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Wood for Handles

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by RedFury, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    Good morning. I'm pretty new at all this so tend to dream up some dumb questions but here we go.

    As I work on various projects I like to use materials available in my surroundings. In this case the surroundings are my farm in North Central Florida.
    Wood is everywhere you look. Horn and bone can be had if I hunt around or kill something but I'm sort of an old termite so I turn to wood most often.

    There are old live oak trees that died or were somehow killed years ago. The sap wood rots away but the skeleton remains standing for MANY years. This heartwood skeleton is VERY hard.

    Has anybody tried this as a handle material?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    This is Dutch oak, a slightly different kind as American oak.
    Try and get a piece with good rays (tiger stripe). On this one I filled the pores with wood dust and an oil/varnish blend.
    You can leave them open as well.
    It was a gift for my niece who emigrated to Sweden, Dutch oak handle and a Scandinavian design knife.
     
  3. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    [​IMG]
     
  4. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    Snuck out this morning and cut a couple of pieces. Got one from at the root that is pretty interesting. From the trunk section the wood is incredibly hard and dense but seems more wet than I expected. So now there are 3 sample blocks on the bookshelf in the living room to dry more.
     
  5. Yugami

    Yugami

    102
    Oct 13, 2015
    Live oak is incredibly cool looking way better than any other oak I've seen. I'm not typically an oak fan for appearance, but live oak is a good choice
     
  6. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    trying a photo post for first time here.
     
  7. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    upload failed Hmmmm
     
  8. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
  9. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    That didn't work as expected but at least the image is there if you click the link. Computers are really not my thing.
     
  10. Will52100

    Will52100

    Dec 4, 2001
    No image, invalid attachment message. I wish I'd gotten more live oak when I had the chance, it's a very tight grained, very hard wood, at least for oak. It's also a light colored wood. If I'd gotten more I might have sent some off to be dyed and stabilized.
     
  11. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    Will, believe it or not I spent some time in Bassfield in the early 1990's. Bassfield had a mayor who was retired millitary guy of fairly high rank and he was trying his best to find some business to put into a garment factory that had closed. He really wanted to bring some employment to Bassfield. We made a trip to Jackson to a military surplus depot and since he was the mayor I was able to score a nice old microscope which I still has stashed somewhere.
     
  12. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    661
    Sep 27, 2014
    I collect wood locally for the Native american flutes I make and now for the knives I make too. If you watch and play around a bit you will find some amazing wood that is way cheaper than buying scales. Plus it has a story. I have some amazing spalted and figured maple. Recently came across some spalted birch that looks like chocolate swirl ice cream.

    It will take some time for the wood you cut to properly dry. Rule of thumb is 1 year/inch of thickness. I have a moisture meter that I use. I know that it is important for it to be around 9% before they stabilize it...cracks otherwise. Just because it seems dry on the outside doesn't mean it isn't quite wet on the inside. I bought a big slab for my dining room table that appeared very dry and then was disappointed when I got home to discover it was still 18%. Had to wait 8 months before I could build it.

    Look for the gnarly bent and bumpy parts of the tree and they often have incredible figuring.
     
  13. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    Yes, I'm a termite and I like the wood I find lying around. Sometimes it's more than just lying around tho. I've used Magnolia that I have aged for one year before milling so it gets a little spalting going on. I've done the wood work in four houses plus the tack room in www.thechurchbarn.com with it. Plus my kingsize bed and my big entertainment center. Back in the end of the hippy era I was part of a company that made tables from California redwood and buckeye burls. I still have a Buckeye coffee table.

    I'll keep working on the photo posting here. It can't be that hard but I'd rather work with wood and steel that try to figure out why I can't post pictures.
     
  14. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    661
    Sep 27, 2014
    I have been eyeing reclaimed California redwood slabs for a long time. I think I may bite the bullet and buy a slab in the near future for a dining room table. Expensive...but so beautiful. That church barn looks like a pretty cool venue. I think I might have been giving advice to someone who already had a whole bunch of it already figured out!! I am aging some holly and lotus right now to see what I get. Never know if you don't try right? I have to keep dad from bucking up all the maple, alder and birch that comes down on our property so some can sit long enough for it to spalt!
     
  15. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    These darn forums just keep taking me down one road after another LOL. Since I was fiddling around with my skeletal oak it seemed a bit wet to me so I continued poking around and ended up on the Cactus Juice page. Whoa, another ton of info. And once again I have the essential equipment to to stabilize but never had my hands on good stabilizing resin. So the oak is in the oven dehydrating at 160 degrees. By the time the Cactus Juice shows up on Tuesday the oak should be nice and dry. Now I have to hoof it over to the barn and see what sort of vacuum my little milking machine setup pulls. It is a rotary vane pump and it can run for hours no sweat so I think it will pull vacuum for stabilizing with no problem. I just have to throw together a chamber and I think a 3 or 4" piece of Sched 40 PVC with caps on ends should do that. Thread a hose barb in one cap and I should be good to go.

    No I still haven't figured how to post photos here. I've sent a message to admin asking for help.
     
  16. RedFury

    RedFury

    250
    Jun 17, 2015
    Milking machine pump pulls 18" HG would probably work but I think I may have another pump. I'm off to hunt for it. I've had it for years and never found a use for it.
     
  17. Brian1788

    Brian1788

    2
    Oct 1, 2015
    I've used quart and half gallon mason jars for a chamber. works great and can see when the bubbles stop coming out of the wood.
     
  18. kevin -the professor

    kevin -the professor

    760
    Dec 18, 2008
    If you use aqua fortis stain, or related compounds, oak will turn a purple-brown to almost black. It has a lot of tannins that react with these acid stains really well (ferric nitrate and ferric acetate - aka aqua fortis).

    fyi.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are both from curly oak stained with aqua fortis. The second one has some insect holes that make it all gnarly looking. This piece of oak is my favorite handle wood, because it is so dense and responds well to stains. Each piece is a little different, as you can see with these two.

    hope this helps,
    kc
     

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