Micarta Scales

Howard Law

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
I have been wanting a set of scales for my carry knife, just something different than than the stock boring black. I like the matte finish micarta scales on my GSO 5, but I havent found anyone who makes them for my application - at least not for a reasonable cost. I decided to try making a set for myself.

Here's the starting point - A Benchmade 710. I forgot to take a decent pic of mine before taking it apart, so I borrowed a photo:

 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
I decided to try making something in a natural color, so cut up a set of old khaki shorts for the material.



I cut the material into strips just a little larger than I would need for the handles.

 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
Micarta is made by pressing layers of material with resin to create a natural feeling but relatively tough material. I used these two leftover pieces of a solid core door to get a well dispersed pressing force on the material.



I bought a small fiberglass repair kit from Ace Hardware for the job. It provides enough resin and hardener for a small project and cost $9. I dipped each strip of cloth in the resin and laid it on the board, using wax paper to keep the finished piece from sticking to the wood.

 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
One thing I was unsure about was how much the material would compress and how thick the finished product would turn out. Here it is layered up and ready for clamps.



The resin will start to set up fairly quick, so you need to have stuff ready to start pressing it right away.
 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
Earlier tonight I sanded the slab down enough the reach the cloth and a workable flat spot. I used the existing grips to lay out patterns on the new material.



Using a vise and a coping saw I cut close to my patterns. I also drilled holes for the mounting hardware.

 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
As I said, I wasnt sure about the compression on these, and the final product came out a lot thicker than I need. I'll need to thin these down on a good belt sander in the next few days. For reference, my cloth pressed down fom 3/4" to a little under 1/4".

 

Kobayashi

Sniper
Mar 25, 2015
2,078
2,418
113
Ola
I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in a table top belt sander, but luckily I found my handheld unit. I bought some new belts for it and was able to work on the scales today. I got the material down to the correct thickness and worked on the shaping and fitting this afternoon. A drill press would have been helpful, but even drilling by hand everything lined up pretty well. The only thing that remains is deciding whether or not to put some sort of finish coating on the micarta. I like the look as is, but the micarta is fairly porous and I'd like to prevent it from staining. I found this out the hard way when I oiled the knife.

Anyway - here is the finished product. At least I think it's finished:





 
H

Hoss

Guest
I'd like to try and make some for the Espionage. I've got some digital camo shorts that are ready for the trash can.