Dienstag, 19. Juli 2016

On the bench: Bushcraft Santoku and American Tanto

 Now to something different: I was wanting to do a Santoku bushcraft design from laminate steel. This is in fact a first test on the design I made from Unimog spring steel, selectively tempered, 120x 3.8 mm to 2 mm. The holes are punched...unfortunately one o´them did go a bit awry. But, it should work well enough for testing. Blade and tang are tapering for balance. The balance point should be on the index finger if all goes well.
 The testing as I did to date shows great capabilities in kitchen applications and while woodcarving can be done, it is less than ideal... I will further refine the design, I think, to make it suited better for the task. And might be I´d even make some to sell... we´ll see.
 Another altogether different matter is this tanto design, which actually is no tanto design, but an American adaptation of a kind of Katana (Japanese long sword) tip for a tactical knife. I love to experiment with knife designs and like to go to limits. This is a tactical knife, and I have not yet much liked this style, and still do not much take to the martial concept of many of them. But there is no denying the fact that the American Tanto tip is near indestructible and offers advantages not only in penetration capabilities, but also in whittling. For instance, I have broken off the tip of some carving knives when trying to carve a spoon or Kuksa without a spoon knife. Also, when working with a mason, I used my utility knife to cut the grooves into dry building boards with the tip and dulled it quite a lot. Obviously you use a chisel normally;-), but when there is no chisel at hand, you use what is at hand. So, there is more to the American Tanto design, and I do not believe it actually makes for a better weapon, but for a better tool. I forged this blade from some steel I found in the woods. When I found it, it showed some pattern, but even after 24 h of hardcore etching it shows no patina whatsoever. It slams through mild steel rods and I aborted the bending test at 25°.
 Not that it bends easily with a thickness of some 9 mm at the handle! It then tapers quite radically, as does the tang, which is drilled out for balance, too (yeah, I know I messed up, but it cost me three
!glass! drill bits to get through this material. And this after I thoroughly annealed and deep-froze and annealed once more and I could work it with a file). Not that it was that hard, it just was so ductile that the bore chips came in one long and several short ones. The grates were looking as if someone punched a pudding. Weird.
Also, it carves mild steel, chops antler and penetrates oil cans. If anything is a tactical tool, this steel is. I plan on fitting another no-go: A Micarta handle with red G-10 liners and making a hardened multipurpose leather sheath for it... or maybe I´d even have a go at a Kydex (TM) sheath... we´ll see how it goes. Maybe it´ll get desert iron wood or ebony.... would fit the bill just as well, and I don´t like that special waste on my knives still.

I look forward to it even if it is so different to my normal line of thought. In fact, I do, BECAUSE it is so different to everything I would normally make, and it might help broaden my view and confirm new perspectives.

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