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I’m making a hunter/skinner for a friend back in Virginia, very humid place. I have some walnut crotch wood he wants to to use for the handle scales, but it isn’t un stabilized, gutting a deer is already a messy process, along side with the 90% humidity how much will that effect the wood? If I had more time I would just send it to K&G but I don’t have 3-4 weeks to wait because I’m flying out to Va to visit friends and family (And delivering the knife to my friend)  at the end of the month. Will the moisture shrink/expand/crack the wood or will it be alright?

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I'll let the others comment on how stable the wood will be.  However I just pm'd you about stabilizing. Hit me up if you want.

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Big question first is how old is the wood? If this is just something picked up or sawed off in the past year or so, it's not going to be close to dry. Ideally it should have been cut, the ends painted or waxed and set in a warm, dry spot for a couple of years.

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I'm bumping this one back up as I'm curious also. I'm using wood that's not stabilized and am having other issues. Some wood cut a year ago I'm not having problems with and some cut 10 years ago I am. Why would red cedar cut 10 years ago turn a blade brown? Also, when left in the heat will get a sticky residue on the metal.

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Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginianus) is a very acidic wood, which is where the brown is coming from.  It's also so resinous it never ever dries fully.  My dad has a 130-year-old red cedar stump cut as a chair for my then 5 year old great grandmother to sit and watch railroad construction in 1890. It still sweats resin if it gets hot.

On the plus side, that knife will never get motheaten! :lol:

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