Introduction: Dyed Wood Knife Scales

About: I love working with wood. I make bandsaw boxes and just lately ive got a lathe and now enjoy woodturning.

Ive always wanted to make my own knife scales so this is how i did it.

I also made a video for my youtube channel to show my progress. this is the way i made them it might not be the right way but it worked perfect for what i need :-)


For this project you will need.

Knife blank Maple burr/ burl wood -

Cactus juice stabilising resin -

Cactus juice dyes -

Vacuum chamber -

Vacuum pump -

Plastic containers - used food tubs

Disc sander -

Buffing system -

Rasps -

Minwax wipe on poly -

Sand paper -

Toaster oven -

Aluminium sheet -

Saw or bandsaw

2 part epoxy -

Aluminium rod for the pins.

Step 1: Adding Colours

I start this project with dipping the wood in the stabilising dyes mixed into cactus juice.

1 put wood into blue dye for a few hours

2 Take out of the blue dry of resin turn around and put into green for 2 hours or more.

3 Take out dry and then placed in red resin overnight.

Step 2:

1 Take the wood out of the resin, dry off and wrap in tin foil.

2 Place in toaster oven 190-200f until the cactus juice cures and solidifies. This can take several hours.

Step 3:

Once cured sand all edges of the wood ready for stabilising.

1 Place wood in plastic container with a weight on top to stop the wood floating.

2 Fill about 1 inch above the wood with purple cactus juice.

3 Place in vacuum chamber maximum 30 Hg until bubbles stop and all air is drawn out of wood release vacuum and leave in resin twice as long as it took to pull air out of the wood.

4 Take out of container dry off and place in toaster oven to cure as before.

5 Finally sand the wood block and cut in 2 for knife scales.

Step 4:

Now the wood is prepared it is time to get the scales ready to attach to the knife.

1 Draw around the knife blank marking the pins as you will need a guide to drill the wood to put pins in.

2 I decided to add red and green strips into the scales so i did that design at the same time.

3 I then marked and measured the wood and a sheet of aluminium (for in between the wood slices) ready to cut.

Step 5:

1 Using double sided table between the two scales before placing the template of the knife onto the wood.

2 I then cut the scales on a bandsaw removing the part in the middle ready for the inlay pattern then glued (with two part epoxy) all parts together and held in a clamp till the glue dried

Step 6:

1 Once the glue is dry i sanded the the scales front and back.

2 I used double sided tape again to stick the inside edges of the scales and placed the template on ready to drill the pinholes.

3 I drilled the pinholes that will help hold the handle in place.

Step 7:

1 I cut the pins using a dremel and a cutting wheel.

2 Using 2 part epoxy i glued the scales onto the knife and gluing the pins in place.

3 I left in the clamp overnight giving the glue time to dry.

Step 8: Finishing

1 Now to start sanding and shaping. I used several sanding machines to achieve the shape i wanted, but the rasp was the best to get all the curves as well as the straight edges.

2 I applied minwax wipe on poly

3 finally i buffed with wax on a buffing wheel this can also be done by hand.

Step 9:

Thank you

Please check out the video should you need more in depth information.

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