Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Enzo Nordic 95 Knife

Well I'm back again. Straight back onto another project the handling of a Enzo Nordic 95 Carbon blade. Sticking with the Nordic theme I planned to design and make a Nordic "style" handle. My first thoughts were what materials to use in this project. Eventually deciding on red and white fibre as you will see later in the post. Having settled on my design the next thing to do was make a cardboard template so that I could make future handles in the same design if I wanted. The tang for the handle design was far too long. Working out the desired length I chopped it off using my Dremmel multi tool.

The first thing to do was to ensure the tang would go through the brass bolster, so a bit of filing an the tang fitted perfectly. A buffer up on the polisher soon had it shining like a brass pin.

I was torn between what wood to use for the handle having looked at African Olive, Yew, Burbinga after all the messing around I settled on a lovely piece of Horn beam that I had stashed away in the shed for about five years. Well seasoned lots of people ignore this wood due to its grain not being that outstanding. Actually, I think it really suits the knife.

Home made clamp

Having cut the red and white fibres into the size I wanted, time to make a hole large enough to accept the tang. I always burn out my wood to accept the tang, this was the next stage. I have shown in pictures in previous posts how I achieve this. Having completed a dry fit time to assemble and glue it all together with Gorilla glue. I probably over tightened the clamp shown in the picture as I have squeezed a lot of glue out. You can just see the red fibre in the picture. The drying time is a few hours, however I always give it 24 hours before starting further work on the handle. The horn beam was originally a round piece of wood but a quick shape with  my axe would assist me later with applying my template for the entire handle.

Once its all dry time to start to take the excess glue wood and fibre away. At this point I sometimes wonder if it will ever resemble a knife handle. Using knife and grinder its time to try and square it all up. Next on my to have tool list is either a small band or scroll saw to quicken up the time it takes to get rid of the  excess wood.
Red and white fibres beginning to show.

Time to apply the outline of my design for the handle using the cardboard template I had made earlier, generally applied to either side. Its simply a case of filing, grinding and sanding to achieve the desired handle shape. Although the shape on the template is a guide certainly in my case they always seem to evolve. The handles are always shaped to my hand by trial and error.

You can make out the brass bolster that I'm working too I had covered it with protective tape. In my excitement I had forgotten to tape the edge of the blade up, something I always do, the knife reminded me that I had to tape it up :")

Once the handle was shaped it was time to polish the fibre up on the polisher. The red and white fibre all showing through nicely  along with the brass bolster.

At this point I thought I had finished having applied a few coats of Danish Oil to the handle.

However, I did not like the large shape of the brass bolster. Time to go back into the shed and redesign that particular area to my satisfaction.

The finished knife handle pictured above, actually there not the best images and do not quite do the knife justice. I love how its turned out the handle a Nordic style with a nice simple piece of working horn beam wood handle. As always some lessons learnt for next time, primarily shape the brass bolster to the size you require before gluing the components together. The bolster and the template are your guides for the design of your work.

Its a lovely knife the blade is super sharp and I really think the white wood and red fibre set it all off. Time to think about making a leather sheath for the knife. However, that will have to wait until I return from Sweden.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Old Hickory Butcher Knife Project Pt 2

After finishing the Butcher knife it was time to try and complete a sheath that incorporated a Mora frost knife. A project that brought many challenges. After many thoughts about the way I would approach this matter. I was asked to do formed sheaths. In retrospect a flat sheath would have been better I believe. As the project unfolds you will see that the end product changed. I started by wet forming the sheaths for both the butcher and mora.
The picture on the right is also showing not a Mora but a UK legal Joker pocket knife sheath I'm also working on. After cutting out and constructing the sheaths and applying the rands inside,how was I going to construct it all?

I constructed a belt loop and hanger for the sheath. Eventually I worked out how I could stitch both sheaths together.
Mora Frost and wet moulded sheath
Time to try and construct all the parts to this sheath. It did seem to be too long when put together, in fact the butcher sheath looked good by its self.

The two sheaths piggy backed, stained holes made and ready to be stitched. One of the many issues was that the More needed space to be drawn from the sheath and got caught on the bottom of the handle of the butcher blade, hence the long sheath. In the end we decided to settle on the single sheath for the butcher knife. In retrospect this was probaly the best way to to approach the project. I have to say that the from the reshaping of the tang for the Old Hickory and the development of the sheath has been a great learning curve. I love the way the handle for the knife has turned out including the choice of wood. The sheath although not what we really planned for is in my opinion a good looking and functional sheath.

The finished sheath, a lot of stitching involved here. I had never constructed a knife hanger and belt loop something else new for me.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, 11 April 2015

North Downs Morning Training Walk

Its that time again where I try and start to get my old battered body into some sort of shape in readiness for the coming walking year. So, Saturdays are my longer walks out minimum about five miles.  I am fortunate to have part of the North Downs way on my doorstep, the White Cliffs of Dover. Its a regular walk out. Today the weather was cloudy but with a howling cold wind which was not an issue on the way out but come the turn around point, hard work. I always take my little dog Pants with me he is good company. So below will be a picture heavy blog depicting my morning walk. The plan today was to walk about 8 miles round trip carrying a  day sack weighted to 30lbs. In the end we did 8.5 miles in 2 hours 50 mins. Where possible I like to keep a steady pace of between 18 - 20 min miles. Making 3 miles an hour. The weather was quite bad and the A20 leading into Dover and the Ports was chocker with lorries queuing to make the ferries. A sight. No matter the weather on the cliffs they always seem to throw up some lovely scenes.

I really like the picture above the wind seems to be combing the grass and the bushes are totally swept even when the wind is not blowing.

Looking back into Folkestone it didn't look as bright on the return trip as it started to rain.

Don't look down.

Samphire Hoe in the distance on the picture above which is the spoil from the Euro Tunnel now a visitors area.

Work is currently taking place on the cliffs to stabilise them from rock fall onto the rail tracks below.

Time to turnaround and attempt the slight hill on the way back. Wind in my face on the way up blowing after getting up. In summary a nice walk out and good training.

 Thanks for reading have a good weekend.