Looking for larger blocks of figured wood

Discussion in 'New to Knifemaking' started by C Craft, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. C Craft

    C Craft Well-Known Member

    I am looking for a place to find larger chunks of figured wood for handles on a couple of knives I am working on. The knife I have pictured is of the type of handle I am looking at building!

    This masterpiece of a knife is by Mark Cooke. What a great job he did on this one!

    [​IMG]Mark Cooke by Clifton Craft, on Flickr

    This type of handle has a drop to it and also flairs at the butt of the handle. I estimate a handle like this will require a block I would estimate the width would be closer to a 2" wide because of the angle of the handle and flair to handle itself!!

    Most everything I have been able to find is at max 1 1/2" wide at best!
    Looking for something in the neighborhood of 2"X1 1/2"x5"

    Anyone got a source for larger size blocks of figured stablized wood?? I am wanting some curly maple and ironwood!
  2. JeremyBartlett

    JeremyBartlett Well-Known Member

    Arizona ironwood has a bunch of larger sized blocks that would work good for what you are looking for. I'm new here and not sure about posting links, but if you Google them I'm sure you'll find what ya need

    Sent from my SM-N915V using Tapatalk
  3. mike miller

    mike miller KNIFE MAKER

    Hoffman knives here on the forum has some close to that size in his sale area.
    I have liked everything I have received from him and think his prices were good.
  4. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    I have to admit that finding handle material in the sizes I want gets more frustrating every day. I can remember a time when most "blocks" were cut in 2" X 2", and were priced within reason. As time has ticked by, blocks get smaller and smaller (to the point of most being unusable for the type/style handles I make).... and prices go up and up. I'm at the point were I simply will not buy handle material unless it's in person. I've had too many instances of buying online, only to discover later that the seller did something dumb.... like wet the block(s) for the picture, and by the time it got to me it was checked and/or split. Or, in a number of instances I've not even gotten the specific block(s) I ordered.

    I've pretty much resigned myself to buying larger chunks of wood and resawing them myself. That has it's own challenges too, like trying to find those larger chunks, but at least with larger blocks I can resaw them to get what I want/need.

    In the end, it's knifemakers in general who are to blame.... many newer makers (no offense intended gang) have/will buy those undersized pieces of wood, paying over inflated prices for them, and in doing so, that has more or less become the "norm". Even though it's been going on for a while now, I still am flabbergasted when I see a 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" block of stabilized Maple with a price of $70-$90!

    The reason I get so wrapped around the axle about this subject is simply this..... the cost of building any knife has skyrocketed over the past 1/2 decade, but when you quote prices to clients, especially on those knives where the client wants very specific materials, they freak out. I don't ever try to make a mint when selling a knife, but I can't sell a knife for only the cost of materials either. Somewhere there is a serious disconnect between supply prices and the money clients are willing to spend on "high grade" materials.

    OK.... sorry for my rantings. :) My advice for finding "larger blocks" is to seek out sources for larger chunks of a given wood type, and cut them yourself. Otherwise, you end up paying far more then is fair, and for the most part you will not recoup your investment.
  5. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

    C. Craft

    1) Bossdog has a bunch of ironwood listed for sale on his site. I did not go through all of them to see if they have the size that you want. Just call the office and inquire. He might have the maple also. I did not look. Again, just ask.

    2) Here is the website for Arizona Ironwood. I have never used them so I have no comment on that part. http://arizonaironwood.com/

    3) Also, you might get a hold of a member here. WoodMD. He is a carver that sells some of his extras here on KD. He has larger pieces for sale generally. Just contact him and inquire about what you are looking for exactly.

    Hope this helps you out a little bit.

  6. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    Arizona Ironwood is a great company to deal with. I have bought several blocks from them. They have had the most figured Buckeye Burl I have found to date. Your options on curly maple are endless. John Doyle is a good source. If you have a wood working shop near by check there. I bought 2 2-1/2X2-1/2X36 turning table legs of tight curl maple for $30.
  7. C Craft

    C Craft Well-Known Member

    Wow I want to thank all for the leads and info on the type of blocks I am looking for, now I got to do my homework and dig into those sources!!

    Ed, I have to agree with you on the cost of materials! The whole idea of a "Custom Knife" is too much for a lot of folks!! I don't know how many times I get, oh so you make knives! How much are they and when you try to explain it varies with what you want. They show you a pic of something they can buy at Wallywolrld and say something like that! Well something like that maybe a $120 or more! Then you get whaaaaaat but I can buy that at Wallyworld for $65.00! Sure you can but that is a mass productiion and not a custom! That is usually when I go to the line, well custom knives are not for everyone, a custom knife is made for you and the sheath is not mass produced it is made to and for the knife!!!

    So yes everytime materials go up the more it makes hard to make a profit!!! But I guess this is all subject for another thread!

    Thanks again everyone for the leads!! The help you can get when you ask a question, helps to make up the comradery found on this site always impresses me!!
  8. wmhammond

    wmhammond Well-Known Member

    Hello. Recently I posted a picture of a piece of burl called Wych Elm (I reposted it below) that I got from a friend of mine in Scotland. Also below I have posted a picture of a partially finished knife with a handle made from the first piece of burl. As you can tell, the wood is magnificent and my wood carving skills, not so much. If you might have an interest in this wood I will send you a chunk of it (pictured last)big enough to make two handles, one for you and one for me. No other charge - just an even trade. Let me know.


    IMG_3095.jpg IMG_3094.jpg IMG_3252.jpg IMG_3254.jpg IMG_3258.jpg IMG_3257.jpg IMG_3256.jpg IMG_3255.jpg
  9. C Craft

    C Craft Well-Known Member

    Wallace, I do appreciate the offer but I will have to pass. You see I am somewhere between a part time knife maker and a hobbyist!

    I never know how much time I will have to work on anything, my time is in high demand these days, in other areas besides the knife making! Sometimes my knife making gets laid aside for months at a time. So I have learned to try never to get tied up in something I may not be able to deliver on!!

    That is a beautiful piece of wood no doubt about it, and once again thanks for the offer but, I will pass!!!
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  10. Dennis Morland

    Dennis Morland KNIFE MAKER

  11. C Craft

    C Craft Well-Known Member

    Thanks DeMo! [​IMG] I know this guy use to follow him a long time ago! Dang-it already creating a wish list,............and so goes the profit on the last one!! :s12108:

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