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Thread: What shrinks?

  1. #21

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    Yes, unstabilized. BeforeI started using the Brownells gunstock finish, I used to soak maple with boiled linseed oil. I got the Brownells stuff when I started using Don Hanson's black walnut. I still use the linseed oil on African blackwood, not so much as a hard finish, but because it makes it easier to get it jet black. Blackwood is not only my ebony substitute but also my black Micarta substitute.
    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    Does that mean you are using those woods unstabilized for your handles? Not that I would yave any problems with it. I have to try a gun stock finish on walnut, everything I have tried so far makes it look kind of dull, at least the burl pieces I tried.

    Stefan

  2. #22
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ******* View Post
    Yes, unstabilized. BeforeI started using the Brownells gunstock finish, I used to soak maple with boiled linseed oil. I got the Brownells stuff when I started using Don Hanson's black walnut. I still use the linseed oil on African blackwood, not so much as a hard finish, but because it makes it easier to get it jet black. Blackwood is not only my ebony substitute but also my black Micarta substitute.
    Great, thanks! I need to stock up on acraglass anyway, I will check out what they have. BTW, I do the same with African blackwood, I react to ebony dust and switched to blackwood - like it much better. And I use a tung oil & shellac mix to get it darker - the shellac just speeds up the drying time. Actually, I am starting to run low on blackwood - do you have a good source?

    Stefan

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    Great, thanks! I need to stock up on acraglass anyway, I will check out what they have. BTW, I do the same with African blackwood, I react to ebony dust and switched to blackwood - like it much better. And I use a tung oil & shellac mix to get it darker - the shellac just speeds up the drying time. Actually, I am starting to run low on blackwood - do you have a good source?

    Stefan
    I haven't bought any for a while because last time, I got a couple of "logs" the larger of the two which was 3 x 3 by about 30 inches. I used the smaller piece first and since then, I have been working a lot with stag and walnut. I got it from Exotic Wood Group.

  4. #24
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    I have been yelling at my computer.
    Then I typed a reply and deleted it a few times.
    I hope I don't offend anyone. There is a lot of mis-information out there.
    I don't think it is usually intentional, just repeating something someone has read or heard somewhere.
    I am not trying to sound like a know it all. Most of my waking hours are spent working with wood.
    I have ruined more good wood than most people will ever see. Some of my failures were caused by what I read on the internet.

    #1 Any handle material can move. Most problems come from not taking that into consideration when working with it or maintaining it afterwards.
    Biggest causes of movement are:
    Overheating when grinding or sanding, this will screw up almost all materials including man made plastics and such.
    Drastic climate changes like Florida at 98% humidity to Arizona at next to no humidity. This can be protected against with proper finishing of the wood, ivory, bone or horn.

    #2 Just because you buy wood that says it is stabilized, that doesn't mean anything. Each stabilizing company has their own chemical mix and stabilizing process. Plus if you are buying on ebay there are quite a few do it yourselfers. I heard of one who just soaks the wood in mineral oil. I used to do my own stabilizing with a vacuum/pressure system using industrial chemicals and got really good results. Then I tried K&G. I found out they could do a lot better. Same thing with WSSI and a few of the other professional stabilizing companies. I also found out one formula or one process does not produce the same results with everything. Some woods require a thinner solution, higher pressure or longer under vacuum.
    Still, stabilizing does not make wood bulletproof. You can still screw it up. You just have to try harder.

    #3 Much of what is being sold (especially on ebay) with the blackline spalted woods and the weird pattern ebonies are end grain pieces. They look kind of cool while they are intact. Cutting pieces of wood for the end grain guarantees that the piece of wood is as weak as possible and more prone to movement than any way else that you can cut it. It can produce a dramatic look but it has to be worked with care. (Example drilling too fast or using a dull bit will crack a piece)

    #4 Properly finished handle materials will be sealed to prevent or limit drastic changes in moisture content. Even the hard oily stuff. Some woods take a hard finish like poly or varnish, while others may resist that finish or bleed into it making a blotchy finish. Best thing to do is fine sand a scrap and try a couple finishes. Sometimes an oil finish is more compatible with an oily wood. Maintaining a good coat of wax is better than nothing. Unfinished ironwood will crack. I can show a pile of cut pieces that developed cracks over time from being left on a work bench in the sun unsealed. A surface sealer would have prevented that.

    #5 Normal rule of thumb for air drying wood is 1 year per inch of thickness. Some woods like buckeye and box elder are quicker.
    Double the time for walnut, 5 times as long for olive.

    I will quit rambling now. I just had to get this off my chest. Now I need a smoke.
    If you think I am crazy, you are welcome to post your opinion here or call me up and yell at me.
    It's ok, I have thick skin.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  5. #25

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    Mike, the "conventional wisdom" amongst some vintage guitar geeks is that not only does it take a good long while for the water content of the wood to get down to an acceptable level, but the resins in some tonewoods can continue to change for many years after that, especially in the thicker pieces like a solid electric guitar body. Guys tryingto build copies odl old early 50's Fender Telecasters or Broadcaster often try to find old recycled slabs of swamp ash or loblolly pine to use on the bodies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    I have been yelling at my computer.
    Then I typed a reply and deleted it a few times.
    I hope I don't offend anyone. There is a lot of mis-information out there.
    I don't think it is usually intentional, just repeating something someone has read or heard somewhere.
    I am not trying to sound like a know it all. Most of my waking hours are spent working with wood.
    I have ruined more good wood than most people will ever see. Some of my failures were caused by what I read on the internet.

    #1 Any handle material can move. Most problems come from not taking that into consideration when working with it or maintaining it afterwards.
    Biggest causes of movement are:
    Overheating when grinding or sanding, this will screw up almost all materials including man made plastics and such.
    Drastic climate changes like Florida at 98% humidity to Arizona at next to no humidity. This can be protected against with proper finishing of the wood, ivory, bone or horn.

    #2 Just because you buy wood that says it is stabilized, that doesn't mean anything. Each stabilizing company has their own chemical mix and stabilizing process. Plus if you are buying on ebay there are quite a few do it yourselfers. I heard of one who just soaks the wood in mineral oil. I used to do my own stabilizing with a vacuum/pressure system using industrial chemicals and got really good results. Then I tried K&G. I found out they could do a lot better. Same thing with WSSI and a few of the other professional stabilizing companies. I also found out one formula or one process does not produce the same results with everything. Some woods require a thinner solution, higher pressure or longer under vacuum.
    Still, stabilizing does not make wood bulletproof. You can still screw it up. You just have to try harder.

    #3 Much of what is being sold (especially on ebay) with the blackline spalted woods and the weird pattern ebonies are end grain pieces. They look kind of cool while they are intact. Cutting pieces of wood for the end grain guarantees that the piece of wood is as weak as possible and more prone to movement than any way else that you can cut it. It can produce a dramatic look but it has to be worked with care. (Example drilling too fast or using a dull bit will crack a piece)

    #4 Properly finished handle materials will be sealed to prevent or limit drastic changes in moisture content. Even the hard oily stuff. Some woods take a hard finish like poly or varnish, while others may resist that finish or bleed into it making a blotchy finish. Best thing to do is fine sand a scrap and try a couple finishes. Sometimes an oil finish is more compatible with an oily wood. Maintaining a good coat of wax is better than nothing. Unfinished ironwood will crack. I can show a pile of cut pieces that developed cracks over time from being left on a work bench in the sun unsealed. A surface sealer would have prevented that.

    #5 Normal rule of thumb for air drying wood is 1 year per inch of thickness. Some woods like buckeye and box elder are quicker.
    Double the time for walnut, 5 times as long for olive.

    I will quit rambling now. I just had to get this off my chest. Now I need a smoke.
    If you think I am crazy, you are welcome to post your opinion here or call me up and yell at me.
    It's ok, I have thick skin.

  6. #26
    Senior Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    I have been yelling at my computer.
    Then I typed a reply and deleted it a few times.
    I hope I don't offend anyone. There is a lot of mis-information out there.
    I don't think it is usually intentional, just repeating something someone has read or heard somewhere.
    I am not trying to sound like a know it all.
    ...I will quit rambling now. I just had to get this off my chest. Now I need a smoke.
    If you think I am crazy, you are welcome to post your opinion here or call me up and yell at me.
    It's ok, I have thick skin.
    Haha. No worries, dude. You're in good company. I do that every other night (except for the smoke. Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    I have been yelling at my computer.
    Then I typed a reply and deleted it a few times.
    I hope I don't offend anyone. There is a lot of mis-information out there.
    I don't think it is usually intentional, just repeating something someone has read or heard somewhere.
    I am not trying to sound like a know it all. Most of my waking hours are spent working with wood.
    I have ruined more good wood than most people will ever see. Some of my failures were caused by what I read on the internet.

    #1 Any handle material can move. Most problems come from not taking that into consideration when working with it or maintaining it afterwards.
    Biggest causes of movement are:
    Overheating when grinding or sanding, this will screw up almost all materials including man made plastics and such.
    Drastic climate changes like Florida at 98% humidity to Arizona at next to no humidity. This can be protected against with proper finishing of the wood, ivory, bone or horn.

    #2 Just because you buy wood that says it is stabilized, that doesn't mean anything. Each stabilizing company has their own chemical mix and stabilizing process. Plus if you are buying on ebay there are quite a few do it yourselfers. I heard of one who just soaks the wood in mineral oil. I used to do my own stabilizing with a vacuum/pressure system using industrial chemicals and got really good results. Then I tried K&G. I found out they could do a lot better. Same thing with WSSI and a few of the other professional stabilizing companies. I also found out one formula or one process does not produce the same results with everything. Some woods require a thinner solution, higher pressure or longer under vacuum.
    Still, stabilizing does not make wood bulletproof. You can still screw it up. You just have to try harder.

    #3 Much of what is being sold (especially on ebay) with the blackline spalted woods and the weird pattern ebonies are end grain pieces. They look kind of cool while they are intact. Cutting pieces of wood for the end grain guarantees that the piece of wood is as weak as possible and more prone to movement than any way else that you can cut it. It can produce a dramatic look but it has to be worked with care. (Example drilling too fast or using a dull bit will crack a piece)

    #4 Properly finished handle materials will be sealed to prevent or limit drastic changes in moisture content. Even the hard oily stuff. Some woods take a hard finish like poly or varnish, while others may resist that finish or bleed into it making a blotchy finish. Best thing to do is fine sand a scrap and try a couple finishes. Sometimes an oil finish is more compatible with an oily wood. Maintaining a good coat of wax is better than nothing. Unfinished ironwood will crack. I can show a pile of cut pieces that developed cracks over time from being left on a work bench in the sun unsealed. A surface sealer would have prevented that.

    #5 Normal rule of thumb for air drying wood is 1 year per inch of thickness. Some woods like buckeye and box elder are quicker.
    Double the time for walnut, 5 times as long for olive.

    I will quit rambling now. I just had to get this off my chest. Now I need a smoke.
    If you think I am crazy, you are welcome to post your opinion here or call me up and yell at me.
    It's ok, I have thick skin.
    Mark, posts like this are the reason I am on this forum(well, that and ones that start with 'passaround signup', lol). I respect your opinion as much as Marko's, yours as a purveyor primarily and his as a woodworker primarily. The world(especially the internet and your friendly neighborhood shops) is full of crap and misinformation that confounds and degrades the quality of life. Try finding a place that elucidates heat treatment and steel like KKF or zknives.

    I have a knife that has a handle that shrunk, despite it being plastic(I'm guessing...it's a Tojiro), and my father's Sabatiers are a few decades old and still fitted well. I wish there was an answer to keeping wood from moving/warping/shrinking/expanding for good. Which solution provides the best long term viability? Clearly if it expands it can be sanded down, but if it shrinks, you're pretty screwed. Doesn't having strong epoxy on all contacts of a western handle prevent this at all?

  8. #28
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Thanks for the corrections and additions, guys. I am glad to see that a lot of it matches what picked up or learned over time. Except, that letting wood sit and season where I live may make it wetter than when I bought it

    Fully agree with buying stuff from ebay, I'd much rather send it out myself for stabilizing than buying something that is DIY stabilized somehow.

    Stefan

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    I have been yelling at my computer.
    Then I typed a reply and deleted it a few times.
    I hope I don't offend anyone. There is a lot of mis-information out there.
    I don't think it is usually intentional, just repeating something someone has read or heard somewhere.
    I am not trying to sound like a know it all. Most of my waking hours are spent working with wood.
    I have ruined more good wood than most people will ever see. Some of my failures were caused by what I read on the internet.

    #1 Any handle material can move. Most problems come from not taking that into consideration when working with it or maintaining it afterwards.
    Biggest causes of movement are:
    Overheating when grinding or sanding, this will screw up almost all materials including man made plastics and such.
    Drastic climate changes like Florida at 98% humidity to Arizona at next to no humidity. This can be protected against with proper finishing of the wood, ivory, bone or horn.

    #2 Just because you buy wood that says it is stabilized, that doesn't mean anything. Each stabilizing company has their own chemical mix and stabilizing process. Plus if you are buying on ebay there are quite a few do it yourselfers. I heard of one who just soaks the wood in mineral oil. I used to do my own stabilizing with a vacuum/pressure system using industrial chemicals and got really good results. Then I tried K&G. I found out they could do a lot better. Same thing with WSSI and a few of the other professional stabilizing companies. I also found out one formula or one process does not produce the same results with everything. Some woods require a thinner solution, higher pressure or longer under vacuum.
    Still, stabilizing does not make wood bulletproof. You can still screw it up. You just have to try harder.

    #3 Much of what is being sold (especially on ebay) with the blackline spalted woods and the weird pattern ebonies are end grain pieces. They look kind of cool while they are intact. Cutting pieces of wood for the end grain guarantees that the piece of wood is as weak as possible and more prone to movement than any way else that you can cut it. It can produce a dramatic look but it has to be worked with care. (Example drilling too fast or using a dull bit will crack a piece)

    #4 Properly finished handle materials will be sealed to prevent or limit drastic changes in moisture content. Even the hard oily stuff. Some woods take a hard finish like poly or varnish, while others may resist that finish or bleed into it making a blotchy finish. Best thing to do is fine sand a scrap and try a couple finishes. Sometimes an oil finish is more compatible with an oily wood. Maintaining a good coat of wax is better than nothing. Unfinished ironwood will crack. I can show a pile of cut pieces that developed cracks over time from being left on a work bench in the sun unsealed. A surface sealer would have prevented that.

    #5 Normal rule of thumb for air drying wood is 1 year per inch of thickness. Some woods like buckeye and box elder are quicker.
    Double the time for walnut, 5 times as long for olive.

    I will quit rambling now. I just had to get this off my chest. Now I need a smoke.
    If you think I am crazy, you are welcome to post your opinion here or call me up and yell at me.
    It's ok, I have thick skin.
    I have no disagreement with all of the above. Want to add that you can get most woods these days kiln dried, so rule #5 has be replaced with rule #6 (not stated) is one needs to acclimatize wood to the environment where it will be worked on. It can range from 3 months to 1 one year for kiln dried woods. I typically 'sit' on wood for 6 months before I do anything with it, even though I get it from a supplier 15 miles away and some of his woods are stored indoors. Exception being walnut or cherry that I periodically make boards from. Those I acclimatize for about 3 months.

    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

  10. #30

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    I read somewhere a while back that the olive wood used on a lot of traditional French cutlery has to be dried for a fair bit longer than some other woods, so who knows how long the various shops make Sabatier and Laguiole style knives have been drying that wood before it ever gets put on a knife?
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Mark, posts like this are the reason I am on this forum(well, that and ones that start with 'passaround signup', lol). I respect your opinion as much as Marko's, yours as a purveyor primarily and his as a woodworker primarily. The world(especially the internet and your friendly neighborhood shops) is full of crap and misinformation that confounds and degrades the quality of life. Try finding a place that elucidates heat treatment and steel like KKF or zknives.

    I have a knife that has a handle that shrunk, despite it being plastic(I'm guessing...it's a Tojiro), and my father's Sabatiers are a few decades old and still fitted well. I wish there was an answer to keeping wood from moving/warping/shrinking/expanding for good. Which solution provides the best long term viability? Clearly if it expands it can be sanded down, but if it shrinks, you're pretty screwed. Doesn't having strong epoxy on all contacts of a western handle prevent this at all?

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