Thread: Hey from Japan
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:43 AM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
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I'd skip trying to stabilize the wood yourself. You either end up with a half baked result or a decent result but significant investment in time and money not to mention time lost from actual knife making. Professionally stabilized wood is quite different than the homemade product when you get down to the molecular level. And you're right about your fret board woods in general. The rule of thumb is that oily woods like rosewood are not good candidates for stabilizing but not every piece of rosewood, ironwood, ebony, etc is oily and I have sent them out to be successfully stabilized. Stabilized woods may seem expensive but the money I've saved by not needing 100 different kinds of finishing products plus the fact that you simply put the cost into the price of the knife makes it worth while to me. Some people think stabilized wood looks like plastic and it does if you want to think about it that way but it looks like wood with a urethane finish without the mess and that works for me.

Now, all that being said, you don't have to buy expensive pieces of stabilized wood to get the benefits of said wood. There are products like Dymondwood that are simply birch plywood dyed and built up of very thin layers that are effectively stabilized wood that are very inexpensive. If you get the ones that aren't dyed in clown colors they can look very nice and they have all the same benefits of being easy to work and finish and durable that a higher priced block of solid wood would have. Very useful for makers just starting out who don't want to spend a fortune on handle materials. Check out and see what you can find ....


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