Your favorite...

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by JTmisterknifeguy, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. JTmisterknifeguy


    May 22, 2013
    Hey guys,
    I'm wanting to get a sense of what your (you interesting fellow knife nut here on BF) favorite handle/scale material is for custom (or semi-custom/production) knives. I know there are as many answers as there are different knife designs and uses of a blade. I also know that there is a plethora of materials that can be used from custom/handmade micarta to duct tape...

    I've been in the process of acquiring tools and know how to get myself going in knife making, and I'm just curious as to a few points: 1. what your favorite material is, 2. Why it's your favorite, 3. What is it like to work/machine/finish, 4. How does it preform/hold up/look pretty?

    I'm giving you a platform to brag and talk up your stuff!! :)

    500,000 bonus points for pictures!
  2. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I prefer natural materials. Wood, antler, horn, and I have two ivory tusks waiting for when I feel ready.

    Knifemaking is a way to work with and explore natures beautifull materials
  3. JTmisterknifeguy


    May 22, 2013
    The cool thing about natural materials is the wide variety and different kinds of "soul" you can give a blade just with the handle material alone! :) a friend of mine uses all sorts from homemade stacked leather, to stag, to ebony, to ironwood, to "plain ole" hickory, maple, and oak, and even bamboo...
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    In descending order ( fancy to working knives):
    Fossil walrus, mammoth ivory, MOP, stabilized burl woods, bog oak, ringed gidgee, African black wood, highly figured woods, Micarta.
  5. tryppyr


    Feb 5, 2010
    I tend to like exotic stuff... so:

    1) Musk ox horn (properly cut and polished)

    2) Fossil walrus ivory (properly cut, shaped, and polished)

    3) Mammoth ivory

    4) Amboyna burl (stabilized)

    5) Snakewood

    6) African Blackwood

    7) Kirinite (bold contrasting colors) Link to pictures
  6. JTmisterknifeguy


    May 22, 2013
    That Kirinite stuff is insane!! Like a laser light show on a knife! :) I've never seen anything quite like it.
  7. JTmisterknifeguy


    May 22, 2013
    That Ki
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  8. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    I use G10 or Micarta for 98% of the knives I make. I've never really been into wooden handles.
  9. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I messed up end removed a stacked leather handle not to long ago.
    But it is beautifull when done right.
    (my mistake was to work it with a dull belt and got it burned. You can remove the burn but the leather underneath is damaged and doesn't take finnish any more)
    Leather isn't expensive (free to me as cutt off waist) But it is a lot of work.
    I'll re-do the knife with leather handle when I have finished some other projects
  10. Burl Source

    Burl Source

    Dec 7, 2008
    I might be a little bit biased
    but I vote stabilized wood.
  11. Greenberg Woods

    Greenberg Woods Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict

    Dec 27, 2013
    I have made some nice connections at the wood shop i work at, and i can not get enough desert ironwood or king wood. They both have such a lovely color, weight and the texture after a fine polish is so smooth.
  12. DEllis

    DEllis Part Time Steel Basher

    Oct 17, 2007
    STAG! it's tough, relatively stable, and classy............IMHO.
  13. Burl Source

    Burl Source

    Dec 7, 2008
    I am really fond of Kingwood as well.
  14. JTmisterknifeguy


    May 22, 2013
    That's beautiful in every sense of the word! I even like how you wrote "STAG" in all caps! I think it is quite underrated as far natural materials go. Sure, I like some of the modern stuff for its own kind of beauty, and there's the durability factor, but stuff like stag and wood lends an "organic" connection to a blade that's hard to describe... Like your hand's connection to the (in most cases) highly advanced and epitome of functionally-beautiful man made items (the steel of the blade), is bridged by another organic material... I don't know quite how to describe it, but to me, there's a "romantic" aspect to a naturally hafted/hilted knife. My G-10, micarta, kraton, and FRN knives aren't going anywhere though! ;)

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