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Anyone ever used cedar scales?

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Has anyone ever used pacific northwest cedar for knife scales? I have a ton of it sitting around from the old fence and I was wondering if anyone has done it. I know cedar is pretty soft (one reason I love working it), but if one were to temper it, would it get harder? Is it just not worth the time.

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Perhaps if it was stabalized

The smith also sitteth by the anvil,

And fighteth with the heat of the furnace,

And noise of the hammer and the anvil is ever in his ears,

And his eyes look still upon the pattern of the thing that he maketh,

He setteth his mind to finish his work,

And waitethto polish it perfectly.


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Forget it. It makes a great display stand or case, as you already know. For a "user" Forget it.

darn, too bad. I really like the look finished cedar has and how pleasant it is to work. I suppose I'll end up using oak. I don't have a lot of usable white and I hate red oak. It smells like a dog crapped on it.

Edited by Tim Scarlatti
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I get CA glue (super glue basically) from rockler and use it to get a 20,000 grit finish on stuff ... a rock hard finish ... has a learning curve but you mite find it works for the cedar but over all, yeah, cedar is pretty soft.

Edited by ryanwrath
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It can be done! :rolleyes:

The first knife above is a stub tang paring knife, the ferule is an aluminum ring inset into the cedar to make sure it won't split out or let the SS pin get loose. It is finnished by soaking in linseed oil for a few hours, let cure then sanded and soaked in hot beeswax then sanded and rubbed. It gets used regularly, but not roughly and is holding up well.


The second is a "rustic" patch knife, full tang chainsaw chain damascus blade with cedar scales and copper pins. It was initially finished the same as the kitchen knife, but after a few fishing trips I decided to upgrade it. The original finish held up fairly well, no big gouges or anything and the scratches it did pick up blended with the "rustic" theme, but I wanted to add a bit more strength just in case. I warmed it up and rubbed it down to get any surface wax off it and then applied multiple coats of the thinnest (runniest) superglue I could find. Just drip it on and let it flow over the wood. Let it fully cure and then lightly sand between coats. It will set into any small cracks and absorb into the surface poores to give a fairly durrable surface finnish. A vacum chamber is supposed to help pull it deeper into the poores but I haven't built one yet to try. Once the last coat cures sand it over an buff if you want a polished surface.


I wouldn't advise using cedar for a heavy working knife, but for kitchen knives and small utility knives it can work quite well.


Edited by James Spurgeon

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave. ~Mark Twain

SageBrush BladeWorks (New website is in limbo...)

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Cedar can be stabilized by putting it in this : http://www.turntex.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=121


it is a cheap system and works very well with High Quality results .



Robert D. Yates , 13 & On Forge

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