|Finished Dakota Lite, etched, oiled and ready for war.|
An old friend said his brother was heading to Afghanistan and wanted a nice knife to send him over with. Being a support unit it is less likely that they will see combat so I wanted to make a show piece that is still deadly if the need arose. I chose my previous Dakota model that I made for V Lazy J leather, as I'm very fond of it. As you rarely see a belt knifes blade, the leather and handle need to stand out to show off a bit. I don't own a $250k shotgun, but know one when I see it and wanted to give this soldier a bit of a show piece.
The original Dakota was .25" thick and very heavy the Lite model is 5/32" to drop a bit a of weight and make the balance more centered.
It is a rather large handle at almost 5" long with a deep finger guard. I chose birdseye maple and brass pins for the handle with a red fibre spacer along the spine. To really make this stand out I went to a technique of tobacco pipe making and used a stain to make the grain really pop.
Sheath was made in house out of vegetable tanned 8oz leather. Because of the gloss finish on the handle the snap has a leather cover under it so the finish won't be marred. The leather is waxed to improve water resistance and give it that soft feel that good footwear should have.
I'm not comparing my work to fine British craftsmen like those at H&H, but they definitely inspire the work I do.
Ordered by a brother, built by a friend, just how it should be.