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Alan Longmire

18th century folder sneak peek

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Only been plodding along on this one since the end of January...

 

This is the first folder I've done from homemade plans.  Kind of made me wish I knew how to do CAD stuff, almost.  All done on paper.  Anyway: Based on a few different 18th century folding knives I've seen, both in person and in photos.  3/32" O-1 steel, nickel silver (should be iron, but I didn't want to draw iron pins since that would mean I'd have to make a drawplate), and cow bone from a chew toy from the farm store.  

 

It's not quite done yet.  The blade needs a bit more polishing, it's not been sharpened, and I haven't decided if I'm going to add anything to the side panels of the handle.  Originals of the period had more decoration, but my wife convinced me to lean neoclassical rather than baroque.  

 

Open, it's around 7", closed around 4.5".  1/2" thick at the widest.  Weighs around 7 ounces.  It's a heavy bugger, in other words.  Feels good in the hand, though.  

 

20200425_140507.jpg

20200425_140515.jpg

 

20200425_140541.jpg

 

20200425_140554.jpg

 

20200425_140645.jpg

 

Like I said, still needs some scratches removed, but I thought I should show I do still actually make stuff...  

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Cool design! I had never seen a folder like this. Nice work mate :)

 

Are you in this year's KITH?

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Very nice 

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Love it Alan! Dandy work and true to styling one might have owned then. I am partial to 01.

Been thinking about the John Ek Australian commando knife and contemplating something similar in the pommel area. Did a Persian as such when we did the KiTH 4-6 years ago (?), so I thought maybe a folder? (But heck, got more ideas than I have time or money for material, maybe one day). 

  • I bet if feels good in hand.;)

Gary LT

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Posted (edited)

Gorgeous Alan.  I like the checkering on the handle.   Hard to see it needing anything more than that.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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Thanks, guys!  

Joel, no, not in the KITH this time around.  Sorry. :P

 

The bone scales were intended to resemble what was commonly found on table knives and a few folders, mostly pruning knives, between around 1780 and 1830 made in Sheffield.  It's a style/technique called "scratting."  Here's a few originals:

 

ScrattedHawk1.jpg

 

Scratted bone.jpg 

 

This was far more common on table knives.  I've seen at least one or two from every pre-1830 site I've ever worked on.  It's usually pretty crudely done, and most archaeologists thought it was just something done by the end user.  Turns out it's not.  Just like every aspect of cutlery production in Sheffield, there were small shops that did only this.  Send 'em a dozen bone scales, they send you back a dozen scratted scales in about an hour.  For a penny a dozen.  

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I like it just as it is Alan, very nice work.

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I think you did a fantastic job.
listen to the wife, whether you agree or not...….;)

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Nice work Alan!  I agree with Josh, it is fantastic.  You don't need any CAD software, you did damn fine with out.

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Nice looking knife, I like that a lot. Glad I popped back in today.

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I've been absent from the sire the last few months and I missed this... glad I caught it - an awesome knife!  I really like the scratting (learned a new word today!)  I've spent most of my research on the European medieval era, but have always loved the 18th century, especially the American frontier.  Alan, what are some good books on early/mid 18th century knives/blades?

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Thanks, guys!

 

It is finished now, but it looks exactly the same except a bit shinier on the bolsters, so no need for new pics.  It was based on a combination of these:

 

iron-bone-18th-century-pocket-knife_1_21

folder%20IMG_6189.jpg

 

Mike, there are not any that I'm aware of.  There's some info scattered around in several books like the "Accouterments" series by James Johnston, the Oak and Iron series by Gene Chapman, and various other places.  Believe it or not, the internet, specifically Google Images, is one of the better places to find stuff from that period, provided you know enough to ignore the obviously wrong ones...  There's far more info on earlier and later folding knives, but precious little on the 18th century.   

 

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Cool!  I missed this the first time around.  Nice work :)

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Alan, is that lower one an example you were following or is it the one you made copying the one above it?

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1 hour ago, Chris Christenberry said:

Alan, is that lower one an example you were following or is it the one you made copying the one above it?

Those are an original and a copy by Old Dominion Forge, not mine!

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Okay, thanks.

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damn Alan that is spiffy. I really like it a lot. The trouble to get all the shaping on the side panels adds a lot. Very cool little knife.

Folders intimidate me. I will make a sword that locks into a scabbard with cutouts that lineup or a scabbard with a frame around it that the guard locks into, but I am intimidated by a folder with a spring. I just am.

good work. 

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Thanks, Kevin!  They intimidate me too...;)

20 years ago I was making flintlock rifle patchboxes with hidden release mechanisms and didn't think a thing about it.  Those are a bit more complex, but not intimidating. Folders demand a level of precision I don't generally do...

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On 4/25/2020 at 3:46 PM, Gary LT said:

 

  • I bet if feels good in hand.;)

Gary LT

 

I never addressed that, but yes, it does!

foldersmall.jpg

 

4.8 ounces / 136g.  Fairly well balanced despite that bulbous butt-end.  

 

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Looks great Alan B)

I'm becoming more convinced traditional slipjoints are the ultimate expression of art and function....sort of where knives belong.

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