LumberJocks

Adding Koa knife scales

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Project by vicrider posted 04-21-2022 03:31 AM 599 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have really enjoyed crafting these knives. I purchased the Tanto knife blank from Woodcrafters.com some years ago, and the fillet knife blank from usaknifemakers.com recently. Got asked to craft a gift, of any sort, and rummaged around in my ‘mebbe sometime’ locker. Hit on the big knife blank. I felt it wouldn’t do for the gift, but would give me practice for what I knew would be appropriate for this young man.

The Tanto was my first ever effort in knife crafting (I’m only adding to a very nicely and professionally made piece of steel; the actual knife making has to do with the metal). 5A Koa scales with ebony fillers, finished in hand-rubbed gloss poly. Since this was my first knife, naturally there are a couple small errors. So I probably get to keep it. The fillet knife is a gift for a favorite fisherman. Getting VERY hard to find this quality Koa anywhere.

The fillet knife was easier since I was able to dodge the errors in process and execution. Still a good amount of effort and care produced what I think is a fine beautiful tool. Epoxyed the pre-drilled ebony/koa scales. Installed brass pins Shaped with recip sander and files. Sanded to 300 grit and finished in beeswax and mineral oil. A simple finish but easily cleaned and refurb’d. I want him to use it.

In my research, I learned mostly that there are many, many knifemaker craftsmen, creating brilliant, beautiful, really sharp (in every sense), cutting, slicing, and dicing things. My efforts don’t hold a candle. If you’re interested just Google ‘knife making parts and materials’.

Having said all that, it was lots of fun, and whetted my apetite to do more and get better. I’ve ordered 3 more fillet knives.

Aloha from paradise,
Vicrider

-- vicrider





13 comments so far

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

5292 posts in 3300 days


#1 posted 04-21-2022 04:36 AM

Some nice color and grain, the Koa I brought back from Oahu was all burl, finish was marbled, still have a little left:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View vicrider's profile

vicrider

191 posts in 4393 days


#2 posted 04-21-2022 05:18 AM

Aloha Andre,
Yeah, I still have Koa I bought in ‘96. Takes a really great project to use Koa. There’s still some straight grain to be had but the luthiers buy up any highly figured boards (mostly cut very thin) at a steep premium. They craft super instruments with great skill and can command top money. There’s not much room for the little guy anymore. But I’m enjoying what I can get and of course, I live in paradise.

-- vicrider

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

7080 posts in 3116 days


#3 posted 04-21-2022 12:14 PM

I am not a knife maker but I can’t see any problems with either knife. The scales look great with the pronounced curl.
Good job on both.
I was fortunate to have gathered some some curly Koa and made a few things. One was a ‘tool box’ for my own use https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/422785
Finding nice Koa here in Ohio is a real trick

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View pottz's profile

pottz

26565 posts in 2479 days


#4 posted 04-21-2022 02:32 PM

those are both gorgeous.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

10210 posts in 2068 days


#5 posted 04-21-2022 02:35 PM

Beauty knives, nice job.

-- Think safe, be safe

View torus's profile

torus

563 posts in 1907 days


#6 posted 04-21-2022 02:53 PM

Nice work!

The website for usaknifemaker.com is without ‘S’ in maker…
https://usaknifemaker.com/

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View bugradx2's profile

bugradx2

434 posts in 1514 days


#7 posted 04-21-2022 04:11 PM

they are beautiful. I love doing scales on knives, a great chance to show off the figure in a piece of wood on a small scale.

-- The only thing not measured in my shop is time

View vicrider's profile

vicrider

191 posts in 4393 days


#8 posted 04-21-2022 07:33 PM

Thanks everyone

-- vicrider

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

13157 posts in 3945 days


#9 posted 04-21-2022 10:25 PM

Nice scale work vicrider. We just stayed near Kona last week. I bought some Koa from Aloha Hardwoods when we were there three years ago, it’s still in my stash. I’m going to put scales on a couple of Hock marking knives, hope mine come out. As well as yours.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View SubVette's profile

SubVette

210 posts in 3040 days


#10 posted 04-21-2022 11:13 PM

Nice choice in wood,I do like the brass pins. Never done a knife but you have me thinking now.

-- John in Florida

View swirt's profile

swirt

7787 posts in 4466 days


#11 posted 04-23-2022 01:03 AM

Beautiful knives

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

1557 posts in 3154 days


#12 posted 04-24-2022 01:06 AM

Nice knives! Great job selecting and building them. Great job!

-- AJ

View dovetaildoc's profile

dovetaildoc

6 posts in 261 days


#13 posted 05-10-2022 01:49 PM

You’re welcome

-- Thanks,Mike

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