Quantcast
practical characteristics of handle wood
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: practical characteristics of handle wood

  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    4,217

    practical characteristics of handle wood

    A while back, I acquired a handle made from stabilized (I believe.) koa. At some point, I noticed that there were a lot of little dents in it; impressions from objects it had bumped into. I never dropped it or anything like that yet, it is the only handle I've encountered with that problem. More recently, I had a conversation with a knifemaker about handle materials and he specifically mentioned to make sure that my stabilized material not be dented easily.

    My question is this: Aesthetics aside, what woods stabilized or otherwise, will resist this "denting." Of the wood I've seen, it seems like all of the dense, unstabilzed woods are good for this (like ebony, ironwood, cocobolo, etc.). Is koa the only "bad" one or was this particular piece stabilized incorrectly?

  2. #2
    This is a timely thread since I'm currently talking to a guy about this very same thing. I have no answers so I'm interested to hear what other have to say.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    SpikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    3,733
    When I had the Haslinger passaround I noticed that the koa handle had a texture to it like many small dents. Could this just be a characteristic of koa? I believe it was stabilized.
    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    4,217
    The koa handle I have here will dent if you press your fingernail to it a little and the impression is permanent.

  5. #5
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Indian River, MI Just under The Bridge
    Posts
    1,061
    Ok I actually went out to my shop and spent 5 minutes trying to put my fingernail into some wood, I tried over a dozen types of wood most of them stabilized, but not all. All of the pieces I tried left no dent at all, not even a mark, and I used enough pressure that my finger is thumping a bit, not sore but I am more aware of that finger than normal. Include in the types of wood are unstabilized honey locust, and african blackwood, stabilized maple, koa, oak, and a bunch of others.
    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"

  6. #6
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    3,374
    That sounds strange, I have never seen anything like that - but I didnt look for it either.

    Stefan

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    3,126
    Ok, first of all I am in NO WAY qualified to answer this and won't, but something crossed my mind rather recently. I bought a new table and you can see the heartwood and sapwood color variation and I wondered if one was harder than the other (I assume there is a difference but I could be wrong). And if so, if a knife scale is taken from the outer sapwood can that have different characteristics than a scale that is taken primarily from heartwood?

    In other words, could someone harvest young Koa with more sapwood, stabilize it, and end up with a softer stabilized wood (prone to denting)?

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    SpikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    3,733
    It depends. I think that once they are stabilized, though, any difference becomes moot.
    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

  9. #9
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Indian River, MI Just under The Bridge
    Posts
    1,061
    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    Ok, first of all I am in NO WAY qualified to answer this and won't, but something crossed my mind rather recently. I bought a new table and you can see the heartwood and sapwood color variation and I wondered if one was harder than the other (I assume there is a difference but I could be wrong). And if so, if a knife scale is taken from the outer sapwood can that have different characteristics than a scale that is taken primarily from heartwood?

    In other words, could someone harvest young Koa with more sapwood, stabilize it, and end up with a softer stabilized wood (prone to denting)? k.


    I don't think so, one of the woods I tested was redwood, whch easily dents before stabilization, it is soft like cedar or popular, or for those of you that have japanese knives, like ho wood.
    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"

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    1,296
    Are you sure that it is stabilized? You can dent even some of the harder woods like blackwood if you try, but its not easy. The limited types of stabilized wood that I have used have been some pretty tough stuff.

Posting Permissions

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