Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Waldgeist is Born

For a while now I've been working with making knives. Like most folks who first discover the world of customs, I was totally infatuated with shiny, pretty knives. While I am still very impressed by the level of craftsmanship that goes into them, I am thinking I have moved beyond that fascination.

I've been a member on for about 8 or 9 months now and in that time, my ideas of what makes good knife have shifted quite a bit. This is due in very large part to seeing how the guys who use one (I mean really USE a knife) make it do what they want and in discussions the guys who make the knives for them. To that end, I have been working with different designs, trying to find what works best for my hand and for how I do things out and about. To be fair, I have had customers placing orders along the way that either showed my for sure what I didn't want or contributed something to the ideas I had.

I've built big knives and didn't like them. I've played with the woodlore clone in about ten variations and didn't really dislike it I was just not all that sure I couldn't make things work a little better for me. Then, by happy chance, one day I had about 9 inches of 1 inch by 1/8 inch A2 and nothing to do with it. I decided to fuse two or three designs I love and came up with this one.

This is by far and away the best user I have ever made. It fits like a charm and is tough as Hades. The scandi is convexed to an edge and it is just plain durable. I've really put it through its paces and identified only two real shortcomings in the design. It needs a longer blade and the handle needs to be shaped just a little bit differently under the lanyard tube.

Now you would think a design as direct as this one would be easy to adjust to just so parameters and rebuild. It turns out, not really. I have drawn it about a dozen times, trying to get the proportion and length correct. After numerous failures, I finally hit the one I was after. Check it out here:

It's about 9 1/2 inches overall and is split about 50 50 at the guard. The blade is an inch wide and the grip is long and thin. Like all designs I decide to grind out, it looks good on paper but the proof is in how it comes out once it has some thickness and takes shape in steel. So I decided to grind it out...

It's a bad photo but here it is in the current state. I ordered two billets of CPM 3v to make this one. This one is 5/32 inch thick. I have the pins and lanyard tub ground and beveled as well. You can see I moved the lanyard up on the handle from the design on this one. I've got the scandi grind started and should finish it up today. I am suspecting there will be about 160 hours of sanding to smooth this steel up. It's rough stuff. I have 3/16 titanium pins for the scales and decided on titanium tubing for the lanyard as well. I ordered what I think will be the scales last night. Check them out:

I loves me some spaulted boxelder... :)

Anyhow, I've decided to call this model the Waldgeist. Look it up. You'll see what I mean. Thanks for lookin' and take care.

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