First lapidary handle - Sodalite, S35VN, carved bolsters

Frank Hunter

Well-Known Member
Here's the newest one off the bench, a 4 5/8" bladed knife patterned off my 1.25" stock hunter. I gave CPM S35VN a shot for this one, and I like it - it seems to take finer edge than S30V. The knife is sporting a hand rubbed finish, mitered, scalloped, mirror polished 304 stainless bolsters, and a very nice pair of sodalite scales that have been taken to a high jewelry grade polish. This is my first handle using any lapidary techniques and it's already a new addiction with more projects including stone on the way. I also built a sheath style I've only done a few times previously, a deep pouch style with full embossing on both sides including the belt loop.

Let me know what you think!







 
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rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Hello Frank,
Nice job on the Sodalite handle and the blade too! I also like S35Vn as I have found it easier to work & finish and I agree it seems to be a finer less tooth edge than SS30V.

Has the stone been treated?
 

Frank Hunter

Well-Known Member
The steel was easier to grind and finish than S30V, in my experience. It's still considerably more difficult than the 440C class steels and has such carbides that a higher degree of polish wouldn't be advisable. It appears to cut the same and I'll have a version of this knife is black micarta soon for some heavy edge retention testing which I'll share.

The sodalite has been stabilized, but I made no additions for color. I also used the recommended stone to steel adhesives as well as worked the back of the stone to match the heavily skeletonized tang to allow a very heavy bond. I would recommend a double bolstered, mitered construction as this knife features, for this particular material. Starting to work with the lapidary processes and materials has been an entirely new set of consumables and techniques that's been in the works for months, I'll have more to show soon.
 

Frank Hunter

Well-Known Member
I have the remainder of that sodalite slice which I'm going to hand-fit a damascus frame to and possibly include more mirrored stainless and make a pendant - which will then also likely become an addiction.
 

Ausbrooks

KNIFE MAKER
Fantastic looking knife, steel and stone- I've always really liked gemstone handles but knew the equipment, learning curve, etc would be prohibitive- good to see
you have made the investment and look forward to more beauties posted.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Frank,
I worked with the reconstituted Turquoise & Oregon jade quite a bit a few years back and found that it was great for presentation, wall hanger type knives but it it didn't hold up for a field or a culinary knife very well and I had a few come back with chips, marrs and the like and found myself advising my customers of that when they were buying/ordering.

Just my experience that I wanted to share with you. It has its place and it's really pretty but....
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Laurence....did the field knives hold up better? Some guys use their hunters for everything in camp and some field dress a deer once a year. I guess if a person were the type of user that thinks the end of that knife is for tenderizing meat rather than an artistic treatment to a nice knife there could be issues. I know I could use that knife for dressing game for the next 20yrs (longer if I'm around and still hunting) and some camp cooking with no problems. I suppose the end user is always the uncontrolled variable....

I would think the culinary knives saw a lot more use?
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Laurence....did the field knives hold up better? Some guys use their hunters for everything in camp and some field dress a deer once a year. I guess if a person were the type of user that thinks the end of that knife is for tenderizing meat rather than an artistic treatment to a nice knife there could be issues. I know I could use that knife for dressing game for the next 20yrs (longer if I'm around and still hunting) and some camp cooking with no problems. I suppose the end user is always the uncontrolled variable....

I would think the culinary knives saw a lot more use?
Smallshop,
That was the problem, Guys that used the stone handled knives to dress out a deer once a year were fine. The guys that beat the Crr@p out of their knives and even some of the moderate use hunters had scuffs and chips.

The culinary ones were ok if they went to a dedicated chef.
But since you have mentioned the variable of the end user.
The average house wife that piles dishes in the sink and knocks the stone handle knives around in there are really brutal on most knives and any poor knife subjected to a dishwasher with those detergents discolors the stone and over time, ruins most any handle.

The phosphates in the detergent also frost the edge at a micro level.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
So you've met my wife have you? LOL!!!

Seriously though, I think a knife like this maybe ought to come with a LOT of care info. I've watched how some guys use their knives and I'm sure they feel like rugged mountain men.....I just see guys my dad would have taken the knife away from if they still behaved like that after age 10.....

You can't let the lowest common denominator determine the level of your art. So, how do you politely state "Cavemen need not apply" on a fine piece of art like this? Tricky....
 
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Frank Hunter

Well-Known Member
I hear you there, Laurence! The kitchen is the hardest place on things, next to the shop itself. I cringed thinking about knives in the sink or dishwasher - I fix a lot of unintentionally serrated edges from that nonsense even up in my neck of the woods.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Frank,
So many times when I have sold a custom culinary knife with beautiful dyed & stabilized wood scales to a lady in the $300-$500.00 range and the the question comes out! Can I put my new knife in the dishwasher? I want to scream!! Its called a dish washer because it's for dishes. If it was for custom knives it would be called a custom knife washer!
:nono::nono::nono:
 
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