Monday, December 16, 2013


Two types of knives are produced in my little shop, things I dream up and figure out how to sell later and bespoke items that I work with clients (always referrals) to make happen. All my products are handmade by me, Malta. They start life as an idea sketched out and end up as a functional tool. This one was quite a challenge and almost didn't. But, when finally finished, it struck me,  I was proud of this simple tool. Life is like that sometimes, you want to give up but keep at it and in the end it all works out. I hope the new owner enjoys his Christmas present as much as I had making it.

Finished with time to spare. If you know cabinets, you'll recognize the backdrop.

 Roughed out with grind lines marked
Rough grind. The top knife is for a retired operator, the bottom
is for a Vietnam Vet.

Cleaned up after tempering

Fresh out of heat treatment and oil quenched in my shop

Handle blocks, Cocobolo for this one and canvas micarta for the
other knife, both with .25" stainless pins

Handle roughed out on the band saw

Handle fitted, file work on the spine with
thumb rest

All my knives get custom made sheaths that are produced in house (either kydex or leather). This one is 8oz vegetable tanned cowhide from a local supplier in Anchorage. My leather comes in big odd shaped sheets and ends up like this. Some knife makers don't provide sheaths for fixed blade knives and I think that sets the wrong tone of "I don't expect you to use this pretty knife." Not here, these are not museum pieces but affordable field grade knives. The sheaths are cut, wet fit, and finished.   
Saddle stitching and contact cement hold these together.
Almost done, just need wax and polish.

Final specs on this one. 1095 HC steel, 9.5" overall, 4.5" cutting edge, Cocobolo handle, stainless pins, leather sheath. I hope he likes it as much as I do, this one just fits right in the hand and is scary sharp already but could be honed even more. Thanks to Broken Tooth Brewing for tasty beer, I'm not sponsored but from one craftsman to another, well done! Now to get the other four on my bench out the door so I can start experimenting with hatchet making.

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