Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Stick 'Em Danno

I posted on this once before, but I came across some pictures while I was cleaning out files and thought I'd stick some of them up.

I know some expert knifemakers. And while I have the tool-using ability of a bull walrus in heat, I decided five or six years ago that I needed to make a knife, just to see if I could.

I sort-of could. Barely. And crudely. Real knifemakers just smile and shake their heads when they see it, but I didn't have much to work with insofar as my native ability.

What I did was, I annealed a machete, using a small blowtorch. Then I outlined the full-tang design, cut it out, using hacksaws and a Dremel. I heated the thing up until it was a straw-color, then quenched it in heavy oil. Polished and all like that, sharpened it, put a set of faux-ivory scales and a guard of water buffalo horn, held together with homemade brass rivets. 

I imagine the first guy who figured out how to forge iron did a better job on his first knife, along with everybody who's operated a bellows and a grinder since, but I was inordinately pleased for several reasons.

First, I started with parts and wound up with a product that was the sum of those.

Second, I finished it, without going mad or burning the house down.

Third, I gained an appreciation for the real knifemakers with whom I did business. 

There are a few of those whose blades I came to own that I can name, in no particular order: Steve Rollert, Shiva Ki, Mushtaq Ali Ansari, Chuck Pippin, Jeff Crowner. And after having tried to do what they do? 

I really appreciate 'em ...


Mike Byers said...

Hey, that doesn't look so bad to me! In fact, I've seen far worse work for sale.

Steve Perry said...

Looks better in the picture than it does in reality. But thanks anyway ...