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handle material

Jun 10, 1999
What is meant by "stabilized", IE: Stabilized maple burl, Stabilized desert iron wood. Is this some sort of curing process.
Stabilizing is the process of filling the pores in any material(wood, ivory, &c) with a polymer(plastic) in a vacuum. Products like Dymond Wood(sp?) are manufactured using a similar process.

Don't forget to pay your taxes...they eventually become my knives:)

As I understand it the resin fills the cell
structure not all the pores because stabilized material can take on water (not
a lot) but dries very quickly and material
isn't effected. A good source of info would
Ken Caines at Waterloo Woodbearing Inc. Cedar
Rapids IA> I don't know the add. right now
but I have a link on my web page.

http://www.imt.net/~goshawk The race is not always to the swift, but he who hangs loose.
Don't walk in tradition just because it feels good!!!!!

To my understanding, Dymondwood is laid down in thin veneers which are filled with a resin. It's almost like "wood micarta," using natural wood instead of cloth or paper as the supporting medium, though the wood is a larger portion of the makeup and is substantially less tough. It's all the same kind of wood, too, just dyed all kinds of colors (though I've been going nuts trying to find out what sort of wood - I knew once).

Stabilized materials, on the other hand, are left as solid blocks of natural woods or other materials they are filled with resins and preserving agents. I have no idea how it penetrates so thoroughly, but from what I hear it certainly does. this leaves the natural figure or texture of the material in place throughout, on thing that Dymondwood (much as I love it) can't match.

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives
The above replies are correct,but there is a lot more to it than that. The vacuum needed to create the stabilization process is a negative two(2) athmospheres or approximately a minus 30 PSI(pounds per square inch). This is done in a chamber filled with a stabilization fluid. Under a vacuum the air is drawn out and displaced by the fluid. Once dry the handle materialwill not srink, warp, or expand,(thus less checking and crackingof the materials). Currently doing an article on this with photo's of what I use. But, I still purchase stzbilized wood from other sources, as well as doing it myself.

Curtis Wilson
Thanks for your input. I had hoped that the stabilization process would lend enough strength to even less durable types of wood to allow them to be used as good knife handle material. There are so many nice materials out there. I really like maple burl and it appears that as long as it has been stabilized it should function just fine. Correct me if I am wrong.
Jeffa, you are right about the Maple Burl. I currently have a Damascus Drop Point Hunter that will probably be sold as soon as I can make the Sheath for it. The Burl just adds to the natural flow of the random damascus pattern of the blade. I hope that this is of some help to you.

Curtis Wilson