End Grain Koa Knife Re-Handle

By Tappar almost 4 years ago

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A couple years ago I took a trip to Hawaii with my family and While I was there I was trying to find some Koa wood to bring home. I found a wood shop that made furniture exclusively out of Koa and figured that was as good a place as any. I talked to the shop owner and he was going to sell me a few pieces to pack into my luggage on the way home, he told me to come back the next day and he would have it set out for me.

I came back the next 3 days, different times, and kept missing him. The last day before I left I went around the side of the building to see if he was working in his shop. There were no signs of life but there was a barrel packed with old pop bottles, shop trash, and some beautiful off cuts of koa wood that were clearly destined for the dump! I grabbed what I thought I could fit into my suitcase and this is one of those pieces brought back to life.

I haven't ever really seen anyone use the end grain of the Koa wood, this piece was just the waste off of a much longer/thicker board. The tigers eye effect is best brought out when the grain is parallel to the viewing angle however there is a very subtle effect along the spine and front of the handle that I couldn't get to come through in the video or pictures. Finishing the end grain was a bit of a pain as it sucked up everything I put on it and more for many many coats but I am really happy with how it ended up turning out.

I started out trying to use a hand rubbed finish but I was never quite happy with it. On a whim I went back and sprayed about 6 coats of a 2 part catalyzed automotive clear that I was using for a few other projects. The pins for the handle are bronze bushings from a home improvement store then I eventually used a countersinking bit on. If you watch closely you can see the difference between the straight cut and sanded with the flat finish to the countersunk high gloss finish. I ended up using slightly smaller bushings as my titanium nitrite drill bits started going up in smoke the bigger I tried to make the holes, looks like I need to invest in a better set.

The knife blade was brought to a high polish from its original black finish, which was much rougher under the paint then I was expecting.

Please enjoy, like, and subscribe!
I will have at least 3 more knife videos coming out within the next few weeks if you liked this one