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Aromatic woods

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by JTB_5, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    I know that Juniper wood has a lovely peppery smell, but often varies between really intricate grain, even some excellent burl, and rather plain "boxwood" color without much going on.

    What other aromatic woods are used on pocket knives, and what kind of smell do they exhibit?
     
  2. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    I don't know about pocketknives, but chandan (sandalwood) is sometimes used for khukuri handles.
     
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  3. KellyGlanzer

    KellyGlanzer Gold Member Gold Member

    May 4, 2005
    Generally aromatic woods are soft and not very durable. The best woods used will be stabilised which will take any natural aroma away.
     
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  4. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Cedar?
     
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  5. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    Love cedar, but don't recall seeing it on a pocket knife handle.
     
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  6. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Cedar is usually too soft!! I've had some lovely Brazilian Rosewood!
    Actually does smell like Roses!!:)
    They came with this label, in 2014!!:cool: 2ND ANNv rose in hand.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  7. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    That's something I didn't know. I do like the smell of sandalwood. This website has hardness ratings. Sandalwood scores higher than African Blackwood.

    That's what I was afraid of.
     
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  8. jsdistin

    jsdistin KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    895
    May 27, 2016
    If you go to the wood database it has hardness, density, and give descriptions including if they have distinct scents.
     
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  9. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    Thanks!
     
  10. Ruukuu

    Ruukuu

    332
    May 21, 2020
    Best African Blackwood has a chocolate smell. At least when working it.
     
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  11. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    @Prester John
    I'm not sure, but I think I've seen it on old 1700's/1800's fixed blades.
    No reason you couldn't put it on a pocket knife.
    It might keep the moths and other hungry bugs out of your wool britches and/or union suit?
    (and stink prettier than moth balls?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  12. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    According to the Wood Database, Aromatic Red Cedar has a Janka hardness rating of 900, which is pretty soft, but harder than most cedars. Camphor is also aromatic, coming in a 960 on the Janka scale. Brazilian Rosewood has a rose smell when working, but is supposed to fade over time; it's hardness is 2790 by comparison.
     
  13. jsdistin

    jsdistin KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    895
    May 27, 2016
    I don’t know much about woodwork but when I’m looking at wood for knife handles I look first at the density before looking at the hardness. The numbers for hardness don’t mean much too me but 1 for density I’d the same as water so closer to or above 1 is pretty dense that to me equals a tough wood seems like you could have wood that is very hard but maybe less dense and it would be brittle and break or splinter easily when peening pins. I don’t have anything to back that up though.
     
  14. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    You may be right, I really have no experience there. I would imagine that density may also help reduce how much the wood shrinks, but that's a shot in the dark.
     
  15. Txjohn

    Txjohn Basic Member Basic Member

    862
    Apr 24, 2013
    American cherry has a sweet aroma when cut .I like to work with it ( casework )
     
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  16. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Genuine Lignum vitae is the best smelling wood, and one of the most durable, super dense and very hard.

    It smells like sweet cinnamon spice and nutmeg.
     
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  17. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    Mesquite is the best smelling wood. But you have to burn it. :D
     
  18. Chief

    Chief Chief Master Sergeant USAF (ret) 1975-2000 Platinum Member

    Nov 15, 1998
    Beautiful stuff!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jiki

    Jiki Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 12, 2018
    Carve your cedar, don't carve with your cedar.;)
    [​IMG]
     
  20. mrknife

    mrknife

    May 9, 2010
    the recent 86 seersucker wood smells interesting, however i dont think that is natural. i am curious about how use/wear & tear would change that smell
     

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