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Micarta scales, un-polishing

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by ShelterMe, May 10, 2018.

  1. ShelterMe

    ShelterMe

    87
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hello all,

    Just got new green canvas micarta scales for my Enzo Birk folder from Brisa in Finland. Description wasn't very clear and they are ultra smooth high polished micarta. I don't believe there is a varnish or any sort of coating to the micarta but then again I've never had a knife with very high gloss micarta, if I didn't know better I would think the scales are plastic. I was hoping for unfinished, to provide some traction and I like the general look and feel to unfinished micarta better. I replaced the carbon fiber scales I purchased the original knife with, but it turns out that they had more traction and texture than the new scales have. I've never made new scales or worked with micarta at all, is there a way I can get rid of the polished finish so I can get that warm micarta feel? I didn't want to get sandpaper or 0000 steel wool and ruin the scales altogether by not knowing what I am doing. Hoping for unfinished micarta, not scratched up polished micarta. Thanks for any advice.
     
    115Italian and annr like this.
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Use 320 grit sandpaper and sand the handles lengthwise.
     
    razor-edge-knives and ShelterMe like this.
  3. ShelterMe

    ShelterMe

    87
    Jul 11, 2010
    Thank you Bill!
     
  4. calvinw

    calvinw

    584
    Feb 28, 2012
    Wear a mask, don’t breathe the dust. Consider sanding it wet, just to damp down potential airborne dust.
     
  5. CPP

    CPP Gold Member Gold Member

    779
    Sep 8, 2014
    I'm curious as to why you specify lengthwise
     
  6. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Because it's easier to sand that direction...
     
  7. calvinw

    calvinw

    584
    Feb 28, 2012
    Haha!

    Kelly Erin Hannon: [after pulling her car up] Get in, quick!
    Michael Scott: Why quick?
    Kelly Erin Hannon: So it's faster!
     
    tomhosang likes this.
  8. ShelterMe

    ShelterMe

    87
    Jul 11, 2010
    This may be a stupid question, but seeing as I have never done it before, about how much of the polished area must be sanded off (ballpark very little of it or a significant amount.) the reason I am asking is that because these Enzo scales are contoured, the micarta at the palm swell is around 1/16" thin. If I have to go more than a paper thin layer it will be pointless as I'll basically lose all the micarta there and be down to the frame. I wish Brisa would have made these available unpolished. I understand that their aim was to make the knife thinner (the contoured micarta is half as thick as the carbon fiber or birch scales they have) but the surface is very slick with zero texture. It may as well be plastic unless you know its micarta because you can see the layers. I paid almost as much as the knife for these and I don't really want to ruin them... Thanks for all the advice. [because it's faster! That's a good one]
     
  9. Man with no name

    Man with no name

    786
    Jun 24, 2015
    My guess is that the grain also runs lengthwise as well.
     
  10. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Just sand a little, and see how it feels, then sand more if necessary.
     
  11. ShelterMe

    ShelterMe

    87
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Folks,

    I tried sanding these scales, being cautious because they were already very very thin at the contours and the job came out wonderfully. I started with a high grit, but finished with a low grit as it brought out some of the texture in the canvas micarta. It now looks and feels exactly what I thought I was purchasing to begin with. These textured micarta scales now make an already outstanding knife a phenomenal knife. Thank you all for your help and advice. Thank you all very much for the suggestions. I apologize for not being on top of this post, my schedule doesn't permit me to be on here as often as I would like. Very glad to be a member of this forum, as usual everyone's help is an invaluable resource. Also, I did not wear a mask or use water when I sanded, so if I come down with micartothelioma, one of you can have my entire Jethro Tull collection.
     

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