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Advice Please - Should I stop cutting oversized blocks?
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Thread: Advice Please - Should I stop cutting oversized blocks?

  1. #1
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Advice Please - Should I stop cutting oversized blocks?

    I was hoping that those of you who use stabilized wood handle material could help me decide what to do.
    Back when I first started supplying handle material I asked what sizes knife makers preferred for handle blocks.
    There were a large number of makers who requested blocks be cut around 6" long, 2" or more wider and at least 1&1/4" thick.
    The standard size with most knife making supplies places is 5" long by 1&1/2" wide by 1" thick.

    The reason I am asking if I should continue cutting over sized blocks is because while sales are increasing, over sized pieces are selling a lot slower than everything else.
    Since I am just a one man operation I need to focus my efforts toward where they can be the most productive.
    So I am curious.

    Is a block being large enough for 2 matching handles desirable?
    Does a block being larger than you need prevent you from buying a piece that you otherwise like?
    Should I continue cutting a portion of the blocks over sized?.
    Is there a specific size that you would suggest?
    I know that there is no "One size fits all" for handle material. Just trying to find out what I should be using as a baseline.

    Any advice and answers to these questions are greatly appreciated.
    Maybe this way I can do a little bit better providing what you guys want.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  2. #2
    I would say cut as close to a good size block for a handle (1.5"x5x1.125, factor some thickness for squaring) as possible. Unless you can get 2 handles out of an oversize block, extra wood is a waste.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member RoanRoks29's Avatar
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    I agree! haha I have only made a few handles and found that i like the pieces to be 1 1/2" squared and anything ~ 5" long or longer is great! If its longer than 5" I can make a ferule piece for another handle possibly or a spacer haha but anything wider just becomes dust....
    I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room. -Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

  4. #4
    I'm speaking from a western handle maker's perspective, wa handles might be different but I doubt it, I say 5.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 is about perfect. I can't say that I don't appreciate a 6"+ block as the extra length makes good ferrule material but it's not a necessity and even sometimes not used at all. The extra width and height is basically a waste for me though.

    For scale advise (and yeah I realize you didn;t ask for it) then my opinion is 1/2" thick is what I'd like to see. I won't touch scales at the standard 3/8" thickness but I think most knifemakers use 3/8" thick and are fine with that so maybe you don't want to listen to me on this one.

  5. #5
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Thanks Marko, Roan and Dave for the advice.
    Question for Dave;
    Why the 1&1/2" thick?

    Is that so you can decide which surfaces you want for the faces of the handle and trim away the rest?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    Thanks Marko, Roan and Dave for the advice.
    Question for Dave;
    Why the 1&1/2" thick?

    Is that so you can decide which surfaces you want for the faces of the handle and trim away the rest?

    Yeah exactly but upon thinking about it more - just having 1.25" thick would be OK with me too. This would give me some sanding allowance after cutting the block open, leaving me with that 1/2" thick scales I'm after.

  7. #7
    I agree with Dave, 1/2" is better foe scales. 3/8" is limiting.


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  8. #8
    I'm riding Marks's coattails here. Good information for me too. I've had this discussion with Marko in the past, but it's good to hear other's thoughts on the subject.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I would really appreciate metric on your site!

  10. #10
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    I know I'm in the minority but I love the oversize blocks.
    Del

    Laminated metals specialist, Kitchen knife and gadget maker
    www.ealyknives.com
    www.mokume-jewelry.net
    "Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life"

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