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Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 4:26 pm

I want to try and make myself a Wa handle, just for fun and something to do when not in the kitchen. Where's the best place to get some nice looking woods for not all that expensive? Should I just head over to Home Depot or Lowe's and just get some cheapo wood for practice first? Thanks for any help!

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 6:21 pm

I'm about to do the same. If you're looking for exotic stuff (burl, spalted, tropical etc) then Ebay seems like a good place to pick up odd bargains. But if you're like me, you will get sucked into wanting every piece of gorgeous wood you can see. I probably should have made a practice handle first -- for $10 you could get a nice block of wood to play with. But at a hobby shop or HD you could pick up some pine or cherry for way less. My plan is to make a handle without a ferrule, that way you get the geometry and measurements down first.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 6:54 pm

Wouldn't hurt to get some poplar or other "white wood" equilavent at Home Depot/Lowes to practice on. You may want to check a local lumber yard, mine has a selection of exotic woods and even offers them in 12" pieces. For online stores: Bell Forest Products, Arizona Ironwood, Griffin Exotic Wood, and Amazon Exotic Hardwoods are all good. Also, most of the online knife maker supply companies have handle materials, wood, spacers, liners, etc.....though these companies tend to have a larger selection of knife handle scales rather than the thicker pieces needed for Wa style handles.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 8:21 pm

http://alphaknifesupply.com/wood-stabilized.htm

or

http://www.burlsource.us/servlet/StoreFront

Are my two favorite places.....there are obviously others.

If this handle is for a knife you'll want to keep, I would highly recommend you use either stabilized wood or wood that doesn't benefit from such. If you're looking to save some money, find a local wood working shop and buy some cocobolo to practice with. It'll likely be the least expensive wood you can find locally. You'll probably get by for $10 a handle or so.

Do not use cherry or walnut or some such and expect it to not shrink or swell on a knife you want to keep. If you want to use popular as a practice wood that doesn't get permanently attached, I'm all for that. But don't permanently attach a $2 piece of wood when you could get a decent looking handle for a few bucks more.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 10:20 pm

Sometimes it pays to know the right people.
I am an insurance loss control engineer. I inspect lot of restaurants and I also inspect woodworking shops.
A while ago I inspected a high end furniture maker. They have lots of pieces of wood that they can't use after it has been cut for furniture.
Bonus: It is ALL stabilized!
I was given for FREE some Tiger Maple, Bubinga, English Walnut, and American Walnut.
One piece of the American Walnut is big enough I could make a cutting board out of it!
So try some local cabinet shops in your area, they might have some good wood they will give you for free.
Me, I have put it away until I retire, then I am going to try my hand at knife handles as a hobby.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 11:00 pm

One more question that I probably should have asked first; should I try a western rehandle or jump right into the Wa?

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Tue May 06, 2014 11:58 pm

Pnkfld7892 wrote:One more question that I probably should have asked first; should I try a western rehandle or jump right into the Wa?


I personally think Wa handles are much easier than western, so I would go with a wa first.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Wed May 07, 2014 12:56 am

Are there good instructions out there for this project. A quick google search just comes up with a thread from KKF and some videos of japanese handle makers using their skill and tools to whip out a handle in 30 seconds XD.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Wed May 07, 2014 2:29 am

Got some nice woods from here: http://www.dreamburls.com
His inventory is a little thin right now though.

Re: Best place to get handle wood

Wed May 07, 2014 5:23 am

I'm also curious if there's any handle making guides out there for WA handles? Wether it's dvd, YouTube or a book. I have googled and looked around and can't seem to find much. One day I might try and make a couple just for a project.
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