Handle wood in grey/black?

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daddy yo yo

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Hey guys,

looking for some advice. For a sweet knife project I am currently looking for a greyish/blackish knife block (for wa-handle). What are the usual suspects? African blackwood, ebony, bog oak, black died maple, buckeye burl? Handle will be on a KU finish blade, so I would like to avoid all other colour tones (buckeye burl often goes into the yellowish colour or has some orange/brownish spots, don't like that)...

I would be happy to receive recommendations for online shops.

Also, if you have smth particular to offer, please PM.
 

Stratguy

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Check out Russian Hornbeam. Very dark and stable. Although, it may be more of a really dark brown.
 

Bensbites

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I think you nailed it. The next choices I would think about are texture.

As far as smoothness ebonies > blackwood ~maple.

maple burl can be a nice Grey.

there are many different ebonies, check out bell forest products.
As far as specialty dyed woods, check out @daliadesigns1 on Instagram. He is my go to for custom work.

you can ebonize stabilized oak and walnut... the handle with the copper cap is ebonized stabilized oak.https://www.instagram.com/p/ByrGZ46HCVf/?igshid=1ppc7vx0lsd0v
 

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Old Head
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I like @exotic_blanks on instagram. His blocks are usually big enough for 2 wa handles. He also posts very good videos showing all the fine details. Also reasonably priced; usually $30 to $45 shipped. Very fast to respond, and quick turn around on custom orders. Give him a holler.
 

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Old Head
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I do like that bog oak is literally black, and offers a wonderful mix of tactillity and shimmering smoothness, like nothing else can. But, it is on the heavier side, and can change balance.
 

daddy yo yo

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I have some blocks of African blackwood at home. I don't think that stabilized bog oak is much heavier... Is it?
 

RDalman

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I have some blocks of African blackwood at home. I don't think that stabilized bog oak is much heavier... Is it?
No stabilized should be same. Lighter (and I think even better looking) would be a good quality natural block of bog oak.
 

Tim Rowland

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Most of what you mentioned are great options.
You can expand your options with Hybrid handle blocks unless that is to flashy for your preference.
As Dalman stated Bog Oak is quite beautiful and doesn't need stabilized.
Buckeye Burl with have the greys that you are after.
If you are thinking of a dyed stabilized wood instead of maple look into Mango. My personal feeling is a nice piece of mango has a more interesting grain structure than maple, but again that's personal preference.
 

suntravel

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spalted beech dyed grey / black an stabilized looks interesting also :)

Regards

Uwe
 

Paraffin

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As far as smoothness ebonies > blackwood ~maple.
Not necessarily, for those first two (ebony and blackwood). I'm familiar with both woods in musical instruments. Blackwood used for wooden flutes and clarinets can be so smooth and fine-grained it looks like porcelain. Ebony is usually more variable. The tight-grained stuff *can* look like that, but often doesn't.

The two knives I own with ebony handles -- a Sukenari petty and a Yoshikazu Ikeda nakiri -- both show a bit of grain in the handle. Never tried a blackwood handle, but it's famously resistant to moisture compared to Ebony, which is why it's used in flutes and clarinets that get wet inside from condensation, instead of ebony. Maybe that's an advantage? On the other hand, I like the small amount of grain in the two knives with ebony handles. It feels a little more "grippy."

One thing to remember with the black hardwoods like ebony or blackwood is that they're heavy. Make sure the handle balances well with the knife length and weight, or you could end up with a handle-heavy knife.
 

milkbaby

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For wood that's grey/black with more variation in color, take a look at ziricote and some of the mineral stained walnut burl from Russia. I just got some walnut burl from stabwood.acrylic on eBay that is really cool.
 
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