Bob Loveless is the guru of knife making, and he says that if you want a quality knife you don’t put wood handles on it. I finally tried his go-to handle, micarta. Micarta is resin with different kinds of material embedded in it, such as denim, canvas, linen or others. This is green linen, and it came out nice. The knife is a kit from knifekits.com. Read more
My go-to knife for backpacking of late has been a lockback folder which our scout troop gave me. It is etched with the words “Bob – Thank you for your Service to Troop 100.” What a nice gesture, and it turned out to be a fantastic little knife which is a pleasure to carry. Its perfectly adequate for any task on a backpack. Based on my experience with the BSA knife, I wanted to try my hand at making a folding knife, so I bought a folding knife kit from knifekits.com. The model was the “Sheriff.” Read more
I found a way to turn a $10 knife into a $20 knife, using about $10 worth of brass Corby bolts and some mountain mahogany wood slabs. This project didn’t make sense economically, but it was fun and turned out nicely. Read more
Swiss Army knives will do about anything, but they aren’t good hammers. My friend Sill used his as a hammer one time too many, and both handles had broken. This was a knife given to him by his mother 40 years ago. Sill just finished hiking the Camino in Spain, and posted his thoughts on this journey here. I thought I could put some handles on the old knife and give it another 40 years of use. Read more
Its nice to have a fixed blade knife when backpacking, which unlike folding knives can be easily cleaned, won’t fold over fingers unexpectedly, and provides a sturdy but not overly large blade with a comfortable handle. A knife like that is handy for cleaning fish, making tent stakes, cutting sticks for roasting marshmallows, etc. However, fixed blade knives can be heavy, and a large blade is a little overkill for the small tasks that come up when backpacking. I thought I’d like to have a very lightweight fixed blade knife, with a substantial handle for comfortable grip. I made a nice little knife that fits that bill, and which weighs 2 oz, and actually floats. This knife also has a fire steel in the handle for emergency fire starting capability. Read more
I finished my latest project, a fixed blade knife in birdseye maple. The knife blank is made by a Finnish company, Enzo, and this is their smallest knife, a model they call the Elver.
Enzo is a Finnish company that makes all kinds of knives, including blade blanks, and kits with the scales, rivets, and blade blank. I bought a kit, the Elver model, to give it a try. Read more
I wanted to make my son Jim a knife to commemorate his reaching Eagle Scout. I thought I would make the handle fit his hand perfectly, so we put a layer of modeling clay on both sides of the tang of a knife blank. Jim then squeezed the handle and squished the modeling clay into a mold of his hand grip. We let the clay dry, measured it for thickness at various points, then I set out to shape the wood handles to match his hand print as shown in the clay. Read more
What did kids have as a toy in the days before Game Boys and Nintendo? One thing that was prized by the boys was a knife, specifically a Barlow knife. A Barlow knife is a style of folding knife with one or two blades, a tear drop shaped handle, and a wide bolster that reinforced the pivot of the blades, which was the part of the knife that received the most strain. In Mark Twain’s books “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” the Barlow is noted as an admirable gift for a boy, when… Read more
Buck Knives recently moved from Southern California to Post Falls, Idaho, and continues to make knives of incredible quality and craftsmanship. I really like some of the new smaller knives. A Swiss Army knife is great for a lot of outdoor uses, but if you clean a fish with it you inevitably get all the blades dirty in the process, and its hard to clean out all those nooks and crannies. What you need is a one bladed knife with non-corroding parts, and the Buck Short Revolution is the perfect knife for that purpose.
The region around Mora, Sweden, has been known for centuries as a source of quality steel articles, including knives. About 110 years ago Erik Frost began making knives and developed a style that became popular. This general style of knife is called a Mora knife and is still made by two companies in Mora that trace their ancestry from Erik Frost.