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Wood Sources For Scales?

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Ramy S, May 24, 2017.

  1. Ramy S

    Ramy S New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I live in ottawa and I have access to a forest near where I live. I'm not sure to what type of wood there is there. But my question is, is it possible to collect and use wood from a forest?
    Also we have some left over laminate wood from a renovation and I was thinking maybe use that as Knife scales.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hey Ramy,

    Certainly can be done. However, green wood takes a fair amount of patience to get ready for use as scales, upwards of a couple of years depending on the drying conditions. Or one could kiln dry it. The trick is to prevent it from splitting or checking as it dries, so slower is usually better. Plan on storing the wood in a dry place with good airflow for one year per inch of thickness. I have some 1" walnut and maple that has been stickered and sitting for a few years in fairly low humidity (Alberta) and it's ready to use for something.

    Hardwood flooring pieces will work, but not the engineered product that is made from compressed sawdust.

    Dan
     
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  3. Ramy S

    Ramy S New Member

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    My idea was to get a cheap way to get wood as scales. The laminate turns out is made of saw dust as you said. But I found some cabinets we removed.
    This wood grain is really nice but 1. Do you think it's thick enough, and 2. Would I have to stain and what stain to use.


    Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  4. Ramy S

    Ramy S New Member

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  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Plan on ending up with something around 0.25" x 1.5" x 5" which is a typical size of a bought scale. As for stain, generally the wood is not stained, rather preserved and the natural colour and grain of the wood is brought out with oil such as teak oil, tung oil or boiled linseed oil. Stain would be used to tint the colour of the wood before the hardening oil finish like teak oil is applied.

    As for sources of cheap/free, natural wood for scales, keep your eyes on the lookout for imported crates and pallets as these are often made with tropical hardwoods. Heavy duty pallets sometimes come with thick rough-sawn hardwood planks. Off cuts and scraps from timber stores. Call around. I found some purple heart and padauk pieces for a few bucks and ripped them into scale size pieces. Wooden patio furniture is usually made from something like teak that is oily and can withstand the rain. Second hand stores often have weird-ass pieces of wood that are interesting, you know from Hawaii or Cuba or some other exotic places. Ultimately, I would be thinking of the durability of the material. Locally available hardwoods like maple and birch have been used for handles for aeons and with a little care will last for generations.

    Hope this helps. Happy wood hunting!

    Dan
     
  6. Ramy S

    Ramy S New Member

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    Thank you very much for you insight good sir
     
  7. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    I have been looking into using wood more and more lately... the reason being the cost of G10 and other synthetics, not just for the pieces themselves but because of the shipping. Even from the good folks at Knifemaker.ca I get killed on shipping. So I found this place in Burlington, Ontario, about 45mins west of me, called Exotic-Woods Inc. I am planning on going to see their selection, and if it works out I think most of my knife scales will be wood going forward.

    http://exotic-woods.com/
     
  8. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Local lumber yard sells burls that are pricey but s couple locals harvest wood and sell the fancy cuts for a decent price which is nice.

    Killer was all the stabilizing and casting gear, worth it in the end though
     
  9. ConnorBC

    ConnorBC Active Member

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    Ramy S.

    Being in Ontario, don't rule out Birch bark! You are in the location for it. Fly rod builders have been stacking it and using it on fly rod grips for a very long time. If you have access to a pressure pot, the sky is the limit. I have been using Ponderosa Pine bark and Cottonwood bark to make my fly rod grips for some time now with flawless results. Wish I had Birch bark handy!

    Connor
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Roman in this group @Roman makes some absolutely beautiful handles with stacked birch bark.
     
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  11. ConnorBC

    ConnorBC Active Member

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    I'm trying to find pics of the combo Ponderosa Pine and Cottonwood fly rod grip I made last season. The Ponderosa Pine is a very nice effect! Stabilized in resin?... Might be a BEAUTIFUL thing!
     
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