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Homemade micarta for a variety of applications

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Homemade micarta for a variety of applications

Postby DIY_guy » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:29 am

This is how I make a homemade layered resin knife handle. This is commonly done with carbon fiber and fiberglass but I've also seen it done with denim so I thought I would show how I do it. I've seen others do this with some pretty interesting results. I want a black handle and red handle so I’m making it out of an old pair of black dress pant that had a busted zipper and an old red T-shirt. I cut squares that were 4 ½ by 4 ½ so that I can get a matched set of handle scales.

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This was messy work and I wore rubber gloves that quickly were covered in resin so not many pics were taken during the actual assembly of layers. I got the resin and hardener from Walmart.

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I used a plastic bin to coat each square and a squeegee to spread and saturate the cloth.

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I would be clamping the stack between two wood slabs. I cut apart a large Ziploc bag and taped it to the blocks to keep them from sticking to the fabric squares.

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16 layers thick. Notice how the Ziploc bag material is no longer smooth and tightly stretch over the block. This stuff gets really hot. I could not hold the mixing container due to the heat.

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Then I clamped them together as tightly as I could. I also made a set of thinner pieces out of a red T-shirt. I will use them for spacers. They are only 2 layers thick.

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I let them set for 24 hours even though the container said it would be cured in 2 ½ .

After prying the blocks apart.

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After sawing off the excess.

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All that pressure did a good job of making a very solid and heavy chunk of resin impregnated cloth.

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Here are the scales and spacers I cut for the knife.

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I took a piece of scrap and rounded and polished it to see what the surface would look like without applying any kind of finish. I polished it on a flannel buffing wheel with Tripoli compound. It even looks a little like carbon fiber.

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Since this is just an experiment , I am using one of the Chicago Cutlery factory 2nds I have on hand. I’m not sure what about them makes them 2nds but they sell them at a good price. This is just a basic kitchen knife and perfect for this sort of practice.

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I used brass pins and my regular slow cure epoxy to attach the handle parts. I used a belt sander and palm sander to shape. I went from 50 grit to 400 grit sandpaper and then 000 steel wool and finally the flannel buffing wheel. Here is the finished handle made from a pair of pants and an old T-shirt.

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Interesting patterns can be made by using different colored cloth layers. I plan to make another using blue jeans and some other colored fabric that my wife wont miss.

Here I use denim as well as colored construction paper.

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I used another Chicago Cutlery blade.

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10 layers of green construction paper. This stuff has some potential and comes in a wide variety of colors (and is cheap)

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Now a Burlap sack and an old green T-shirt.

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The uses for this homemade "micarta" are endless as are the material choices.
The joy is in the planing and doing.
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Re: Homemade micarta for a variety of applications

Postby whump » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:51 pm

That handle turned out very nice. I made a flip stock handle years ago using the same idea with red and green nylon cloth left over from a backing project . Very nice job on your part
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Re: Homemade micarta for a variety of applications

Postby bearauto11 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:21 pm

That burlap sack one has a really cool pattern.
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Re: Homemade micarta for a variety of applications

Postby Stykshooter » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:22 am

I like that burlap as well. Interesting thread
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