Show your Mule

A place to share your experience with our Mule Team knives.
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FullScaler
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby FullScaler » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:56 pm

Bolster wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:32 pm

Ah...I'd asked what finish in another thread, I should have looked here first. Very nice, very very nice. Now I'm on the hunt for some birdseye maple. I can't tell if the orange cast is the wood, stain, or the setting sun, but I really like the look.

Did you try the trick of sanding the scales with >500 grit while still wet with BLO? I did one scale that way, and another with no wet sanding, and the wet-sanded scale is noticeably smoother.

I actually take my harder wood up to about 1000 grit dry before applying any finishes. When you get to the really high grits by hand you really need extra patience. Just when you think you are done, go ahead and sand for another hour, lol!

I soaked this one in BLO heated to 60 deg C. For about 24 hours to really soak it in, then let hang and re-applied once a day for a week. At this point it is so saturated that it takes a while to fully dry and polymerize enough to handle. I do give a rub down with 00 steel wool between coats if I feel or see the grain rise at all, but this one didn't need it. I hung it in the sun room for almost a week which is quite hot and dry before it got nice and hard.

I will let it cure another week or two before I hit it with the high grit paper to polish the cured finish and get rid of any remaining oil on the tang. It is a bit of a bastardized process of a few different techniques learned over the years from other wood projects.

I am interested in the wet sanding procedure you mentioned but I will play around with it on some scrap and a less permanent project before I see how it can fit into my finishing style.

This knife is destined to be a gift for a good friend for next hunting season so I am just following my own tried and true experiences.

And yea, the color is very orange due to the hot BLO soaking and the natural wood color. It will settle down a bit and darken a little over time. It is hard to really convey the depth of the wood and the play of light it has but maybe I can throw up a quick vid on my ytube and embed it here.

Here is a quick shot fresh out of the hot oil.
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20210614_235416.jpg
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Btw, shoot me your address and I'll send you out some birdseye, I have a few really nice pieces left over from a bigger custom project.
Every day in my pockets, Wallet, Keys, Phone, Light, and Knife.

Https://BladeProtection.com

joeldworkin307
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby joeldworkin307 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:45 am

Bolster wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:35 pm
^ Agree, stunning. What is that, some kind of tiger stripe burl...walnut? Or what? And are those copper corbys? Nice!!
The wood is Tazmanian Blackwood and copper pins. Done by the proprietor of Old Towne Knives in Cumming, GA.

joeldworkin307
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby joeldworkin307 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:46 am

Xplorer wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:31 pm
^Beautiful! The wood is gorgeous, and the liners and hardware look great too. What a great Mule you have there now!! Nice work.
Thanks. Wish I could say it was my handiwork but I had it outsourced. Old Towne Knives has a custom shop and they do amazing work.

Murva
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Postby Murva » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:06 am

Finished this MT31 as a gift for my Dad. My first time doing knife handles. Pretty happy with the result!

Ironwood scales finished with boiled linseed oil. Shaped using files and sandpaper.
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20210621_104814.jpg
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Bolster
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Bolster » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:10 am

FullScaler wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:56 pm
I soaked this one in BLO heated to 60 deg C. For about 24 hours to really soak it in...

Very interesting post, thanks for detailing the soak process. If I weren't so lazy, I'd BLO some dowels in different ways then cut them open to see how far the BLO penetrated.

Footnote on the wet sanding procedure: This was a kink recommended by my ole shop teacher Harry Olson. The idea is that the very fine sanded particles (dust) are captured in the wet BLO slurry and are forced into open pores. Then when the oil dries, the sanding dust acts like a filler, suspended in the dried oil. For that reason, I would not expect it to make much/any difference with a tight, smooth grain. On scales with open grain, however, the process does appear to help smooth the final finish.

I'm conflicted on how smooth I want my scales, truthfully. Having them a bit grippy is nice too.

I'm pondering Tung oil but haven't decided yet:

https://www.woodworkingtrade.com/tung-o ... nseed-oil/
https://www.woodworkingtrade.com/teak-o ... anish-oil/

Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:13 am

FullScaler wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:56 pm
...
Here is a quick shot fresh out of the hot oil.

20210614_235416.jpg
Your handle is gorgeous! It's also great to see and read about what a great job you've done protecting the wood. Thank you for sharing!! :)
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@ckc_knifemaker on Instagram.

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Bolster
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Re:

Postby Bolster » Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:22 am

Murva wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:06 am
Finished this MT31 as a gift for my Dad. My first time doing knife handles. Pretty happy with the result! Ironwood scales finished with boiled linseed oil. Shaped using files and sandpaper.

I would be too, if that were mine!! I have to try some ironwood. Also I like the unique termination toward the blade; very distinctive.

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Re:

Postby Xplorer » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:01 am

Murva wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:06 am
Finished this MT31 as a gift for my Dad. My first time doing knife handles. Pretty happy with the result!

Ironwood scales finished with boiled linseed oil. Shaped using files and sandpaper.
Wow! Your Dad is getting a great gift! If I had to pick just one wood to use for knife handles it would be ironwood, it's natures best tool handle IMO. It's both extremely beautiful and extremely durable even if you leave it completely raw and untreated. Great job on the handle as well as the sheath. :)
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@ckc_knifemaker on Instagram.

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attila
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby attila » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:52 am

It’s not fancy like everyone else’s, but here’s my B70P Mule with home-made denim-and-duck micarta:
81F4E4DA-906C-4E6A-8904-6BD3C30F3A28.jpeg
Have: old S30V Native, HAP40 Endura, ZDP DF2, S110V Manix LW, Cru-wear Para 3, SE H1 DF2, S90V Native 5, K390 Urban, SE Pac Salt, P.I.T.S., XHP Manix LW, SB Caly 3, B70P, PMA11, K03, Kapara, REX 45 Military, 154CM Manix LW, Swick, AEB-L Urban, KC Cruwear Manix, M390 PM2, Mantra 2, CruCarta Shaman, M390 Manix, K390 Police 4, S90V Manix LW, Rex 45 Manix LW, 20CV Manix, Rex 45 Lil’Native, Shaman, C208GP, Cruwear Manix, Cruwear Manix, M4 Chief, Z-max!!!

Want: SPY27, K490, Swick 5
.

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archangel
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...and then they were THREE...

Postby archangel » Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:15 pm

SmartSelect_20210621-220454_Gallery_copy_1039x527.jpg
I know, they really suck compared to your guys' beautiful works. But I still like them. May this inspire other untalented folks like me to give it a try rather than simply buy HT factory scales. ;)
Michael
43 Spydies, 41 different models, 39 different steels

TomAiello
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby TomAiello » Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:59 pm

attila wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:52 am
It’s not fancy like everyone else’s, but here’s my B70P Mule with home-made denim-and-duck micarta:

81F4E4DA-906C-4E6A-8904-6BD3C30F3A28.jpeg
Home made micarta is awesome. That's plenty 'fancy' enough. :)

Knivesofaspyder
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Re:

Postby Knivesofaspyder » Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:07 pm

Murva wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:06 am
Finished this MT31 as a gift for my Dad. My first time doing knife handles. Pretty happy with the result!

Ironwood scales finished with boiled linseed oil. Shaped using files and sandpaper.
Very impressive for your first time making scales. Your dad is a lucky man :)

Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:24 pm

attila wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:52 am
It’s not fancy like everyone else’s, but here’s my B70P Mule with home-made denim-and-duck micarta:

81F4E4DA-906C-4E6A-8904-6BD3C30F3A28.jpeg
Home-made denim and duck is awesome! Nice work. :)
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@ckc_knifemaker on Instagram.

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attila
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby attila » Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:08 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:59 pm
Home made micarta is awesome. That's plenty 'fancy' enough. :)
Xplorer wrote: Home-made denim and duck is awesome! Nice work. :)

Thanks, guys!

I suppose you’re right, but being made of old, worn-out pants and resin, I didn’t think of it as fancy material.
Have: old S30V Native, HAP40 Endura, ZDP DF2, S110V Manix LW, Cru-wear Para 3, SE H1 DF2, S90V Native 5, K390 Urban, SE Pac Salt, P.I.T.S., XHP Manix LW, SB Caly 3, B70P, PMA11, K03, Kapara, REX 45 Military, 154CM Manix LW, Swick, AEB-L Urban, KC Cruwear Manix, M390 PM2, Mantra 2, CruCarta Shaman, M390 Manix, K390 Police 4, S90V Manix LW, Rex 45 Manix LW, 20CV Manix, Rex 45 Lil’Native, Shaman, C208GP, Cruwear Manix, Cruwear Manix, M4 Chief, Z-max!!!

Want: SPY27, K490, Swick 5
.

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Bolster
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Bolster » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:49 pm

attila wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:52 am
It’s not fancy like everyone else’s, but here’s my B70P Mule with home-made denim-and-duck micarta:

That's very cool! So...wait...you made the micarta yourself? How?

I can make scales out of my pants? You sayin' I can turn my old Carhartt canvass into scales? Myself?

Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:35 pm

Yes you can.

Cut your pants into pieces..
Image

Pour in your resin..
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Saturate each piece and work the resin into the fibers of the denim thoroughly as you build a stack..
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Put your complete stack in a large ziplock bag and squeeze it as hard as you can between 2 boards in a vise. (If you have a heavy duty press you could use that instead)
Image

The resin will foam over as it cures and the bag will help catch most of the mess. Have some paper or something there to catch the rest just in case.
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Best regards,
CK
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@ckc_knifemaker on Instagram.

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standy99
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby standy99 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:26 am

Have the resin already to try denim and a red t-shirt layered micarta. Just getting to it is slow

Like the bag trick. Have used wax paper but will definitely try the ziplock bag now…..
Im a vegetarian as technically cows are made of grass and water.

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attila
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby attila » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:29 am

Bolster wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:49 pm
attila wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:52 am
It’s not fancy like everyone else’s, but here’s my B70P Mule with home-made denim-and-duck micarta:

That's very cool! So...wait...you made the micarta yourself? How?

I can make scales out of my pants? You sayin' I can turn my old Carhartt canvass into scales? Myself?
Yes! I had so many worn out pants that I wanted to get rid of some. What better way than to repurpose them? It was this, make char-cloth, or the trash.

I did it pretty much as shown by our friend Chad, but I used Bondo fiberglass resin and C-clamps. The resin I used has a light brown color, so my micarta is a bit darker than I prefer. There are crystal clear resins that would keep more true to the colors of whatever fabric you’re using, but I was very motivated one day and wanted to purchase the resin locally and quickly. I don’t regret it by any means, I’ll just buy clear resin for next time.

I also made some straight duck cotton and straight blue denim pieces, and I’ll be shaping some blue denim tonight for either the Z-max or PMA11. The other will probably get the factory black G10.

I really like your bobbed & lightened Mule (chocolate & vanilla), and I’ve been thinking that it would be really great to do that with my PD#1, along with reducing the thumb ramp and finger guard a little. Maybe I’ll put purple heart on it too.
Have: old S30V Native, HAP40 Endura, ZDP DF2, S110V Manix LW, Cru-wear Para 3, SE H1 DF2, S90V Native 5, K390 Urban, SE Pac Salt, P.I.T.S., XHP Manix LW, SB Caly 3, B70P, PMA11, K03, Kapara, REX 45 Military, 154CM Manix LW, Swick, AEB-L Urban, KC Cruwear Manix, M390 PM2, Mantra 2, CruCarta Shaman, M390 Manix, K390 Police 4, S90V Manix LW, Rex 45 Manix LW, 20CV Manix, Rex 45 Lil’Native, Shaman, C208GP, Cruwear Manix, Cruwear Manix, M4 Chief, Z-max!!!

Want: SPY27, K490, Swick 5
.

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Bolster
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Bolster » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:01 am

Xplorer & Attila: Wow, thanks guys! I had no idea this was within my grasp. I spent some time looking at this fiber press:

https://www.facebook.com/Fiber-Press-36 ... __tn__=K-R

...which might make things easier. Looks like a home-built version would be easy enough to make.

So...what is the clear resin I want and where does one obtain it? Is it a Home Depot item or online order?

Thanks again guys. My mind is a bit blown here. I like the idea of making some "memorial" pieces...you know, when it's time to toss your kid's first pajamas, or your parents' love letters, but they have strong memories...turn them into knife handles...!

When I was a 4-year-old, up until the time I was in my teens, we lived in a house with a Hackberry tree in the back. I loved that tree. Had two treehouses in it. Even fell out of it several times. (Back when kids weren't wrapped in bubble wrap and helmets, and guarded 24/7 with security cameras.) Strong, vivid memories of early youth. Several years ago while visiting the old homestead I picked a small branch/twig from the tree, for memory's sake. A year after, that tree was cut down (didn't know till after, didn't get any of its wood). I've never knew what to do with this dried twig from a long-ago tree that I loved so much. Now, I'm getting ideas...

Xplorer
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Re: Show your Mule

Postby Xplorer » Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:33 am

The resin that is most commonly used and most often suggested is Alumilite Casting Resin. Here's a link..

https://www.turntex.com/alumilite-clear2-lb-kit-detail

I resin I used in the pics I showed above was Smooth-On Smooth Cast 325. It also works great. I used it because I was able to find it locally at a plastic molding supply store that caters to special effects artists in the movie business.
Image

Unless you have a good local option for unusual things like this, I suggest you just order the Alumilite on line.
:spyder: Spyderco fan and collector since 1991. :spyder:
Father of 2, nature explorer, custom knife maker.
@ckc_knifemaker on Instagram.


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