Blue and black stabilized sweetgum carving knife

  • Advertise with us
Project by Dave Polaschek posted 04-02-2019 01:57 PM 1314 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another through-tang carving knife using a Morakniv 120 blade blank. Stabilized sweet gum from a friend’s place in St. Louis, with blue and black dye. Also brass bolster from a batch made for me by a friend with a mill.

Learned a few more things not to do while putting this one together, but it came out pretty well. Think I’ll hit it with a thin coat or two of shellac before I call it completely done.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

22 comments so far

View Lazyman's profile


5974 posts in 2308 days

#1 posted 04-02-2019 02:04 PM

Nice. Did you add the dye to Cactus Juice or apply after shaping?

BTW, that digital caliper doesn’t look quite right in you mostly electron free shop. ;-)

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6266 posts in 1503 days

#2 posted 04-02-2019 02:08 PM

Dye was in the cactus juice. Blue into the wood by capillary action, then cook it, then black under vacuum.

The digital caliper is my buddy’s and is sitting on his mill.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8079 posts in 1633 days

#3 posted 04-02-2019 02:17 PM

what a beautiful looking carver Dave GREAT JOB :<))))))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6266 posts in 1503 days

#4 posted 04-02-2019 02:43 PM

Thanks, Tony!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View EarlS's profile


4103 posts in 3268 days

#5 posted 04-02-2019 03:37 PM

I like the blue cactus handle and the variations it brings out in the sweet gum. The pictures remind me of Morrell mushrooms for some reason.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6266 posts in 1503 days

#6 posted 04-02-2019 03:54 PM

Thanks, Earl. Those variations were visible in the wood before dyeing and stabilizing, but they really got highlighted by the dye. I need to get more of that to work with. It was too rotten to use for anything without stabilizing, but it’s too cool not to use.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View duckmilk's profile


4385 posts in 2245 days

#7 posted 04-02-2019 04:59 PM

Nice work Dave! How long did it take you for the handle?

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View oldrivers's profile


2362 posts in 2487 days

#8 posted 04-02-2019 05:14 PM

You did a great job, the dye makes that Gum look Good.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View ralbuck's profile


6608 posts in 3187 days

#9 posted 04-02-2019 05:21 PM


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6266 posts in 1503 days

#10 posted 04-02-2019 05:32 PM

Thanks, gents!

Duck, I stabilized the handle back in January. Drilled the hole in it Saturday, and finished burning the hole and epoxying it onto the tang on Sunday, and shaped it in about an hour last night with the belt sander. So either three months, three days, or an hour. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile


3089 posts in 3111 days

#11 posted 04-02-2019 07:34 PM

Nice work Dave, this came out pretty darn elegant with the coloring.

-- "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 jeffswildwood's profile


4736 posts in 2898 days

#12 posted 04-02-2019 07:56 PM

Sweet knife Dave. Your ready for another knife swap!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View doubleG469's profile


949 posts in 1365 days

#13 posted 04-02-2019 08:20 PM

fine work there

-- I refuse to edit the photo orientation for this website any longer. It’s an issue they should address and correct. Gary, Texas

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6266 posts in 1503 days

#14 posted 04-03-2019 12:02 AM

Thanks, guys! The dye definitely worked with this sweet gum. I just put a couple light coats of shellac on it and it popped even more. Almost too pretty to use, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a user for someone.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Gary's profile


1468 posts in 5245 days

#15 posted 04-03-2019 12:32 AM

Real nice looking carving knife.
Looks comfy!

-- Gary, Florida

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics