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Working with linen micarta

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by BartlettBlades, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. BartlettBlades

    BartlettBlades KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    98
    Mar 24, 2016
    Hey guys,

    This is my first time working with black linen micarta. I used it as a bolster. Does it always have this greyish look to it? I'm trying to get it closer to a true black, but I don't want to get it to such a high grit that it is slippery. Right now it's at 600 grit, followed with some renisance wax. Any ideas on what I can do? Thanks!

    Jeremy


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  2. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
    Even with buffing, it doesn't get much blacker. I prefer G-10 for a blacker look.

    Micarta
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    G-10

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  3. BartlettBlades

    BartlettBlades KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    98
    Mar 24, 2016
    Yeah, I like the look of the g10 much better. Going to have to order me some

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  4. kuraki

    kuraki KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 17, 2016
    If you want pure black, paper micarta is the way to go. G10 still has some woodgrain effect. Unless that's ok, I think it looks pretty good.
     
  5. Richard338

    Richard338

    111
    May 3, 2005
    Some "black" canvas micarta on one of mine was green/grey. An old thread suggested a couple coats of WD40. It did make it much blacker and hasn't faded after several weeks.
     
  6. JoshRG

    JoshRG KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    476
    Apr 24, 2014
    In my experience I have found that black linen can vary quite a bit from almost pure black to having the gray pattern that you mentioned.
    Each of the black bolstered knives is black linen micarta. The far right shows MUCH more gray despite the same level of finish as the other two knives. The difference in the photo is not from a reflection, there is a significant difference in the overall "blackness" of the first two compared to the last one. I use black linen quite a bit and have experienced this variance in color on more than one occasion. However, I also buy the material from several suppliers which makes keeping track of the "black" and the "gray" micarta a bit difficult. :grumpy:

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  7. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    Very lovely looking work !
    Frank
     
  8. BartlettBlades

    BartlettBlades KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    98
    Mar 24, 2016
    Thanks for all the input guys! Josh I definitely see the difference on your knives, but they all look so awesome no one would ever notice! I think in the future I'll try some g10 or paper micarta. I don't think it looks bad on my knife, just not what I envisioned

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  9. E.Carlson

    E.Carlson Basic Member Basic Member

    253
    Mar 28, 2016
    I agree with Josh. I get my black linen from pops and it is pretty close to a true black, although the grain is still there. I like it that way. The photo is at 600 grit with a loose dry buff.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    If you get a gray look, it is probably due to ragging the fabric. This is the worst in canvas Micarta, where it is almost unavoidable. The frayed ends will look white or gray. As said by the others, not al Micarta is the same ( because not all of it is Micarta).

    First step is to hand sand at 400 and 800 grit to see if the ragging goes away. Then buff lightly with a good white/pink rouge. Clean well with denatured alcohol, TSP, or one of the citrus cleaners. After drying well, if it still looks a bit light, wipe down with a good preservative oil - Break-free, WD-40, any knife/gun oil, Renaissance, carnauba wax, etc. Hand buff by rubbing the oil/wax in HARD. Wipe clean and hand buff again. THis usually gives a good shine and a decent black color.
     

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