I've only done two Mules, and on both I used 3/16" dowel pins, like would be used to precisely locate/align engine parts or jigs for machine operations. Those that I have are some kind of high-zoot steel, like you'd use in your F89 Scorpion. Despite being 60+ years old, there's not a speck of rust. You can come and pick some up if you're local, or I can hand some off to the mailman later this week. If it's stainless you're after, McMaster-Carr will send you a box full for less than ten bucks.
Wow Xplorer that Looks amazing, I would love for mine to end up that purple color as it is currently more aligned with your first photo's color. You say just over time it turned more purple? hand oils maybe? Very nice, and your post of the mule handle build is actually what I have been referencing! Great info on there. I would love to recreate your coke bottle shape and I'm gonna give it my best!Xplorer wrote: ↑Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:07 pm1. 3/16" is a good size. Stainless is going to look good and it will work. It's a little hard to work in comparison with the wood that will surround it. Nickel would be easier and will also provide the silvery look with the addition of total stain resistance.
2. I use 1/4" tube for lanyards. Nickel, again would be my suggestion. However, stainless will work and I'd rather use stainless for a lanyard tube than for a pin. The stainless pin is more likely to end up "proud" above the surface of the wood than a lanyard tube would be.
3. The only time I've used purple heart I stabilized it. I would suggest stabilizing it as it is not one of the high hardness and high oil content wood species that would be best for tool handles without stabilizing. If you do not stabilize, I suggest daily treatment with boiled linseed oil for about 7 days in a row, then finished with a good wood wax. Follow up with linseed once a month for 3 months, then once again 6 months later, and then re-apply once per year after that.
Like Tom said, purple heart will darken to a brown color if not protected. Stabilizing in clear resin will help a lot. Tom's suggestion of adding a little purple into the resin would be even better.
Here's the purple heart I stabilized in clear resin just after I finished the knife..
Here it is today after about 1 year of occasional kitchen use.
The lighting in those 2 shots accounts for some of the color shift you can see but not all of it. It was lighter in color and more "red" purple when it was new and now it is darker and more true purple. Non-stabilized purple heart will not stay this purple looking and tends to get more brownish over time.
Also, if this is your first handle you might find more answers to questions that arise here as well. viewtopic.php?f=15&t=89740#p1525384
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