Abyss_Fish wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 21, 2020 3:38 pm
Hia, I ordered some paper micarta scales for my native 5 a while back.....
I've done quite a lot of micarta testing over the past year or so. Hopefully I can offer you some helpful insights.
There's a lot of anecdotal information about micarta available on forums but I was finding differences between types of micarta so I decided I needed to run some tests in order to really understand the limits and difference of the various types available.
To first address your specific question about the paper micarta breaking, I would suggest it is not at all likely to break. Toughness comes in a lot of forms and the resistance to breaking should be a non issue for your Native. Wear resistance and chipping could be a little more of a concern, so I would prefer to use paper micarta on a knife with metal liners but I still think it will do just fine for you.
Here's some additional micarta info for you...
Paper micarta is somewhat flexible. That's one of the reasons I don't expect it to break on your Native. Here's some 1/8" paper micarta flexing more than the distance between Native scales.
In terms of impact resistance, paper micarta is better than cross-cut phenolic products and can take a lot of abuse. I pounded this sample 3 times on a concrete floor with a 32oz hammer and it did not fracture, split, crack and didn't really even dent much for that matter.
However, if I turned it on it's side and whacked the edge it wouldn't have done so well.
Water resistance...I've been testing all sorts of micarta (or phenolic products) in a variety of ways. For water resistance tests each sample was weighed and then soaked in water for 24 hours. Weights were checked at 30 minutes, 1 hr, 3 hrs, 12 hours and 24 hours. Some gained weight and some didn't. Specifically you can see the bone paper micarta sample in the center of the picture started at .30 oz and gained .02 oz in 24 hours. That's about a 6.6% increase in weight, indicating a fair amount of absorption. As a side note, the G-carta samples had zero weight gain.
So, I would suggest your paper micarta scales will not break, will absorb some water if soaked, and will likely show some wear at the edges over time. My biggest concern would be the pivot area. Will the washers be riding directly on the micarta? If so, I would suggest that could be the area of most concern as it will wear and it will also absorb oil from lubricating the pivot.