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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Owner - Alpha Knife Supply
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