Sunday, November 29, 2009

And the Necker is Done...

Sometimes it is just meant to come together... This is one of those knives. I got the whole thing finished out in about 3 hours today. Never underestimate the power of a movie to enthrall a 5 year old while you sand...

It came out so well. Rosewood is just a joy to finish. The grain is tight and sands like a dream. The dainish oil just made it pop.

I am really looking forward to the first round of sheath making for this project.... cheers.

Drilling, Heat Treating, Scale Fitting, and Sanding

You know, one nice thing about doing a knife that is designed to be dirt simple and fairly traditional is that it goes by the numbers. This one is the first 'normal' one in a while and I am pleased with how it is coming together.

I decided to go with 16th inch pin stock to pin the scales. As is pretty common on my knives, it's also got a 1/4 inch lanyard tube. We had to make a trip yesterday so I took it along and tempered it up while the girl played like a wild person, descended of monkeys...

Ah... light straw. The color that says 59/60 HRC. We likey. I agonized over the scales for this thing for ever it seems. I finally decided that the rosewood was just too pretty, and honestly too cheap, not to use on this. So last night I cut them out and fitted them up. Epoxy doesn't mix well in the cold so I brought it all in and glued it up in a vice overnight.
While the girl was still snoozing this AM, I fired up the sanders and got things all roughed out and detail fitted. Next up is contour work and Danish oil... Hopefully I can ply her with an hour of two of Spoongebob today and get the shapes sorted out and sanded.

Next up... dust and stickness. :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Project Double Knife - Concept and Beginnings

For a while now I have been looking to set up a two knife rig that would work for me in the field and integrate with my existing kit. After hashing it out on paper a dozen different ways from Sunday, I came up with the concept I'll be using. I think it's a reasonable assessment to say that while an average knife will handle the batoning and abuse that comes with chopping, every one is better served to have a knife fit for game prep and small work and a larger one, made mostly with an eye to chopping and more abusive chores. I'll be testing that idea with these, BTW :-) Should be fun.

So pictured below here is 'the bear', so named mostly because if it's shape. As size goes it's not all that long but has some serious mass in steel. It's 6.5" long and 1.5" wide. Made of 5/32 O-1, it's packing all sorts of weight. I did a full distal taper on the blade and reduced it pretty dramatically but it's still not something to drop in your pocket or on your toe. It is, in fact, going to be a necker when I am done.

Here it is convex ground and ready for sanding and drilling. I am still up in the air about handle materials. It's a good problem to have though. I have sooo many things on the bench right now. I am thinking Dymonwood just because it is tough as heckles and looks pretty nice.

Next up.... Drilling, normalizing, and Heat Treating

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Light Kit - Field Trial #1

Well gang, here it is. I was out and about today for the first time what seems an eternity and I was rigging for squirrels. I spent a few days working out the things I was sure I would need for 7 or 8 hours out plus the usual FUBAR bag stuff and came up with this.

From left to right, top to bottom there we have:
  • My musette bag. Handiest thing I have used in a while. I need to mod the shoulder strap a bit and she'll be set.
  • On top of it there is the FUBAR bag. Inside are the compass, emrg blanket, spare fire thing, my headlamp / beacon, all my first aid gear. The bag itself is a zippy cabelas thing that works very well.
  • My Gerber sliding saw. Fantastic for making tree branches not poke you in the back...
  • The skinner I bought from Lance Okendon. (click here to see it) Great knife.
  • Gerber Multitool. Also great gear thing.
  • My $10 walmart poncho that has lasted 4 hunting seasons now.
  • 25' of 550 paracord
  • Camera
  • GPS - Garmin eTrex. Don't leave home with out one...
  • My Altoids tinder box. (today populated with the sure thing... cotton in Vaseline :-)
  • 100 rounds of Aguila 38 grain hollow point subsonic ammo
  • My Ruger Mk III target which is also hell on squirrels...
  • Spare mag
  • My German canteen & cup combo thing I got for $2.
  • A sling I bought on that I am still playing with. Today I threw a rock and didn't hit myself in the junk. It was a good day... :-)

Mostly I packed it up to see how it would carry and how it would do in the serious cedar thickets on the farm. All was well as far as I can see. No gear lost, damaged or otherwise abused. In addition, not noisy at all which is a plus for hunting.

On the upside, got to use the fire gear when I discovered that some of the lame neighbors has set up a deer blind on the folks place. Pretty funny how fast canvas will take a fire once you hit some good tinder with a spark.

About the only thing I need to add going forward is the MRE I forgot to pack. What you don't see in the pick is the Tim Horton's bagel I stopped and grabbed for lunch on the way out this morning. I was munching while shooting pics. It really gets no better than this.

When deer season kicks off for me finally ( I know the rest of the state has been at it for 6 weeks already) I know how I am packing. Replace the Mk III with a Thompson Encore I am set. I did scout 'The Spot' today as well. Assuming I make it, I may actually get another one this year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yew is Coming

So, in all the time I have been making knives I've discovered that while I really like Maple and Walnut and Amboyna burl, English Yew really trips my switch. Where I lucked out was finding a guy who makes furniture out of English Yew who also likes to cut knife scales. He's sending me those guys in the picture above. In addition to those, I have one more set of figured Yew. This puts me to six.

For a while now I have been wanting to put together a couple of really nice two knife sets. Each would be something like a bushcrafter and a small game thing in a nice double sheath with a firesteel. I am going to use these for that. I have the firesteels ordered and all I need to do it get the time. Seems doubtful until year end at this point. Ah well.... always something. I am going to get some designs on paper and see where it lands.

Take care and more soon. Thanks.