No Progress…

 

…at least on working on the “Project Knife”. Prepping for my upcoming move has just sucked up my time. I’ve been sorting through boxes that may not have been audited since my parents move to NC in 1963… seriously.

The poor knife is just like I left it in the last PK post, but it did get a new suit of clothes. These fit, instead of letting 3/4″ of sharp blade tip poke out of the sheath [and into your pants and leg].

I picked up a cheap sheath off Amazon that turned out be fairly nice. Reasonably decent leather with a machine stamped basketweave, riveted, and sound stitching… and a near perfect fit. [There is a snap strap that is off right now]. I will most likely give this sheath a Lexol rubdown; something I wouldn’t do to a really fine sheath like the BRK ones come with.

Money saved always goes out in another direction… and I did spree on a second Bark River when someone in one of the BRK forums put it up at a price that I could feel OK with [and that all the stuff in those boxes financed thru sales on eBay]. That pretty top knife is a Fox River II “First Production Run” with a Desert Ironwood handle and brass pins, A2 steel. It came without any signs of use or wear, and I’m glad I went for it.

I had wanted a Fox River back when I got the Adventurer nekker last Fall, but the original full run sold out a good while ago, and Mike Stewart hasn’t fitted another run into the very busy Bark River production schedule yet. You can get a Fox that is “magnum” or one that is LT [a lighter/thinner blade] but not a regular II. At 5″ the FR II is an inch bigger than the original FR, which makes it smaller by an inch than the PK Bowie I’m restoring, but larger than the others I have [a Buck 692 and a D.H. Russell Canadian #1 from Grohmann]… so…. imma justifyin’ fillin’ a niche!

Other than that, in a quick message exchange with forum guy who is a well known knife maker, as well as collector, I found out that the Project Knife is actually better than I thought. Under that ugly blade tape-up job, it is convex ground just like the pricy Bark Rivers.

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Bad Knife!… No Biscuit.

I am pretty effete with my selection of knives, [I just bought a “First Production Run” Bark River Fox River II off the forums an hour ago] and I do take really good care of my cutting arsenal. Today’s review [although you probably would be better off calling it “a savage attack”] is of a donor knife that came my way in a box of miscellaneous tools a few years ago. Badly executed, and even more badly maintained, it’s only home has always been an my gardening tool bucket… This is just about as bad as the knife can get, and NO big surprise… It’s from Pakistan!

 

 

What it is…. above left, and what it would like to be if it had had better upbringing…. above right. What it is is completely representative of why everyone bashes knives from Pakistan. It is an absolutely wretched clone that is so badly reconceived, and then so poorly executed it will never be mistaken for the real thing…. a BUCK 110, one of the epitomal knifes of the last hundred years.

The Fakistani’s brass bolsters are right-angled off the edges so that they are guaranteed to dig into your hand with a firm grip, and they abandon the Buck’s ergonomic, user friendly shape entirely. The handles themselves are done in what looks to be mahogany with an open grain, and no finish has been used at all… at least there are no traces left.

 

Just about the only positive thing that can be said about the build is that the handles and rivet pins are ground down flush with no harsh transitions between materials… even across the spine.

BUT…

 

 

Cue the theme from Jaws…. dundum,dundum, dundum…and check the shot below!

 

They missed the entire point of a folding “pocket” knife….. the blade is supposed to be contained in the handle when folded so that you can carry it in your pocket without the risk of injury!

This is the “locked in” position. The blade has not been ground down to expose the blade tip… that’s how it came.

And just as bad, the lockback lever sticks out just as far on the other side!

The Pakistani knife industry gets a really bad rap among the blade fanboys. Partly this is due to the fact that they repurchased old machinery from Europe that is unable to deal with some of the higher tech metals used in blades today. But quite justly, the plain, out and out bad craftsmanship shown on this knife is another reason. I’m not even bashing the steel used. Hey, it is Stainless like it sez on the ricasso so it doesn’t rust away between uses, and it does take an edge. It’s just that the edge seems to fade away without any use at all…even while it only sits in the pocket of my yard tool bucket. We’ve all had an untold number of cheap Japanese kitchen knives that do that same thing… one soap-and-water washing and they’re dull.

This poor thing will get tossed back in the bucket after I give a go at the blade on my Lansky System just for the “halibut”. Even a beater beats nothing when you are wrist deep in manure and need to open that second bag….

Edit~ It did sharpen up pretty OK for a beater…

The Project Knife~ bonus

I almost took a “flyer”on this second “project” knife a week or so ago. Fortunately, it went for a price above my pay-grade, finally selling for $44US plus $7.99 s/h… fair, but not for me right now.

Described on eBay offering as:

“NICE OLD WADE & BUTCHER “TEDDY” MODEL, TEDDY ETCHED INTO BLADE, KNIFE SHOWS AGE AND SHARPENING, STACKED LEATHER HANDLE SLIGHTLY DRY, POMMEL CAP SHOWS SLIGHT DINGS, BLADE SHOWS SOME IDIOT PUTTING GRINDER MARKS ON IT.  SHEATH IS CRUDELY HANDMADE WITH A CROSSDRAW BELT LOOP BUT SHEATH IS IN GOOD CONDITION !”

Wade & Butcher are well known British cutlery makers in Sheffield, and most Sheffield is pretty nice steel… carbon and well formulated. Most interesting about this though is that the “TEDDY” is supposedly the first widely offered “stainless” steel hunting knife made.

The grip seems a bit bulbous to my taste, but I really loved the brass spaced catalin decorative disks at each end, and the single tang blade guard.

The fool and his grinder marks I can deal with, but what put me off making any bid was that I could see that the blade was rather heavily worn in right there before the ricasso [the squared off chunk between the edge and the guard… zoom the photo and you can really see it]. That was going to mean substantial regrinding forward on toward the point to flatten the bottom edge.

Still and all…. that’s a really nice looking knife, I will probably keep my eye on eBay in case another one comes along.

EDIT~ for a second “Bonus

Just to show that you can pick up a “good enough” used knife in reasonable condition for a reasonable price…. I passed on this KA-BAR USA 11″ Stacked Leather Bowie Knife with Leather Sheath as well, but it went for only $35US [shipped] over on eBay the other night… Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.43.26 AM

 

 

 

 

 

The Project Knife Update #1-2

There has actually been some slow but steady progress being made. I started out a couple of weeks ago, and then got hung up on the rest of my life commitments…

The first steps involved “stabilizing” the leather handle. No disks were actually missing, but there were small gaps between some, behind the brass guard, and right at the front catalin disks. I worked some Gorilla Glue into some of the gaps to start with. I also used some braided casting line with the GG to wrap-and-fill behind the guard. Then I switched to furniture glue as it could be thinned and put in on a razor blade.

This first photo shows where I have glued and then tightened up and worked the spaces between disks to give a single, dime-thick void. I filled this with black “Sugru”.

 

 

 

I finally had some time this morning, so I taped off the catalin decorative disks, the pommel and the guard with painters tape to protect them while I broke out a rasp, a file and the disk sander to get serious with reshaping the now tight and secure leathers. [You can see the Sugru infill there in the center]

 

For safety while grasping, I also put a pair of duct tape strips up the edge of the blade and covered them with a third layer folded over.

Here we are after some heavy rasp work, some filing, and a go with 220 grit on my Porter-Cable orbital.

After making most of those dark rings there between the disks go away, I moved on up to 400 grit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just cleaned up with a rag to get off the sanding dust, I am pretty pleased with the progress so far. You can see the shine already coming up on the leather. The grip in the hand feels fine, with no real change from the very slight material removal. Sure, the Sugru infill is always going to show as a souvenir of the renovation, but that just adds character.

There are some more spaces that showed up in the catalin disks by the pommel, and the down slopes across the catalin on both sides at the guard need to be brought up to the 400g level by hand.

In the center photo you can see how nicely the decorative disks come back. So, my next play is to work a last bit of glue into the gaps, lightly file off the residues, and work down those front slopes to match the rest.

Climbing Cold Mountain

If you’re climbing Cold Mountain Way,
Cold Mountain Road grows inexhaustible:
long canyons opening across fields of talus,
broad creeks tumbling down mists of grass.
Moss is impossibly slick even without rain,
but this far up, pines need no wind to sing.
Who can leave the world’s tangles behind
and sit with me among these white clouds?

– Han shan

“Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist-blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there’s been no rain
The pine sings, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the world’s ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?”
― Gary SnyderRiprap and Cold Mountain Poems

 

Two translations from 8th Cent. Chinese poet Han Shan. Cold Mountain is not a geographic place, but the place where you are… your home, yourself,  your mindset. The ascent is your own Path to Enightenment… Keep climbing

Sorry, But I’m “Flat Out Like A Lizard Drinkin’…”

Posts from up here in the Falls may be a bit sparse for a while.

I am working on the Project Knife when I get a chance, but I have also just listed my house for sale figuring that anyone who is in the market for this type of home is going to want to enjoy it during the upcoming summer season. [My part of Maine is a vacation magnet, since I am only just over 2 hours from Boston]

THIS is sucking up an inordinate amount of time as I attempt to cure 7 years of neglect since my wife went into longterm care and I stopped being “responsible”, and the resultant geezer-clutter. Add to that a lifelong similarity to Dennis’s attitude below and you will get the idea…

The good news is that it’s only been on the market for 36 hours and I have a showing today!!!