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Adam Weller

Quick Skinner

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I have a friend I work with who is an avid hunter (multiple deer, elk, bear, coyotes, wolves per year with both a bow and rifle). He and I have been discussing his perfect carry knife for hunting over the last couple months which included many napkin drawings, and side-by-side comparisons of knives we have both used in the past. Well, after several wooden models and tweaks - I made the first prototype. It is nothing special, forged 80crv2, bocote handle. 

This is a milestone for me because I made it in about 5-6 hours total. I typically spend months making anything, but it’s hunting season so there was no time to delay.

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Here is the well worn template that was the result of many conversations about blade length, weight, ricasso’s, choils, lanyard holes, tapered tangs, handle contours, flat vs hollow grind, etc.

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It ended up pretty simple, weighs 3.2oz and easily fits in a pocket or pack. 

Just thought I’d share. As always, any thoughts are appreciated!

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Looks perfect for the job, and that's how to design a custom knife!

My only concern, and feel free to tell me to get lost, is I might have put a pin up at the blade end of the handle.  It just looks a bit unsupported in that spot right over the cutout to me.  Then again, I don't use Bocote, it may well be strong enough to deal with any stress in the short distance.  

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2 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I might have put a pin up at the blade end of the handle.

Good point. Call it habit, but I've always used the 3 pins for some reason. Maybe on the next version ill move them closer to the blade. The end is well supported by the lanyard tube. That being said, I'm not too worried about it, the bocote is very dense/strong and I aggressively roughed up the epoxied surfaces so it should hold up to anything. We also discussed the knife was going to be used for breaking down game and making dinner. No rigorous chopping/abuse is in the plan.

Thanks!

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Second prototype:

My friend used the last one pretty aggressively over the last few weeks. Multiple animals including an entire elk without sharpening.

stats:

80crv2

Scales I think are ebony? It was a random chunk in my small scrap pile. 

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I forged it almost completely to size. Minimal grinding to clean up the flats for the bevel and where the scales glue on. 

We both decided the last one was too thick so I went as thin as I felt comfortable forging with pretty aggressive tapers. This took about 2 inches of a 1/4” x 1” bar of metal.

The knife weighs 2.5 oz.

overall 6 3/4” 

blade length 3 3/4”

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Any thoughts are appreciated.

Adam

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That is a good looking working knife,

I like the forged finish down to the edge, is the tapered tang forged in also?

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1 hour ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

That is a good looking working knife,

I like the forged finish down to the edge, is the tapered tang forged in also?

Thanks! Hopefully it will get worked over in the next couple days as a couple more hunting trips are in order.

The tapers are forged in, I did hit them with the grinder to make sure they were absolutely flat, but it was minimal grinding all around.

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33 minutes ago, Dave Brownson Jr. said:

Knife is looking good.  How do you get the pin holes drilled perpendicular with the tapered tang? 

I use shims. 

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I copied this down from a recent thread discussing this exact question (I can’t remember who posted it but they had this drawn on their shop whiteboard). Before that I had always had to sit down and figure out the math. Now I just get out my calipers and it’s pretty easy to figure out. Oh and I super glue the shims on. They are going to be ground off in the near future anyway.

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Dude, you're making me feel inadequate!  I just eyeball it with whatever props are lying around the drill press... :lol:

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Skillful forging getting it that close to final dimensions. Nice work. 

I too would likely just eyeball it lol 

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Dude, you're making me feel inadequate!  I just eyeball it with whatever props are lying around the drill press... :lol:

 

34 minutes ago, Will W. said:

Skillful forging getting it that close to final dimensions. Nice work. 

I too would likely just eyeball it lol 

Ha, I wouldn’t call what I do at the anvil “skillful” more just brute determination and more heats than I care to divulge.

that being said these knives are kinda my way of combating my usual “analysis paralysis” which makes my usual knives take months. These have both been made in the course of a few hours (not counting tempering and epoxy drying time) and I found the less grinding the better.

I used to eyeball the pins with a hand drill, but this method is pretty easy and I seem to get good results with it. Also I get less “wander” with the line of pins, with three pins this becomes more important.

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On 10/3/2019 at 1:44 PM, Adam Weller said:

I use shims. 

I copied this down from a recent thread discussing this exact question (I can’t remember who posted it but they had this drawn on their shop whiteboard). Before that I had always had to sit down and figure out the math. Now I just get out my calipers and it’s pretty easy to figure out. Oh and I super glue the shims on. They are going to be ground off in the near future anyway.

HA!  That was my equation and my white board.  I am really happy that it is getting some traction. 
Those are great looking knives those Adam.  You have a distinct style and it is attractive.  Good forging as well.  Close to shape is great.  For Brut de Forge field knives like that I start with 1/8" thick stock.  It keeps the knife from being too thick and forges quickly. 

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8 hours ago, Wes Detrick said:

HA!  That was my equation and my white board.  

Well. Thanks again Wes! It definitely helped me. 

I can see why starting with thinner stock would be easier for sure. Getting quarter inch stock down this thin while stretching it so far was tough!

Glad you like them!

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Beautiful knife. Skinners should be simple and functional. That's the kith it wanted hahaha. Nearly all of my small knives resemble that! Love it!

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