Little Whittler

I was out a couple of weeks ago and I had with me a small stainless steel folder. Now, I’ve never been a fan of Swiss Army Knife type knives for one reason and another, and when I came to use the little folder I had with me it proved my point – bloody useless.

So I decided there and then that I would buy myself a small (2″-2.5″) fixed bladed knide. I also decided it would be a stick-tang because you can do more decorative things with the handle and any concerns about the strength of a stick-tang (compared to a full-tang) would be irrelevant because such a small knife would not be tasked with such heavy duties. And I also decided that I would buy the blade and handle the knife for myself because 1/ it would be cheaper, and 2/ you only learn how to do things by doing them for yourself.

A quick internet search found English Handmade Knives (link on the left). Even better, they were based in Kent – in New Romney!

I bought a carbon Polar 62mm blade with brass bolster and end piece all for just £13.

The handle would be made from a stack of hardwood, 3mm veg tanned leather, 1mm brown tanned leather and oak. The handle length would be about 3.75″. The bits were all cut and sanded to make sure they were parallel, and then holes drilled and filed so they fit the blade.

These were all glued in place using Araldite epoxy glue and then the end cap was hammered over to keep it all tightly in place.

Whilst this was drying I started work on the sheath. I thought I may want to use it as a neck-hanger, so I made both a belt loop and a lanyard. When the glue had dried on the handle the laborious process of sanding and filing to shape started. When the handle was done I thought the contrast between the colours was too stark, so I put some dye on it. Unfortunately the only dye I had was very dark – too dark. And nearly all the contrast was lost.

Here’s the knife handle drying and the sheath at an early stage:

After looking at it a bit I decided the bulge on the underside of the handle looked wrong. It did feel comfortable, but I just didn’t like the look of it and decided to sand it down a bit. Then I re-stained it and finished off the sheath. I braided the neck lanyard myself from five strands of suede thonging bought from a craft store.

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