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Thread: Knife Handle Question ??

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Knife Handle Question ??

    OK I am making 2 ... maybe more knives up for me from ready to use factory blades

    One of the knives I want to use Hedge Apple wood I have for the green , orange , brown and yellow colors

    But I want 2 things , to checker the wood & it to hold up to water and use


    So I got the idea of adding a thin slow cure Epoxy to the wood before checkering or after most of the checkering depth is done


    But before I start
    I have to ask , will the epoxy soak in enough to do the job ?

    If not ... I had a idea

    I have a HVAC Vacuum pump and a small stainless steel vacuum container

    My idea was to put the wood in the container , pour a layer of thin 1 hour epoxy over it and put a vacuum on it for 10 - 15 min and then slowly take the vacuum off to let the wood take the epoxy in

    Or would epoxy fumes get in the pump and trash it ??

    Or are there better ideas ??

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    It sounds like what you are looking for is the wood stabilisation products. I imagine they would work better than the epoxy.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I use just a mixture of thinned laquer. On most woods just give it time to soak in if the wood is very hard and dense it will take longer. I have soaked some wood as much as four days.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lU7CQvbzDyI

    Minwax Wood Hardener and acetone
    Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    My first thought was the Minwax hardener. I've used it to stabilize rotten soft wood.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Johnch The way the military did this was a very involved process. But it added between 3-4 lbs weight to a m14 stock. These were mtch stocks and the epoxy finish was meant to help stiffen strengthen and stabilize the walnut stocks.
    They put the stocks in a big vacuum pot ( from pics I have seen it appears the rack held 8-10 stocks. this was put under vacuum and heated to 180* f to remove moisture and open grain up. It then went to a pressure pot and the stocks were soaked in a very long cure epoxy at 180*F and 200 lbs pressure This thinned the epoxy and the pressure pushed it into the stock wood very deep. They were held like this for 8 hours and then removed and hung to drip and dry or cure. When bedding these stocks none of the bedding cuts broke thru the epoxy impregnation. even drilling the loner bolt holes the impregnation seemed to be complete in that area. the front lip for the sheet metal where the gas cylinder clipped was completely impregnated. These stocks were impervious to moisture and much stiffer stronger than the oil finishes.

    For your scales a couple days in a dehydrator to lower the moisture content as low as possible. then a dip soak in a slow cure epoxy Keeping most epoxies cold slows the cure time . Then allowing to hang and cure for a few days before working. Even better a pipe canister could be made with I cap and a reducer to an air fitting a wire rack set this in a bucket of ice and use epoxies with the mixes cooled. mix pour in to cover screw on the reducer air fitting, attach to air compressor at 100-125 psi and let set for an hour or so then remove and hang to cure.

    I have used JB welds wood restorer for finishing. Its a clear finish roughly 24 hour cure time and 4 hour working time. Its a very hard finish when fully cured and tough to file or sand. But on your knife scales done as above thould be close to 100% impregnation and really toughen the scales. I would checker to almost finished depth as Im not sure how hard this will be to cut when cured.

    I have a tube made up for ram rods. I fit and sand them down hang them in it and fill with boiled linseed oil and cap pressurize with a hand pump and let set for a few days. remove rod, wipe of excess and hang to cure.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Ive used hedge apple for several pistol grips. It is extremely hard and durable. However the yellow color always turns brown in a couple years. Under the grips where it never sees sunlight it stays yellow. Ive only used oil type finishes on it. I would be very interested in a finish that would let it retain its natural color.
    After a couple years mine are very near the exact color as rosewood.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    THANKS !!!

    The Minwax hardener and acetone looks to be what I will try

    As I have a good supply of the wood
    I think I will try several test pieces for a set of 1911 grips also

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Is hedge apple the same as Bois d' arc, Osage Orange, horse apple?

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  10. #10
    The simplest thing would be to buy already stabilised knife scale blanks, but I don't know if they are available in hedge apple. It isn't on eBay anyway.

    I don't believe the epoxy adhesives, especially the slow ones, are fluid enough to penetrate the grain like those made for the purpose. A two-part epoxy paint, maybe, but what do you do with a vacuum container of it after you have taken the wood out? I would place most of my trust in liquid superglue, not gel, applied to the checkering and cleaned up with the checkering tool when it is hard. That is very penetrative. But probably none of them enter the cell structure like the commercial wood stabilisation processes do.

    I believe the usual processes involve only atmospheric pressure. There is quite a bit of air in seasoned wood, and protracted exposure to vacuum sucks most of it out. I believe the usual process is to then use a sort of injection process to immerse the wood without ever allowing the pressure back to armospheric. Release of pressure than allows a substantial part of the ambient 14.7psi to force the resin into the wood. If you use over-atmospheric pressure, you depend on remaining vestiges of air expanding to force the stuff out again. With a chemically curing resin you can't keep it immersed till it cures, or the thing will be in a plastic block like my embedded scorpion.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impregnation_resin

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Is hedge apple the same as Bois d' arc, Osage Orange, horse apple?

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    Yes it is
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    Yes it is
    Thank you. I have some "bo dark" fence posts on the south side of the place that are older than me. People used to use short logs for house leveling blocks around here. Tough wood!

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  13. #13
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    If you are trying to keep color the nice yellow, good luck. UV changes to the brown. I've got a bunch I sliced up about 5 years ago that is stacked in a plastic tote. Still yellow. Light hits it and changes.
    You can probably slow it down, but not stop it. I wouldn't worry about anything but a lacquer finish once done for this HARDwood

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    To treat your wood put in a container and pull a vacuum. Then dump your wood into the mixed epoxy. Then release the vacuum to permit atmospheric pressure to drive in the epoxy. Finally if you have the capability to do so safely pressurize your container to further drive the epoxy inro the wood. 100 psi is about all a compressor will produce. Higher pressures work better but can be very dangerous.

    Bois D'Arc aka bodark aka osage orange aka hedge apple is some of the strongest and hardest wood known to man. The Osage Indians used it to make their bows hence the French name bois d'arc.

    A company where I worked many years ago has an epoxy casting process used to force epoxy resin into hand laid fiber glass parts.
    The molds with the fiberglass were poured full of epoxy then a vacuum was pulled to remove all the air bubbles. When atmospheric pressure was allowed back into the mold it drove the epoxy into the fiber glass fabric. Then the molds were put into a heated pressure vessel and the pressure was raised to 300 psi. This crushed any bubbles down to a very small volume and forced the epoxy further into the fiberglass cloth.

    At another company sintered bronze fan bearings were cleaned in a highly advanced ultrasonic facility.
    The clean bearings were put into a bucket of lubricating oil and were sealed into a pressure vessel. Then the air was evacuated with a vacuum pump. Then the pressure vessel was backfilled with dry nitrogen to atmospheric pressure. Then the pressure was increased to a very high pressure with the nitrogen to drive the oil into the pores of the sintered metal bearings. Once oil impregnated the fan bearing assys lasted much longer due to being well cleaned and lubricated.
    Last edited by EDG; 06-21-2018 at 12:29 PM.
    EDG

  15. #15
    Not only is osage orange strong, but I remember, possibly from an article on possible gunstock woods in "The NRA Gunsmithing Guide Updated", that is has exceptionally low cross-grain expansion and contraction with atmospheric humidity. It would be a rather drab and heavy gunstock wood, but a strong and stable one.

    I think you would need a special product, much more fluid than epoxy adhesive, to enter the grain. Also as I said before, if you release the pressure before the stuff is hard, there will be compressed air in there, like tiny springs, to force it out again.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Www.turntex.com. since u already have vac use this. Excellent product, great guy, and lightyears better than the minwax junk. I use it to stabalize wood blanks 4x4 for cnc machinining. Full penetration. Nvr got hardness i wanted from minwax.
    Those stress balls really work..... When you get to shove them down a persons throat.

  17. #17
    If you have a suitable resin, most people who do investment casting of jewellery will have a vacuum chamber big enough for knife scales, and you are likely to be able to find someone locally. They use it to remove bubbles from the investment of which the mould is made, both before and after pouring around the wax model which they will afterwards melt and burn out.

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