Knife scales

I replaced the scales on a folding knife.

Longer version:

I love my Gerber Freeman Guide folding knife. Solid, good locking mechanism, takes a beating.

The problem is that the rubber handle started to peel. I asked Gerber support about it, and they’re sending me a warranty replacement knife. This leaves me with my old knife that needs new scales. Sooo…

Step 1 take pictures of the scales, trace the outlines, and cut out of orange cardstock to see how I did.

Test fit: Looking good.

Decide on materials. Needed to be about 0.2" thick. I decided on three layers of 1/16" material, walnut-yellowheart-walnut. Cut - align - glue, and then shape (Dremel, sandpaper) to fit my hand. Here you can see one that is shaped and one that is still raw.

Test fit the shaped scales… Looking excellent.

Choose a finish. @shogun gave me some sage advice and I went with Danish oil. Here it is absolutely dunked in the stuff. Let it sit a while, then wipe off the excess.

Once the oil dries, place it on the knife, and you’re all done!

The problem is that these scales are way cooler than the original ones. I’ll probably immediately put these scales on the warranty knife and that will be my new bench knife.


Looking good!



I had a gerber on my wish list for Christmas (it was down to $22). I guess my mom didn’t want me playing with knives.

I chose it specifically because it looked like it would be easy to make custom scale replacements.


Love the look. Was thinking of using ipe myself for my next knife. Looks good. My knives are straight knives, so I don’t have the luxury of tracing the old scales.

1 Like

I like that. May have to buy one. In the meantime, I think I’ll take your advice and make some for these freebie I got from woodcraft.

1 Like

When I say trace, I meant I took a picture, imported it into inkscape, drew a bezier curve around the image, then scaled it using my calipers.

If I had a bare knife blade I would do the same thing, except I’d draw right on the picture of the tang.

A beautiful replacement. Love the contrast.

1 Like