Today we took our 6 and 8 inch chef knives to the beach for a photo shoot. They had a great time in the surf and even helped out a horseshoe crab that lost its tail. Rising from the depths of the ocean a gift from the deep…the combat chef knife!!!!
Come join us in Yarmouth for the Seaside Festival this Saturday and Sunday from 10-5. Come see our biggest friction folder yet and over 40 other knives we made for this event.
Here it is. 9 1/2 inches over all. Damascus with aircraft aluminum frame and stabilized and dyed, spalted tamarind and camel bone. It is pretty and awesome, making it pretty awesome.
So the dye and resin bubbled away for 3.5 hours. When it stopped. I left it to soak for 7 hours. Then I drained the fluid off and wrapped each piece in aluminum foil. Baked it at 200 degrees for 3 hours and there you have it a formally soft piece of wood now impervious to everything and nigh indestructible. The only down side is I dyed it blue but it turned out green. I was told that might happen with yellowish woods so it is ok. IT looks a bit like malachite. I think it will look nice. It has been a long day of stabilizing so I will clean off the rest of them tomorrow and maybe show off the nicer ones.
So it is with much excitement and a little trepidation that I begin my exploration into wood stabilizing. For those who are not familiar with wood stabilizing, I will tell you what little I know. If you have a wood that is soft or has been made soft with fungus, called “spalting,” you do not want to use it for knife handles very often because it is weak. This is unfortunate because spalting creates beautiful patterns in the wood. There is hope however: it is called stabilizing.
This is done with resin, a vacuum chamber and a vacuum pump. The idea is first you dry the wood out over night in a 200 degree oven. I have spalted tamarind and maple burl in the oven right now. You then add the dry wood to the chamber with the resin. Next you suck all the air out of the wood and upon releasing the pressure on the chamber the resin flows into all the space that the air vacated. This can take a great deal of time, upwards of several hours. Then once the resin is absorbed each piece has to be wrapped in foil and placed in a 200 degree oven for hours until the resin cools. Then you have to sand the now solidified aluminum foil off the wood. The result, though, is a beautiful piece of wood that is impervious to everything and good to 400 degrees. It still sands like wood and looks like wood. You can also dye the wood in funky colors. The warning about exploding chambers is surely just there for insurance purposes, right? Fingers crossed I will let you all know in the next day or two how it goes.
This weekend we took two truck loads of trash to the dump and cleaned out our shop. We bought a new top of the line industrial band saw to make processing wood into knife handles much easier. We added a couple of more shop lights to brighten up the shop. We are settling into full on production mode for the Christmas season and spent about 12 hours working on knives today. Getting help with sanding from our friend John.
Here we have some of our newly processed handle scales and 3 knives completed recently made from Cherry burls from my dad’s farm. I am almost not embarrassed to say “Stop on by and see us!” We are just a couple of guys in a garage but now at least it is a cleanish garage. 🙂
We will also be sharpening knives at the last Brewster Farmer’s Market of the season, 9-1 Drummer Boy Park.
Tom spent the past several days working on some ultralight friction folders. They have aluminum frames and damascus blades. The handles are paduk and cherry burl. They also have a green fiber liner. They are 100 dollars each come grab them up at Harwich Cran Fest this weekend we don’t make a lot of folders so these are fairly exclusive! 🙂
Well there you go Teak handle installed and ready for work. I burned the tang into the handle and getting the metal cap to fit right was a bit of a pain. It is a thick tang and thin handle so it was a close fit. Sharpened and buffed a good bit of the serious rust off the blade. It still has that great patina but still much cleaner. Can’t wait to reunite it with it’s owner on Sunday at Harwich Cranberry Festival!!!