I have a bit of a newbie question, though I've just never really seen it discussed much. I see various common bolster materials like micarta, brass, stainless, or sometimes more exotic things like makume gane. Is there any reason I don't see makers using other materials like sterling silver, or polished stone (like I sometimes see for handle scales)?
I would worry about certain knives using sterling silver or polished stone because of how possibly soft or fragile they are. What is knife for? Is it an art piece, outdoor hunter, chef knife (home use vs professional)...
If its an art/presentation piece then the sky's the limit. Outdoor hunter that gets use, I'd use something more durable.
Agreed David! There is a reason Brass and Stainless are used. Hardness, ease of maintenance and durability. You can make a bolster out of any material you wish, but remember what a bolster is for: It is used as an additional support/guard/strengthener for where the ricasso and tang meet. It was not originally designed to be purely aesthetic.
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