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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 10-06-2015, 02:39 PM
Aronanon Aronanon is offline
 
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looking for advice with stabilized burl scales

Hey guys. I'm new to knife making so I'm looking for some advice. I've recently purchased some stabilized burl scales online. They had a lot more color in the pictures than when I got them on the knife. I wet sanded the scales to 2000 grit. I thought that would be enough to get the desired look from them but it didn't quite work. My thoughts are either I didn't sand them down far enough or they weren't good scales to begin with. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2015, 03:03 PM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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Yeah man, don't expect the burl to look exactly like the picture. The suppliers often post a picture of their best samples of a certain product and what you get isn't exactly the same. What you probably bought was a set of scales from a stock of (insert name) burl wood that they had a large supply of. The only time that what you see online is what you get is if they are advertising a specific set of scales.


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Old 10-06-2015, 03:19 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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What Hunter said is very true but also they may not be telling you exactly what process was used to stabilized the wood and they may have taken the picture while the scales were wet or retouched the picture later. If they were cheap then they were probably...cheap. Properly stabilized scales don't need any treatment except sanding to 400 grit, buff if you want a high shine, and a little Ren wax to bring out the color and pattern....


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Old 10-06-2015, 09:36 PM
Aronanon Aronanon is offline
 
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I got the scales from ebay from a highly rated dealer out of alaska. I paid 30 for them only because no one else bid on them. Is that a low price? Also i thought that maybe wet sanding it made it darker? I wouldn't think that would do that but then again this is my first time working with burl. I've only used acrylic or g10 so far. This burl knife is only my 4th knife haha. Maybe I should sand it back down to a lower grit to get the color back out of them?
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:55 AM
Bob Hatfield Bob Hatfield is offline
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You have to be very careful on buying stabilized knife scales on Ebay. Most are a home brew stabilization process that will not match the quality of a good commercial stabilization. As Ray stated if the right process was used, you only have to sand to 440 grit and polish on a soft buffing wheel and you will get a high shine polish and the colors will "pop" out .
You would be better off to purchase good burl wood, Ebay does have some good sellers of wood. Just be sure they provide pictures of all 4 sides, then you cut your wood into blocks and ship it to a commercial outfit to stabilize for you. I use River Ridge to do my wood. They have a web site and do quality work.


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Last edited by Bob Hatfield; 10-07-2015 at 01:04 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:31 AM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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I buy a lot of woods from ebay, mainly because the photo's are of the piece and not a stock photo. That being said, be cautious from whom you get them from. As the others have said, it can be a crap shoot as to the quality which can vary from store to store.

One thing I found works it using steel wool and/or using a buffer.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:33 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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No, $30 is not a low price but it is about what you would pay from a reputable knife supply house like Jantz so you haven't saved much by buying from eBay. We're only guessing about the stabilization process, of course, and it might be just the luck of the draw. But, the sanding process you used should have worked fine on properly stabilized wood. It was far more work than should be necessary but it should have done the job. Since it didn't, buff it a little bit, throw some wax on it and try a different source for the next piece of wood ...


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Old 10-07-2015, 04:56 PM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
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Try a little wax or tru-oil, I've had wood that looked like crap until it was oiled or waxed, it can make a world of difference, even if the wood is stabilized.

There is some really good information on finishing stabilized wood here: http://burlsource.us/stabilized-wood-info/


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Old 10-07-2015, 09:10 PM
Aronanon Aronanon is offline
 
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I really appreciate the help. I'm gonna sand it down a little more with a lower grit to see if I can bring some color out of it. The scales are really think so I have plenty of material to work with.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:46 AM
NPD NPD is offline
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I have work with many stabilized scales before and here it?s how I?m doing it, I?m sanding the scales up to1200 grid and i all ways finish them with some light coats of Danish oil before I give them a light coat of carnauba wax at the end.


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