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Soapstone - Handles

Discussion in 'Materials & Technique' started by John Noon, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Was wondering if anyone has worked with soapstone on a knife handle or even tool handles.

    What I have learned so far, that stuff is fun and easy to carve and finish. Also makes a nice burnishing tool for leather edges.

    Canadian soapstone is soft and use for carving only.
    America, Brazil and couple others it is a harder stone for architectural work.

    Since it warms to the hand when in use I thought a black or even green would be good looking on a kitchen knife set or even some leather working tools.
     
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    It would be interesting in small bits, but I'm not sure about a soapstone handle. It's quite heavy, which could affect balance -- and fatigue in a kitchen knife. There's also the issue of grip. Any soapstone I've come across is very smooth and slippery. That wouldn't be great for a knife, especially when wet.
     
  3. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Good points mentioned, there is an article of being easy to clean off bacteria written back during a SARS outbreak plus it is used in kitchen counter tops.
    Matching knife set was kind of the slippery road I was heading down.

    Maybe hollowing out the scales on a full tang would be needed. On a hollow tang a drilled hole is probably a bad idea and maybe split handle to make the tang hole a tight fit.

    Of course if smooth and easy to clean will be slippery. I did wax a burnishing tool I made with Minwax paste wax after a 1200 grit finish but have not tried in wet and greasy yet.

    I do have some thin black ebony and considered a soapstone insert that has been carved, might be more practical if sealed in clear resin.
     

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