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I'm gonna try my hand at knife making, not forging but just starting with steel billet. I've been watching tutorials for months and think I can manage to turn out something that will cut but after that who knows what will come of it lol. I have chosen AEB-L 1/8" stainless and will be sending the blade out for tempering before I assemble as I don't want to tackle tempering stainless. The handles will be stabilized wood but I have a question about finishing the wood. I am not sure what finish to use to bring out the grain and get a polished look. I figure it's some sort of oil but am hoping someone on here can point me to the proper one to use. My dad and my two brothers and me will be going on an elk hunt in September and I want to surprise them with these to use on the trip. Any tips would be appreciated.
 

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You would be better off using carbon steel than stainless, stainless is harder to sharpen. I don't think you have to do anything but sand and polish stabilized wood, it is already saturated in an epoxy like material which will buff out.
 

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Woods walker, I know I would definitely be better off with carbon and I know how much easier it is to work with. I fought with this over and over and just couldn't decide. My biggest fear was my brothers not taking care of the blades and oiling them as they should and not storing them outside of the sheath. Lets just say my brothers aren't known for going above and beyond to take care of things and I didn't want to put all that time into something only to have it rust. I know I made this harder on myself but my hope is that in the end the knives will last longer and better than the 1095.
 

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I wonder how many people really know they should not store their knives in a sheath. There are some tanning methods that are ok to do that with, but since we don't know how sheaths were tanned, I choose to not keep them inside he sheath when storing.
 

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Probably not many at all which is why we see everything made in stainless. Carbon is a high performing steel and easy to put an edge on but can you imagine if Kershaw or Buck made all carbon knives. People would be bashing them left and right after their knives all rusted and it would be because none of them really knew how to keep care of it and no fault of the manufacturer.
 
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