Sycamore for handles and scales

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by kdnolin, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    155
    Jan 16, 2017
    I just picked up a nice slab of sycamore at a yard sale. Has some nice figure to it. Is this a species that should (or needs) to be stabilized? Also how well does it dye, by Professionals?
     
  2. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    155
    Jan 16, 2017
    FB259799-6D88-4DEF-8EC7-37DE63BB2604.jpeg
     
  3. milkbaby

    milkbaby

    585
    Aug 1, 2016
    It's probably too soft to make great handles. It will stabilize well and dyes nicely too. I have some dyed and clear stabilized from K&G that look nice.
     
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  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    Stabilize it and it is stunning. I dye a good bit of it, too. Brown is my favorite color for dying sycamore.
     
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  5. Britmaker

    Britmaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    6
    Sep 10, 2019
    I bought two 48"x12"x1" planks with nice fiddleback grain. I proved to be too soft to use. A couple of years ago I got a vacuum set-up and the Cactus Juice hardens it sufficiently to be useful.
    RIMG1018.JPG
    Obviously, a photo doesn't show chatoyance.
     
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  6. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    155
    Jan 16, 2017
    i looked up the Janka rating, only 770, roughly the same as big Leaf maple, so that confirms the need for stabilizing. also found some pics of it dyed and as Stacy said, stunning, so definitely have to get some in to K&G with the next batch.

    Very nice blades Britmaker!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  7. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    584
    Apr 17, 2017
    20190504_162705-816x459.jpg 20190504_162729-816x459.jpg
    I like it stabalized and bare naked.
     
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  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    That sycamore looks familiar, Dan :)
     
  9. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    It stabilizes well and looks very nice when cut to maximize the grain pattern.

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  10. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    584
    Apr 17, 2017
    Thumb up
     
  11. Horsewright

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

    Oct 4, 2011
    Beautiful! knife and sheath. Great leather work!
     
  12. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    Thanks Dave. I posted that knife a long time ago but the Sycamore was a nice example of what it could look like. That piece and several more I got from that batch were acquired from Mark at Burl Source.

    ETA the back side of the sheath, just for you Dave. ;)
     
  13. Horsewright

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

    Oct 4, 2011
    Yeah I used some of that sycamore from Mark years ago too. Very nice on the back side, just dang clean. I really like the rnage marks on the dark brown piece, just cool.
     
  14. Britmaker

    Britmaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    6
    Sep 10, 2019
    Didn't recognise the grain of this sycamore so looked it up.
    Yours is American Sycamore, Platanus Occidentalis, specific gravity 0.58.
    The stuff I showed above is English Sycamore, Acer Pseudoplatanus, specific gravity 0.61.
    You learn something every day!!
     

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