Who likes Koa wood?

Danbo

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Should be getting this stuff in a week or so. The slabs are all 3/8" thick and are 6.25" long and 2.25" wide. Should make for some decent knife handles, eh? Anybody work with Koa, and have some tips for me? Of course, it will all be sent for stabilizing first.
 

Mark Williams

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It may not always be the case, BUT. I have some that was stabilized and now looks like a potato chip. I'm not sure where it was stabilized , when it was done or what. It was a trade. But give whomever does the stab a call and see how much distortion will occur during the process.
 
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Don't know about stabilizing it, but I have a bunch from Tom Mayo and it's great! The only issue I've noticed (I don't use much wood, so maybe it's common across the board) is that is really breaks out with drilling and cutting. I use my hacksaw to cut it, so that could part of the problem, but a lot of chipping when I saw it. Otherwise it's nice to work with and it just looks better and better as you finish it. The knife below was taken to 400 grit and has half a dozen coats of tung oil over the period of about a week, then a couple coats of Trewax:

koa1.jpg

koa3.jpg

koa4.jpg
 
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Chiro that's reaaalll purty :D :D :D :cool: :cool:


Tom Mayo is the authority on Koa. I think he makes stuff besides knive handles out of Koa.
 
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Koa is a legume in the family of acacia,locust,coffee tree, mesquite.Fancy grain is very nice.
 
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Thanks, Sweany. I ground that blade two years ago, probably, and tried something funky with some cocobolo scales that sucked. So, it sat in a drawer until a few weeks ago and I refinished it and traded it as you see it now. I would have liked to see it with a clay heat treat, but I didn't know how to do that back then!
 
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mete said:
Koa is a legume in the family of acacia,locust,coffee tree, mesquite.Fancy grain is very nice.

Australian Ring Gidgee is also identical to Koa. Same family.:eek:

That's good looking stuff you have coming.
 
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mete said:
Koa is a legume in the family of acacia,locust,coffee tree, mesquite.Fancy grain is very nice.

I have read that Koa and Ringed Gidgee are the same tree. Mete is right, this is the same family as the acacias, mesquite, mimosas and even desert ironwood.

Personally, I don't think these woods require stabilization-they come that way.
 

Tom Militano

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I've used a lot of koa and I like it. I stabilized a good bit of it and it finishes up nice.
 

fitzo

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The Ringed Gidgee I've used seems very hard. It apparently grows in swamps, so I'm wondering if high mineral water has anything to do with that.

Is Koa hard as is? Thanks.
 
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Oct 29, 2001
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You'd better play it safe and not ship this. Like Mark said, potatochip time. I don't send off anything smaller than 3/4@ and even that's only in small blocks. Buy big, stabilise all, cut polish and profit. ;)

Darryl
 
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I have never seen a picture that did Koa justice. It looks like you can see into the wood. I am planning on getting a piece of 3/4 " Koa plywood from Winkler wood products in Hawaii to put atop my tool box.
I got one of their business cards, a thin slice of Koa printed with their logo and such. Very Cool :cool:
 
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Yeah I really like it. I got some from Tom Mayo and some through ebay.
I soaked mine in minwax to stop the shrinkage. It has large pores that need to be filled. Stabilizing should take care of that.
I used 3-4 coats of super glue.
0.jpg

Heres one with a koa handle.
TJ
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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I am finishing a fillet knife with stabilized curly koa tomorrow.I'll try to post photos.Koa has a chatoyant grain and can look like tiger eye.
SA
 
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I know this tread is old but I have to ask....

Where can you get koa and amboyna burl for knife handles and carving? I can't seem to find them here locally in Colorado to do some carving and I might think about putting wooden handles on future knives.
 
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Just go to the knife maker's supply section on this site and you'll find both.

I have some absolutely killer, gem grade Koa that came from Mark at BurlSource (he's got lots of posts in the supply section) as well as some of equal quality from Alpha Knife Supply. :) :thumbup: :)
 
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Yeah, I've seen the House of Burl and the Alpha Knife Supply, but I was wondering for bigger pieces than just for scales and knife handles?

Figured that you guys might know of something. I can always ask them if they have bigger pieces too.
 
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I've gotten stabilized curly koa from Alpha Knife Supply that was really beautiful, and a treat to work with. They currently have a good inventory of it.
 
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