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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Sgian handle material ID?

    I recently picked up an older sgian dubh a few weeks ago. Looks to be nickel mounts, stainless blade, made maybe 60s or 70s (although stone setting looks older?). No country or maker mark on blade other than aged "stainless steel" mark. Basic leather sheath. Robert Allison maybe (did they do non-silver)?

    Curious thing is the handle - there looks to be a tight grain on the back. Did a hot pin test and it didn’t go in. Could this be blackwood or ebony? Anyone know when composite/plastic handles became ubiquitous?

    If anyone has thoughts about material, age or make, would love to hear. Pics below!

    IMG_2657.jpg
    IMG_2658.jpg
    IMG_2660.jpg
    IMG_2662.jpg
    IMG_2663.jpg
    Last edited by Piobair; 11th April 19 at 06:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    5th August 14
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    My first guess would be Ebony but it could be Persimmon heart wood. The grain looks tight enough and the color of Persimmon can be darkened to match Ebony. Dogwood is the only other wood that appears as dense as the photo of the handle you posted but would be harder to darken artificially.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tarheel!

    My thought is also ebony, although this is probably the first wood handled sgian I've owned that wasn't silver. Not a lot of info online about various makers... I wonder if there were a couple of factories in Sheffield that pumped out blades and various vendors putting their own handles or hardware on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    30th September 08
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    Might be African Blackwood. I have a couple of sgians with such handles. It’s a hard, dense wood and one commonly used in the making of pipe drones, from what I understand.

    SM

    P.S. Looks nice! With a carbon steel blade, it’d be perfect.
    Last edited by ShaunMaxwell; 11th April 19 at 06:41 PM.
    Shaun Maxwell
    Vice President & Texas Commissioner
    Clan Maxwell Society

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  6. #5
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    Here are some examples of woods for comparison.
    The first is Velvet Persimmon (heart and end grain of the heart)

    The second is Mexican Persimmon (also heart and end grain of the heart).

    The last photo is Ebony.

    All of these woods belong to the genus Diospyros. I am glad to have helped.

    The photos are from woodpics@hobbithouseinc.com and Mr.Reid. My thanks to their contributions.

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