First attempt at handmade wood scales

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by nbruch, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    Wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not, but decided it might help get some feedback on style, suggestions for improvements, etc, so thought I'd post my first attempt to make some custom replacement wood scales (ebony wood). Also I know it's a bit tough to tell too much from just cell phone photos. Anyway, all done by "hand" - sanders, Dremel, and files. Learned a lot of things throughout the process, one thing being that this particular knife was not the best to pick to learn on as it had a lot of details that were harder to do, especially without proper tools. So to do it again I'd consider some other tools. The only real goal was to experiment with the checking/checkering on a knife, but it turned into a lot more. With the time it took, not sure I'd do it again or not. But figured I'd post to see what people thought about the style, whether they like it, think the checking is dated, etc. Good, bad, you won't offend me. I was pleasantly surprised when it was done how nice the checking felt in the hand while at the same time providing some improved grip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    jfk1110, Wilfred17, 000Robert and 5 others like this.
  2. DudeoftheDesert

    DudeoftheDesert

    33
    Jan 18, 2015
     
  3. DudeoftheDesert

    DudeoftheDesert

    33
    Jan 18, 2015
    B E A U T I F U L. And that's your first? Looks great. What make knife is that.? Thanks.
    Dude
     
  4. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks, appreciate the comments! Yes, first attempt with wood and checking, but I have modified a few Ti framelocks and made one other set of scales from carbon fiber, but that was simpler (design and the particular knife). This one is a Civivi Chronic that came with carbon fiber laminate scales. And, photos make most things look ok, but there are problems with these; I just wanted to get a feel for what people thought of the overall look.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  5. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Dude, I think just the craftsmanship is impressive. Checkering is very challenging as it relies so much on uniformity. The eye locks onto any abnormality and with those angles there's plenty of room for that.

    I say well done.
     
  6. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    Certainly appreciate your comments. Some of the difficulties/problems you mention are very true. Harder to see in the photos, but some of them are there (at least to my eyes). But knowing people can/will notice that is helpful because I know it’s something I’d have to work on. But it’s nice seeing at least some people like the style as I wasn’t sure if many would like it or not as it’s more traditional.
     
  7. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    566
    May 17, 2013
    That looks stunning, and goes really well with the knife and handle profile. Fantastic job!
     
  8. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Great job on that checkering, it's not easy to do it so cleanly!
     
  9. Craig James

    Craig James

    128
    Oct 30, 2018
    It really is quite beautiful. The checkering adds just the right amount of detail to a minimalist design. Very impressive. How did you cut the checkering
     
  10. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks for the compliments - glad to hear some feedback. I used a basic checkering file set for this (mainly two files) and then a few “regular” small files to help a few areas. Getting the first lines straight and then not rushing it seems critical. It makes it easier that the knife scale is flat vs curved like a gun stock. I made some unwise choices in order of operations and design that made some parts hard to do well (like the small area in front of the pivot screw) but at least I would hopefully remember that if I ever try it again.
     
  11. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    I like it, too.

    Not only is the checkering excellent, it was done inside a border of untouched wood. Pretty cool.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I'm going to try to make ironwood back scales for a Rukus, but I doubt it will turn out anywhere near as good as your scales.
     
  12. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    You never know, Twindog. I’d think the Rukus should prove a challenge so at least you’re not being shy. Hope it goes well for you.
     
  13. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    I really like this. The only flaw I can see is that some of the diamonds are plateaued and others are not. Could all of them be slightly flattened? I think that would hide wear better than sharp points on something as soft as wood.
     
  14. sharkattacksw

    sharkattacksw

    572
    Aug 4, 2008
    Great job!!!!
     
  15. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Very nice work!
     
  16. nbruch

    nbruch KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    112
    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks for the comments everyone. As for the plateaus, Mr. Wizard, I noticed that also, more easily seen on the clip side. It’s one of the inconsistencies that stuck out to me. I may try to go back and fix it, but may not at this point. My knowledge of checkering for this came from a book, Modern Gunsmithing, (first copywright 1933, so maybe not considered modern now - it’s in that book that the author mentioned the true technical term was “checking” but “checkering” was sometimes used, whereas it seems I always hear checkering nowadays). The crispness of the diamonds was desirable, so when I saw it in the photos, I considered it a flaw on my part. But your comment is interesting. I’m sure some depends on the wood (the book even said harder woods like walnut give better results). These scales are fresh off the bench also - wonder if daily wear would smooth them all out some, taking a bit of the crispness but adding an overall consistency? I’ll probably try to look at some older guns with a more critical eye and see how some of them have aged.
     
    Night Rider and Mr.Wizard like this.
  17. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    385
    Mar 28, 2020
    I think they look very good! Nice work!
     
  18. ArchVV

    ArchVV Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    Awesome work! Very tastefully done.
     
  19. rpttrsn

    rpttrsn Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Very nice work. The checking looks great. Looks like you have been doing this for some time and not your first try. Again well done.
    Ron
     

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