• JR Knifemaker
    Evening all

    So I have an endless supply of seasoned hawthorn and oak. The oak being the proper hard bone oak from dead standing branches.

    I don’t have a stabilising set up, and am wondering what woods lend themselves to use when non-stabilised?

    Do we all use stabilised, all of the time?

    Cheers all!


    *edit*Apologies. I’ve screwed up the poll. Thought it might be fun. This is a lesson for me. I’ll keep it simple next time.
    1. Always stabilised (6 votes)
        Never stablised
        Stabilised when possible, but don’t always have the money
  • Chop Knives
    I generally stabilise everything, although some hardwoods such as walnut and ebony aren’t really affected.
  • Smith Knifeworks
    Going non-stabilized, in theory, on a hunting knife or EDC doesnt freak me out too much if it's a hard wood with some sort of oil/poly/lacquer etc finish. I recently did a gyuto with a macassar ebony handle. I had a friend run it in a pro kitchen for a few weeks. It help up ok, but it lost its prettiness. I'm starting to lean towards "stabilized only if it's natural material" for kitchen use. theres just too much water. Ironwood and similar hardness woods might be the exception, for me.
  • Justin Wells
    How do you go about stabilizing wood I'm curious to see if this is something I could start doing
  • Rix Raven
    When knife is done I put the handle in linseed oil for an our to let it soak in. Then I give it beeswax with linseed oil and peppermint oil after heating the handle slightly to let the wax absorb and close off. It works ok, though it needs tending now and then...
  • Caleb
    I do a very similar finishing as @Rix Raven does, except for the peppermint oil, first time hearing that, sounds interesting... But I usually do a linseed oil with a beeswax coating over the top. I've given quite a few of my knives to friends that use it for bushcraft activities almost daily and they hold up. You do have to let them know that it would be a good thing to oil them every now and then because unlike stabilized woods they will lose their coating after a while.
  • JR Knifemaker
    Thanks both. I’d mentioned soaking in oil before so that clarifies it (like they do with axe handles). Linseed better than Danish?
  • Bryn Davies
    just watched a really good video by Stuart Smith on Facebook, he explains that the Danish oil isn't good for soaking in as out dries hard, it's for finishing after the other oil has finished soaking in (he uses linseed oil).
  • JR Knifemaker

    It’s that sort of information which saves a huge amount of wasted time and material! Thanks Bryn. I take it by your name that you’re Wales-based?
  • Bryn Davies
    No problem, Stuarts stuff is beyond amazing, I'd definitely check his work out on YouTube for more great information and inspiration.

    I'm not Wales based despite the name, my grandfather was Welsh, so I'm a quarter Welsh, English dude living and working in Scotland. I like to keep folk on their toes you see.
  • JR Knifemaker

    Well who’d have thought! Strong name that.

    Thanks again mate.

  • Edjits
    I make mostly kitchen knives, and for that reason, I work with mainly stabilized woods from a handful of suppliers. It may cost me a little more on the front end gathering (hoarding?) material, but the piece of mind is well worth it!
  • Nathan Zimmerman
    send it off to K&G

    Only woods I'll use unstabilized are ebony, blackwood, ironwood, and cocobolo
  • MakerMark
    If you look on the wood database and compare the Janka hardness and densities of different timbers to woods that you can use unstabilised you may find more types you can use.
  • JR Knifemaker
    Thanks all. If that’s not a comprehensive response from knife maker fam, then I don’t know what is! Nearly choked on my coffe again when it made it onto “hey man, can I ask you a question?”. So big thanks to @Chop Knives in particular!!

    I’ve experimented with the bone oak, and it feels nearly as dense as ebony. Although the grain is very boring.....
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