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Thread: Sourcing Some Scale Materials

  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    Default Sourcing Some Scale Materials

    So having made an offer and gotten a good deal on that huge blade restoration lot on ebay, I'm stocking up on other supplies for the summer: collars and pin-stock, various tools and supplies, and of course scale material.

    Upon Roy's suggestion, I finally made an order from Wood Spindles - Woodturningz. Patrick there was very professional and helpful in filling my order and cutting my blanks somewhat to more razor-friendly dimensions. Roy wanted a follow-up on how the cuts look these days, so for you guys stocking up, I thought I'd share with the group.

    In that order I got the following:
    An Australian Red Mallee Burl block cut into 4 slabs. As you can see, the thickness varied quite a bit between about 6"x.32" and .40." The cuts seemed okay if not perfectly flat; it is burl, after all, and I'm not sure he could go much thinner than that. I'm wondering if I either need to stabilize it or back it with G-10 or similar? I've got a friend with the vacum tank and Cactus Juice for his knife-making. Looks like it will snap like a twig at scale thickness.
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    I also got a nice piece of Desert Ironwood, which measured 6"x.40-.44."
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    Finally, my wife is dying for me to scale a blade in the Inlace Acrylester, and she indulges my every whim in my expensive hobbies! This one is called The Abyss, and I have to admit I'm intrigued by the possibilities here once this is polished. They cut me 4 pieces out of the blank that measured 6"x.32-.37." I would like to have gotten 6 pieces, but he said it was too brittle to go much thinner:
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    I also got a couple of blanks from Bell Forest Products: https://www.bellforestproducts.com/exotic-wood/
    First up is a nice piece of Gaboon Ebony (the one on top), which I have enjoyed working with before (9.25"x.275):
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    But I really can't wait to polish up this gorgeously-figured piece of African Blackwood with the same dimensions on the bottom:
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    You see that reddish streak?!

    Anyways, maybe this gives some of you who like wood (or funky syntetics) ideas. I know many of you have ordered from both these outlets before with great success and service. It appears that I have a lot of scale flattening and thicknessing to do, so I ordered some more 60-grit belts for my 2x42" flat grinder-I am now doing that crap outside! Oh, and Mike/Jerry, I also ordered some Tru-Oil to see if I can get wood finishes like you guys do! More later. A-Aron/SHD
    There are many roads to sharp.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MikeT's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice!
    It's Christmas in May! You have some great woods there.
    AB is a favorite for me because it's one of the heaviest, toughest, most mold resistant woods on the planet that will take a beautiful finish with sandpaper alone.
    I've been wondering about Desert Ironwood, how it compares to the AB.
    Love the burls there!
    Are you building a bit of a wood-bank to draw from later, or will be using it all up?
    ScoutHikerDad likes this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    I hope to make at least one razor apiece from all those blanks, and maybe have an extra set of the mallee and the acrylester for use later. I'm sure you know that a lot of knife-makers love desert ironwood, and it polishes up to a stunning level just like most of the oily, dense tropical hardwoods.
    MikeT likes this.
    There are many roads to sharp.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MikeT's Avatar
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    Upon closer inspection, that AB with the streak looks awesome, gonna make some beautiful scales.
    This is always the hardest part for me... No matter where you place your scale design on that wood blank, you are never gonna get it all in there, so how to choose?
    Where to place that outline?
    Sounds like a silly idea, maybe it is, but I think it can make a difference.
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  5. #5
    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    You got some nice stuff Aron. Looking forward to seeing your scales.
    ScoutHikerDad and MikeT like this.
    It's just Sharpening, right?
    Jerry...

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