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Wood handle "grip" question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by John in AR, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. John in AR

    John in AR

    Jul 8, 2005
    Relative newbie here, so if I'm in the wrong subforum I apologize, and any mod is obviously free to move/remove.

    I recently purchased a Fallkniven SK6 "Krut", and would like to see if there's a practical way to make the smooth wood handle somewhat better for gripping, without uglying it up too much. This is intended to be a using knife out in the woods, and I'm a little concerned about the smooth wood of the handle making for grip/retention issues when wet, cold, etc.

    If there are any suggestions for a more grippy finish (whether some kind of polyurathane, etc) I'd be grateful to hear about them. I know a slight roughing with sandpaper is an obvious possibility, at least from a strictly functional perspective, but I'm looking for ideas before doing anything hideous like that.
  2. John Katt

    John Katt

    Mar 19, 2012
    tennis racket grip tape works great, I have been using that stuff on my framing hammer in the winter for years, plastisol is another option, best part both can be pealed off if you don't like them
  3. John in AR

    John in AR

    Jul 8, 2005
    I'd rather not bulk it up that much, and would really like to keep the wood itself visible if possible - it's a very pretty curly birch. I was mainly wondering if there might be some kind of wood finish or epoxy coating that was recommended for knife handles that would offer a more 'grippy' feel than the slick finish it now has.

    My main woods knife now is a marbles ideal from AG russell, with an epoxy-impregnated maple burl handle that has a pretty good grip feel to it and I'd like to come as close to duplicating that as possible.
  4. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    You could give it a boiled linseed oil treatment, but just not polish off the extra.

    It will dry and harden with a tacky surface.

    If you don't like it, polish it off with mineral spirits.
  5. quint


    Nov 29, 2011
    Could also use what I use for handstitching. Mix of bees wax, rosin, and a tad of oil. I use about 50/50 bees wax and rosin and a touch of neetsfoot oil (olive oil would work). Heat it up and mix in a well ventilated area then poor into tins of whatever size shape you like. Another method is poor into water and hand form into balls about size of gold balls. Take this hardened ball and rub on the wood then buff with denim or similar.
  6. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Just wear gloves with a grip and don't sweat it.
  7. John in AR

    John in AR

    Jul 8, 2005
    I might try that; thanks. I like the idea that it's easily reversible if necessary.

  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    The best choice for making wood grippier is to add surface texture. The simplest method would be to checker it with a checkering file.

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