Introduction: How to Make Micarta - the Easy Way
If you never made homemade Micarta for Custom Knife Handles before, no worries, our process will make you a pro in no time. The materials you can make micarta with includes colored paper, fabrics, old pair of blue jeans or any permeable materials with cool looking colors. You can even make a custom handle for your knife using certain natural dried materials found in nature in your neck of the woods. You're limited only by your imagination on what you can create and customize for a custom knife handle.
The above two photos are the knives I used with the micarta made in the two videos shown within this Instructable. One video is how to make paper micarta and the other is a camouflage pattern using pieces of fabric.
Step 1: What You Need to Make Micarta
Here's a list of all the items you need to make Homemade Knife Scales
Fiberglass, Epoxy or Polyester Resin with Catalyst
Material cut into 2" strips and up to 12" long (colored paper, fabrics, old blue jeans, any cloth or nature fibers found in nature)
Pan Lining Paper (Very Important!!!)
The Fiber Press (Pro Press-2)
Respirator if in poorly ventilated working area
Disposable Paint Lining Tray and Squeegee
Stir Stick and Mixing Container
9/16" Socket and Electric Drill, Impact Gun or Wrench
Step 2: How to Make Fabric Micarta
Step 3: How to Make Paper Micarta
Step 4: Curing Time
The curing time needed to leave in the press depends on a few variables. The resin naturally starts heating up during the curing process, but the room temperature determines how long it takes. On a hot summer day setting the Fiber Press outdoors to cure, a good four or five hours is all it takes. If however, you're making knife scales when it's cold, you'll want to wait overnight or at least 12 to 15 hours. How many drops of catalysts mixed with the resin will also affect the curing time. Please read all the directions and warning labels if you've never worked with fiberglass, epoxy or polyester resins before.
Step 5: The Finished Product
The main trick in making perfect sets of micarta scales for knife handles always comes down to how the material's being pressed during the curing time. If you made homemade Micarta in the past and swore you'd never try it again (most likely because of the inconsistency of the press and the mess it made) you might want to give the Fiber Press method a chance to prove it really is easy and fast to make.