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Thread: Knife handles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Townsville, Tropical Nth Qld.
    Posts
    155

    Default Knife handles

    Any knife makers on here? If so, what constitutes a good piece of wood for a handle? Does it need coarse or fine grain, light weight or heavy?
    The reason I am asking is I am cleaning out 35 years of wood hoarding and I often think some of it would look real good on a knife, but I am usually wrong.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    gold coast
    Posts
    242

    Default

    Hi Crocky,
    while I'm no expert, I have made a few knives over the years and have a butter box full of short lengths of 'pretty' wood, I have collected over the years to make handles for knives "when I get the time".
    From my reading over the years, and my experience , I would suggest that a hard fine grained wood, polishes best, and will often take a good shine with no more need oil or varnish. Desert Ironwood, Gidgee, and similar 'acacias' seem to stand up well.
    Ive used Ringed Gidgee and it has a beautiful pattern. If you decide on using some of the desert ironwoods from North Queensland, be careful since some of the 'dust' can be poisonous. (ask me how i know)
    On finishing---I use finer grained paper down to 1800 and 2000 and that usually gives a shiny finish that can easily be touched up after prolonged use.
    If the handles get 'dirty', I wash them in warm soapy water and dry well, but for these sorts of knives that's not something that happens much.

    I will probably be proved wrong, but that's my take on this.
    regards
    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    4,994

    Default

    Hi Crocy,

    I have used Dead Finish on a few knives.

    It was readily available around Emerald when I lived there.

    It seemed a pretty tight grained tough timber that polished up well.

    Grahame

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ipswich QLD
    Age
    63
    Posts
    1,712

    Default

    Looking at QMAC members knife making just about any timber with outstanding grain. Many are now stabalising in Cactis juice seems its become a standard required after centuries.
    Burls to Red Cedar sizes viary but I've cut blocks for members 150x40x50 or as thin as 12mmx2 depends on size of knife being made.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    38

    Default

    As a full time maker best answer I can give is, it depends on the knife.
    Stabilizing has opened up a huge variety of timbers that were previously ignored due to durability or stability.
    I usually prefer highly figured Timberís but my last needed dark timber with as little grain activity as possible.
    Sometimes I need heavier handles, sometimes lighter, to help appropriately balance out the blade.
    If you wish, PM me and Iím happy to discuss in greater detail, and possibly give you some direction about what timbers may be suitable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    279

    Default

    The best bit for a given knife will be the piece you didn't keep....

    Russ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ipswich QLD
    Age
    63
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    1,712

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by russ57 View Post
    The best bit for a given knife will be the piece you didn't keep....

    Russ
    Knife handlesKnife handlesKnife handlesKnife handles like every job

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athelstone, SA 5076
    Posts
    3,746

    Default

    had'nt heard of stabilising wood before so googled it...interesting?

    but for those who might try and use a glass container of some sort ...do not use a glass container NOT designed to be under a vacuum...you run the risk of it imploding...glass fragments flying every where

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