View Full Version : Good Info on Wood Types
05-05-2012, 10:29 AM
I have recently been bitten by the bug to make my own wooden scales for the various Mules I have in my collection. This has brought me to two issues: where to get the best deal on quality wood, and a source of trusted information about wood properties.
First off, there are plenty of dealers on eBay, but I get the feeling that their prices are high for the amount of wood you get and shipping can be a pain. So do you guys have any favorite wood sellers where you get your scale material?
Secondly, since I do not know a lot about woodworking, I need a good source for general information. For example, the density, ease of workability, type of finish to use etc... What I really need is a Wood Wiki. What sites do you guys use/trust for this information? This is vitally important: I wanted to purchase a nice set of Camphor burl scales, but after fumbling my way through multiple searches, I found out that the oils from Camphor wood will rust ferrous metals. The seller never stated this fact in the description, and now I don't want to take the chance on this type of wood. Errors of omission like this is why I need a good source of info.
Thanks in advance for all of your help. I know that there are many fine craftsman on this forum - so who better to ask?
I started out by going to places like Alpha Knife Supply (http://alphaknifesupply.com/) and Jantz Supply (http://www.knifemaking.com/Default.asp), looking at the different types of wood and their short descriptions. Then I'd go onto Wikipedia, look up as much as I could, then go to Google images and search if the wood was used on knives or gun stocks. Also hit up the forums and looked for recommendations on how to work with the specific woods (ex: cocobolo is very oily and to help it adhere to the tang, wipe the mating side with acetone several times to reduce the oil content and get a good glue bond).
Also, this forum is a pretty good source!
As for favorite dealers, I've only used Jantz but they had reasonable pricing and fast shipping, as well as good customer service. I didn't like the description/look of the cocobolo on their site so I requested pictures of their stock. Then I got to pick out the best of 4 sets of scales and they shipped them.
05-05-2012, 01:10 PM
The Wood Database has interesting information on properties of wood for many different types of wood.
05-06-2012, 04:59 AM
A while back I talked about making wood scales and someone here recommended this ebay seller for stabelized wood scales. I never ordered any but he seems to have a beautiful selection.
Good luck and look for pictures. :)
05-08-2012, 02:50 AM
Thanks for all the help: Clip, EarthDog, and jackknifeh - the seller info is especially useful! :D
I tend to use Wikipedia sparingly - even with something scientific like wood properties - unless I can easily follow the source links, I tend to take the info with a grain of salt. (it just brings out the worst in people, like YouTube comments) I am surprised that woodworking professionals and craftsmen don't have a resource like PubMed or Lexus Nexus online. I guess that is why they call them trade secrets... ;)
Thanks for the Cocobolo info, Clip: I am not a fan of this type of wood, but this attention to detail is what makes the craftsmen here on this forum the best. :cool: I have never seen a seller post this type of practical, detailed information.
Once again, thanks for all of your hard work! I hope to post some pics here once my first handmade mule is done. Until then, it's a secret. :p :spyder: :D
*** If anyone else has some good info or their favorite sellers/sites, I (as well as everyone else) would love to hear them. Thanks.***
05-08-2012, 06:52 AM
We have a retailer here in Kansas City, Missouri USA that deals in just about every type of exotics woods and lumber material you can imagine. They can even get African Bubinga wood on special order.
The name of the retail business is "Paxton Lumber". I'm sure they have a website although I've never looked it up>> but I'm not that big on wood myself for knife handles. I will admit that I love the looks of certain exotic woods like Bubinga, cocobolo, desert ironwood and a few others. But I like the grip factor of G-10 and Micarta much better than I do any type of wood.
I'm sure there are many other vendors on the internet that sell exotic woods.
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