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Bocote or ziricote for this knife?


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Hello

My father turns 50 in march and I'm going to make a knife for him, but I need advice on the wood and how to finish it. I haven't made many knives, and I'm still learning but I sure am going to make the best knife I have ever made. It's going to be a full tang knife with brass guard, brass butt, mosaik pins (black and brass) with either ziricote or bocote as wood. This post is all about the choice between bocote and ziricote (both unstabilized), which is best combined with the rest of the knife etc. I wan't something that'll give contrast between the shiny, gold looking brass and the (hopefull) dark wood.

 

I've done some reading and they both react very differently to boiled linseed oil, which is my favourite finish. Ziricote supposedly turns VERY dark and bocote seems to look like oiled zebrano. So yesterday I applied a thin coat on the ziricote and a few on the bocote to see how they look. Here's how they look today:

IMG_20200131_110035.jpg

The bocote on the left and the ziricote on the right. The ziricote will show more lines after I'd shaped the handle (they were cut that way). Just by looking at them now, it looks like really nice wood with lots of lines on the left and 2 huge chocolate bars on the right so I'd normally chose the bocote anytime. But since I have brass (even on the mosaik pins) I really want that brass to pop, to be really visible. Here's a pic of the mosaik pin cross section:

IMG_20200130_172337.jpg

So here's my question: What's your opinion: boiled linseed oil finished bocote where the brass doesn't pop as much and where the pins might blend in too much, or ziricote (just buffed or boiled linseed oil finished) where the brass and pins will really pop but the handle would probably look like dark chocolate.

Right now I'm sort of leaning towards oiled ziricote, since I don't hate dark woods. I actually thought about buying bog oak for the project, but man, bocote is nice!

I hope I posted in the right section : )

 

 

 

Edited by Gustav
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I am not familiar with ziricote, but I do know that oil finished bocote will darken considerably over time. The panel in the jewelry box below is bocote finished with danish oil about 40 years ago. I did not know the oil would darken it when I made it, (no internet to use for research). It only took a number of months for it to darken from colors similar to what you have posted to what you see now. The colors are a bit on the blues side due to the lighting in the room.

 

 

P_20200131_083417[1].jpg

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@Alan Longmire

@Ron Benson

I don't know what monitors you have, but I noticed that on my screen it's not like in person. I have a TN monitor in my laptop so everything seems more blueish, especially darker colors so to me, the pictures are not as dark as either the bocote or the ziricote are in person. Just something to keep in mind. The ziricote is pretty much dark chocolate / coffee bean.

 

Maybe I should go with the ziricote and wait with the oil until I have it polished? People just leave ziricote polished anyways, and if I feel like having it even darker I can oil it.

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2 hours ago, Gustav said:

@Alan Longmire

@Ron Benson

I don't know what monitors you have, but I noticed that on my screen it's not like in person. I have a TN monitor in my laptop so everything seems more blueish, especially darker colors so to me, the pictures are not as dark as either the bocote or the ziricote are in person. Just something to keep in mind. The ziricote is pretty much dark chocolate / coffee bean.

 

Maybe I should go with the ziricote and wait with the oil until I have it polished? People just leave ziricote polished anyways, and if I feel like having it even darker I can oil it.

Monitors need to be color calibrated to show true colors, and laptops can be worse than monitors. With wildlife photography being one of my, (too many), hobbies, I have calibrated my monitor. It's really not worth buying anything to calibrate your screen unless you are doing something that is color critical.

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