Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Yet Closer ...

The almost-finished sheath, lacking only a dunking in Neatsfoot Oil, with the knife fitted.

I told Chuck he was probably tired hearing it by now, but this is waaay cool ...

And some additional images, to show scale–what the thing looks like with the leather oiled, on a belt, and in-hand, saber and ice-pick grips, to show the size relationships. 
(That's Chuck modeling, by the by.)


Brett said...

I been admiring the craftsmanship of this as it's been revealed. I really like the Damascus and I enjoy these step-by-step photo presentations but I've lost track of the premise behind the design. I also didn't find a way to search the archive. Could you remind me what the idea behind this design was? Thanks

Steve Perry said...

Ah. When I worked at a medical clinic, I had occasion to use an otoscope/ophthalmoscope, a cylindrical device used to examine ears and eyes. Basically a small flashlight-like body, inch and some around, about six inches long, knurled steel. The tops feature a light and either a magnifying funnel for looking into ear canals or a flat thingee with a little wheel that allow you to change focus to look at eyeballs.

The thing had a rechargeable battery and great feel and balance in the hand. I got fairly good at twirling it about. (I could spin a reflex hammer around one finger, and balance a wheelchair up on the back wheels, too. Idle hands and the devil's workshop and all. )

Um. Anyway, I though that it would make a hand-filling knife that would be comfortable. In our version of silat, we use the two main grips, icepick and saber about equally, though once you move in to grappling range, the point-down-edge-leading icepick hold (also called the Earth grip, or reverse grip, among others) works really well, because you don't need the length to reach a target, and you can use the knife and elbow together. The short blade's length is enough to reach all the major arteries on somebody who isn't majorly obese, and it is pretty stout.

The end of the heavy handle can also be used for striking, giving you the impact option.

I came up with a crude design, and slapped some PVC pipe and an old folder together with epoxy to see if it was remotely workable.

It was.

Chuck, who made me a kerambit some years back, saw the posting on my blog and offered to take a shot at it.
(One of my correspondents, I think it was Wm. Adams, pointed out that there needed to be some kind of index so a holder not looking would know where the single-edge was while gripping the haft, so there's a little indentation for that. And a slight taper to aid in gripping. Should be obvious when holding the knife where the edge lies.

Chuck's expertise allowed him to point out some things that might be improved upon, vis a vis the design, and his skill in offering the suggestions was such that I saw the light on all of these. (He'd say, Well, we could do this, or that, whaddya think? My choice, but pretty much just him making the suggestions caused me to look at things differently.

So I had a basic concept, but the execution is much better because of Chuck's eyes and hands.

After I get it and have a chance to play with it, I'll put up a posting showing how it handles.

I'm not a knife fighter, but I have characters in books who are, and thanks to some expert smiths, like Chuck, Mushtaq Ali, Jeff Crowner, and Shiva Ki, those characters have been armed with outstanding steel