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Fit & Finish Fit and Finish = the difference in "good art" and "fine art." Join in, as we discuss the fine art of finish and embellishment.

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Old 02-23-2017, 07:24 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 45
Handle material choices

I am making a knife for a friend who works at a small meat processing plant. Since he wants to be able to use it at work I had him check to see what kind of materials would be OK. They told him no wood handles so I'm trying to find something that will work. It is a hidden tang so I need a pretty thick piece of whatever I use, so far all I've found in composite handle material is only up to 3\8" thick and I'm thinking I need more like 1". Any suggestions on what to use and where to get it would be appreciated.
Thanks Sam
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:42 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
G-10, that's a good choice.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:24 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 45
OK but I'm only finding it up to 3\8 in thick I need at least 3\4. I guess I could glue it together with epoxy but I would probably end up with a glue line, but I guess I could add a contrasting color in between..............
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:52 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 410
or a number of synthetics.

id lean toward the G-10 or micarta. most knife suppliers carry those in both labs and blocks
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:25 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,276
Something I noticed about some of the acrylics was a certain amount of brittleness. I dropped one and part of the handle just cracked and would have come off if it hadn't been glued.

Like Damon said G10 or micarta. Stabilized wood is food safe too.
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Old 02-24-2017, 09:43 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Location: Decatur, IL
Posts: 2,569
If the boss said no wood, this could very well be an FDA regulation, then I would steer away from stabilized wood. I would also vote for G10 or Micarta.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:18 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 45
Yeah I think its a FDA or USDA regulation to not use wood of any kind. OK looks like g10 is what I'll use if I can find a thick enough piece. Thanks for the help. Sam
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:13 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,276
Probably right on the stabilized wood, but I do believe Dymondwood was allowed for USDA plants. I just remember going to a turkey plant and some of the women had some brightly colored handles that looked like it, in the 90s, but could have just been that company as I have been to many slaughter houses and never saw anything except factory issue plastic nylon. Heck Micarta made from any paper or linen is essentially the same as Dymondwood except was made from phenolic resin and they are both slippery when bloody, something I just remembered. Most companies just provide nylon type handled blades nowadays.

Sheffield has G10 1 1/8" thick blocks by 1 1/2" by 5" but only in black or orange, page 33 of their catalog.
USA Knifemakers has the black.

Cat I have made many hidden tangs out of two pieces with a spacer in-between. They are a little extra work, but they can look nice. G10 glues very well too and use stainless pins if any.
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:17 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nampa, Idaho
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Considered horn or antler?

Andy Garrett
Charter Member - Kansas Custom Knifemaker's Association

"Drawing your knife from its sheath and using it in the presence of others should be an event complete with oos, ahhs, and questions."
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antler, bee, block, epoxy, fixed blade, g10, glue, handle, handle material, handles, help., hidden, hidden tang, knife, making, material, materials, micarta, pins, plastic, resin, small, tang, what kind, wood

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