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Woods I Use for Handle Work - Q&A / Information
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Thread: Woods I Use for Handle Work - Q&A / Information

  1. #1


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Woods I Use for Handle Work - Q&A / Information

    Blocks or Scales
    Blocks preferred for Rehandle work (1/2" thick minimum for scales)
    Blocks mandatory for Martell Knives


    Sizes
    Gyuto - 5 x 1.5 x 1 (min)
    Suji - 5.5 x 1.5 x 1 (min)


    Stabilization Required?
    Yes
    *Exceptions - AZ Ironwood


    Stabilization Accepted From
    WSSI
    K&G


    Wood Dealers I Will Not Use
    Woodstabilizer.com (Canada)
    Ebay (anyone there)



    Woods I Won't Work With
    Cocobolo (poisonous)
    Snakewood (cracklicious)
    Ebony (cracklicious)
    Palms - black & red (cracklicious)
    Spalted anything (rotted wood) - Maybe OK if it's been stabilized by K&G
    Walnut (dry dust like - always finishes crappy)
    Mango (too porous)
    Redwood (super soft)


    Woods I'm Not In Love With (but will use for customers who prefer pretty over functional)
    Buckeye Burl (punky wood soft)




    Woods I Like to Work With
    AZ Ironwood Burl or Straight Grain
    Amboyna Burl
    Maple Burl
    Koa
    Ash
    African Blackwood
    Birch Burl
    Thuya Burl
    Honduran Rosewood
    Black Ash Burl
    Box Elder



    Optional Materials
    Micarta




    *Note - This list will be changed/updated as needed.

  2. #2
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    ...
    Woods I Won't Work With
    Cocobolo (poisonous)
    ...
    I love cocobolo, particularly the smell of freshly resawed wood.
    Hmm... maybe that is what makes me high?


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

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  3. #3
    GoogleFu San steeley's Avatar
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    no snakewood
    i love the smell of cocobolo also
    A clever cook can make good meat of a whetstone.” Erasmus

  4. #4


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeley View Post
    no snakewood

    Thanks - edited!

  5. #5

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    Seriously? Cocobolo is poisonous? Just the dust, or bad as in don't use in conjunction with food?

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
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    Cocobolo dust and oils can cause severe allergic reactions in some people, and have no adverse effect on others. As with any other allergen, prolonged exposure to it may trigger an allergy in an otherwise healthy person.

    It isn't poisonous, it's allergenic. And it is perfectly safe to work if you use a respirator and skin protection. Dave, I imagine, prefers to work au naturel.

  8. #8

    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    I wear a respriator that protects against nuisance vapours and gasses. A little more than necessary, but hey, only got 1 good set of lungs left.


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
    Email pierre@rodrigueknives.com

  9. #9

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    Add mango wood to that list. Mango trees contains the same allergen as poison ivy, albeit in much lower concentrations. I was never allergic to poison ivy as a young child but living in Miami, we had 20 mango trees in our yard and I had to clean up the mess. After a few years of that, I guess that I built up enough sensitivity to the chemical than one day I was allergic to poison ivy. Not the horrible month long experience like some get, but bad enough. I don't eat mango much and the concentration of the chemical is in the wood and sap. Just a warning. I forget what the allergen is in cocobolo, but it is also cumulative. Teak apparently does the same thing, but it takes much longer. I knew a guy who had a business called "The Teak Sheikh" in West Palm Beach. He did all of the teak work for boats companies like Viking in South Florida. One day after like 15 years, he woke up allergic to teak and had to sell his business.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
    Cocobolo dust and oils can cause severe allergic reactions in some people, and have no adverse effect on others. As with any other allergen, prolonged exposure to it may trigger an allergy in an otherwise healthy person.

    It isn't poisonous, it's allergenic. And it is perfectly safe to work if you use a respirator and skin protection. Dave, I imagine, prefers to work au naturel.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by steeley View Post
    no snakewood
    i love the smell of cocobolo also
    I hear that. If you think that palm and ebony are crackalicious, you obviously haven't worked with snakewood.

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