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Ipe As A Knife Handle Material

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by Wishalot, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Info. please. I have used ipe backed with bamboo recently for a traditional longbow build. It is a heavy wood, very dense and needed the proper glue. I would appreciate any suggestions from those on the forum who have used this material as a knife handle - the benefits, problems, etc,. I cut this stuff usually by hand since the dust apparently can be toxic.
     
  2. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Sorry, Rookie mistake. Could I ask the convenor to move this thread to knife handle materials which I have now just observed. Thank you
     
  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I have not used ipe as handle material, but I know it to be incredibly hard (and hard on saw blades). It would make a very durable knife handle. It seems to me that every piece of ipe I have looked at seemed to be a little on the boring side, that is very little figure and mostly straight grained.
     
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  4. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    You are correct about it being boring. I guess because it I have it here and it is rugged, dark brown, and should require little finish work, I thought it might be worth a try. With the bow, it was all work with farrier's rasp, wood files, scraper and even a small drawknife to get it to a bow. I likely will give it a go sometime as a knife handle, however for now, I will get my first one, this hickory handled knife completed and see what I have.
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    For sure. I would have no problem finding a use for some ipe. I hear people calling it "Nature's Micarta" which we all know is pretty tough stuff.
     
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  6. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Just finished cutting handle scales from a 3/4" x 1" piece of Ipe, basically having to cut it in half for 5 1/2" - started with a hacksaw blade and finished with a short handsaw ( which I have to resharpen). What a chore that was! Smoothed the cut surfaces with some 80 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Now, I guess I had better get some steel to go with it. Oh! the joy of it all!
     
  7. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Well, finally completed that handle and made some slight alterations to a Condor Bushlore blade to attach it to. Learned that ipe will chip at the edges under a file, is very hard and durable, and works much better manually without machinery as the dust is simply bad to have flying around the air ( dust protector needed ). I used a Danish walnut stain ( several cats handrubbed ) followed by three coats of Tru Oil - all applied with very thin layers and rubbed in. I am not so sure any finish was required as this stuff is really hard and did not really absorb too much of the initial applications. Finally decided on G2 epoxy to affix the scales as the wood is very resinous and heavy. I like the knife, however, it has been very heavy in the hand to use - likely a dandy bush knife, not sure around finer chores though. Note: will try to affix a photo is I can get it here.[​IMG]
     
  8. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I like it. It gives it a sort of antique or aged look.
     

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