Premium Knife Making Materials & Supplies. Highest Quality, Excellent Prices, Fast Shipping.

Wood Information

Ordering Information:
If you would like information about placing an order click here.

Information Pages:
We have several pages of information about materials and other subjects. To see links to the informational pages click here.

Working with wood may cause allergic reactions. Always wear a respirator, eye protection and proper clothing. Sensitivity to wood can increase over time. We know people who have become allergic to cocobolo. They worked this wood for years and one day noticed an allergic reaction. Be aware of how you feel as you work with wood. If you notice a your breathing is becoming difficult, tightness in your chest, tingling or burning on your lips or skin, immediately seek medical attention. Ignoring symptoms can be hazardous to your health.

Each piece of wood is individually graded for figure, color and chatoyance. Chatoyance is defined as "Having a changeable luster." It is the three dimensional effect you see in woods like curly or fiddleback maple. The best wood is priced higher. For example; if two pieces of wood are the same size the higher priced piece is higher quality and/or looks better.

Wood Photographs
Most of the wood we sell is in block form. This allows the wood to be used for a hidden tang, or cut into scales and used on full tang knives or folders. However, we do also offer some scales and book-matched scales. Some of the wood item numbers are links. To see the piece of wood click on the item number. We photograph both sides of each piece of wood except for book-matched scales. Most of the photos look like a pair of scales but it is two pictures combined to show both sides of a single block.

Some of the types of wood we offer are stabilized. Stabilized means the wood has been impregnated with acrylic resin. Stabilization minimizes cracking and checking. Expansion and contraction are also minimized. If you submerge a block of stabilized wood in water it will go into the block but will not be absorbed by the wood. When you remove the block from the water and place it somewhere to dry there will soon be a puddle around the block. If you try you can crack stabilized wood. If you force a pin or screw into a hole that is too small the wood will crack. Stabilized wood allows you to have the beauty of wood with the stability of a man made material.

Moisture Content
All of the wood has been carefully dried to 6% or less moisture content. Both of the ends of each block of wood are checked with a digital wood moisture sensor. If the moisture content of both ends is 6% or less the piece is processed for sale or sent out for stabilization. We have our own kiln for drying wood. As wood dries it will occasionally crack, check or honeycomb, all of which are cracks. Most of the cracks will be sanded off when the piece of wood is processed for sale. Sometimes the crack cannot be sanded out. These cracks can be fixed by filling the crack with a mixture of super-glue (cyanoacrylate) and sanding dust.

Bowie Blocks™
At the April 2004 Oregon Knife Collectors Show we introduced Bowie Blocks™. The response was great. We now carry Bowie Blocks™ as standard items in the inventory.

A Bowie Block™ is a block of handle material. Rather than being a rectangular block, the material is cut at an angle on one side. The shape allows knifemakers to make handles that drop at the back minimal waste. To see examples of Bowie Blocks™ click here.

The advantage to knifemakers is cost. One of the factors we use in pricing is cubic inches. A block with a wedge missing has fewer cubic inches so it costs less. In the width column two measurements are shown. The first measurement is the width at the top of the block. The second measurement is the width at the bottom of the block.

Special Requests
If you need a piece of wood that is odd or special sized let us know. We always have over one thousand pounds of wood drying and may be able to cut what you need.

Wood Example Photos:
The table below have pictures of different kinds of wood stabilized and natural. The purpose of the tables is to show the different kinds of woods and what they look like. The tables do NOT indicate the wood we have in stock. Go to the inventory pages to see what is available.

   Wood Type            Natural               Stabilized      
 Black Acacia   Yes Picture
 Spalted Alder   No Picture
 Amboyna Burl   Yes Yes
 Beech   Yes Picture
 Spalted Beech   No Picture
 Spalted Birch   No Picture
 African Blackwood   Yes Picture
 Bocote   Yes Picture
 Box Elder Burl   No Picture
 Bubinga   Picture Picture
 Curly Bubinga   Yes Picture
 Pomelle Bubinga   Yes Picture
 Buckeye Burl   No Yes
 Spalted Buckeye Burl   No Yes
 Camphor Burl   Picture No
 Canary Wood   Yes Picture
 Carob   No Yes
 Chechen   Yes Picture
 Chechen Burl   Yes Picture
 Spalted Chechen Burl   Yes Yes
 Cherry   Yes Picture
 Cocobolo   Picture No
 Cocobolo Burl   Picture No
 Coolibah Burl   Yes Yes
 Cottonwood Burl   No Picture
 Curly Cottonwood   No Picture
 Ebony   Yes Picture
 Asian Ebony   Yes Yes
 Striped Ebony   Yes Yes
 Elm   Yes Yes
 Carpathian Elm Burl   Yes Picture
 Eucalyptus   Yes Yes
 Eucalyptus Burl   No Yes
 Curly Eucalyptus   Yes Yes
 Gum Burl   Yes Yes
 Curly Ipe   Picture No
 Desert Ironwood   Picture No
 Desert Ironwood Burl   Picture No
 Juniper   No Picture
 Western Juniper   No Yes
 Kingwood   Picture No
 Curly Koa   Yes Yes
 Spalted Curly Koa   Yes Yes
 Lignum Vitae   Yes No
 Black Locust Burl   Yes Picture
 Madrone Burl   Yes Yes
 Santos Mahogany   Yes Yes
 Maidou Burl   Yes Yes
 Brown Mallee Burl   Yes Picture
 Red Mallee Burl   Yes Yes
 Mango   Yes Yes
 Maple, Birdseye   Yes Picture
 Maple Burl   Yes Picture
 Spalted Maple Burl   No Picture
 Curly Maple   Picture Picture
 Curly Spalted Maple   No Yes
 Spalted Maple   No Picture
 Masur Birch   Picture Picture
 Mesquite   Yes Picture
 Mesquite Burl   Yes Yes
 Curly Mesquite   Yes Yes
 Mulberry   No Picture
 Oregon Myrtle Burl   No Picture
 Curly Oregon Myrtle   Picture Picture
 Spalted Oregon Myrtle Burl   No Picture
 Tasmanian Myrtle   Yes Picture
 Curly Tasmanian Myrtle   Yes Picture
 Tasmanian Myrtle Burl   Yes Picture
 Oak   Yes Picture
 Oak Burl   Yes Yes
 Spalted Oak, Burl   Yes Picture
 Olive   Yes Picture
 Olive Burl   Yes Yes
 Russian Olive Burl   Yes Picture
 Osage Orange   Yes Yes
 Pink Ivory   Yes Picture
 Curly Pink Ivory   Yes Yes
 Purpleheart   Yes Picture
 Redwood Burl   No Picture
 Curly Redwood Burl   No Yes
 Curly Redwood   No Yes
 Bolivian Rosewood   Picture No
 Honduran Rosewood   Picture No
 Indian Rosewood   Picture No
 Sheoak Burl   Yes Yes
 Snakewood   Yes Picture
 Tambootie   Yes Picture
 Curly Spalted Teak   Yes Picture
 Thuya Burl   Yes Yes
 Curly Thuya Burl   Yes Yes
 Tulipwood   Yes Picture
 Verawood   Yes Yes
 Black Walnut Burl   Yes Yes
 Claro Walnut   Yes No
 Claro Walnut Burl   Picture No
 Curly Claro Walnut   Yes Sometimes
 English Walnut   Picture Yes
 Wenge   Picture Picture
 Pacific Yew   Yes Yes
 Zebrawood   Yes Yes

To our loyal stabilized wood customers,

We no longer sell stabilized wood.

We’ve decided to focus on man-made materials.  We are referring our wood customers to Mark Farley at Burl Source in Kerby Oregon.

We’ve known Mark for several years. He has always been honest and trustworthy. 
He does a great job cutting and drying. The quality of his wood is excellent. 
We’ve done thousands of dollars of business with him and have never had a problem.

I cannot recommend Mark highly enough.

Here is a link to Mark’s website: Burl Source

Chuck Bybee
Owner - Alpha Knife Supply

Shop Now

Phone: 425-868-5880 Ordering Information
Fax: 425-898-7715

Copyright © 1999-2015 Alpha Knife Supply LLC™ - AKS™