Dienstag, 28. Januar 2014
:-)I hope I can show you some testing soon.;-).
I like this one.
The next one I made in the scagel style. I am still quite fond of those Scagel knives, even if I am somewhat less of the opinion that he invented "custom knives", for this was done all over the world in village smithys and frontier smithys alike. The blade is made (forged) from an old car bolt wrench, quite thin at 2,5 mm, and tempered in an urine concoction after the "Curicus and offenhertzig wein artzt" (1782), resulting in a bainite temper. It is very flexible, yet holds an edge extremely well. After 12 years of hard use I only but recently redid the grind, but only to change the edge geometry. The handle is made from stag antler, mountain pinion and leather washers. the mountain pinion is a piece of root that had been washed up a torrent in a mountain creek near "my home away from home", the place where I used to stay each year-a cabin high up in the Styrian mountains, the Ursprungalm. I brought it home as a souvenir, and then decided to put a bit of a sentiment into this knife.
Still below is the youngest of the trio, some 9 years old. It is made from an old wall anchor I found in the ruin of an ancient manor high above the Volme valley. It was winter then, and a snowstorm was blowing hard. Seeking shelter, I went into the ruin, and there it was, rusted deep. It shows no strucure, but the carbon content is high enough to make for a blade, that, tempered in the aforementioned urine concoction, cuts iron bolts. Some years ago, I removed the original scales, which were ebony, but so lousily fitted they cracked, and filed the tang and drilled it to accomodate a lanyard hole. Then I put some oak scales on from the last blank my father prepared before he became too sick to do any woodworking at all. Also a bit of a sentiment, if you so will. This is one of the blades I forged in winter, under a starlit sky, with the cat owls hooting and the ice howling on the lake. I treasure the memory even more than the knife itself, but more so since this time will never come back. It measures in at some 95 mm with a very sturdy spine, some 7 mm thick. I put a hollow grind on it, so that it cuts well enough, though it is a bit overbuilt. Never really sharpened it the whole time through, just some stropping is all.
Apart from the feeling that I must have done something right with the making of these knives, they make me wonder, and I ask myself: Do I have put those years and the armour the sentiment in these artifacts gave me for my heart put to good use? Sometimes it feels I wasted my time stargazing and dreaming. This is when I have to work at the office or have to make do with what´s left in my cupboard for food at the end of the month. But in general, I´d rather do it the same way again, and do not have real regrets. Yes, I can see more in a tree, or a squirrell, or a bird, or a rock, than some Monsanto employee might. Bu they´re the ones f***** up the planet in a big style. Would not say that I don´t, but I guess my footprint´s a bit smaller on this earth. No, I do not regret, and even if it sometimes feels I can go not one step further, I take out those things I made long ago. And I play them in my hands, and remember the stars, and the winterwind, and the hunting owls. And even if it is a grim smile that is on my lips then, a smile it is. For even if those knives would not last, or be taken from me, noone will ever take the dream from me.
Freitag, 17. Januar 2014
Next day we met with the good guys from the Insitute´s staff, can tell you, we had quite a laugh together!
And, quite personally, we believe, that, when we light the fire hot enough, the deity -or the Gods- will hear us and listen.
At least, iron does.
Cheers to you weirdos and to those other weirdos out there!
Montag, 6. Januar 2014
Here are some thoughts about another legal carry knife I purchased dead cheap on Solingen "Messer-Gabel-Scheren-Markt" knife expo in November. It is an Otter pruning knife. It comes with a big (85 mm) billhook blade from C 75 high carbon steel with a homogenous temper (not selective, that is).I estimate the hardness to about 56 - 58 HRC. It comes with beautiful cocobolo wood scales, brass bolsters and liners, and a stiff spring out of C 30. Overall craftmanship is meticuous, and i can´t for the death of me figure out why it was sold as second grade... It has a high convex bevel that is nice and thin and nearing a flat grind. Out of the basket (no packaging here) it came razor sharp. The handle is nice and chunky. Often the scales on knives like this look a bit crappy, but this one simply is beautifully finished. There are little to no tolerances. There is no radial or axial play in the blade. The spring is quite stiff, and the blade opens in one fluid motion due to a round base of the blade´s root. This is one thing I would recommend to change, for a rectangular blade root would add some more safety to a slipjoint, even if it is a very safe handler already. The upswept handle allows for powerful cuts when pruning trees, and makes it even suitable for some whittling tasks. A knife of this shape quite naturally is not suited for all tasks ideally, but that´s not to be said that they canot be done! Even cutting sausage is a cinch with the proper technique.Peeling an apple is where the billhook design really shines, and cutting rope and zip - ties also is really easy.
What do I think? This is a very able cutter with a friendly appearance suited for a lot of tasks, not only pruning, harvesting herbs and mushrooms, but also kitchen and whittling tasks, provided it is used with the proper technique. For the price it is a real great bargain. I would add a lanyard hole, for a lanyard comes in real handy when you are pruning trees, and would wish Otter could find it in themselves;-)to add a rectangular blade base. But other than that I would not change a thing!
Buy it, it takes little room on your shelf*ggg*.
I have long become an avid fan of Ilkka Seikku. I just love the knowledge, versatility and no-frills appearance of his woodcraft tools, and I keeplearning from his vast treasury of woodcraft skills, but ranting over and out, now he´s got a blog, so anyone could go and have a look and build an opinion for oneself:
I especially love the post about the bush prowler knife, a favourite of mine.
I especially love the post about the bush prowler knife, a favourite of mine.
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