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I Forge Iron

Stub Tang knife Handle

Andrew Smith

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I am wanting to make my first hidden tang/ stub tang knife but I have a quick question. I was going to use Bocote but I was wondering if the wood will be affected by moister changes. I have found tutorials online about how to stabilize blanks yourself. Should I stabilize or would it be fine by just leaving it as is with a good coat of Tru-Oil? I have made lots of tomahawks but this is my first hidden tang knife.

Thanks for any comments and help.


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Stabilized wood is excellent Andrew! I would NOT recommend that you invest the effort on a first knife, though. People have made wooden handles for centuries that give good service without using stabilized woods. I saw a demo at a BAM conference a couple years ago where the demonstrator told us about a trowel that he had made for his father (a nurseryman) that was lost for a winter neath snow and ice and when recovered just needed dried out and a new finish on the oil-finished handle! Stabilized wood is not really the way to go unless you are making high-end custom knives or kitchen cutlery that you might want to run through the dishwasher... IMO.

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