Saturday, November 1, 2014


For scales I have chosen some African blackwood that I have been looking to put to use. Blackwood is a dense, oily wood that doesn't benefit from stabilization and an ideal choice for a knife where frequent contact with water is expected. Wüsthof offers a line of professional kitchen knives featuring African Blackwood.

 Scales marked for cutting. I used the mitre saw for this.
The belt grinder works truing up the edges. African blackwood is very hard and has a peculiar odour when working it.
The scales are fitted and stay in place due to the wedge effect of the rear bolster angle.

I drilled the holes using the pin holes in the tang as the guide. The bit sizes are #30 and F. These are slightly oversize for the pins, but much less hassle trying to fit it all together at glue-up time.

I'll be using two 1/8" stainless pins and one sweet 1/4" mosaic pin for the centerpiece. I cut these with a hacksaw about 1/8" longer than needed.

I mixed up about 5ml of Acraglas and coated both sides of the tang, the insides of the bolsters and pin holes and squeezed it all together.
After 24 hours we can start on the rough shaping of the handle.

Normally I'd take off some excess with the bandsaw, but this wood is very hard and started to smoke right away. I opted to crack out the hacksaw to remove the bulk of the scales.

Of course this can be done on the individual scales before you glue up. It works either way, just seems faster to cut them both at the same time.

With a 60 grit belt, followed by a 120 grit I work around the handle shape on the belt grinder. Being extra careful near the bolsters.

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