Fourth knife: A short blade hunting or bushcraft knife

Question: How do you call a knife with this design? It is intended as an universal hunting or bushcraft knife with a short blade. And like my last knife it is intended as a present for christmas 2018.

I had shown my last knife, that I made as a present for my brother, to my father. And man you should have seen his eyes. He loved it and said how much my brother will like it as a christmas present – so what could be better than making another knife for my father, too?

I had seen a short bladed knife design on Instagram that i liked and started designing a similar blade on the computer. This design was pretty hard to do. I wanted to have a short drop point knife with a swadge that grind line seamless blends into one line with the handle. And I wanted to have a curve upward behind the swadge where you could press the thumb against. I needed a lot more iterations than on my last designs before I had a layout I liked.

Finally I was able to transfer the finished form on the 1.2003 steel and cut it out with my angle grinder. I had built myself a file guide out of some scap metal and two M6 screws and tried out to grind the bevels with that attached to the blade. The result were not that good, not because of a crappy file guide but because my belt grinder was not grinding symmetrically on the plate behind the belt. So I ended up with one bevel line that was rounded and one was more rectangular. It took me a while to figure out how to fix this. I put some tape on one side of my flat file so I did not ruin the bevel itself and filed away the rounded part so I ended up with pretty symmetrical bevel lines.

Next came the swadge – man I failed on this one. It took some iterations to get them symmetrical and grind away some other mistakes I made. I don’t know what the problem was because on the previous knives that was one of the easiest tasks.

Hand sanding and elbow grease

As I like to learn something new with every project I make, I wanted to add something new to this knife, too. Most of my knives so far have a handle with an extra shape for the index finger. This time I wanted to have a longer finger guard and a small silver line from the tang so that it forms kind of an open ring when seen from the side. For this I had to grind the wood of the handle back down to the steel as I always did and then take the blade out and grind away a bit more of the wood. Then i had to smooth it out because after glueing the handles on the blade I would not be able to do so.

Treating the wood with linseed oil

For the paper micarta liners I planned to use white and dark green – and yes I was going to laminate the liner myself, as always. The wood for the handles were bookmatched parts of Bubinga Curly. The wood turned out being pretty hard and grinding took a while. When I finally treated them with linseed oil I was surprised how dark the wood came out. But i liked it.

Next step was making a leather sheath.

Knife three: My first Bowie

I have a very close relationship with my brother – from childhood on we spent a lot of time together. He is one of, if not the most important person in my life. And when he saw the Kukri I made, he asked if I could make a knife for him some day.

We had November and there were still some weeks left so I decided to make a personal knife as a christmas present. He had told me he liked knives “like our father had” and that were Bowie knives. So I designed a nice recurved blade at my computer and again printed out several versions until I had a design that I liked.

I wanted to try a thicker steel and a different quality than the 3.2 mm 1.2003 steel I had used. So I got me some 1.2235 (80 CrV2) also known as L2 steel. The Steel has a thickness of 4.5 mm.

Transferring the form and cutting it out was straight forward. This time I wanted to do a flat grind again to avoid the sharpening problems I had on the konvex grind on the Kukri. And again I did it free hand which always is a big challenge to avoid facetting. But it turned out pretty good when I finally had a flat grind that I could feel while grinding.

The most difficult part was grinding a symmetrical swage and bevels on both sides so the point where the flat part of the blade ends is at exactly the same spot on both sides.

For the Handle I wanted to use the inverse parts I had left from making the handle of the Kukri – so for the front part I had Karelian Birch and the big part of the handle would be made of Leopard wood. Again I planned to make my own Micarta liners. This time I wanted to experiment with single layers of white sheets to create better separation of the colors. I chose black and a brighter red for the colors.

Karelian Birch and Leopard Wood with self made paper Micarta liners

The lesson I learned on this knife was, that I wanted to get a better seamless surface and so I ground the wood of the handle and a bit of the steel between the handle halves. The result was a very wavy steel that was hard to sand back to a smooth curve again.

Another learning was to be extremely careful when mixing polished surfaces with scratch patterns. If you are not carefule enough you can start all over again.