View Full Version : Wood For Stock Handles - Need Input

Marko Tsourkan
02-28-2013, 12:15 PM
I am greatly enjoying the input you guys give me, and I shamelessly asking for more. :D

I have a good amount of cocobolo and it has been my choice for stock knives handles so far. I also have a good amount of tiger maple, blond and reddish. Some of the sections are as dense as some of the curly koa. I am thinking to send some for stabilizing and using it for handle material. I also have birdseye maple, quilted maple, and blistered maple.
I can get some good lacewood and leopard wood. In fact, I can get a lot of wood from my local lumber yard. They have like 80 species on hand.

Now should I dye maple and other woods or should I leave it natural?

Also, if you can think of wood that is readily available (preferred domestic hardwood), that is moderately priced, I would definitely consider it. Ironwood, Koa and other types,that often have to be purchased by block might not fit this category well.

I have a field in Stock Knives Survey for wood choice for handles (Others), but this is thread is to give me some new ideas.

Thank you.

Andrew H
02-28-2013, 01:31 PM
I'm a big fan of the cocobolo. I also like maple burl.

02-28-2013, 01:37 PM
I like the current 'look' of your handles. As to dyed wood, it might be good if requested, but your usual dark American (central American I guess for cocobolo) hardwoods seem to do the trick.

02-28-2013, 06:11 PM
Leaving the wood natural seems more inline with your "brand", but maybe that's just me. In general, I prefer natural undyed wood.

02-28-2013, 06:40 PM
I like natural wood color , no dyed wood for me!!

02-28-2013, 07:43 PM
I have seen some gorgeous pieces of stabilized redwood and maple, and really like central american red logwood.

02-28-2013, 07:45 PM
I like walnut and I see you have made some knives with it

02-28-2013, 08:02 PM
Natural, no dyed, goes well with your aesthetics. I really like the dark hard wood handles. However, having options for different woods for personalization or special run could prove interesting. America is about customizations...

02-28-2013, 08:30 PM
I like highly figured redwood. They get those eyes that just look like floating ghosts to me. So cool. I do not mind dyed woods, but in your case I would stick to natural toned dyes. Dark browns, black, maybe even a dark burgundy. Certainly no bright greens, reds or blues.

02-28-2013, 09:12 PM
When I think Marko, dyed woods definitely don't come to mind. I like the classics, cocobolo and ironwood.

Marko Tsourkan
02-28-2013, 10:13 PM
Well, I was only considering dying tiger maple brown, no other colors. Certainly not red, green or blue. I don't use color spacers or liners because I don't like colors.

Some of the maple I have has as tight grain as koa, so I thought that dyed maple could pass for a poor man koa.

Will have to stabilize the fist batch just in natural colors and take from there.

Thanks everybody for input. It is really helpful.


02-28-2013, 10:51 PM
Some of the maple I have has as tight grain as koa, so I thought that dyed maple could pass for a poor man koa.

I'm sure you're right. A dyed brown maple could be a poor man's kao. However, would you want a poor man's anything on your knives? You work pretty damn hard on these knives, and you're getting a lot of positive response as the result. Using a dyed product doesn't seem to match your aesthetics and what your knife is promising. I'm not opposed to dyed handles, as I just bought one, but it just doesn't seem right for you.

Marko Tsourkan
02-28-2013, 11:04 PM
Good point. Will keep it natural then.

In the past I was able to find some pretty darn good pieces even among domestic species of maple and walnut. Will pay the lumberyard a visit and see what I come up with.

Thanks everybody again.

02-28-2013, 11:22 PM
FWIW, I also agree with Don and Rick. While brown dyed tiger maple would still work, I do like the simple understated elegance and natural look of your handles, so I would not use much dyed anything in your position either. And I also agree that redwood is a good option, be it burl or heart wood.


Marko Tsourkan
03-01-2013, 01:28 AM
You collectively convinced me. Thanks again and again for a sound advice. I might have to look for some redwood now. Would like to use domestic woods primarily. Walnut, varieties of maple, redwood.

sachem allison
03-01-2013, 02:15 AM
mesquite burl, madrone burl and Mrytlewood burl, olive wood

Marko Tsourkan
03-01-2013, 09:24 AM
mesquite burl, madrone burl and Mrytlewood burl, olive wood

I don't know if I can get them locally.

daddy yo yo
03-01-2013, 10:07 AM
marko, what i like especially about your knives is the aesthetic factor. your knives are sublime, they are so beautiful, classy, natural beauties. i have nothing against dyed wood (even though i cannot imagine getting a handle made of dyed wood for myself), but i would offer that as a custom option, not for stock knives. i believe part of your reputation is for the aesthetics of your knives, i wouldn't change much about it.

how about a limited choice of buckeye? i have a piece of stabilized buckeye which features kind of a natural ferrule. i mean, it's rather light wood with only a bit of black/grey on one side. it definitely would look similar to a classic ho-wood handle with a black horn ferrule, but made of a single piece of wood.

Marko Tsourkan
03-01-2013, 10:26 AM
I will look into different options, but ideally would be for me to pick up wood locally, so I can inspect it in person. I also like to buy a larger quantity, as there are several grades in one board. I will see how it goes.