Thanks! Its a wax finish, easy to retouch and keep it looking impeccable for something that may see a lot of wear and tear. It also keeps pretty close to the woods original colour. The wood on this one is a fun story. I live in Quebec, where appletrees are abundant, it's fairly easy to buy a chopped down tree from any orchard, than you can cut it up and dry it as you like. with sliced taken vertically out of the log, it allows us to cut out handle scales with both the heartwood and sapwood in the piece, hence, the two colours. We expect to be using appletree a lot
That is great news! Your technique for using the stuff really shows off it's natural beauty. I tend towards using stabilized woods mostly because then I don't have to worry about it changing shape at all or absorbing moisture, but it can feel pretty "processed" in it's overall aesthetic. I love the warm "raw" feeling that your scales give your pieces. Ever have trouble's with wood shrinking or changing shape at all over time? So beautiful...
The risk of warpage and subsequent cracking is dependant on quite a few factors. First and foremost, how dry the wood is when used, if it is not throuroughly dry, it will surely warp as it dries. Keeping the grain longitudinal along the handle makes it safer from fracture along the grainline. The type of wood used is a factor, and also, a good thick scale isn't too greatly at risk, while a very thin one may warp and crack easier. Truth be told, if the wood is carefully selected and the model carefully designed it is fairly safe.
But organic material is organic material, and will never have the stability of anything of mineral nature, hence, even the best of unstabilised woods is at some degree of risk in bone dry environments (especially the smaller pieces). There is a huge yearly crafts show here in Quebec, and the woodworkers who make small objects are constantly struggling with the 2% humidity environment of the showroom. They've even devellopped a technique to "microwave stabilise their stuff". I can't vouch for the process' efficiency though as we haven't tried it out yet, though curiosity will surely get the best of us sooner or later and a few test will likely happen then.
Long story short, unstabilised wood will never be as stable as stabilised wood (which is rather self evident), but the world survived without stabilised wood for a ridiculously long time and given the proper design and care in crafting, it can be pretty close.
Hope I answered in part, but being mainly a metalsmith (my colleague Guillaume is the wood specialist), I have run into some frustration in the explaining or understanding of wood's behaviour, as it is unpredictable at best, whereas you always know what to expect from metal.
I love it, thanks a ton for the extensive breakdown. Since the wooden scales for my folders are quite small, I tend to play it safe with the stabilized, but working with Ironwood is my favorite which is naturally stable from baking for so long on the desert floor. I don't always have a piece though.
That Annual Crafts Show you mentioned sounds incredible! In December, yeah? Is December a nice time to visit Quebec? Sounds like an great thing to check out.
Keep up the great work! You and your Buddy are an excellent team.
It's a pleasure to share. Hmm... December a good time to visit Quebec... I guess it depends on how you like your weather. Winter isn't in full tilt quite yet in december, but it can be pretty cruelly cold anyhow. Montreal isn't quite at its liveliest wintertime. That said its a fun show, there's a lot of jewellery and ceramic work with quite a few interesting and visionary styles. At least a full quarter of the show is kitsch and considerably yawn-worthy, there is some quite interesting stuff among the other 75 % of work. If the show in itself is worth alone a trip to Montreal will largely depend on how you enjoy traveling. There's definately a thing or two to see even if it's in the white of snow covered sidewalks.