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Posts Tagged ‘nate runals’

I was approached by a customer to make something for his friends 60th birthday. He works on boats, and he wanted me to incorporate that in the theme.  The only spec he gave me was that he wanted a 6″ blade.  The handle is diver salvaged flame birch from Superior, antler with a very modest bit of scrimshaw, and anchor chain for the bolster. I really like being able to give people something special that will most likely be passed down generation to generation.

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Here is my most recent knife. It’s an Anglo-Saxon broken back Seax. The blade is 1084, the handle is Oak that I’ve darkened with my home made stain. It has copper fittings, and the sheath has traditional stamping, and copper reinforcements. This knife is for sale here.

I’m really starting to love making historically inspired blades, those old smiths were quite clever. When you hold a blade based on old designs they just feel different. There is something intuitive about these knives, I can’t quite put my finger on it….

 

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I’m a big fan of simple, well made things, and knives are no exception. I have the utmost respect for bladesmiths who spend so much time with carvings, scrimshaw, and inlays in their work, but for me at this point in time, that’s just not how I express my idea of a knife to the world.

I’m also a huge fan of small knives, which I think at this point is rather obvious to anyone looking at my work. The old timers say that the better you are with a knife, the smaller your knife generally is.  The knife I carry around on a daily basis has a 2 1/2″ blade and a very simple lilac handle. I’m not saying I’m good with a knife, just that my preference is for smaller blades.  Now there are plenty of folks who use larger knives and are excellent with them, my point isn’t to say one knife is better than the next… that’s stupid.

So here are some knives I’ve been working on, simple little guys for the most part.

briar10843

1084, Walnut, and Italian Briar for the bolster.

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1084, Peach wood,and copper

walnut1095

1095, Walnut

lignum1095

1095, Lignum Vitae

lignumbrass

1084, Lignum Vitae, and brass

Some of these knives are for sale at my etsy shop.  Other are already sold.

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Here is a small little knife I made for a friend. It is a simple design that isn’t based off of anything other than my own thoughts. It’s intended to be a useful knife that is also nice to look at.

The blade is wrought iron/1084. The handle is beechwood, antler, and brass. The sheath is vegetable tanned cow leather.

Dimensions are:

Blade: 70mm
Handle: 95mm
thickness: 4mm

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This is a little folder that I whipped up. The blade is made from a very old zoo cage, and an old file forge welded together. The handle is of yew wood, and the sheath is of vegetable tanned leather.

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If you look closely, you can see the file teeth at the weld seam, sort of looks like the steel is stitched onto the iron.

 

 

 

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One of my wonderful repeat customers asked me to make him a Viking style every day sort of knife that he could use for small game hunting, eating, and camping.  I decided not to follow a strict historical pattern, rather I was influenced by many different archeological finds and my own imagination.  I wanted a relatively simple design with little adornment, and a traditional look.

Here is the result.

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The blade is made of 1084 high carbon steel. The spine is a little over 3/16″, and the length is about 5″

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The handle is made of Red Oak that I darkened with a vinegar and iron mixture. It’s about 5″ as well

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This type of sheath holds the knife very tightly. To make it easier to draw out, a copper ring is added onto the back of the knife.

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Finally a sheath is made of thick vegetable tanned leather. It is coated in beeswax and has a leather hanger.

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I generally use new materials on all my knives, especially for the blades.  With a lot of used materials there is no telling what it’s really made of (metallurgically speaking) so it can be difficult to get the best heat treat out of the steel. When I sell a knife I like to have peace of mind, and know how it will preform over long term use.  There are some things that I love to repurpose for blades though, and good quality files are among my favorites.

This blade is made from an old Nicholson file that was dulled beyond use for much of anything, however it makes a wonderful knife! The handle is a black walnut cutoff from a local wood worker that I know  Chris Otto. The blade is 4″, and is very handy for all sorts of different tasks. This knife is for sale at my etsy store.

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About a month and a half ago I was approached by a customer with a pretty interesting request. He said that he was a traveling tattoo artist/illusionist and he would like an entire set of knives to make him look like Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York.  After some back and forth we nailed down a design, this was a great customer to work with because he knew the basics of what he wanted, but let me have total artistic freedom with the project, I think it paid off.  His website is www.inkllusionist.com

To start off he wanted a HUGE cleaver 9″ blade that is 5″ tall 1/4″ thick with an 8″ handle.  He also wanted 2 belt knives, 5 throwing knives, and a belt with hand forged hardware to hang it all off of. I decided that it needed a sharpening steel, so I added that to the package as well.

It slipped my mind to get some shots of the throwing knives in the final photos, so here is one before everything is done.

The hardware for the sharpening steel.

I had my friend Rusty ofMercy Leatherworks give me a hand making the belt.

This was a pretty fun and interesting project, if you have the chance to go see Seven from The Ink Illusionists you definitely should.

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This is a knife that I actually made for myself. I tried to make it look well used by a Viking commoner. I spent a long time trying to achieve the proper patina on the blade and handle, I used things like lemons, vinegar, onions, soot, coal dust, and raw linseed oil to get the desired look.  The blade is 1084 high carbon steel, the handle is maple with a brass bolster and an inset brass rivet block. The sheath is veg tanned leather “stained” with soot and sealed with beeswax.  The metal on the sheath is brass and copper.

Blade length: 4 1/2″
Handle length: 4″
Blade thickness 3/16″

 

Like I said this is my personal knife and is not for sale, but I can certainly make one just like it for you.

 

 

 

 

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I’m really starting to enjoy making laminated blades. Something about adding 100+ year old wrought iron into a knife really adds to the overall joy I get out of making and using These blades.

I just finished up this knife, it’s a wrought iron and 1084 laminated blade. The handle was a piece of oak that was about to be burned,but when I split it I noticed a very nice figured grain, so here it is, not in the fire.

Something else I did with this knife is really try to stick to the plan. I usually draw out rough sketches, but I never really consult them during the making of the knife. I feel like it paid off this time, I like how this one turned out. There are always things to be improved upon, but this is a step in the right direction.

If you’re interested, the knife can be purchased here.

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