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Snakewood is often sourced from South America and is probably one of the most stunning woods out there. However it comes at a price. Not only is it incredibly difficult to source, but much of the log is unusable due to large voids and splits that are commonly found throughout the piece. As a result, yield is often very low from this already rare and expensive material.
Some of the knives I sell (except Premium Snakewood) may include small hairline splits in places. This is nothing to worry about. These splits have been stabilised with the epoxy I use to glue the blade holder in place, and have been sealed under the three layers of finish I use to protect the knife. If I deem a split to be too risky, I will discard the knife from stock.
Highly figured woods such as Curly Maple vary from board to board, or even across individual boards themselves. So as a result, I grade them based on their quality. If however I come across a wood that is not commonly figured, such as African Blackwood, this will be sold in the Specials section for it's rarity.
If a handle stands out as unusual or rare, I will class it as a ‘Special' and place a small surcharge on the price. Below you'll find some of the common characteristics found in these handles.
There are some woods out there that are commonly figured such as Curly Maple for example. However the majority do not. Therefore if I come across a wood that is not commonly figured, it will be classed as a special.
When I cut blanks from a solid board, some of them are cut directly along the sapwood creating this stunning constrast between the light and dark wood. If I deem it ‘cool' enough, it will be classed as a special.
This word is not commonly used to describe wood, but is the best thing I could come up with. It describes the diffused ‘marble-like' pattern that is found in woods that usually have striped, evenly spaced grain petterns such as Cocobolo.
Occasionally I screw up, or a piece of wood is not all it seems to be. But instead of discarding it, I sell it as B-Stock to prevent wastage and to make the hit on peoples wallets slightly less severe. The majorty of these defects are very minor cosmetic flaws and are nothing to worry about. I just can't bring myself to sell them full price. Below are common defects you may find in the B-Stock section.
Sometimes I'll get a catch, or a defect will present itself when turning the handle and is something I cannot remove with sandpaper.
Small dents or defects that may appear on the ferrule for varying reasons. Often caused by my clumsiness when handling the knives.
Sometimes I shorten a handle by 10mm or so to cut out a defect. This doesn't affect the knife at all, other than how it fits in the foam within the box.
Due to minor misalignments, the blade can sometimes be tighter than I'd hoped. But are still perfectly usable and have been tested before dispatch.