Saturday, May 21, 2011

Adding Barterable Skills

Over the last week or so, I've made another knife.  It's a very easy kit, that I got from Premium Knife Supply, from a listing on eBay.  They call it their S11 "Hawkbill" or pruning knife.  Got the blade for considerably less than their buy it now prices - $6.50, if I recall correctly.  For a while, you can look at one here.  Visitors to the archives will have to go search eBay. 

When the blade arrives, it's abrasive-blasted or finished to something like 80 or 120 grit abrasive.  I decided I didn't like the look and wanted to sand it and polish it.  That was an intensive job!  The steel they use is very hard and the pits from the abrasive are very deep.  Although I got a decent finish on it, it still bears marks from the sandblasting.  Then I tried to drill a 3/16" hole near the big finger hole to run some cord through, and ruined some HSS drill bits.  They barely made a mark on the steel this is made from.  The only thing I had that would drill that steel was a carbide masonry bit, and you should have seen the smoking chips fly!  I imagine a good quality carbide steel drill, or perhaps really high cobalt steel, would do. 

Polishing it was a little tricky with the curved shape, but it came out wicked sharp. 

The paracord handle is the first time I've done anything with the stuff.  Nice thing about paracord is I can take it apart and try it again later.  At first, I was going to use stones, like the knife I did last summer, but thought I'd try to learn how use paracord.  I have made fishing rods before, and the ways you treat paracord are pretty similar to the way you treat the rod-winding thread.  Only paracord is about 100 times thicker. 

So color me still learning.  Always room to learn, right?  "I'll trade you a big Bowie knife for one of your chickens". 


  1. That's a wicked looking blade. Nice job!

    A couple of years ago I got hold of a Spyderco Mule Team blade and decided to put some dymondwood handles on it. That was quite a learning experience for me, but it was fun and it turned out rather nice. I haven't done any since, but now I know I can if I had to. Knifemaking could be a cool hobby if I didn't already have so many others... =)

  2. Yeah - I'd like to try to make a blade from some raw steel. I think the best approach is grinding, and I'm not really set up for that. I have a wild hair that says it would be cool to make some Damascus steel, but that's borderline insane. I'd need a big anvil, sledge hammers, source of fire... way more stuff than I could possibly fit in my workspace. There's too much in there already.

  3. Damascus... You could bang away on the anvil like Vulcan forging lightning bolts, the only light coming from the kiln and the shower of sparks that fly each time the sledge strikes. Kinda like the beginning of Conan. Very cool!

    Maybe its insanely difficult to setup for, but I would conjecture that there's probably nothing more empowering than using fire and sheer muscle to bend steel to your will. It would be worth trying, I think, if one ever gets the chance.