stabilized wood?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

Stabilized wood?

Yes, please bring it on!
11
30%
Yes, but only on the right knife.
18
49%
Yes, only with bolsters.
2
5%
Can we get a Schempp Bowie with stabilized wood instead of CF?
1
3%
Meh, not Spyderco's style.
3
8%
Meh, not my style.
2
5%
Heck no! What a stupid idea!
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 37

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bearfacedkiller
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stabilized wood?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:23 pm

So lately there have been a few threads about possible handle materials. MrTodd started one about new composites and Blerv started one about copper/brass/bronze. I started one about clear acrylic scales a while back. Also, the long saga of which Chaparral will be next has spurred many interesting discussions about handle materials and the exploration of some unique materials.

So my question is pretty simple. Where are all the stabilized woods at? I am usually reluctant to mention what other makers are doing as Spyderco proudly marches to the beat of their own drum but I am gonna go there this time. BM seems to be rolling out a few models with stabilized wood and they were using Dymondwood before but if I am informed correctly that is no longer available. I know Spyderco had issues with the wood on the Sage4 but that can't mean the end of wood Spydies, can it? The new BM Crooked River with the wood scales is looking really sexy to me lately. I gifted my last BM away a while ago and wasn't gonna buy any more. It is modern and classic all at the same time. Like an updated Buck110.

So what is your take on wood scales. Do they sound good? Would you prefer them only if it is a bolstered knife? Maybe you think it is too much of a classic style and it doesn't suit Spyderco. Please vote and if so inclined please post and elaborate.

Thanks!
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RadioactiveSpyder
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby RadioactiveSpyder » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:48 pm

I voted yes, but only on the right knife. Truthfully though, I don't think the production companies can quite do proper testament to the beauty that wood can bring to a knife. My custom wood scale adventures began after I saw Roman's Cuscadi desert ironwood Native 5, so I then contacted Luke and ordered a pair myself. Now, I explicitly asked him to not add a lanyard hole, but the scales came with one anyway (so much for the "custom" scale division ;) and that lanyard hole issue happened more than once). I then sought out Steve Ketchen who fixed the scales for me by properly counter-boring the screw holes and giving it a much better polish than Cuscadi had. Pics of this N5 against a stock Sage 4 are in this thread here:

//forum.spyderco.com/viewto ... 7&start=20

The reason I bring that thread up here is actually discussed in my post there --- that custom ironwood scales on the N5 unfortunately blow the production wood scales on the Sage 4 out of the water. I no longer own that Sage (or any of them for that matter) because I was so much more impressed with my N5. (It's either Caly or N5 for me, no half-rampers! ;)).

So, that's my two cents on this matter (if anyone cares). I voted yes because there should be more knives with wood options available, aside from having to have a custom one made at greater cost (although you do get what you pay for quality-wise). Cheers, Radioactive :)
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby EDC Honeybee » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:31 pm

I voted yes, but not sure I would actually purchase. The thing about stabilized wood (and wood in general) is that you need to be pretty picky about the specific piece of wood. Production knives in cocobolo, ironwood, and ebony are all fine since the grain isnt the main attraction. To me though, stabilized wood shines with dyes and nice grain or burl. Hard to be picky about the wood selection on production knives though.

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The Deacon
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby The Deacon » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:36 pm

I love stabilized wood, but only if it's the "right" wood and is properly stabilized. Some folks treat wood with cyanoacrylate and call it stabilized, but the only truly stabilized wood is treated by placing it in a vacuum chamber while it is immersed in a polymer resin similar to that used in CF composites and G-10.

As for the "right" wood, that's somewhat counter intuitive. Because stabilization depends on the wood's ability to absorb the resin, dense woods and oily woods, such as desert ironwood, do not stabilize as well as softer, dryer woods.

As for "how", I'd love to see more properly bolstered Spyderco midlocks (as opposed to abortions like the Sage 4) with wood scales, but don't honestly see that being in the cards. What might sell is the corrugated look as in these Stretch scales in black palm by Steve Ketchen...
Image ...or these in cocobolo by suingab
Image As an aside, there are other, interesting forms of "vegetable matter" that can be stabilized as well. Mushrooms and pine cones come to mind. And then there's "plastination", a similar technique used on "animal matter".
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby JD Spydo » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:44 pm

EDC Honeybee wrote: Production knives in cocobolo, ironwood, and ebony .
The wood varieties you mentioned are the three I do tend to like. However I'm not a big fan of wood for knife handles like I used to be because I am gravitating to something strictly functional durable anymore and unfortunately most woods have their limitations and weaknesses over time. Now I do like Natural materials like mammoth ivory, Narwhal ivory and Sambar Stag antler.

But to me G-10, Micarta and titanium are my idea of premium handle material. Oh there are other materials like stainless steel, anodized aluminum and about any type of fossilized bone material that I like for knife handles.

I have romanticized about Hickory, Osage Orange and black locust and how they would fare in a well made knife handle. And what's interesting about those woods is that they are notably ideal wood for archery material. But overall I like anything like I mentioned earlier that is more resistant to the elements than wood is. Now I'm all ears as to anything you can treat wood with that would make it more durable>> but I can't see any wood lasting longer than G-10 or titanium.

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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby abbazaba » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:47 pm

I absolutely love wood scales. For me it almost seems like instinct to gravitate toward them, the unique look, the natural feel. It's a shame that the Sage4 is the only wood clad Spydie that I have. This might be the motivation I need to finish the cocobolo scales I started for my blurple Manix :)

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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby jdw » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:54 pm

I am not familiar with wood scales on any modern knives. I do know that I have a few
old school fixed blades that I have inherited that have cured hickory or post oak for handles and they have stood
the test of time very well. They feel very natural in your hand.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:17 pm

The Deacon wrote:And then there's "plastination", a similar technique used on "animal matter".
I have seen the body worlds exhibit. Whoa!!! I am a science geek but that was a lot to take in. For those that don't know it is a art/science exhibit with plastinated human bodies and body parts. It has travelled the world at this point. I saw it in both Ottawa and Denver. Some of it is super amazing but also a little gross. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

If anybody hasn't seen it then you should google it.

Can we get some scales made out of plastinated grey matter? Whoa!!!!
-Darby
sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Also, do you think a kangaroo would eat a bowl of spagetti with sauce if someone offered it to them?

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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Chinook3 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:22 pm

I really like the stab wood, like that BM crooked river too but cant hang with the thumb stud.

Would LOVE to see more natural materials used!
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby bh49 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:30 pm

I would love to see more wood, but will shell money out only for the right wood on the right knife. Still I will buy Caly3 or 3.5 almost with any wood or smooth bone.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Bodog » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:25 pm

Depends on the wood and the knife. It's hard to get the "right" woods in large enough quantity and quality to do it for a small sprint run. If you're buying a huge amount for a long term run and grain and texture mean little, then it's not hard. But I don't think we're talking about run of the mill cocobolo here. Good luck getting a large amount of stabilized buckeye burl or tiger striped walnut or consistently wavy curly maple. Not just that but working good stabilized wood means high risk of burning the material unless there's an almost constant new belt on the grinder.

What would be very nice would be to have something relatively traditional in something like ringed gidgee or stabilized koa with silver bolsters, but it'd have to be a design conducive to those materials and already tooled up and ready to go. It'd also probably need hidden liners to prevent movement issues and the perception of lack of quality control. All wood grows and shrinks, stabilization doesn't matter that much. It helps but doesn't stop it. Unless it's a wood that naturally has the quality of non-movement. Most woods amenable to stabilization move.

I could see a project like this for a forum knife because it's primarily knife nuts who participate in these types of runs and know the issues and are prepared for it. A regular sprint run on bladehq or whatever would be hard to do right with a stabilized wood and leave all people happy. There's a reason why we keep seeing the same woods over and over again on folding knives. To do something different would require a specialized market who knows the weaknesses and are willing to accept them due to the inherent beauty of what's being produced.

I could see it. Stabilized buckeye burl with polished black G10 front and rear bolsters with black screws on a DLC coated Maxamet or 10V PM2 with DLC coated liners. It'd be a blowout for sure. Something I'd personally spend $300 or more on. I'm positive it'd be a huge hit as a forum knife. Whether a larger open market would be so willing is another matter.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Xplorer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:31 pm

I voted bring it on.

Properly stabilized wood uses both heat and vacuum pressure to force the stabilizing resin to completely saturate the wood throughout. The fact that this makes all sorts of cool looking burls into viable knife handle options is really cool IMO. The addition of color options is pretty cool too. I am having some wood stabilized for me at my Dad's shop right now, coincidentally. When the Mule 23 is released I plan to make at least one with a stabilized wood handle.

I'd love to see Spyderco do a stabilized sprint run of some sort. Something like the buckeye burl that Bodog mentioned or possibly a stabilized koa would produce consistently great looking production pieces. Of course, koa would be $$$...but I'd find a way to buy one :) .
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby SpyderNut » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:34 pm

I voted yes, depending on the model. For instance, Paul's two Stretches (above) are drop-dead-gorgeous and would be a no-brainer purchase if offered in mass production. I personally would love to see more wood/bolsters, similar to the Sage 4, in the Spyderco line. I think something like the Memory or even the Centofante 3 would be the perfect platform for something like this.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Water Bug » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:38 am

I voted, "Yes, only with bolsters." For folding knives, I personally find that wood scales work best on knives that have metal bolsters. For me, the best example is the Buck 110 Folding Hunter.

And, speaking of the Buck 110, mine is an older production version that came with Macassar Ebony scales. I found it to be a wonderful hardwood for a hard-use knife. Macassar Ebony has rich, beautiful grains, and it holds up well in everyday use and environmental extremes. Over the years, my Buck 110 had gotten thoroughly soaked during a couple of adventures and the Macassar Ebony scales survived with no visible damage.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Bugs » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:24 am

I tend to prefer it on custom fixed blade knives.
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Re: stabilized wood?

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:51 am

I like stabilized wood if it is done right. The factory that made Dymondwood burnt down and has not been rebuilt. That is where Buck got theirs from. However, there are other makers using different trade names. The Macassar Ebony stabilized wood Buck uses looks good. I have seen burl, and many other woods that look really nice.
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