An old friend of mine has become a “near vegan househusband” so I thought he could use a slicer.
Usually, when I have the blade done, I know what I want to do for the handle. This is another one of those 1095/wrought iron facing with 1095 core 3-layer blades. But I decided not to make it flashy, and left it in a state of high polish; you can still see all the crazy action in the metal, it’s just not technicolor. Eventually it will stain and age into having more depth in the look.
The bolster for the handle is ivory linen micarta – “fake ivory” – and it turned out to be great stuff to work with. It’s a bit sticky when it gets hot so it’ll gum up a belt, but other than that it’s tough and textures like the real thing.
I suspect most craftspeople have a great big closet (in my case, it’s the old milk room attached to the barn) where they stash away pieces of wood that they plan to use someday for something nice. This red oak is from a block I got at a woodcraft store’s “going out of business” sale back in 1999. Someone had reserved it to make a guitar body out of but I wound up getting it instead. Taking that over to the table-saw and turning it into blocks was a bit saddening, but that’s the only way I can get it into people’s hands.
The handle grind is one I’ve been doing a lot lately; it happened sort of by accident on one of my early experiments, then I decided I liked it. The top has two 45-degree facets and then the bottom is rounded. It just finds its way right into your hand. But in this case I deliberately chose that grind because I knew the grain would really pop out on the bottom.
When I table-saw wood stock for handle blanks, I usually tape a quarter to the corner of one side of the block, so it offsets the grain slightly against the rip-guide. It means I waste a bit of wood but the grain tends to look more interesting. Yes, I know what real “quarter sawn” wood looks like; this is just me being silly. But how does it look?
Looks like I am on the hook for some cat, dog, and kid scrapers. It’s going to take me a while to get around to them because I’ve got a pretty hefty work-queue right now, but you will get your scraper if you asked for one.