Table of Contents
Why do you need to stabilize wood?
Wood is the most commonly-used material for knife handles, but it needs to be stabilized first. Being a natural material, it is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and can expand or contract, which causes a problem when tight tolerances (like making knife handles) are required.
What does it mean when wood is stabilized?
Wood stabilization typically refers to reinforcing wood against inherent defects or weaknesses. In turning, stabilization may mean anything from filling cracks with epoxy, to impregnating the wood with resin.
Does stabilizing wood make it stronger?
The purpose of stabilizing wood for use as knife handle materials is to make the wood more durable and less prone to cracking or moving. Dry wood to be stabilized is placed in a chamber under a vacuum.
Can you use non stabilized wood for knife handles?
Rosewood, Cocobolo, Ironwood are very dense and do not need to be stabilized generally for handles. I have used Ziricote, Kauri, Bubinga, Bocote, PurpleHeart, Cherry, Walnut and several other unstabilized wood handles on knives w/o issues.
How do you stablize wood?
What is burl wood?
A burl is made up of a tree's bud tissue that has not sprouted into foliage or grown into a twig. It has a woody or barked surface. As a burl grows, it incorporates the tree's undeveloped buds that surround it and folds them into its expanding form.
Does stabilized wood need a finish?
The natural pores of stabilized woods remain open after treatment. Since no finish is necessary and most knifemakers simply sand the wood to 400 or 600 grit, then buff with jewelry polishing compound, some of the compound may be trapped in the open pores of the wood.
How do you stabilize green wood?
No, you can not stabilize green wood, the wood needs to have a maximum moisture content of 10%. Oven dry (0% mc) will give the best results. Green wood is saturated with water and has very little air in it.