Scaly Snake Skin Knife

Scaly Snake Skin Knife

Peter’s latest project is certainly not for the feint of heart, in fact he might have been close to fainting a couple of times himself, but he was not rattled!

A lovely viewer was kind enough to mail Peter a bag of snake skin with which to construct a project.

It was through sheer resolve and determination that he was able to tip the scales in his favor and shed his fears.

Peter could have chosen anything as his options were not constricted in the least.

He settled upon fashioning himself some knife handles/scales out of the the wonderful scare package. His plan was to use some silicone molds to embed the molted skin in several thin pours of resin.

Peter’s first instinct was to pour a base of black resin. There are many pigmenting options available out there, including some nice and cheap resin hacks that he discovered in his Dye Trying Series on his channel. Peter opted to use one here as well.

It provided a stark black background behind the skins.

In order to prevent skin to skin contact, Peter donned some gloves to inspect, measure and cut up pieces of nature’s bubble wrap.

The process of manipulating the delicate skins to lay them out was an audible nightmare for Peter to endure, but he was luckily able to solve it by flattening them with a sheet of clear acrylic. He used a paint stirrer to help that process even further.

After trimming them down to the correct size, he effectively glued the skins down with a bit of resin and let that cure. Had he completely submerged the reptile scraps, they would have likely not stayed at the bottom and floated up to the surface, thus ruining the casting.

After popping the blanks out, Peter quickly realized that his first instinct for black was unfortunately wrong. Sometimes this can be unavoidable no matter how much preplanning is done. The end result resembled carbon fiber or even chain mail, which was sadly not the effect he was going for. On to version 2.0!

If black was totally wrong, why not give white a try for the opposite effect… Good thing Peter was gifted with an overabundance of snake skins!

After popping out what almost resembled fillets of fish, Peter began to lay out how the blanks would be trimmed and positioned.

Using the bandsaw for the profile, the drill press for the pins, and the belt sander for the round overs, he made quick work of these once slithery specimens. More resin was used to bind the scales to the metal knife blade. It was finally time for often the most satisfying of all steps in a resin project, the finishing sanding!

After progressing through the traditional grits, it was onto the MicroMesh system. Peter’s hands were a complete blur as he shined up the handles with care.

It was a long serpentine path to get there, but Peter’s hard work paid off with a super cool knife handle made from a snake. Charming!