Knife Handle Materials
Stabilized Wood Knife Handles
G10 Knife Scales, Micarta Knife Handles
Stylize Your Custom Knife With Your Choice of Handle Materials! Stabilized Wood Knife Handles, G10, Or Micarta
At Keith Nix Knives, we offer a variety of handle materials for your custom knife. We use a range of woods including walnut, maple, oak, and many others. We also offer synthetic handle materials like G10 and Micarta. Each of these materials has its own unique characteristics and will give your knife a special look and feel.
Finally, if you have a special handle material in mind, we can work with you to source it and make your dream knife a reality. With our wide selection of handle materials, you are sure to find the perfect one for your custom knife.
When it comes to knives, the handle often catches people's attention before the blade. As a knife maker from North Carolina, I typically acquire my handle materials from nearby sources. This can mean gathering wood from my own property or salvaging materials from a neighbor's dead dogwood tree.
The handle of your custom knife is a masterpiece, no matter what material you select. By combining the right materials, you can craft a unique and durable knife that will serve you for a lifetime. Let's examine some of the options at your disposal.
The range of options in this category is vast and varied, much like the trees in a forest. Personally, this is my preferred category. I particularly enjoy Maple wood, which has an assortment of figure types ranging from bird's eye to flame, Ambrosia to spalted, and burl to curly. Exotic woods from around the world, such as PAtagonian Rosewood, are also available. Our custom knife handles can be created from any of these woods, and many others, to perfectly complement your blade.
Wood is a versatile and beautiful material that comes in a range of colors, from light to dark. It's unique grain pattern can be accentuated with a variety of translucent dyes, allowing you to personalize it to your liking. Each piece of wood is unique but shares similarities with others from the same block. The benefits of using wood are numerous, including the ability to dye, stain, varnish, or oil it. The only drawback is that it requires careful maintenance to retain its beauty and functionality. Here's why...
WOOD IS POROUS-
Did you know that wood is a porous material? It has a network of vascular tissue that helps transport water and minerals from the roots to the leaves. Additionally, the same tissue carries sugars created through photosynthesis back to the roots. Due to its plumbing system-like origin, wood can easily absorb water and contaminants, which can cause problems in various applications such as houses, furniture, cabinets, doors, and knives.
When wood knife handles come in contact with moisture, it penetrates the cellular structure causing the wood to increase in volume and change in size and shape. To prevent this, we apply different finishes to our wood knife handles, which not only preserve and protect but also enhance their beauty and repel water.
However, if the finish on your knife handle breaks down, it can be a problem. But no need to worry, there is a solution!
At Keith Nix Knives, we take pride in using wood stabilization to enhance the quality and durability of our custom knives. This process involves infusing the wood with a liquid resin, using both vacuum and pressure. Once saturated, the wood is baked at a specific temperature to polymerize the resin. This results in improved hardness, stability, and resistance to environmental factors. Our stabilized wood ensures that our knives will not warp, crack, or absorb moisture, providing longevity and reliable performance.
Creating this vacuum can take from one to twelve hours with my little pump. After a soak under vacuum, atmospheric pressure is slowly reintroduced to the chamber, and the wood is allowed to soak and absorb the resin for several hours or days. Afterward, each block of wood is wrapped in aluminum foil and baked until the resin hardens throughout the wood block.
With the new stabilized wood knife scales, the pores are filled with a clear and durable resin, making the wood resistant to water infiltration. Any contaminants simply stay on the surface and can be easily washed away. Plus, you no longer have to worry about your knife handle shrinking or swelling due to changes in humidity or the moisture content of the wood.
After being treated in this manner, the wood can undergo typical woodworking techniques such as sawing, drilling, planing, sanding, and polishing. The wood also gains increased density and hardness, which is beneficial for knife making. Furthermore, various finishes can be applied to the wood. At Keith Nix Knives, stabilized wood knife scales are used for the majority of their knife production, although there are a few wood species that do not require stabilization.
Recently, I've discovered that I can achieve superior results and save money by entrusting my wood stabilization needs to K&G Stabilizing. Their advanced resin, vacuum+pressure method, and fair pricing are unmatched. The cost of their expert services is easily offset by the time and effort I save by not attempting to stabilize the wood myself.
G10 knife scales are a favored material for creating custom knife handles because of their lightweight yet robust properties. These fiberglass-based laminate materials are highly durable and can withstand extensive wear and tear. They are also resistant to water, chemicals, and temperatures, making them perfect for outdoor use. Additionally, the non-porous structure of G10 prevents bacterial growth, making it a hygienic option. G10 comes in a range of colors and patterns, enabling each custom knife handle to have a unique appearance and texture.
If you're looking for a durable and lightweight material for your custom knives, micarta knife handles are a popular choice. This material is made by layering linen, canvas, or paper with a thermoset resin, and it comes in various textures and colors. Micarta handles not only provide strength, but also an appealing aesthetic that makes them perfect for custom knife handles. Additionally, they offer excellent grip, which is particularly useful for outdoorsmen, hunters, and knife enthusiasts. If you have any questions about handle materials for your custom knives, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Please contact me with any questions about the handle materials for your custom knives!
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