Sunday, November 18, 2012

C-Tek Handle Material

I was speaking with Eric Ochs (Great knife maker) the other day and he was talking about a fairly new material called C-Tek and C-Tek Matrix. I had not heard of it before but it sounded very interesting. Within a few days I had a customer ask for it on their knife. So I ordered some in.

From Composite Craft Inc's Website:
"C-Tek Resin infused honeycomb handle material. This is a material that has been “in the works” since 1995. We recently had a resin formulated for this application and have now introduced it to the manufacturing community. Quoted by Terry Renner as being “The next big thing” in handle materials,the material is absolutely stunning in its appearance and its ability to reflect light and gives a whole new depth to the knife making art. This material is available in .125 and .250” cell sizes and any thickness up to .500” and beyond. Any color honeycomb and any color resins are also available. The possibilities are endless."
After receiving the material I had a few concerns, 
  1. The sheets I received were warped which makes working with it very difficult. I sent a message to Custom Composites and they said that it should not be that way. and that they would get another batch to me ASAP. 
  2. As you grind the material the cell walls show up on the sides as you can see in the photo above (Small silver portion on left side)
  3. I was also concerned about the small pieces of resin along the edges breaking out of the open cells if dropped. 
I found this as a great opportunity to play with the materail a little bit. I snapped a few photos of some sets I glued up...

Here you can see the warpage when I push on one side of the cut scales. I look forward to getting the new stuff.

Here you can see the Cell walls on the side of the material

Two different scale sets the one on the left has "Black" Ctek on the Base portion and "Green" on the Bolster Portion. The right Scales have "Green" on the Base and "Black" on the Bolster. The only difference is a white liner on the right set. Makes a huge difference as you can see.

Another thing I learned is that I need to cut my angles along the cell lines as to not break the cell wall because light is then reflected differently along the line. You can see this in the green on the left below. I ran the bolster cells across the base cell structure as you can see in the photo below also. which I like...  Some people may not like this.

UPDATE - 11/17/12

I heard back from the maker of C-Tek and he told me that there must have been a problem with the Resin Cure and he will be sending me another batch and to use this material freely.

I already have it on  a knife, and I am very pleased with it. The only remaining concern is how well resin stays in the open cells along the edges. My concern lays in the light colored pieces in the photo below. I am afraid that if it gets bumped the resin will release from the honeycomb.

As long as the edges are rounded down to the liner material the walls look fine.

UPDATE: 11/24/12

I took some time to take photos of the process through one knife, finishing the knife up with C-Tek.

1 comment:

  1. Man, you make some serious cool looking have a real talent.