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First and Last Time Using Micarta


Charlie Meek
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So today was my first experience with micarta. What a nasty, soulless material. I finally managed to correct it with some leather dye ( picture coming ). Maybe some of you with more experience can tell me the real value of it but I'm tempted to throw the last few prices I have of it out. I just feel like I need to shower after making a handle from it. Knife came out pretty good though. W2 quenched in Parks. Clay coated but kept it satin. 6.5 inch blade. Fully flat ground as usual. I'll also say W2 is a bear to work with for me. Aldo's 1084 is so much more pleasant and sharpens a ton easier. I got this knife to a hair popping edge but it was a damn battle. I'm guessing it has some really high abrasion resistance. 

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Edited by Charlie Meek
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Charlie MeekChief Fry Cook

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Really nice, clean lines. Did you use any finish on the handle? It is hard to tell in the photo, I know some who finish micarta and others who leave it as is so just curious. It looks comfortable as well. 

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I like micarta for kitchen knives and such. I just keep it cool while grinding. It finishes best with a buffer and white rouge in my experience.

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The smell isn't that bad. It's just really nasty to grind IMO. It kept burning on me too. Al I should have looked that part up ahead of time. I've used g10 once in the past and it was ten times worse but it just makes a nicer handle. It's just a whole different from wood, finish wise. I guess there really ain't anything you can do about exposing the layers either. I had a different idea in mind than the outcome I guess. 

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Charlie MeekChief Fry Cook

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I've discovered that the natural colored micarta really benefits from an oil finish, at least cosmetically.  That looks like a good working knife, I love the shape.

George Ezell, bladesmith

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Clean and simple, I like it!

 

And hey if you want someone to take that micarta off your hands...

Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last

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A little by of leather dye and some oil helped a ton. Thanks for the suggestions folks. 

 

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Edited by Charlie Meek
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Charlie MeekChief Fry Cook

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56 minutes ago, Charlie Meek said:

A little by of leather dye and some oil helped a ton. Thanks for the suggestions folks. 

 

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The leather dye definately helped it! Micarta is one of those things that what it will look like is preset in the layers as they are laid! I have never used it but I think some buff it to bring out the color more and it helps to seal the material itself!!

 

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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i use WD-40 as a finish on my micarta. I like what it brings to the table as far as performance. but i do hate working it. G10 is much much more enjoyable to work with....

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I wax micarta. It helps it a bit. Ren wax. I like it for using knives, and a lot of people are really into the material. I prefer wood, with tung oil or a brushed on poly that has been rubbed out with auto polish. aqua fortis on maple is one of my favorites.

 

I love the shape of the knife, though. That is spot on!

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“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks for all the input and good words folks.You'd think I'd have ventured into this material by now but I guess I'm a creature of habit. I am liking it more now thats it's dyed. I'l definitely be getting some Ren wax Kevin.

Charlie MeekChief Fry Cook

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JJ - I only finished it to 220 then buffed it which was a mistake. It got too hot too quick.

Lars - Your micarta is awesome. Maybe I just need to slow down and sand more. I could have sworn that was wood on your blades.

I got some ren wax today to give a go. Maybe there is hope for me micarta finishing skills. Haha. I sure do appreciate all the input. 

Charlie MeekChief Fry Cook

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Micarta  comes in many forms and types. Paper, linen, canvas, carbon fiber..... Each has a different look. I sand micarta thru 400 grit then buff on cotton wheel with 600 grit. No finish oil or wax required, I don't use a lot of it as most of my blades are Damascus and I prefer a more natural looking handle. It definitely has a place on some blades, esp. when combined with kydex sheath

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Black and green canvas Micarta. Some pieces of old Westinghouse brown micarta that I bought in the US 28 years ago. On the little knife with the Stainless / carbon sanmai blade I also used some black linen - orange G10 and some Natural linen Micarta. 

I once in a while make knifes with stacked micarta handles to make good use of all the off cuts from other projects ......

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Lars, is that brown spacer in the knife above end-on micarta? It is very nice.

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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11 hours ago, Charles du Preez said:

Lars, is that brown spacer in the knife above end-on micarta? It is very nice.

Hi Charles 

Its all Micarta ....on all knives shown... one thing to notice about micarta is that it darkens with age ..light brown will turn almost dark brown and green canvas will be a very dark green with time and use.

Here is a knife I made for a friend - first picture is before use ......the second picture is after 1 year ....

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Lars 

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Thanks Lars

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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