Knife scales - Madagascar (black & white) ebony

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Project by BTimmons posted 02-06-2015 02:44 PM 2686 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Knife scales - Madagascar (black & white) ebony
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I made some new knife scales for a friend, using book matched pieces of Madagascar (black & white) ebony. Also cleaned up the blade and sharpened it well beyond what any reasonable use would require. Because I love wood, and I love sharp stuff, too.

The scales are bookmatched, so the pattern you see on one side of the knife handle is perfectly mirrored on the other side. Makes a really great visual effect, since the pattern in the ebony is so dramatic to begin with. The process basically went as follows.

- Clean the black gunk off the blade with a belt sander.
- Choose stock for scales, band saw, bookmatch, flatten, and epoxy in place.
- Once the epoxy is dry, use the disc sander on outer curves and the front of the belt sander for inner curves, flush the scales up to the tang of the knife.
- Sand the grips until they look nice.
- Mask off the blade, finish grips with several coats of satin spray lacquer, buff for final polish.
- Sharpen the blade by hand, finish on a strop.

All told it probably took me an hour to do. It was a really fun project, and seeing the look on my friend’s face when it was done was definitely worth it. I need to do more like this.

-- Brian Timmons -

7 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2762 posts in 2521 days

#1 posted 02-06-2015 03:03 PM

Quite a dramatic change in appearance with only an hours work, great job.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Roger's profile


20993 posts in 3134 days

#2 posted 02-06-2015 04:54 PM

Very snazzy sharp pointy thing. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Richard's profile


11274 posts in 3363 days

#3 posted 02-07-2015 05:35 AM

Very Nice!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View CFrye's profile


10611 posts in 2170 days

#4 posted 02-07-2015 10:30 AM

Sweet transformation, Brian! Any chance of the sander overheating the epoxy and causing it to release? Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View BigDaddyOf5's profile


27 posts in 1868 days

#5 posted 02-07-2015 12:41 PM

Stupid Question Alert!!!

What did you do with the knife edge to prevent slicing your hand open as you were shaping the handle?

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2815 days

#6 posted 02-07-2015 02:41 PM

Candy – I didn’t work any area for long enough to generate that kind of heat. Always working in rocking motions.

BigDaddy – I wrapped the blade in a heaping layer of masking tape.

-- Brian Timmons -

View BigDaddyOf5's profile


27 posts in 1868 days

#7 posted 02-07-2015 03:23 PM

Good to know. Might have to try one myself.

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