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Donnerstag, 10. September 2015

En-Nep-inspired bushcraft knife in the making

....aaand yet another one design experiment. This one is inspired as well by Thai En-Nep designs as by the obsessive pondering about the whiplash line. I realized when drawing out the layout for the blade that you can draw a golden spiral towards the blade. A  recurve blade always has a kind of sweet spot where the most cutting force is cumulated, and you can portray this by a golden spiral ratio. This is not an earnest calculation ratio and of course you need no rocket scientist degree to draw a layout for a knife, but still I wondered. The handle is a bit longer than usual to give it more reach and slashing and chopping prowess when gripped farther back. When handling it I realized it is somewhat of a fast-forward and point-concentrated knife which would also make it a good Krav Magá companion, but the most power is indeed concentrated into the sweet spot. It is a bit awkward at first for small whittling tasks until you realize that you need another technique with it. Making fuzz sticks is a cinch, for all you need is a linear motion. With an arcing cut as with most straight designs you can easily cut a hazel stick one finger thick in one motion!

The blade is made from salvaged ancient leaf spring steel from an old carriage wreck, 150+ years old, 11,5x5 mm with a full tang. Scales are elk antler, brass tubing and mosaic pins. The blade has a selective temper and a high convex bevel. Estimated hardness is about 58 HRC.

It has to see some polishing and then it´s ready for the etch. 


  1. That looks very nice and useful, though I like your bushcraft whittler more for sheer prettiness. I draw knife designs as a hobby, but haven't really started making anything yet. After I drew my first knife years ago, I couldn't stop drawing new designs until it became a bit of an obsession. The drawing process is interesting. Whether I have a bit of a design in mind or just start with curves and lines, it never gets to looking quite right, until it does. I think of it as being 'aesthetically correct'. I've suspected that there's a mathematics behind it, and that form and function can and should work together. You may have more thoughts on this, especially as it relates to sword design. I hardly feel qualified to discuss the mystical aspects of knife design since I've not used many knives, much less made them. But they fascinate me nonetheless. I will make, and I will forge.

    1. Look here for a wilderness forge:

      As for the mathematics of aesthetical design you can look here, a great site I really enjoyed:

      I personally take feathers, and willow leaves and fern scrolls as an inspiration, too;-)

      Really inspiring is Peter has a somewhat bold but no less inspiring theory on sword physics. Look here:

      If you want to make a knife with little provisions stock removal:

      Forging can be done that way:

  2. is another cool read, especially "the elder scrolls" and Todd is always willing to answer questions, when he´s got time. He gave me the inspiration for this blog.

  3. Danke for the links. I've been visiting Todd's blog on occasion, though I've not been diligent in picking his brain or trying my own hand at the types of crafts he displays (what's the point in being inspired if I don't start doing?).

    p.s. I used a derailer per your suggestion for a tensioner on my bike, removing one pulley and the pulley plate and securing the remaining pulley with a nut. It works perfectly, and to change between 5th and 6th gears is a simple matter of turning the high limit adjustment screw. I'll test it on some longer rides and see if a stronger spring is necessary, though by then I think I'll have fabricated a simpler fixed tensioner.

    p.p.s. One of the things that draws me to your blog is your word-smithing. At a time in which it is more difficult than ever to communicate despite/because of an overabundance of words, the way language is used becomes increasingly important. Like other forms of art, written and spoken language can be an expression of spirit and understood by a deeper than surface consciousness. Real communication, or communion, is then possible.

    1. Hi, Leo, phew, where to start...;-)? Thanks for your kind words, but I am but doing my best to try my best, if that makes sense. I am afraid, very afraid of what might happen, and I have never been one for giving up for being intimidated. Wordsmithing, as you call it, has something to do with it. I personally think that, aside from the quest for dominion over others, the misunderstanding of words, and the misuse thereof, causes many of the problems we are faced with. Speech is a gift that has enabled us to live a life in relative comfort, but it is also a sharp sword. Words can hurt and curse as much as causing death. It is absolutely fine if you own a sword. A sword in itself is not evil and without a hand it will not cause any hurt or pain, and if you know how to take responsibility owning one can make you a better person. The same holds true for words. Now there are so many names of God or the Gods, and it is absolutely fine if we all have different opinions, being the little creatures that we are. The problem is, (or I believe it to be and would love to be convinced otherwise), that we fight over tiny differences. One people was told by its god not to eat pork, the other was not. One people lives in the North, the other near the equator. In the latter region pork simply does not keep so well without a fridge, so it´s a commandment of good advice not to eat it. In the North pork offers you a good nutrition in a long winter, so the advice would be to better love it. All would be fine if we would not quarrel over the words and left each other be. Enter cyber "culture". BUMMER!;-)

      As for the derailleur: Glad to be helpful, and you´re welcome:-).

      And as for the inspiration: Just try it out, there´s nothing to loose - it´s scrap metal after all!;-) I look forward to hear from your progress!


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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