1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dark Coloured Wood For Handle Making. Ebony, Wenge...

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by SDMay, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. SDMay

    SDMay Active Member

    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I am wanting to make some kitchen knives with hidden tang handles. I have some lighter( Koa, lacewood, spalted maple) stabilized wood coming for the main handle but want to do a contrast on the fronts. I looked at Windsor Plywood today and all of the ebony they have is too thin for what I want to do.

    They have some really nice looking wenge that I can buy by the foot. Is wenge okay to use unstabilized? I have read that it tends to have voids but I can fix that with epoxy mixed with saw dust or use straight epoxy to fill as it will smooth out in final finishing.

    Any other ideas for dark wood that might work?
     
  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Wenge is good and if you like it can be oiled.
    Now for the Ebony the piano key stock is 1/4" thick and what you can do is use two layers with a contrasting spacer and if the first layer and spacer are pinned then when the outer layer is glued on it will hide any pins.
     
    SDMay likes this.
  3. bobbybirds

    bobbybirds Best New Maker

    Likes Received:
    171
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Wenge is a really coarse grained would and can be very splintery. It doesn't take a very good lustre typically and is quite pourous. Personally I would suggest something else for a handle. Ebonizing lighter woods is not overly difficult if you want something dark...
     
  4. Prevenge

    Prevenge Member

    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I have been reading about ebonizing recently actually. A vinegar and iron solution....lucky I forge my blades so now I can repurpose my old vinegar after it stops working well. Something else I was curious about was charring. I've seen it done on hammer handles ...where the wood is baked first then scorched lightly. I was thinking that Fir might be a decent candidate to experiment with because it has a lot of pitch trapped in it....and because I wouldnt have to buy it haha
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

    Likes Received:
    1,093
    Trophy Points:
    113
    My choice would be African blackwood for a natural material or black paper micarta for a synthetic. A seasoned maker I spoke with last year recommended African blackwood over ebony as blackwood tends to check less on then end grain. I can't say from personal experience. Lots of traditional wa handles and ferrules are made with horn, but I can't stand the smell of grinding it.

    Dan
     
  6. SDMay

    SDMay Active Member

    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I am rethinking things now as the stabilized stuff I got is a lot darker than what I was expecting. It would still look good with a dark contrast just not as striking. I had thought of antler to start but wasn't sure if it neede to be stabilized or not. Will wait to see where I land as I might have to go to Grande Prairie in a couple of weeks for work and I might be able to find something there.
     

Share This Page