Notes on Working With Aluminum Honeycomb
The advice given here is for scales with aluminum honeycomb, my DesignerLine scales (with ribs fashioned from aluminum roof flashing, and to a certain extent, wood burls, pinecones, banksia pods, cholla cactus, and just about any other damn thing someone decides they want cast in resin for knife scales...
I have tried to develop the best fabrication process that I can and am always trying to improve...
The aluminum honeycomb used in these scales has been put through a five step proprietary chemical etching process to provide superior adhesion at the metal-resin interface.
I don't want to scare anyone off, or give the impression that these knife scales with metal inclusions are delicate, because they're not and I have actually had very few problems..
Any 'inclusions' in a cast urethane knife scale, whether it be wood burl, aluminum honeycomb, pinecones, or aluminum ribs presents a potentially weak spot at the inclusion-resin interface. This is the only place I've ever seen them come apart.
These scales, while not exactly fragile, until they are secured to the knife, can and will break if mishandled, so here are a few precautions.
If, while working on them, you notice any separation beginning at the resin/metal interface, use thin CA (Superglue) to immediately and permanently make a repair. Use the water thin CA as it will wick into the seam. (Or you can contact me for a refund or replacement)
If you drop them on the floor you might get a break at the junction. Not necessarily will break, as I have had the grinder throw many across the room with no damage, but it could happen, so if you're a fumble fingers like me, be careful.
Use sharp drills and do not drill without a solid backing. Not only will this prevent 'blowouts' (chipping on the back side), but can prevent failure at the aluminum/resin junction
I repeat: once the scales are secured (and by 'secured' I mean 'glued') to the tang there should be no problems and the scales are actually quite tough and durable. Until that time, handle with some amount of care.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A BREAK...
First of all, I guarantee everything I make - I don't guarantee that it won't break, but I guarantee that I'll make it right with you, so you can always get a refund or replacement at no additional cost to you.
The problem might be that these are all one-of-a-kind and a replacement is not going to be exactly the same. I can come close to the same colors, but it won't be exact. If you love the scales and still want to use them, they can probably be repaired....often by YOU, yourself...or if you don't want to do it, I will.
Most repairs can be made with CA....just align carefully and glue the broken pieces back together. Once they are secured to the knife tang, they will not separate again. For the best joint possible, use the thinnest CA you can...if you have something that requires 'gap filling' CA, please contact me to discuss alternatives.
(CA is also great for filling voids or sealing bark inclusions in burl wood.)
If you have damage that looks like it is going to take more than a little superglue, or, if after having a problem you have no confidence that there won't be further damage or problems, please call me to discuss possible repair, replacement or refund. Especially if it's a knife for a client - I understand you might be hesitant to send it out to a customer and THEN have it break again....that's why I offer this 'easy' return policy.
Finally, maybe you, yourself have damaged the scales or drilled a hole in the wrong spot or some stupid thing or another...I know I have...plenty of times There are a lot of things I can help with, so please contact me to discuss, even if you feel like the 'mistake' was your own 'fault'.
As a consumer, I have been screwed many times by merchants who just didn't seem to committed to doing the right thing and I vowed that if I was in charge, things would be different. Well, I AM in charge here, and I am committed to doing the right thing every single time, which means if there's a problem with anything you bought from me, I am going to work with you to resolve it one way or the other.