Quantcast
Woods to Work with... The blackisted? and the best? - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: Woods to Work with... The blackisted? and the best?

  1. #11
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Posts
    854
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Gidgee. It's such a pleasure to work with. Unstabilized it has a great smell and finishes easily. Stabilized Gidgee can't offer same smell, but even easier to work with and has a beautiful grain.

    My personal favorites are: Gidgee, Amboyna, Maple and Cocobolo.

  2. #12
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kerby, OR
    Posts
    3,535
    Quote Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Gidgee. It's such a pleasure to work with. Unstabilized it has a great smell and finishes easily. Stabilized Gidgee can't offer same smell, but even easier to work with and has a beautiful grain.
    That was probably because someone here said it is no good for kitchen knives. Didn't bother me because it sold fast to knife makers who either knew how to finish it or were willing to learn. Some people like yourself just got it right on their first try.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  3. #13
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kerby, OR
    Posts
    3,535
    When I read back on my previous posts now they appear a bit cynical. Sorry, I am kind of cranky the past couple days.
    The ultimate responsibility in making sure that the end users know how to work with and finish different woods lies with the supplier.
    Looking back I think I have fallen short in regards to that responsibility.
    Through the coming weeks I will try to write a comprehensive guide to working with different woods.
    What I write will be based on my personal experience and failures. Also I will talk to some of the very best knife makers for their input. Hopefully it will help to limit future disappointments for all of us.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  4. #14

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    In the Village.
    Posts
    3,434
    Thank you Mark for raising the bar yet again!
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    When I read back on my previous posts now they appear a bit cynical. Sorry, I am kind of cranky the past couple days.
    The ultimate responsibility in making sure that the end users know how to work with and finish different woods lies with the supplier.
    Looking back I think I have fallen short in regards to that responsibility.
    Through the coming weeks I will try to write a comprehensive guide to working with different woods.
    What I write will be based on my personal experience and failures. Also I will talk to some of the very best knife makers for their input. Hopefully it will help to limit future disappointments for all of us.
    ...and that is why this community is such a great place to hang out. Mark, that's a wonderful gesture to your fellow KKF'ers and I for one appreciate you freely sharing your knowledge for the benefit of others. The thing that makes this place great is that you're not the only one - pretty much everyone here loves sharing their experiences and helping each other out. I've only been here a short time but I've enjoyed it immensely. I'm still just a grasshopper in this game but hopefully one day, I too can help others out with what I have learned.

    Peace.

  6. #16
    Senior Member gavination's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    309
    Thanks for reporting Michael's post Mark. I'm in no hurry so I'll have to give his method a fun try. Even more excited to get in the shop now!

    I'd definitely like to hear people's opinions, tips, and tricks with gidgee too.

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    211
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    When I read back on my previous posts now they appear a bit cynical. Sorry, I am kind of cranky the past couple days.
    The ultimate responsibility in making sure that the end users know how to work with and finish different woods lies with the supplier....
    Through the coming weeks I will try to write a comprehensive guide to working with different woods.
    What I write will be based on my personal experience and failures. Also I will talk to some of the very best knife makers for their input. Hopefully it will help to limit future disappointments for all of us.
    As someone who likes to build things, the only responsibility I could ever put on a supplier is that they sell a quality product. After that, for me personally, I feel like I own the responsibility to figure out how to use it, and use it well (or not). Tips are always welcome but the burden is ultimately on me as a craftsman to figure out how to get my desired result. At least, that's how I like to look at it. I could never comfortably blame anybody else for the results of my labor.

    That difference of opinion aside....I started this thread with a similar intent to what you've offered, Mark. When it comes to woodworking, I've learned the hard way through many different kinds of projects that different species can require vastly different approaches. Even if it's just shared opinions of what's loved or hated, and maybe the reasons why -- my hope was the pooled info would be more broadly useful. Maybe, eventually, something worthy of gathering into a single post people could come back to as reference.

    To the extent that you want to take the reins and craft something more specific .. if there's anything I can do to help that- from helping to put it together, editing, etc - please let me know. I will happily join in. (Feel free to send a PM if you like)

    In my original post, I took a bit of lighthearted tone and my own examples were more my opinions and bias (on some woods) than functional tips. I like the idea of making this thread into something more detailed and functional. All of our opinions and preferences notwithstanding -- I think there are few bad woods...or few woods that can't be used in the context of this forum to make good handles or sayas etc. But, like anything else, the woods do have specific qualities - dense, heavy, gummy, brittle, light etc. Those traits on rare occasion may make something "bad for kitchen knives" (things like toxicity or allergy properties), but more often - I think it's a factor of just whether they're easy to work with, or hard, and knowing how to use them to get the best result. A dense brittle wood like ebony is not going to be easy to work with with the wrong tools, it's not going to be easy to get the right balance for a small paring knife... that doesn't mean a great result with ebony isn't achievable. Knowing some of the boundaries in advance I think will help people....as will tips about working it. The Michael Radar example on pore filling earlier in the post is a perfect example of that. It's an old school trick and it works great if you want to get a high grade finish on more porous woods. It's totally unnecessary on African Blackwood but it can take a piece of walnut to another level in finishing.

    I'm always impressed by both the amount of knowledge, and the willingness with which it's shared in this forum - both from the vendors, craftspeople and knife nuts alike.

  8. #18
    A further comment on grain filling. Michael Rader is absolutely correct, you can't get the best from most woods without filling the grain. Having said that, you don't have to go to the lengths Michael does to get very good to excellent results (vice the absolute perfection Michael achieves). I use Zinnsers 100% shellac sanding sealer cut with 50% denatured alcohol (this makes it very fast drying). After sanding with 120 grit, I apply a light to medium coat (depends on the wood) and let dry for 5 to 10 min. I may or may not wet sand depending on the wood. If its an open grain wood like monkey pod or has a nice 3D grain (curly maple, koa, desert ironwood) it gets wet sanded. Stabilized woods always get wet sanded. Other woods that have a lot of figure but not a lot of depth, like my favorite amboyna, may not get wet sanded. Be careful if you're wet sanding a piece that has two or more contrasting woods, as sanding slurry from one may not look the best stuck in the grain of the other. Once the piece is dry I sand it back down to a bare wood surface using 180 grit and repeat the process. I do this through a progression of 120, 180, 220, and 320 grit. I don't use the sanding sealer beyond 320 grit because the next grit I use is 600 and you're just not removing enough actual material at that point. Will this method get you the amazing results Mr. Rader gets? Of course not, but it will take your finishes way beyond what you'll get with sanding alone.

    I hope this helps,

    Be well,
    Mikey
    Available handles- [url]http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mkriggen/library/Available20handles[/url]

    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

  9. #19
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    3,374
    Very helpful tips here, thanks everyone. The question IMHO often is, do I really want to have a perfect surface? In many cases, the stabilizing already takes a bit away of the wood characteristic, and sanding it to a perfect surface goes another step in that direction. Not saying this is wrong, just that, in sime cases, I like it if the surface is not 100% perfect, like in some more rustic lookin spalted woods.

    Stefan

  10. #20
    Senior Member Sam Cro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hills Of Tennessee
    Posts
    129
    I have just Acquired some Very Old Sassafras wood and hope to make a few handles from it soon for a friend he & his wife want their New kitchen knives t all have the "Pretty Sassafras Handles" and I get all the leftovers from several lengths of the wood given to do the projects.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •