First time at handling/fitting scales to a knife.....

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Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
I did this as a project during COVID lockdown, to keep myself occupied on days off with crafts. This is something I have always wanted to attempt and i found it gave me good headspace when not at work and a way to unwind!

I didnt make the blade, i brought a blank from Moonraker Knives - A Brisa Trapper bushcraft blade in 01 Tool Steel - i just handled it.

I then brought all the raw ingredients to handle it myself, i couldnt decide on wood or micarta but after a lot of reading, in the end i chose the micarta.

I also dont use the lanyard hole son my other knife so rather than a lanyard i chose a decorative pin to fill it. I am not completely sure about this, but if i change my mind i could knock the middle out of the pin.

I have never done this before, so spent a lot of time reading and watching videos and it was a nice project i enjoyed, and i will probably do again.

See photo captions for details of each step, i completed this over 2 weekends, dipping in and out of it. Approx 15hours spent, about 6- 7 was hand sanding. I will hand make a sheath for this, probably leather dyed black with white stitching - leatherwork i have done a number of times before!

The before


Flattening the scales

Shaping the front


Counter boring holes for the corby bolts

dimpling the liners for glueing

Clamped and epoxied

after glueing

after roughing out the shape on the belt sander

From here i hand sanded it, and i have left the scales with a bit of thickness, so i can use it for a bit and then shape it a bit more to suit if needed.I did constantly hold it in my hand feeling for hotspots though. I sanded 80-120 grit on the belt and disc sanders, then by hand i used 240, 400, 600 wet and dry but dry, then i re-sanded with the 400 and 600 using wd-40 as a lube. The micarta really didnt need more than 600 tbh, and even that was probably a uneccessary. I then buffed it on a wheel using multipurpose red compound and polished with a lambswool mop. I wasnt sure how this would turn out, as i have only polished non-ferrous metals before, but it turned out fine.

This is the finished product, a couple of errors (i caught the tang in 2 places with the edge of the belt and when sanding i came across a fault in the casting of the micarta) but none of that detracts from the usability. The knife came quite sharp already but i worked it some more, stropped it and put a micro-bevel on and it pass the arm hair test and the paper test.

Note the small blemish in the handle this side


Quite pleased for my first attempt. I think i will do another but will attempt to make my own micarta!


Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
looks awesome! Great job. I personally really like the decorative instead of a lanyard hole (I don't find them helpful personally)

Just wait until you have sheathed it, it'll be your new best friend
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
See what happened???? Your confidence went up a notch = you can build a knife.
And a damn fine design at that.

I source the blades but I build almost all of my wood carving tools with handles which fit me.
Everybody needs to do this, if even only once. Make a knife and use it.

It's important to bring BCUK people along.
There was a day and there was a time when you really did have to make do with what you could make.


Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
So follow up after 9months of use. I worked the scales a bit more as I was getting a hotspot on one side, but they are fine now.

- I really like micarta. It’s grippy and easy to clean
- I really like the shape of the blade of the trapper
- I have used it for battoning, cutting small branches, and slightly heavier stuff - the grind and the blade hold up well to abuse and are easy to sharpen.

- I have large hands and I find the handle on this fractionally short, so much so that when gripped in a ‘fist’ grip the heel of my palm over hangs
- took a bit of work to get the spine of the knife sharp edged enough to strike a fire steel properly

So while I really like this knife, I have ordered the newly released Brisa Trooper which is the same blade and steel as the trapper but the handle is larger, and brisa themselves say it’s meant for larger hands.

will post about that when I get it!

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Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
Great job you did :) Here’s on I did ooohh, must be fifteen years ago maybe. Blade is by J. Neilson, Forged In Fire judge. I fitted the Desert Ironwood with stainless Corby bolts. The DI has gone really dark over the years. One I’ll never sell ;-)


I don’t think I will ever sell this one, due to the circumstances what brought about it being made (lockdown lol)
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Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES

The price is £27 and you can pay via the paypal button below.