Donnerstag, 14. Januar 2016

German backwoods knife

 Hi there and a happy new year to y´all! I had a good time in my holidays, but with no smithing, and had no motivation to shoot any pictures for an article of riding or the hikes I did. What I did, however, is spending some time with the projects on my bench, and this is one I like a lot actually. What I tried to do is incorporate the Jagdnicker design into something more buscrafty and combine it with some thoughts I was inspired to by medieval knives and swords at the Solingen museum. The knife has a wider blade than most making for a high grind line and good slicing capabilities. For the traditional technique "ringeln" (German hunting colloquial for a special technique to remove the intestines via the anus of game, mostly roe deer, with the help of a kind of curling cut) it would be not so ideal, but few hunters do practice this nowadays in the first place, and I am no hunter in the second place. I mostly use knives for whittling, preparing food and harvesting, and for that a wide blade with a good balance does the job well enough.
Speaking of balance-the blade has a very distinct taper from a hefty 10 mm towards the bolster to just a mm at the tip. While it is no prybar, it is surprisingly well suited for prying. I have to add a buttcap (I plan to do it in brass, bronze or silver with some engraving), and hope to get the balance point on the index finger. This is a very delicate process few will appreciate, but in my book it´s well worth the effort. There are a lot of knives on the market with hefty looks and awkward balance, and I want to learn to do it right. Having had the opportunity to handle some good historical pieces it never ceases to amaze me how well-balanced even smaller knives were. I made this one for myself and I like to handle the knives I make while completing them. I have already doen some kitchen work with it. It is an able cutter and chopper at the same time as is and feels nimble and dexterous. The handle is relatively short. With just a tiny shift of grip the pommel will come to sit in the middle of my palm. Sometimes, when hunting (if I were so inclined, that is;-)) you need to apply force with a thrusting motion (Opening the pelvis, for instance), and this would be a good feature to have. But I am still figuring it all out. I write this because the nuances are fascinating me, not because I know it all;-).

The handle is stag antler and might see some carving, blade is 11,5cm x 10-1mm taper, spring steel, selective temper and forged at low temperature and then carburized, the grind is a very high convex bevel.

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