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Celtico-Nordic Knife.


Thomas M.

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Hello all,

 

Here is my first attempt to carve ebony wood (and actually my fourth or fifth carving). I forged a Nordic like blade using carbon steel (XC75, don't know the American designation) then used old iron for the "hilt" and ebony for the handle.

 

The design of the carving is inspired by the traditional Celtic knotwork and the bottom of the handle is a kind of god/warrior from old Nordic times.

 

I am quite happy of the result as it is close to the initial project but still feel disappointed with the lack of precision and symmetry on it. Ebony is really a nervous and capricious wood, which does not accept any mistake (see the lack of wood on some areas, due to quite enthusiastic moves with my tools :rolleyes:).

 

I don't know yet if I will do a scabbard, let's try this first during my next trek.

 

The original project:

post-2870-0-55652900-1303885003.jpg

 

Then finished knife:

post-2870-0-15034700-1303885013.jpg post-2870-0-00921100-1303885014.jpg post-2870-0-21458500-1303885015.jpg post-2870-0-11922100-1303885016.jpg post-2870-0-07362800-1303885017.jpg post-2870-0-04469100-1303885018.jpg post-2870-0-07171300-1303885019.jpg post-2870-0-14273200-1303885020.jpg post-2870-0-20012900-1303885021.jpg post-2870-0-25422700-1303885022.jpg post-2870-0-97220100-1303885022.jpg

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Hi Thomas,

 

Nice work, really close to the sketching. What final grit did you use for sanding the ebony?

Did you apply any oil or any other treatment too the wood?

As far as the symmetry goes, well I would say that nothing is symmetrical so.....;)

Anyway nice work, congratulations

 

Christophe

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Hi Christophe,

 

As this was my first finishing on ebony, I tried things a bit blindly.

 

Once the carving was done, I smoothed and rounded the surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper. Then quickly used steel wool (direct translation from French, don't know the english name), which was impressively abrasive on ebony.

 

I finally polished it using a felt wheel and polishing paste (you can still see some white spots in the deepest parts of the handle). I will use a toothpick to remove it.

 

Thanks for your congratulations.

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Hi Thomas,

 

Ok, I don't have experience with ebony in particular, but I tried different wood european and exotic, and here's the result of my experience, sanding wise, I go 'til 1200 wet, usually I start with 400, 600 and final stage 1200 all wet and for polishing purpose olive oil works quite well or something call cedar oil that I did find in Portugal one time and that gives a nice shiny look. And the good thing about oils, not need to use toothpick after ;)

I also know that some people use a mix of beeswax with some tree resin, but don't remember which tree :blush: , this has the advantage of polishing, protecting and nourishing the wood

Hopefully, someone one TCP will have more experience with ebony and will share it with us ;)

 

Take care

 

Christophe

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Hi,

 

I have used a few differently sourced ebony woods, each with different characteristics from less to more hard, more or less black, etc. As the carving of these woods progresses, and as with most of the dense woods, I have learned to use certain tools as scrapers or miniature planes, lightly scraping the surfaces that are to be smooth showing no tool marks moving mostly with or somewhat diagonally across the grain. A very smooth surface results that can then be 'sanded' with fine grits of papers of 600 and for certain of my pieces to 12,000.

 

I use a technique that is rather simple to offer some relief from an all polished surface, that highlights and mutes various aspects of the carving. Some examples:

 

382b_t2.jpg

 

Wood & Moth was carved from an ebony that has multiple dark colors. It was not the hardest or most dense of woods, and was lovely to carve. It took a good polish. Click the title/link to see larger images and both sides of this piece.

 

 

409_4.jpg 409_6.jpg

Centipede was carved from a very black ebony, again not the hardest specimen but a delight to carve. This wood responded especially well to the contrasting affects of polishing and water dulling with careful re-polishing of the higher parts of the textures. For more images click the title/link.

 

Janel

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