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I Forge Iron

Knife scales


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It seems there are all kinds of options for what material to use for handle scales. For wood, I get the gist that iron wood seems to be a favorite with some very close contenders. I have a rather large log of cherry that I have had laying around for years (always inside) that I had initially wanted to make a small table top out of, but alas, that project never panned out for various reasons. Would cherry be an acceptable material for handle scales? If so, would being un-stabilized be ok since cherry is fairly hard and naturally resistant (at least I remember cherry being quite resistant to damage/wear and tear).

Would be nice to finally put this log to use, although I don't quite know how I will get it chopped up enough to get manageable pieces for handle scales. Bad boy is little over a foot wide and roughly 5' long and I don't have any means of nicely reducing it :lol:

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How would you be finishing the handle?   One of the most traditional woods was rosewood, then things like beech and apple and pear---back in the days when the handle was a handle.  When they got fancy it was often silver or MOP---I picked up a set of table knives at a thrift store that were MOP handles with a sterling ferrules and silver plated steel blades, cost me 25 USCents a piece!

For custom knives where the handles are a big part of the "art" in them, most any wood with interesting grain or colour has been used.  Weak/soft ones often being stablized to allow their use.

I've had a cherry handled camp knife that has been going strong for over 20 years now with minimal finishing and upkeep. A hand rubbed tung oil finish would probably make it last a couple of genertions.

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This is all an experiment for me, but was highly curious if cherry should be stabilized or not. I didn't think it would need it being a pretty hard wood to begin with. I wanted to somehow cut some pieces out of that log, attach them to the tang via pins and epoxy then sand to a nice texture and stain/seal it.

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NICELY reducing it? NICELY?:blink: What's nice about being sawed into pieces? Have a hand saw? you can peal the bark, saw into one side a bit longer than your desired scales and split it out with a wood chisel. If it turns out the grain isn't straight enough to split out you might have to saw them out. A little elbow grease and a pawn shop hand saw is all you really need.

Of course a friend with a chainsaw would be SWEET.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have a hack saw but don't think it is quite long enough lol. The piece has long since been de-barked and it has been sitting inside drying out for probably 4ish years. I may just go rent a chain saw for a half hour and slice a couple pieces off of it.

Make it a CUT above the rest!

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I've picked up all manner of hand saws dirt cheap at fleamarkets, thrift/ resell shops and other places. I have a stack of them on a shelf and keep a few nicer ones hanging on the bench wall. I've even had some give to me for scrapart.

 You'd be surprised how nice and quick a sharp carpenter saw can cut through a plank. It's good to have one on hand for small projects. 

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A chainsaw would waste more of the wood and can be more difficult to control.  On the other hand, if you got one of those saws which require a buddy working the other end, you could make some nice, even cuts.

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A bow saw may be what you need; I've found 3 of them at the scrapyard the last couple of years.  Put a replacement blade in them and go to town and when you are done sawing wood, make a replacement blade from bandsaw blade and saw metal!

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