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Thread: which wood for knife handle?

  1. #1

    which wood for knife handle?

    My dad asked for a boning knife for christmas this year and I thought it would be nice if I bought a factory made blade and added a custom designed handle. Has anyone done this before? Does anyone know of a site where I can buy good quality knife blades? Also, what types of wood are acceptable for knife handles? I am thinking of using osage orange or hackberry because I some of these types of wood from trees that my dad and I cut down. Or should I just buy a knife and forget this project?
    hope this isn't too many questions, I really don't know where to start on this project.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Arlington, Texas
    A friend of mine made a carving set for his parents using cocabola, it was beautiful. I would think using wood from a personal history like you described would be awesome as well.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    Many knives use snake wood...very nice
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  4. #4
    Check for some knife making websites, or forums... My father-in-law used to be into knifemaking. When I was in college he helped me make a knife. You can use any kind of wood you want. He made some out of rosewood, purpleheart, and my favorite was Zebrawood. I think your Osage would make a sentimental knife! It is a hard and durable wood, plus you harvested yourself! All the more rewarding. Knives are quite simple to make. You don't need to buy a blank if you're willing to try to make one. I made a knife blank about seven years ago from an old file. I softened it with two torches and then used a bench grinder to shape the blade. There are some old posts in the Neanderthal forum about annealing files for chisels, check them out. THey were using Kingsford briquets. I still haven't put a handle that blade yet. Maybe I ought to ressurect that project. I was planning on using rosewood and brass for the handle. Knife making is quite fun. I've thought about getting back into it, along with making some chisels....

    Also, check Barnes & Noble. There are a lot of knife-making magazines to give you ideas and get you started. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    Another vote for cocobolo. It has long been used for knife handles because of its beauty, density and natural oiliness which helps extend its life. Very beautiful wood. Other choices will work as well.
    Big Mike

    I have done so much with so little for so long I am now qualified to do anything with nothing......

    P.S. If you are interested in plans for any project that I post, just put some money in an envelope and mail it to me and I will keep it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Knoxville TN.
    Take a look on Ebay, the have all kinds of wood knife handles.

    No Pain-No Gain- Not!
    No Pain-Good

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Winchester KY

    Here's a couple of links you can try. Maybe you'll find something at one of them.

    Hope this helps,


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Shelby Township, MI
    Osage Orange makes a pretty knife handle in my opinion, especially when used with another accent wood. This is a knife handle I made with osage orange and bocote. The osage was a very old log, and had some worm holes, thats what is on the top of the handle. Lots of other woods will make pretty handles, but if you think he will like the osage, don't be afraid to use it, good hard durable wood too. Well, I can't get the picture to attach, so please copy and paste or click on the link.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    SF Bay Area, CA

    I have some snakewood that I intended for a knife handle. What size are you looking for? I can make you a me off line here if you are interested. I can get you some pictures.
    Wood: a fickle medium....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Norman, Ok
    Here's a link to all the knifemaking suppliers you'll need:
    For knifemaking information, try the knifemaking forums.
    I've uesed Osage Orange for a knife handle before. I didn't use the knife much, so I can't really say how well it held up, but it looked good!
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Ken Salisbury; 11-16-2004 at 12:26 PM. Reason: deleted direct links to other public forums - violates SMC Terms of Service

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