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Dirty handle!

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by Icho-, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I'm working on a D2 skinner with ss bolsters and pins. Handle material is stabilized maple burl. I have it all together and I'm done shaping the handle. Now I just have to finish hand sanding, sharpen and stencil. My problem is, and its driving me crazy, is that because of the light colored wood it is getting dirty as I sand. I tried sanding dry, with water, windex. I also tried washing with dish soap and then even scrubbing with a piece of scotch brite pad. I'm open to any ideas or tricks you guys may have. Thanks.
     
  2. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    .......at the very end I usually give it a quick 600 grit to clean up the grime and dirt on any wood handle, your pins are dull to right ? .....rub in a good wax and buff , maple burl should come up beautiful...................and your pins/mosaic/lanyard tube will sparkle !!
     
  3. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    It just seems like anything I do gets the scales dirty. I can get the metal shiny. Even 400 grit doesn't seem to get the wood clean. It's making me grumpy. Lol. I still have some areas that need some smoothing out so I will go thru the grits and only go from wood to metal and not metal to wood and keep grabbing new pieces of sand paper to try to keep the metal dust off of the wood.
     
  4. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Ever try cleaning the handle with rubbing alcohol?
     
  5. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Actually no I haven't Brad. I will later. Thanks.
     
  6. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Well I'm sitting here in the dark in a thunder storm bored. I tried the alcohol and it doesn't seem to have done much. What does seem to work is lots of water. Every few rubs with the sand paper and a dip in a little pail of clean water. Now I just wish the power would come back on.
     
  7. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    Wash your hands before you work the handle and make sure that you're using clean belts.
     
  8. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I have never had this issue with stabilized wood, just natural woods, however i have heard of guys using a new eraser to clean up small marks, not sure if they used a pink or a white eraser though. I would assume pink as it is slightly abrasive.
     
  9. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Stabilized wood has never given me any problems but I tend to use darker woods. Have you tried acetone?
     
  10. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    My hands were clean and I was using fresh sand paper. It is the dust from the bolsters and even pins. It is much better but I still can see a slight gray to it in areas. It is not done yet but I think I'm getting it... I hope.

    I'm not sure how well stabilized this wood is but I got it from Jantz so I would think it is good quality. I also like darker wood better but I figured i'd try out the maple burl. The small knife I made a while back was buckeye burl and I did notice some dirty spots when I was buffing the bolsters but it was not this bad.

    I don't have any acetone but I will pick some up to give it a shot. The white eraser didn't do anything and I cannot find a pink eraser.
     
  11. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    Pics to share ??
     
  12. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I've been hoping to post pics of complete knife and sheath but I haven't been working on it much but I will try to post pic tonight of the handle so you guys can see what I mean.
     
  13. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I still didn't get a chance to finish the knife but I took a quick pic of the handle. I am hoping to finish it tomorrow and then start on the sheath. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  14. stevebates

    stevebates Active Member

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    Wow Icho, looks like you finally got it beat I'm not sure exactly what color the wood was when you started the battle but I have to say I really like the end product it has a really nice contrast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  15. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Thanks Steve. It was actually very light. The dirt is actually causing the contrast I think. I do have it better than the pic and I will try to finish it tonight.
     
  16. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Great looking knife Icho. I take it the acetone did not work either. My last trick is to sand everything to the desired grit don't worry too much about the dirt right now (try not to make it any worse). Hand sand the wood only with max 800 grit, sand is a strong word your lightly scrubbing the wood just enough to take the dirt out. Wipe often with acetone on a cotton cloth to keep from grinding the dirt back into the handle. Keep checking to make sure your not removing too much wood. Hopefully something will help
     
  17. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I haven't tried acetone cause I don't have any and I forgot to get some while I was out. This is one stressfull knife! I am re sanding the knife starting at 320 till I get it clean. So far so good. I am using so much water that I have a puddle on the floor after a few minutes. I might even try sanding the handle under water with the fine grits. Here's a pic of where I'm at right now.
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    You can see the difference between the side and the bottom of the handle. The pic lighting does actually make it look worse than it is. I feel like I may be getting somewhere.
     
  18. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    That's frustrating man, I had that same problem with some antler spacers a long time ago. I can't remember what I did to get that dirty look off of the antler. Nice looking handle so far, sorry I don't have any tips for you :(
     
  19. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Thanks Jules. I put it off to the side for now. I'm working on my 2 chef knives for now. I hope these go smoothly so that I can get over the frustration so I can get back to it with a clear head.
     
  20. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Well this will be the first time I named a knife. I am calling this pita "The Discourager" I have tried everything I can think of and everything that has been suggested so far. This is the best I've had it so far and I am not happy at all. Here is what I've got.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    The knife still needs finishing which would normally take me about 20min from this point but it is looking like it is not happening. My last attempt was Varathane wood finish but it is not absorbing into the stabilized wood but yet the wood will show every smudge of dirt. I am thinking my next step may be to redo the handle with a different wood. Yes I am whining and I may even be stomping my feet..... but I won't admit that. Lol. I'm still open to any last minute ideas before I tear this handle off. Thanks for letting me vent.
     
    Jackson likes this.

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