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Story of a camp knife


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I am very new at the art of making things from steel, and have made a grand total of 7 knives like objects, lol and half a dozen ulu’s.  So after showing off one of my ulu shaped skinning knives that I had made, I was asked if I could make a camp knife.


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And there begins the tale. 

My first design received a definite no!!


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The second design after some tweaking on his part for the fit to his hand and blade shape was finally settled on.

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Then the horror begins.  LOL I don’t have pictures of the fist blade as it is somewhere deep in a hole in the back of my property.  It was a nasty day when I did the heat treating and had laid the blade on my ASO tip on the elevated side and the handle on the base.  OH BOY what a mistake.  As I was picking up my tools to put in shop I accidently dropped a 3 pound hammer on the blade and it snapped into 3 separate pieces.  I quickly learned 4 different foreign languages.  And promptly threw the pieces as far as I could into the washed out hole out back. 




Then foreign language lesson number two.  LOL Got ready to drill holes in handle for pins and found it was still too hard to drill.  So fired up forge and put the blade into the fire.  Got side traced by something don’t remember what, for all the young folk this happens when you get old,  71 years young here.  Anyway when I remembered that I had steel in the fire I rushed over and grabbing some tongs pulled the blade minus a burned off handle from the fire, and so began the second lesson on languages.


I did not throw it away as I am going to make a smaller knife from what is left.


I then began on the third blade and with many questions, much looking and research, as well as some much needed advice from forum members I now have finally been able to make a blade that is ready to finish.

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After much elbow grease and much advice from the folks on this forum I am ready to attempt a heat treat.



Heat treat went well no pings or warps, and carefully this time into the oven for tempering.






I finally got it sharp and after agonizing for 3 days I went out grabbed a piece of oak firewood and hacked and chopped on it.  Whew still paper cut sharp when I went back in.

The handle didn’t give me much of a problem, used some nice popular with black streaks running through it.  Finished the handle with 8 coats of semi-gloss tung oil.  Then tweaked the edge a little and started on the sheath.  Made a taco style sheath and laced it up with a saddle stitch.  For a second attempt at making a sheath it turned out alright.  Seen where I could do better though.  For a first attempt at a large heavy knife I was pleased with the outcome, the new owner is pleased with the outcome, and everyone is happy.  As I was showing off the finished knife to some friends I now have an order for at least one more.


The finished product lots of room for improvement but my customer was satisfied.



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Congrats. 3 is the charm it seems.

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card


Nos qui libertate donati nescimus quid constat

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 3:23 PM, AndrewB said:

That's an interesting handle design how comfortable is it to h old in the hand?

I had made a wooden mock up of the knife and let the person take feel before I ever began the real blade.  He liked the feel and I was on the fence.  When finished the heavy blade weight made the handle real comfortable.  I chopped on some oak firewood and it was real comfortable to swing and cut well across the grain, and split it well with the grain.  I liked it and several people that I have showed it off to liked as well.  I now have three more to make so it was a hit.  Two of them I will get paid for and the third is going to be a gift to someone that drooled over the one I had finished, he happens to be the partner of my youngest daughter so will make him one. 

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 1:07 PM, Charles du Preez said:

Congrats. 3 is the charm it seems.

Yes three is a charm.  :) Now all I have to do is make them look better and keep the quality of the blade where it is at.

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