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Donnerstag, 16. März 2017

Proven by time-three bushcraft designs

 These are three knives that have thoroughly earned their merits. I made two of them very long ago and one quite a long time ago. All three have seen some severe amount of abuse, prying, hacking, slicing, cutting, batoning, scraping off putty from windowpanes, cutting plasterboard, levering up doors, even splitting coconuts. All three came out begging for more. All three have something in common: A steel that any modern-day knifemaker would sneer at.
 Spring steel. Crap. Junk. A carbon content of about 0,55-0,75%. No fancy Niobium or Unobtanium alloy. No Damascus, no Wootz.

I love the latter, and we will see that there are knives out of these varieties that also deserve a place, but what does not cease to astound me is how well this material copes with everything you can throw at it.

All three of them have taught me a lot about blade and especially edge geometry, balance and overall layout. Above is the first prototype of my Fimbulmuk design. While not that able a woodworker, it excels in skinning and food prep tasks or even snacking. The two below are just about my favourite bushcraft knives. Both of them I use for all the hard work in the woods and the smithy. The one in the middle is the most able carving knife and best suited for woodworking while not compromising other applications.
The last one is sort of a compromise between the two above. Following the lines of a traditional hunting knife, it provides good woodworking capabilities, albeit not as good as the one with the birch burr handle, but also excels in food prepping and other applications.

I asked myself, why this might be the case?

Now look at the edge lines. The Fimbulmuk´s is by intention quite offset. The last one has an offset, too, but the butt of the handle is more in line with the tip. The resulting balance axis therefore is more of a parallel line to the ground, while the Fimbulmuk´s is more sloped. Even more extreme is the one on the knife with the birchwood handle. By the way, for both the Fimbulmuk as well as the one in the middle (which, by the way was inspired by Ilkka Seikku´s excellent bush prowler knife: http://rautasarvi.blogspot.de/2014/01/bushprowler-by-ilkka-seikku-bushprowler.html), I used a whiplash line scheme for construction. This knife has a very even balance axis. Balance point on all of the three knives is on the index finger. Most dexterous is the one in the middle. This is due to a balance axis/edge line that is not offset and lies directly in line with the handle. There are advantages and disadvantages to this design, but for the most part, this is my favourite. Most of the work I do is woodworking anyway.

But all of these knives will remain faithful companions to my working life in the woods!

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