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Working with Micarta / Phenolic and tool suggestions


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I have a slab of canvas micarta on the way. I have never worked with it before. What are the reccomended tools? Can I safely use my wood rasps and wood cutting blades (ie. table saw and router)?  Or should it be treated as 'metal'?

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If you know how then why ask Nike now?   Just do it☆☆☆☆☆!

”Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor!”


George Brackett

American Bladesmith's Society,

Apprentice Member

Hialeah, Florida

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It's much softer than, say, hickory or sugar maple, but it is a bit more abrasive.  Or can be, anyway.  As long as you use good bits with carbide edges they'll be fine.  Plain HSS bits may dull a little faster, but not dramatically so.

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Micarta *generally* works much the same as wood except I have noticed that it will squeeze your pins til they scream so oversize the drill bits by a couple of thousandths or dress the pins down in a drill press with 400G paper until they are just snug but can be easily removed with a pin drive.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





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I find micarta much easier to work with than wood, much more forgiving on the tools.

That said I rarely use wood.

Pin holes I get a drill 0.1mm larger than the pin stock.

My micarta is home made, some materials can melt/smudge while working it, and otherwise great for gunking up belts.

Enjoy B)

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