Offgrid Preparation Making a DIY Knife with Denim Handle Scales
While it looks like some equipment stand for a kidâs chemistry...
If you've read some of our previous knife reviews, such as the TOPS Hazen Legion 6.0 and the White River Firecraft FC5, you'll probably recognize the word micarta. This term refers to a composite material that's often used on knife handles and gun grips. Some types of micarta have a marbled appearance with light and dark layers, while others appear as a single solid color. Micarta is also known for its ability to absorb moisture, so it can provide a secure grip even if your hands are wet or sweaty. So, what exactly is this material?
Micarta is technically a brand name and registered trademark of Norplex-Micarta, but much like Kleenex tissues and the Thermos insulated water bottle, it has sometimes been used in a generic sense to describe a category of composites. These composites are formed from densely-packed layers of fabric suspended in thermosetting plastic (a.k.a. resin or epoxy). Micarta can be made from linen, canvas, denim, paper, carbon fiber, or just about any other fabric by stacking multiple layers and using pressure to impregnate these layers with resin.
In the following video, YouTube channel M.N. Projects shows how to make a DIY fixed-blade knife with denim micarta handle scales. The scales are literally just a pair of old blue jeans, cut into rectangles, brushed with epoxy, and pressed into a wood form using a bench vise and C-clamps. These scales are then pinned onto the knife, and sanded down using a dremel and sandpaper. If you've got a workshop at home and some basic power tools, this is something that wouldn't be too hard to accomplish — these scales could give your old knife a new look and improve grip in wet conditions.