Thin traditional folder scales

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Silverbullet951, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Silverbullet951


    May 16, 2009
    I'm remodeling several small traditional slipjoints, similar to smaller senator patterns. They appear to have celluloid scales at about 1/16" thick and I was thinking about replacing these with thin bone. I was wondering what is the safe minimum thickness limit for bone or natural scales. Is 1/16" too thin and would they crack at the pins? What other natural materials would look right on a knife like that? Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Bone will be fine, if you do your part properly.
    SBuzek likes this.
  3. Silverbullet951


    May 16, 2009
    Ha, that was a nice typo. Thank you, I’ll try bone and see how it holds. The celluloid pearl is gorgeous but I just don’t trust any of them now that they’re starting to shrink.
  4. Alex Topfer

    Alex Topfer

    May 1, 2019
    I have an old straight razor (1950's?) here waiting for me to restore with battered bone scales. The scales are ~2mm thick, so well under 1/8".
    All the damage is at the ends, and the pin holes look fine. From this i would guess cracking/chipping the ends of the scales is the big risk
  5. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    On some slipjoints I will thin bone to
    I have one on my pocket that the bone is only .040 where it meets the bolsters.
  6. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Use nickel silver pins will help, or brass.
    Be sure to put a good chamfer in the hole as well.

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