Thursday, October 7, 2010

My New Knife

One of my favorite things to do, in all of the world, is to make a good knife. I have pretty well stopped now since we have two kids under 10 and my job appears that it may actually turn into a career and the wife was carrying way too much of the load... I had to stop for a while. Guys just have to keep priority where it belongs and on the work bench, making knives for customers at cost to gain experience, is not where things need to be.

One perk to finally having quite a few knife projects under my belt is that for the simple ones, the three piecers and full tang jobbies, I have really begun to be able to produce something I would pay for. Take this guy up above here. For as long as I have been really interested in making I have admired the work of Lance Ockenden. His bird and trout model has inspired me on multiple occasions and I have made one other effort to copy it. That was a good one but not exactly what I wanted so... I traded it for a logo or two and moved on. I spent a month with a pad drawing and redrawing the lines trying to get something that really worked for me from all the angles and came up with this guy.

Now, it's not done. There are some finish sanding things to do and the lanyard hole needs a bevel and so on but I can say, for the first time in a long time, this one stays with me. It's what I was after.

The steel is 1/8" A2, hardened to 59 HRC. The scales are black locust burl with couple of 1/8" brass pins and a 1/4" brass lanyard tube. The spacers you can't see here are 1/16" G10 in a dark cedar green. I think the combo of the wood and spacer is just wonderful. The bevel is a slightly convex Scandi grind that I cut 100% by hand. The jig it's sitting on there is what I use to shape the initial bevel before HT. After it returns, I use some 200 grit sand paper and a mouse pad and shape things down to a sharp edge. (by my count this one too 34 sheets of 200 grit to shape...) Once the shaping is completed, I advance up the grits to 400 and then 600 and then 800 and so on, finishing up the edge with some flitz metal polisher. I am anxious to see how sharp it gets when I am done.

In concept, I find that while I enjoy just beating the tar out of a knife battoning or whatever, in the end I usually use my axe and Mora craftline more than anything else. I wanted something personal that was a bit more rugged but still elegant in form. I think we have it here. I'll post more when I finish up. Thanks for looking.

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