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Stabilised wood demand?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by TDTrees, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019

    I’ve been wanting to have a go at knife making foe a while, and I was researching dipping my toe in the water when I realised that there seem to be loads of knife makers out there. That got me thinking about wood. I run a forestry and arboriculture business, we have lots of wood. Some really nice stuff too, elm, yew, spalted beech and lots of quirky and burry stuff. I am now thinking that I should be milling and selling scales and other bits for the knife making and pen turning market. I already sell a few bits to wood turners for bowls and the like.
    So I’m here trying to gauge the demand before I go ahead and buy expensive kit for stabilising and re-sawing.

    I had planned to just buy a little basic stabilising setup for my own needs but now I’m wondering whether to go big as it were..
    Any thoughts gratefully received. And maybe a forum discount if I get it off the ground..


    Chronovore likes this.
  2. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    I'd skip the stabilizing part and send it to one of the professionals. Knife and Gun Supply are at the top of most lists and us knife makers know and trust their work. Many resellers sell wood that K and G has stabilized. Thats what I would do. Saves the cost of the equipment and all the down time. If you've got nice wood to sell' it will bring a premium with their stabilization. You can focus on the cutting and selling.
  3. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
    I should have made clear I’m in the U.K. and K&G are over the pond. There may be someone over here who could do it otherwise I think i’ll try a small scale setup and see what I can do.
  4. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Whole nuther deal obviously. Check around and see who the British K and G are. Also check the thread in the knifemaking section currently on sourcing stabilized wood. Some good tech info.
    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  5. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
  6. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
    Here's some samples...[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Wyo Coyote and Natlek like this.
  7. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    I'm usually a budget guy but even down here, there can be a market for aftermarket scales. For instance, I've been surprised at all the options available for the Kershaw Skyline. They routinely cost more than the knife itself but the market persists.

    I've seen requests pop up here and there for the Link and Dividend. Apparently, they take a little more work to make due to the Speedsafe cutout. Still, I see those requests going unanswered.

    A good question to consider might be how much it would cost you to make scales for various knives once you are up and running. Depending on the knife, I think there is a price range at which some of us might jump on the chance to deck it out with attractive wood scales. The question is if you can offer that and make a profit.
  8. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018
    good points,

    I'd also add, if you do make your own stabilized wood, be sure to include the cost of a vented garage/shop setup, it's rather critical since the stuff is nasty before it cures
    If you're doing all that, go big and get cnc for the cut outs, and make handles for Link, Dividend, Spydy's and whatever else is popular in the UK : )

    Personally, for my own use, I try to avoid stabilized wood and use hard dense wood instead, either clean or with a bit of pure tung oil
    (But I recognize stabilized is likely more sought after, esp if you're doing burls which get janky. I'm only mentioning it since you could also offer some varieties non-stabilized, like walnut/ironwood/hickory and any other ones which you have the patience to slowly dry : )
  9. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    If you like to do it for yourself just do it.
    If you want a serious business focus on the wood and have it stabilised professionaly.
    I know that there are at least two good stabilisers in Germany. That's closer then the US, but there must be some in the UK as well
  10. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Double post
  11. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    I send between 35 and 100 blocks of wood to K&G to be stabilized. It's all burls and crotch wood I have found, dried, and cut into blocks. Basically within a month they have it back to me and it winds up costing me about $6 canadian/block. Thing is I know that K&G know their stabilizing job and are set up to do it right. I just use my blocks myself, but if I were ever going to sell stabilized wood I would get them stabilized by k&G and sell them at a mark up from there.
    Cushing had a good thread with tons of info on stabilizing and the process that happens. Also on the resin being used. This thread would be a good starting point for you. https://www.bladeforums.com/threads...s-and-performance-just-the-facts-man.1674015/

    The reality for me is that it takes lots of experience and a very good set up to do this properly yourself.
  12. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
    My plan is to sell dried unstabilised wood, I have a stabilising setup but for now I'm just going to use that for myself. If I can produce stabilised wood of sufficient quality that I would be happy to buy then I may sell some. I don't see the point in selling stabilised wood unless it is of the very best quality in the first place such as the burr elm that I have or rippled sycamore if I can get my hands on some. I also plan to have a play around with dying and stabilising so if I become proficient at that then I might sell some coloured blanks too.
    But for now it will just be dried blanks. If people want to stabilise it themselves or send it away for stabilising then that will be up to them.
  13. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Have a look at woodbarter.com - another forum dedicated to wood and woodworking. It has an active membership and lots more wood related info there. The knife scale focus will limit your exposure to other possible sales.

    What you showed does look good, though.
  14. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    TDTrees, if you'll fill out your profile it will help folks know where you're located and thus able to provide better advice. Also, I'd use someplace other than PhotoBucket for photos so they don't have that big crappy banner. Many of us use the free https://imgbb.com/ and there are a few other good free photo hosting sites around that don't put those big banners across the photo. I prefer https://imgbb.com/ because they're so easy to use.

    You sure do have some really NICE wood there. Good luck
    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  15. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
    Hengelo_77 likes this.
  16. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Try Imgur then ya can put pics of your pretty scales right in your post without adding links which didn't work for me anyhow.

    Rhinoknives1 likes this.
  17. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    That's some nice looking wood.

    I'd suggest paying the fee and posting those in the Knifemaker For Sale area,
  18. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
  19. TDTrees


    Jul 16, 2019
  20. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Good looking stuff

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