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Slitch

No idea what to call this thing… Part shiv, part kiridashi, part scalpel… I don’t know, how about “slitch”? Sure, why not. Anyway, this little creation came about when I had a little bit of leftover steel from another project I’d been working on and decided to forge it into something useful. It’s a pretty small piece of damascus, consisting of somewhere around 400 layers of 1084 and 15n20 in a loose “ripple” pattern that’s been forged out into, well, whatever this thing is…

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The relatively high layer count in the steel gives this blade a nice shimmer that’s hard to capture in pictures, but nice to behold when turning it in the light.  The overall length of this little knife is just under five inches, allowing it to be tucked neatly into the palm and practically disappear in the hand – a convenient attribute for those tasks that require a bit of discretion. The convex cutting edge is very sharp but also quite strong, leaving the blade well suited for a variety of tasks, from general utility work to personal defense. A handy thing to have around. Especially if you’re in a Mexican prison.

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I’m sending this one off to my sister. She’s not in a Mexican prison but I think she’ll be glad to have this tucked away in her purse when running errands in the Tampa suburbs. I kinda wanted to keep this for myself but I can make more. Perhaps I’ll make a whole batch of them and keep one for myself.

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Pattern welded “damascus” steel tutorial

I’ve begun work on a new project that I’m documenting in a slideshow tutorial on the Techniques page in The Shop. Here’s a teaser pic for ya:

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I probably won’t finish this up for another month or so but I’ve got the important first steps done and I’m pretty excited about the finished product.

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Time to put the hammer down!

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Camp knife done

I’ve finally completed the camp knife I’ve been working on (on and off) for the past few months, and am getting ready to ship it out to my friend Roger up in Toronto.  This knife will be a great user but it’s definitely not the prettiest knife I’ve made. In fact, one could say I made it in my own image: rough and ugly.

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This is the same knife I’ve been documenting on youtube, by the way, and the final two video clips should be up before too much longer. I just need to sort a few things out with my production crew and the assistant director, with whom I’ve had a few creative differences of late. It’s cool though – my publicist thinks the controversy will play out just fine in the gossip rags, and my stylist totally has my back.

Rock on.

As for the details of the knife, it has a blade of 1095 carbon steel, forged and differentially heat treated in the Japanese style to produce a hard edge, a soft and forgiving spine, and a visible transition zone (the “hamon”) in the middle of the blade. The blade was polished and etched to make the hamon more visible, while the ricasso, the flats, and the tang were all left in “as forged” condition.

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I made the handle out of some curly walnut, which I shaped, sanded, polished, and finished with Tung oil, and the handle bolts are pieces of quarter-inch brass rod that I peened over to keep the handle on nice and tight. The sheath, meanwhile, is a basic leather sheath with a stamped basket-weave pattern, a belt-loop, and two lanyards – one to tie it down and the other to hold the knife securely around the handle. I made a little cinch out of the tip of an ancient, partially fossilized walrus tusk.

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I hope Roger uses this knife on his next wilderness or backyard adventure. I’m confident it will serve him well.

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