Introduction: 3 Ways to Finish Wood (Knife Scales)

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I recently watched Evan & Katelyns video on them making 3d printed knife scales. It looked awesome so I wanted to make a set as well. I then decided to cnc them out of walnut on the X-Carve. They came out looking awesome. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to the finished look to be, so I took some time to try out 3 different finishes. CA Glue, Spray Lacquer, and Walrus Oil.

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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Step 2: Cncing and Sanding the Wood

The first thing I did was cut the knife handles out on my cnc machine. It took about 30 mins, I used my x-carve to cut these out and the finish was pretty good. I used a 1/8" ball nose bit.

I had some mini files that i used to clean up the parts before finishing. I made a total of 3 sets for this project.

Step 3: CA Finish

I thought the CA finish would be my favorite but it didn't really leave a good grip on the handles. I used a cheap paint brush to apply the glue and it dried really quickly. It wasn't the easiest finish to apply and it got all over my fingers.

Step 4: Spray Lacquer

The second finish I tried was spray lacquer. I have had good results in the past with it on my other woodworking projects so I decided it would work out well for this. I applied two coats and it made the wood really shiny and stand out but it didn't really feel natural in my hand when i tried to use the knife.

Step 5: Walrus OIl (Mineral)

The final finish i tried was this walrus oil. I had never used it before but I assumed it was like mineral oil. It basically was but it was a bit thicker, I submerged the walnut parts in the oil for 10 mins and then wiped off the extra. Since this oil has wax in it I used a heat gun to really soak in and harden the wax.

Step 6: Assembly

I got a knife kit from Rockler and the assembly was easy. I just had to get some screws and nuts to attach the handles to the knife.

Step 7: The Winner

Overall, all the finishes had their own set of pros and cons. I went with the walrus oil because it had the most grip and i thought there would be a less likely chance of me cutting myself or dropping the knife. The walrus oil also made the knife scales really pop and brought out the natural beauty of the wood.

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