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Read more details about these manmade wood products and see a color chart and comparison on my "Manmade Knife Handle Materials" page at this bookmark.
Back to Topics Woods that are stabilized are woods that are usually too weak, too porous, or too plain to be used without treatment.
Back to Topics Looking at the availability of various exotic hardwoods, one would think that only a dozen or so rate use for a custom knife handle.
Back to Topics The word "hardwood" actually refers to trees that are deciduous.Deciduous trees are actually angiospermous trees: trees that loose their leaves every winter, bear flowers, and have broad leaves. Coniferous trees have needles or are evergreen, and have cones.Because most of the deciduous trees have wood that is physically dense and more resistant to penetration, they were coined "hardwoods." This may not necessarily be the case though, as some conifers have very hard, tough wood, and some deciduous trees have wood that is fairly soft.Dyes are vacuum-impregnated into the wood, then the wood is pressure impregnated with polymer or phenolic resin at very high pressures, then highly compressed into plywood blocks.
With the high compression rates and solid massing of the material, this creates a very dense, tough, and solid wood product, that is pretty much waterproof when wet.They must be durable, able to hold fine curves and thin sections like the high points of finger grooves, flutes, and bolster dovetails without breaking, chipping or splintering.