Gift recommendation needed- tools for shaping knife scales

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 03-21-2018 01:50 PM 1267 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2772 days

03-21-2018 01:50 PM

My brothers to make knives and has a birthday coming up. I was wondering if any of you who make small things like knife scales could offer some advice on valuable tools to do so. I see things in catalogs like finger planes and small shaping tools, or perhaps a particularly useful gouge or the perfect size and shape rasp for the task.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

8 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2442 posts in 940 days

#1 posted 03-21-2018 02:49 PM

well, since you did not mention your budget, I would suggest a bench tool:


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Woodknack's profile


13397 posts in 3157 days

#2 posted 03-21-2018 05:50 PM

2×72 belt grinder. That’s what most of them use.

-- Rick M,

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2772 days

#3 posted 03-21-2018 05:55 PM

Thanks guys. He has the grinder for making the knives. A really nice one 2×72 with variable speed. I was thinking along the lines of some hand tools or something to help him shape the wood handles/grips he puts on the knives.

Small shaping tools or something else valuable to that task.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4145 days

#4 posted 03-21-2018 05:57 PM

Brian I have a birthday coming up soon too!
I think the suggestion by John, post#1, is a real good choice.
I want to rebuild my wife’s favorite knives as most of them are over 50 years old and the scales are in really bad shape.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2988 days

#5 posted 03-21-2018 06:04 PM

I could definitely see some rifflers being useful for getting areas that the belt grinder can’t get to. I use them when making planes for shaping and smoothing small areas or in tight places. Make sure to get good quality. I’ve got some by Corradi that are very good, Auriou also makes premium quality ones.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Just_Iain's profile


326 posts in 1193 days

#6 posted 03-27-2018 12:16 PM


I’m going to second Jay’s suggestion on the Auriou and especially the rifflers.,42524


-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3197 posts in 2271 days

#7 posted 03-28-2018 01:06 AM

Beyond some already mentioned small files/riflers, and power sanding equipment,
what most knife handle makers could always use is unusual or cool handle materials!

Exotic antler can be expensive, and would be nice gift they might not buy otherwise.

Highly figured exotic hard woods (like watefall bubinga) are always fun to use on a knife, if you have any laying around.

Mosiac pin stock is also something nice to have on hand. You can buy it or make something special you want to add personal touch.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5428 posts in 1359 days

#8 posted 03-28-2018 10:34 AM

If you (or your brother) prefer hand tools, I handle knives using a spokeshave, rasps / rifflers, and a Morakniv carving knife I handled myself, similar to this one I made for a friend. For a spokeshave, the Lie-Nielsen Boggs Spokeshave is what I reach for most often, but the small bronze one would probably be more useful for shaping knife scales.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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