Do it yourself scales

So, how hard could it be? Dunno yet.

I recently purchased a used (... "previously owned") Spyderco Tenacious. A great knife at the usual $45 or so full retail. This one set me back $25, but it has me thinking about trying my hand at making some custom scales. The least expensive "ready made" custom scales I have seen online have been $35 for the set.


The question is, where do you get G10 or Micarta? Check out these places, and look for "handle material". For about $6 you can get a 1/8 by 1.5 by 10 inch slab of G10, which is enough to make a pair of scales for the Tenacious.

For $13 or so, you can get a 3x12x1/8 slab of Micarta (enough for two knives).

You can also consider 3/16 or 1/4 inch thick material if you want a fatter and rounder handle.

So I placed the order at USA Knifemaker for a pair of 1/8 and a pair of 3/16 black canvas micarta. Grand total including $3.39 shipping is $7.90 -- so the scales will end up costing $4. At that price I don't mind having some extra material either as a backup in case of mistakes or just to experiment with.

And it is a good idea to experiment with hole drilling on some of the scraps (or sections that will be scraps), especially the countersinking.

Also if you move to G10, use a respirator for sure. G10 can be cut on a diamond saw wet to avoid a lot of dust.

Power tools

This looks like the motivation I need to get my bandsaw into operation. Also I am looking at buying one of these:


There are lots of videos on You Tube about how make knives and scales. The tragic part is that the first video (otherwise excellent, on the Rat-1) does not show the hardest part, namely drilling the countersinks for the screw heads.

Pins - they hold the handle. Epoxy is more to provide a "seal". Nickle silver, brass, mosaic, copper. Loveless and Corby bolts (Corby can be tricky as to thickness).

Mule holes

The first mule used a peculiar dimension for the small holes (they are 5/32 instead of 3/16), but all subsequent mules are as follows:
Small Holes - 3\16 -- I measure 0.188 (over 0.1875)
Lanyard Hole - 1\4 -- I measure 0.248
Large Holes - 3\8  -- I measure 0.390 (over 0.375)

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Knife Info / tom@mmto.org