View Full Version : Tulipwood parer handle WIP

10-23-2013, 06:56 PM
Not sure if this is technically a work in progress, since it's almost done. The handle is sanded, but there is no finish on the handle and The bolsters and tang need a bit more buffing, But it looks pretty good so far. Only my third knife project, so constructive criticism and advice is welcome.

It's a zhen vg-10 damascus blade blank, with tulipwood handles.


10-23-2013, 08:16 PM
Wow, that's cool wood. Looks comfortable.

10-24-2013, 05:53 PM
Yeah, tulipwood is gorgeous. Those colors in the picture are pretty accurate, orange and dark pink, like rainbow sherbet (or maybe bacon?). It's a very dense, hard, wood, though not as oily as other rosewoods. It should make a good, stable, durable handle. I'm hoping it won't fade much. Apparently the colors desaturate a bit over time, but the contrast remains clear. I guess we'll see. I'm making two of these as Christmas gifts, so this is the first one.

The shape is very comfortable, it feels good in the hand, although visually I wish the transitions between curves were smoother. The coke-bottle curve gave me quite a lot of trouble, especially the concave "waist". I shaped it with files and a belt sander, but It's tough to sand those concave curves effectively. What I need is a small drum sander. It's all part of the learning curve I guess. Next time I may skip the coke-bottle curve altogether.

Dream Burls
10-24-2013, 06:05 PM
Very nice indeed.

10-25-2013, 10:48 PM
nice contrast in the grain

10-26-2013, 07:11 PM
I just put some tung oil on it and it looks very nice.
The pink deepened to deep red streaks and enhanced the contrast nicely.
I'll post some pictures when it's dry enough to photograph.

11-06-2013, 01:21 AM
Just now stumbling on this, but wow! That handle shape looks great. I bet it practically melts into your hand when you hold it.

11-06-2013, 01:42 AM
Looks good, how's it treating you? I've often wondered about these.

11-06-2013, 01:43 AM
I had not even see that you could get these as blanks. Would be interested to hear how they hold up.


11-06-2013, 08:27 AM
Sharpness out of the box seems pretty good, but a final sharpening helps a lot. It's a nice sturdy, but thin, blade. The finish on the blade and bolster are excellent, although this one had a little "fogginess" where the blade reached the bolster. I'm hesitant to polish it because I don't want to erase the damascus pattern. I rounded the spine, because that square edge is uncomfortable. As for durability, I guess we'll see. I'm making two of these as gifts, so I won't know first-hand how they hold up, but I'll ask every once in a while. Or I might just have to make one for myself.

Oh yeah, you can get this kind of blade lots of places. I got the blade at woodcraft, although you can buy them a few other places, including amazon. This blade cost $20, so the total cost for someone with a well equipped shop is maybe $30 in materials.
For about twice ths cost, you can get blades with no logo, with or without bolsters, from Jantz http://www.knifemaking.com/category-s/45.htm. I imagine many of the "custom" vg-10 damascus kitchen knives being sold here and there are these. Everyone is chasing that "Shun" look, because that's what the customers want.
If you don't need VG-10, and Aus-8 is acceptable, you can get hammered finish blades too. http://www.knifekits.com/vcom/index.php?cPath=2_486&osCsid=tvah9bfhm5o1vq17subunh1h47.
I'm sure a lot of people calling themselves bladesmiths are just selling knives made from these kits. I see nothing wrong with selling knives made from these kits as long as the maker is honest about it, and doesn't claim to have forged the blades themselves.

11-06-2013, 01:36 PM
Cool man.

11-06-2013, 01:46 PM
Great, thanks. Jantz is fading out these blanks, and I occasionally look for an affordable blade for friends or family. Most of them are not into knives but would like something I customized, and they will appreciate a bit of bling and looks over steel quality - especially since VG-10 is in general way better than what they are used to anyway. Looks like these Zhen blanks may be a good option.


11-06-2013, 02:27 PM
Yeah, I was wondering if Jantz was phasing them out. They used to have more options, like stick tang blanks that could be fitted with a wa handle. Now only the Deba is available in stick tang.

11-06-2013, 02:33 PM
Looks like its Hobby Lobby for me tonight.

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11-06-2013, 09:54 PM
Hobby Lobby?

11-07-2013, 01:13 AM
Yeah, I thought they might have the knife blanks for some reason, guess not.