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WIP: Rattlesnake knife

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Hi, i am in the process of making a rattlesnake knife for my uncle who when I was a kid, would catch rattlesnakes alive to be used for their venom. I remember many times coming home from school and opening the back door only to hear several rattlesnakes start rattling. That was a sound we soon got used to. He would keep the days catch in cages for a day or two until he could take them in.Those were the days. Anyway, he wanted me to make him a knife and surprise him. So this is what I came up with. I have some rattlesnake skin that I will wrap the wood handle with. I was thinking about spraying poly urethane clear coat on it to hold the snake scales on the skin. I have never done this before and any advice about this would be greatly appreciated. Consensus seems top be that the urethane won't hurt the skin, but if anyone knows why it might, or any negative effects it might have on it, I would really like to hear about it. I want this thing to last. This is my first attempt at a hamon line and I wanted it to look like the snakes tongue. It kind of worked.


Thanks for looking!








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I have dealt with quite a bit of snake and eel skin on bows. If gluing to wood you need a dried skin not a "soft" tanned skin. The soft pliable ones are soaked in glycerin and the glue will not hold. I usually flake the scales off the dried skin after gluing. Some will stay most will not and then overcoat with lacquer or spray poly.  

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On the other hand, snake skin inlays on the sheath might be the way to go.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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I don't think the skin on the handle will wear well. Could be encased in clear epoxy. Sheath inlay is great suggestion could carve or burn :scales: into handle.


Just kicking out ideas

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A South African (he's actually Dutch) knifemaker made what I guess you can call micarta using a shed Mamba skin and the results are quite stunning.

Excellent work so far!

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So that’s what a rattlesnake knife is! Cool, I’ll have to check back to see this one when it’s finished

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Here are some more pics to where I am now. I am going to wrap the handle with rattlesnake skin tomorrow and spray several coats of urethane on it to hold the scales together.








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Got the handle wrapped today with the rattlesnake skin. Now I just need to spray it with clearcoat urethane tomorrow and put an edge on it. Then to make a sheath for it.





Edited by Paul Carter
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