My first knife

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LukeR

Member
May 9, 2020
29
47
28
E. Sussex
I've forged a small neck knife for my girlfriend before, and put a handle on a Condor Bushlore, but this was my first time making a full-sized knife from start to finish. I've wanted a woodlore for as long as I can remember, so I designed the knife based on that (sort of). The handle is around 4 3/4" and the blade is just shy of 5", so substantially bigger than a woodlore. At the time of making I justified this as wanting something heaftier for slashing and batoning, but in hindsight I think I just wanted to make the knife as 10 year old me imagined it (at the time I only had a SAK and Ray's knife seemed huge!). I decided to go down the stock removal route, beginning with 4mm O1 steel. I did the bevels using a Gough style bevel jig, which worked perfectly. The total grind angle is somewhere around 22 degrees, full scandi. I did my best at heat treating in my gas forge, using a steel muffle and a thermocouple to check the temp. I can't be certain I got full hardness, but I managed a pretty consistent soak at the required temp prior to quench. I tempered to 270 C, so ideally 58RC but quite possibly a bit softer if my forge temps were off. I made sure to grind through the decarbonisation on the whole blade, allowing me to achieve a very hard and sharp spine for sparking ferrorods. I went with a piece of B grade curly birch for the handle because it's what I had to hand, and thin leather as a liner material for the same reason. Time will tell how those decisions play out.





Having tested the knife a bit (hence the dirt), I'm really happy with it. It is pretty heavy and definitely not a fine carving tool, but I can live with that. It slashes through finger-thickness hazel easily and does indeed do a great job of batoning. I can't really be sure about feather sticks because I haven't had much chance to practice with another blade, but it did okay. Edge retention seems really good, I used this quite a bit without sharpening.

Things I would do better/ differently next time:
- I probably could've reduced the blade size, or the stock thickness, or both, and had a slightly more versatile knife. But sometimes you've just got to scratch that itch first.
- I doubt I'd use leather as a liner material again. It was a faff and if I'd have had some brown G10 to hand I would've used that in a flash.
- I'd have liked to use stabilised wood, and a more interesting piece at that, but I was trying to do this with minimal expense.
- I used unpeened 8mm pins to hold the scales, but corby bolts would've been better and I may regret this in time. Again, I took the cheaper option.
- I used brass pins and a copper lanyard tube because I already had the copper and I thought they looked the same (I'm colourblind). Apparently everyone else can see the difference, but I've been told it looks okay!
 

LukeR

Member
May 9, 2020
29
47
28
E. Sussex
Very nice. I for one really like the contrast of the copper lanyard hole :)
I thought people were just winding me up to start with. I've honestly gazed at it for ages in all different lights and I just can't see it :O_O:

Thanks for the kind words all! When I do next make a knife you'll be the first to hear of it! I'm thinking some kind of hidden tang carver to complement this one at camp.
 
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Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES

The price is £27 and you can pay via the paypal button below.