Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yellowheart (Pau Amarelo) and Leather Knife

This is a knife I made which is a part of my South American Collection. I have three knives made of South American woods, and another one I intend to start on soon. The other completed knives are made of Argentinian Osage Orange (Maclura Tinctoria) and Canarywood (Centrolobium spp.) and the one planned is going to be Leopardwood (Roupala spp.).

I made the handle design using only two leather spacers and yellowheart. Yellowheart (Euxylophora paraensis) is a yellow wood from Brazil, also known as Brazilian Satinwood, Pau Amarello, Pau Amarelo, Amarelão, Amarelinho, Amarelo, Amarelo-cetim, Cetim, Espinheiro, Limãorana, Muiratanã, Muiratauá, Pau-amarelo, Pau-cetim, Pequiá-cetim, and Piquiá-cetim. That is a lot of names!
I really love the color of this wood, especially since it is so unusual. Take a look at the photo below or click here:

Very beautiful wood! Hardwood is yellow and sapwood is pale yellow to a yellowy-white. Aside from the very odd odor this wood gives off when sanding or cutting, it was a dream to work with. It has a fine texture and even with a belt sander I managed to get this handle quite smooth. It had the occasional splinter when working with it but no issues here as I used gloves (I read somewhere it can splinter, and I did not want to find out the hard way if this exotic wood can cause dermatitis when a splinter gets under the skin).

The photo above shows the knife after the yellowheart was cut into two pieces. I used a Finnish Lauri 85 x 17 mm stainless steel blade.
I have seen a lot of knives with two separate pieces of wood in the the handle, and I like that style a lot, so I decided to do it. I did, however, intentionally make the bottom piece shorter than the upper part to create a unique, seldom seen design in a handle. I used white fiber spacers and tan leather spacers to create a nice color contrast within the handle.
As you can see below, it turned out very nicely!

I also made a Scandinavian style sheath for this knife, take a look below:

Soon, as I work on my next knife and sheath, I will create a tutorial so those who are interested can see this process in a step-by-step basis. Making the sheath is just as fun as making the knife, which is called the Metsä, Finnish for "forest". Hope you enjoy.

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