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Thread: What shrinks?

  1. #1
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    What shrinks?

    No, it isn't an off-color joke, lol. I'm wanting to customize some western handles and I'm wondering what materials shrink. I gather that plastics, resins, resin-impregnated natural materials, etc. do not shrink appreciably. What about woods of differing density or anything else you can think of?

  2. #2
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    Cold and water makes wood shrink.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rulesnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazmtb View Post
    Cold and water makes wood shrink.
    I thought he mentioned no off color jokes.

  4. #4
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    Water makes wood swell. Wood shrinks when it dries out, temperature has no impact. If your stock is not dry when you start it will shrink.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  5. #5
    Seasoned ironwood is very stable and so is cocobolo. I prefer these two types of wood over other oily, naturally stable woods. I do like lignum vitae as well.

    M


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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmtb View Post
    Cold and water makes wood shrink.

  7. #7

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    I have tried using inkline stuff before and it always seems to shrink. Even the stabilized stuff. I have had one instance with cocobolo shrinking from japan to the 0 percent humidity of Utah...but I have never had any issues with ironwood. Someone here on kkf once told me to let the wood sit 6 months or so after buying it just to be sure it does not shrink in dryer climates.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    ...Someone here on kkf once told me to let the wood sit 6 months or so after buying it just to be sure it does not shrink in dryer climates.
    Wood need to be seasoned for about 6 months (kiln dried, if not, then longer) and years if you are a musical instrument maker. Those guys typically buy non kiln-dried wood (air dried), so they have to keep it drying for several years before it is save to use.

    When humidity changes, there will be movement in all natural woods, but the more seasoned the woods will move less. However, when using materials like horn, metal spacers along with the wood, the movement will become more obvious, as these have a different rate of movement (metal - zero). There is not much that can be done about it. Stabilizing wood and horn, takes care of that, but also takes away a natural feel.

    One solution, in my opinion, is a pinch grip. It turns a handle more into a lever than a handle. Pinch grip also negates a need of rounding edges on an octagon. I use a pinch grip and it makes no difference to me whatsoever, whether edges are sharp (not rounded) or not. I still put a tiny chamfers on edges in my custom work, but not my own as I like crisp edges.

    From all woods I have tried, seasoned ironwood moves very, very little.

    M


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

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  9. #9

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    I have tried using inkline stuff before and it always seems to shrink. Even the stabilized stuff. I have had one instance with cocobolo shrinking from japan to the 0 percent humidity of Utah...but I have never had any issues with ironwood. Someone here on kkf once told me to let the wood sit 6 months or so after buying it just to be sure it does not shrink in dryer climates.

    This is an absolute truth in my experience. One of my nicest handles, inkline b&w ebony, has to be sh!tcanned because it pulled some kind of 'Incredible Hulk' transformation the second it arrived here. Grew in one direction, shrunk in another, warped...you name it.

    Dave could post some pics of this trainwreck when he gets it.

    A second one, spalted tamarind inkline, might be salvagable. It's only moving in two directions.
    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

  10. #10

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    Is "inkline" wood a piece that has both sapwood and heartwood?
    Quote Originally Posted by ecchef View Post
    This is an absolute truth in my experience. One of my nicest handles, inkline b&w ebony, has to be sh!tcanned because it pulled some kind of 'Incredible Hulk' transformation the second it arrived here. Grew in one direction, shrunk in another, warped...you name it.

    Dave could post some pics of this trainwreck when he gets it.

    A second one, spalted tamarind inkline, might be salvagable. It's only moving in two directions.

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