryworksltd.com and keep getting a blind link. I was told they had excellent prices on mammoth and walrus etc. Jason.


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Old 12-30-2004, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for adding to Don's info Jason. I have been studying other people?s knives as well, I about worn out my magazines and books rereading them. I looking to get a good enough understanding to be able to come up with something that isn't just a copy of this persons or that persons, not an easy task in the knife world where there are only so many functional ways to make a knife.

For tight patterned woods, when I was working with Tim H. I saw how it got to be a problem finding inlays for interframes; the pattern had to be very tight to work in a small area. I had forgotten that I'd need to take that into consideration.

I working towards also improving my fit and finish per Don's post in the other forum on gent's knives. I don't want to waste money or people's time putting high end materials on garbage. The fist person I had any shop time with and really my first instructor definitely pushed 2 ideas. First was "make the best knife you can, than make it beautiful." The second idea though he never phrased it like this was "there no reason a good knife can't be beautiful."

Thanks again,
Jim
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