|Project by Andy||posted 12-14-2014 04:41 PM||5117 views||38 times favorited||65 comments|
Yes, that’s a knife handle….well, sort of.
This may be boring to many of you, so scroll to bottom for the cool stuff like woods used, etc..
The entire box design was based off of the concept of featuring some sort of knife handle, just because I fell in love with the ones in the gallery where my boxes are displayed, Carefree Buffalo. The knives are made by Williams Henry which are works of art with extremely smooth action and very expensive. I was allowed to hold one that was priced at $10,000.00…I gently handed it back. It featured a Damascus blade with beautiful grain, but the handle is what caught my eye. The bolsters were a gold and silver grained metal that is called Makume-gane. The wood set in between the bolster was Snakewood. So I set about finding suppliers.
There are several makers of beautiful metals for knives that come in a variety of patterns and sizes. I ordered a 1/8” thick x 1” wide x 4” long price of the Diamond patter for $75.00 from Shining Wave Metals. Great company, fast service BTW. This 1/8” thick piece has 50 alternating layers of nickle-silver and red bronze.
I then got a piece of snakewood from Woodcraft which cost $28.00 for a 1” x 1” x 12” piece.
I ordered Nickle pins to attach the bolsters and small mosaic rods the attach the Snakewood, and larger ones to use at the corners of the box body. These I got from Jantz Supply.
I made a mock-up knife handle and played with that until it suited me and then went on to the expensive materials. It was a new and painful experience for me, blending wood and metal is tricky. If you want more on the subject don’t ask me, go to knife making sites or You Tube videos, have fun :-) I will say this : Use a quality epoxy for attaching the metal to the wood, don’t overheat the metal when sanding or it may heat the glue and your bolsters may fly off, sanding metal and wood after bonding them side x side is a pain because getting scratches out of metal is tough, finishing the wood without getting the bolsters involved is a little tedious.
( Sometimes I miss the simplicity of making wooden toys and cars for kids out of pine….sigh. )
The center of the handle is 1/8” aluminum scrap that my son gave me. On each side of that are thin layers of Maple and Wenge.
Cost: I paid about $120.00 for materials but I still have a little of the metal left over and about 2/3 of the wood. I don’t know if I will do something like this again, but I had to try this at least once.
This is the second box to feature the floating base I came up with and first used here. It is a tedious bit of work for me, but I like the results. Its made a little over-sized so it will project at each corner of the box about 1/8” inch. This is to add visual weight at the base, giving it a nice stance.
The divider features two double ring holders out of Paduak with a Maple divider and wenge side panels. The connecting bridge is made of two Maple sides pinned with brass rod, the tray is Wenge, and it all is held in place by overlapping the two Paduak rails. The entire tray can be slid front to back and easily lifts out if needed.
The lid features a nice piece of Paduak with some black grain and a swirl pattern. This is set into the Wenge top…very tightly.
The center panel is Paduak with a ripple pattern. The idea for this type of shaping came to me after viewing the wonderful work by fellow LJ, Benji Reyes. I love his style, very organic, edgy and comforting.
Instead of routing out the center I simply sliced the front panel into pieces like you would for a band saw box, removed the center section and glued it all back together…very simple, and the corners are sharp and not all chipped up.
The body, lid and feet are Wenge
The inset panels top and front, railing are Paduak
The handle is made up of an aluminum center bordered with Maple and Wenge strips. The bolsters are Makume-gane in the diamond pattern, and the center pieces are Snakewood.
The hinges are 1/8” brass rod.
The corner splines are aluminum, and the front has 4 brass mosaics.
The lining is black velvet.
Satin lacquer finish.
I always have mixed feelings about a new design and this one has some things I would do different next time….but there wont be a next time, it is what it is and I will be on to something new. I find it important to make what I like and accept that it will not appeal to everyone, I am really doing it for myself anyway and then sharing it with anyone interested.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks for looking,
Here is the mock up handle. I used Rub-N-Buff colored waxes to mimic the Makume-gane and the aluminum.
Doing this helps me not only get the size of the handle right, but to see how my mental image plays out in 3D.
Its worth the time to me.
Also shown is the base which attaches with a screw at each corner.
Here is a simple jig made from scraps to cut the metal all to the same angle. I used the band saw with a tired blade, and went slow. It still cuts ok. The sand paper keeps the material in place. I flip it around to cut the pieces at a 90 and then back around to cut the angle.
-- If I can do it, so can you.