Commissioning a Knife – Wolven Path Forge, Canadian belt knife 2

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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
This is a review of commissioning a knife, aimed at individuals whom are looking towards progressing beyond the mainstream mass produced bushcraft tools. I thought that I would document my experience, to assist those looking at taking the next step, on the exciting journey which is outdoor crafts and tool passion (or obsession).

Like many others interested in Bushcraft, the tools of the trade become almost an obsession with the variety of shapes and designs for different intended purposes. Perhaps the most iconic tool in our craft is the humble and often understated knife.

As you progress, this humble tool progresses from the much loved Mora (the most highly recommended knife at any level), to more exotic steels, shapes, grinds and designs, for a plethora of different carving and cutting purposes.

picture of a standard Mora, we know and love

For myself, like most of us, the vast majority of my experiences in bushcraft tools, have involved off-the-shelf purchases, of often mass produced tools. With very few examples either handcrafted or bespoke tools that pass through our hands as we progress in our tutelage.

For myself, like most of us, the vast majority of my experiences in bushcraft tools, have involved off-the-shelf purchases, of often mass produced tools. With very few examples either handcrafted or bespoke tools that pass through our hands as we progress in our tutelage.

Perhaps for me, two of the most iconic knife designs comes down to the Ray Mears Woodlore Knife and the Grohmann No1.




picture of Grohmann No1


Focusing on the underdog knife design here, you can see inspiration of this leaf shape design in a number of folding knives (particularly the Spyderco range). This design, in relation to mass produced blades, is found in the original Grohmann No1 (plus others variations of this brand), Cold Steel and Bark River canadian belt knives (plus a few others not listed here). The blade shape and design could be classed as an overall use, which excels at game preparation, and can be put into use, in a number of outdoor tasks.

Trialling this design, I went for the Cold Steel version, which has been until recently a used knife in the kitchen, but found the steel lacking (Krupp 4116), the same stainless steel used in the Grohmann No1 (unless you get their 1070 carbon version). So the search was on, I had fallen in love with the design, I wanted a canadian belt knife with a good steel and thickness suitable for hard use bushcraft and general use (~3mm – 4mm).

The only possible way was to commission a craftsperson to create what I desired, and happened to come across Wolven Path Forge’s Canadian belt knife 2. Link to the website - https://wolvenpathforge.com/

I thought it would be nice to include a bit about the maker here, as is often the case with production knives there is the disassociation between a knife being made and the process which is involved. With custom production knives, there is a person in the background, rather than machine, and understanding a little bit about the maker’s background adds to the value of the end product.

"Kiril Mitrashkov from Wolven path forge"

Kiril Mitrashkov is a master bladesmith and knifemaker, member of the Bulgarian guild of craftsmen, and has practised this craft for 10 years. Last year it was decided that he needed to stop being just another maker of knives, and promote the brand as a company in its own right.

The name for the company is connected with family and where they are from. Mitrashkov family is an old established family within the area that they reside a town known as, Wolven path, (translated) "Road of the wolf", from this to Wolven path forge was an obvious step.


So back to the review….

Communication is the key to any successful business transaction, and I was not disappointed in this initial stage. I sent a query via Wolven Path Forge webpage and received a reply relatively quickly (I believe the same day). This led to a number of emails going backwards and forwards, until a number of my questions had been answered.

Now one of the things I really liked, was the fact that commissioning this tool only required a deposit, and the maker was receptive to all of my requests and even challenged one which made me change my mind about the sheath colour. This I found very reassuring as the maker was passionate about what they were creating.

So to confirm this is what I ordered.

Canadian belt knife 2:

· 1.2379 Steel (D2 equivalent, same as used in Manly knives)
· flat sabre grind, with a small secondary bevel (I will convex the edge at a later stage)
· stainless steel pins and lanyard tube
· green canvas micarta handle with red liners
· light brown leather with red stitching and fire steel loop (fire steel will be included if available)
· adjustable para cord lanyard (colour brown)

example of maker’s previous work which influenced my decision

One of the perhaps more unusual request was to do with the logo, the logo I really love, however, this is normally etched onto the blade bevel. Not wanting to lose that logo through sharpening and creating a mirror polish on the bevel, which I would like to do. I requested that logo be elsewhere on the blade, of which there was no resistance, even though the logo would not be as clear. I found this immensely refreshing.





picture of knife logo possible positioning and knife etching in the middle of the blade near the spine

One of the other areas which was also very telling, in relation to the passion from the maker, is that there were regular pictures emailed of the knife progression. This is wonderful as it brings you on the journey of the knife creation that you wouldn’t get with a production knife.







pictures of knife creation progression and knife at Rockwell testing (61hc)

This is an ongoing process, as the knife is being made currently and I am yet to handle it. But I can say so far that my experience in ordering a custom piece, has been exciting and engaging process. I will update the thread as and when things progress, which I will include at later stages.

Once I have the knife, I will do a long-term review of the knife in use and thoughts……to be continued…….
 
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Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,336
104
53
Central Scotland
Nice read and it's a nice process to share. Looks like it's coming on fine and the finished article should be great!

I do love a CBK and think they're quite underrated. I use mine far more than I use my woodlore pattern and the bottom one in the pic below is my go to knife now. For camp use, splitting, food and game prep etc it's great. Not such a good whittler due to a slightly thicker spine and being less 'pointy'.

 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
Nice read and it's a nice process to share. Looks like it's coming on fine and the finished article should be great!

I do love a CBK and think they're quite underrated. I use mine far more than I use my woodlore pattern and the bottom one in the pic below is my go to knife now. For camp use, splitting, food and game prep etc it's great. Not such a good whittler due to a slightly thicker spine and being less 'pointy'.

Those are lovey examples of CBKs, I find that in the hand, based upon my experience with the cold steel version. They are really a under rated pattern, and a very good all rounder.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and picture
 

gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
Good read and it's nice to get to hear about other smiths and others work as well as your thought process that got you to this stage, I'm looking forward to reading more about it and seeing the finished article in use! goodjob
Cheers Tony,

More often than not, there is a review of the finished article, but not the process getting there. Obviously with production knives, you do not have this, but with custom orders, this should be celebrated....in turn this helps the small (non mainstream) home grown talent.

I will update the thread as this progress, but can say so far I am quite pleased....
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,060
1,078
Bedfordshire
I am with Chainsaw on what the knife is good for. It is a good camping knife, in that it is good for food prep and can work for game work, but I have not enjoyed using one for carving or making feather sticks. About as good for that as a Woodlore is for slicing up vegetables. Will be interested in the longer term review.
 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
Update on progress

So it has been about a week sence I started talking to Kiril from Wolven path forge, and the knife is nearing completion, just the bespoke leather sheath to go.

Here are some more photos of the knife's progression, from humble blank to finished tool.



And now the finished blade, the handle is a little slimmer than expected, near the blade end, but this is a popular model that Kiril makes, the qoute on Edge Matters, 'i made this knife so frequently that, I could make this mostly asleep'.

I am sure this will fit the hand well, cannot wait.






Now on to the fire steel and loop on the sheath, the sheath as of this post, is not yet made, but the fire steel is progressing very nicely.



More to come as this enters the final stages, hopefully to be completed over the next few days, and posted early next week....
 
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swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,725
130
Somerset
Wow, that's looking amazing! I love my little Grohmann cbk. I got it as a kit to keep the price down. What amazes me is how comfortable the slim handle is to use.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
Wow, that's looking amazing! I love my little Grohmann cbk. I got it as a kit to keep the price down. What amazes me is how comfortable the slim handle is to use.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
I feel that this is going to be the same, the new part here is that the blade is made from rather good steel, slightly thicker at around 4mm, but the main thing is the choice at most stages.

This you can only get with a custom knife, and luckily found a master craftsmen that was willing to accommodate.

I have more pictures, will update the thread tomorrow.
 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
The next and last installment of the knife build, the leather sheath. Now when I was ordering this knife, I was going on a hybrid between a bushcraft and multi prepose camp knife, and the sheath I wanted to reflect this in having a fire steel, a strong belt loop, and a late request of a removable dangler.

I was not disappointed....







Now the finished knife and sheath, this is everything I could have hoped for....

 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
So I thought I would update the post.

Due to the current status of the world, not unexpectedly posting the knife from Europe to England has been an issue, obviously not wanting to have the knife in transit untracked, on both the makers and my side, we waited to see if a sense of normal would return.

Hopefully this should be in the post to England tomorrow morning and I would be able to do an first impression in a weeks time....cannot wait



Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk
 
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Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,380
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Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
So I thought I would update the post.

Due to the current status of the world, not unexpectedly posting the knife from Europe to England has been an issue, obviously not wanting to have the knife in transit untracked, on both the makers and my side, we waited to see if a sense of normal would return.

Hopefully this should be in the post to England tomorrow morning and I would be able to do an first impression in a weeks time....cannot wait



Sent from my LLD-L31 using Tapatalk


Has it arrived?
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
642
394
Ceredigion
How does that sort of knife handle? It looks sort of unbalanced or unwieldy in the photos, but I assume that's not the case.
 

gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
552
306
Kent
How does that sort of knife handle? It looks sort of unbalanced or unwieldy in the photos, but I assume that's not the case.
I have tried other versions and been very impressed, will let you all know when it arrives.

It is stuck at Royal mail LANGLEY HWDC, so it is any guess when it will arrive. After 1 month, it is considered lost...
 
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