I talked about this before but...…...

C Craft

Well-Known Member
I talked about this before in this thread, https://knifedogs.com/threads/question-on-handle-material.49652/ but,...……. When buying bowl material from Ebay to cut for handle material. Which is more desirable!

1574550633247.png This block that is cut close to the heart of the tree???

Or one like this 1574550704873.png that is cut from the outer rings of the tree???

Of should I be looking for something like this one 1574550811373.pngthat is cut close to heart but parallel to the grain!

Anyone have any thoughts as to which is more desirable for handle material??
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C Craft

Well-Known Member
No one has any ideas on the grain? These are bowl turning blocks. What I am trying to figure out what the 2"x2"x6" blocks are going to look like once sliced off of the side of the block!!

Are they going to turn out like this?? 1574569839953.png
Anyway I was hoping to generate some discussion. I know in the other thread several said they had used the bowl turning blocks!!


Well-Known Member
Cliff, I saw your question yesterday but was waiting for some of those folks who actually know something about wood to respond. BUT, here's my thinking, much of which you already know. Heck, as a carpenter you know more about wood than I do.

The top two blocks you show are what's called quarter sawn and the bottom photo is what's called flat sawn. With wood that has fairly straight grain and flat sawn, the handle will need a good bit of sculphing to make the figure come out good. A lot depends on the type of handle you wind up with, one that's fairly flat sides, or a handle that's fairly well sculpted. The contours created by sculpting help create curves in straight grains. A block that's heavy figured, that going to look good most anyway you put it on a knife.

Now, back to your real question of "close to heart" vs "outer portion of tree". I think you'll tend to get more figure with a quarter sawn block that's cut with one side at the center (heart) of tree, just from the nature of the tree. Seems like there might be more curves in the grain when cut close to heart? The example you saw of the block quarter sawn well away from heart, look how straight the grain is - it'll take some sculpting to get some curves in that grain to make it look good.

Does any of that make sense to you? Hopefully some folks with real knowledge (Gene, Doyle, etc) will chime in.

Ken H>

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Yep, thanks Ken! I am trying to figure this out as to what the grain becomes after cutting. Heck I have hand picked a lot of wood for the grain but, ……...
it was already cut and I could see the grain. :p

To me the first thought was to cut slices off of the existing block. However some of these blocks are thick enough to slice thickness wise and still get
1" x2" blocks from. Something you could make a say a fighter style handle for a hidden tang. When I was doing construction it was always hard to get the customer to visual the end product!! Now I am in that position!!! Go figure!!