My African Knives

Von Gruff

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Some lovely work. I too used a saw blade but it always warped during heat treat . The slasher steel would be very good metal to use as it would be old steel.
MarkCZ

I had a saw blade one warp during the heat treat as well but I felt that was because I had layed it flat in the fire so I put a bolt through it so it would sit on the spine and it worked fine.


There is good heat generated

It also gave me something to sit on the top of the quenching oil so I could set the depth that I wanted the oil to reach
 

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Von Gruff

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A little bit of filing and sanding just to see what was inder the surface with a light rub with BLO just for effect
Still have the finishing to do but getting it to this stage is a visual confirmation that what I saw in my mind has translated into reality
 

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dory

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Outstanding Von Gruff !!
Oh to have your patience .
 

Von Gruff

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The skinning knife got a workout today and came through with flying colours. There were four goats to dress and break down.
Photo2918_zpsr7ocfffm.jpg
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dory

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Awesome !!
 

Gert Odendaal

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Great work and a great project Von Gruff, excellent write-up, thank you for sharing your knowledge...
 

Von Gruff

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When I ground the bone to shape it took off all the surface character that I had thought might stay in the finished handle and it ended up quite white but over the next few days there were some beautiful mottled golds have come through in places with dark streaks that look to be the underlying edge of the surface character. I will try and get a decent pic of it in the sunlight soon.
We ground all the meat taken off the goats except for the back legs that were kept for roasting and I had another 10lb of sheep shoulder meat in the freezer that I thawed out to mix in with the sausage and salami mix. The backstraps were made into mince so there was 15 lb of that and then with the sheep meat there was just over 20 b for saudages and 15lb for a few more salami's

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Photo2923_zpsyyip4zij.jpg
 
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Von Gruff

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The salami will get smoked over pear wood for 6 hrs then cooke din a water bath for 35min and is indeed very good as are the sausages which only have thyme, sage and mint with black pepper to enhance the natural taste of the meat.
 

Von Gruff

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Having come to a bit of a halt with the other projects that are on the go, I thought I would try something new as far as knife making (for me) is concerned. I thought to do the heat treating of this one with the boning knife so decided to get this one up to the same stage so they could be done together. I had annealed the short end of the farriers rasp that I made the skinning knife from, so decided to see what I could do with it. I had made a new pattern for a hunting knife with the same size blade as my little 3 finger knife but with a full size handle. The only difficulty with that was that the rasp end was too short for a full tang profile, so I decided to try a half tang design.
Photo2934_zpsv42kdlsy.jpg

After a bit the teeth were mostly ground off and the shape was mostly there.
Photo2935_zps5affdsch.jpg

After a little more tidying up it was time to start the main bevel but with the short tang I had little to hold onto which meant it got too hot to hold very quickly . It also became evident soon after that, that trying to maintain the correct bevel was going to be difficult with the short tang on the belt grinder so I decided to do it old school and file it in by hand. It surprised me how easy it was to get and keep the bevel from the edge of the spine to the finished .025 edge which will become .020 after polishing before the heat treat.
Photo2936_zpss5skwdcd.jpg

The coarse file does leave some deep scratches and the fine file would pick up bits of metal in the teeth and scratch anyway even when it was given a rub with engeneers chalk.
Photo2937_zpsprbhmkb1.jpg

The little flapper wheel in the dremel got rid of most of the deep scratches and working with 220 grit paper has most of the rest gone as well. Although there is still quite a bit to do, this was not a bad start for the afternoon.
Photo2939_zpsanrnxsib.jpg


The handle for the boning knife is going to be simple walnut slabs (from the 6.5x57 Erfurt stock off-cuts and the new hunter will have the remains of the girrafe bone as bolsters and some of the thin horn I cut and straightened for the handles.
 
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Von Gruff

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Was lookin at getting the handles sorted today but it turned into a non event with the buffalo horn as the pieces I had split and straightened had a flaw in them that rendered them a non starter. I still wanted to use the girrafe bone so cut the last little pieces I had and got the first one close to the finished shape, drilled the two holes in shallow for the hidden pins, drilled the two holes on the second piece so hold them together and could mark out the shape on it.



With the two pieces held together with the short pins, the finished front and inside shape was filed in and sanded through the grades to 360.


Not being able to use the horn it left me with decideng what wood I would use with purple heart, Ironbark, gum and walnut as the choices. The walnut, while not spectacular was interesting enough that it got the nod.
The front half had to be rebated along with the tail of the tang and that called for some interesting methods to hold them to get it done but eventually they got done to where they have to wait till after the bolsters are fitted to do the shaping for the fit into the bolster curve. All that will have to wait till after the heat treating.


After that it was a reasonably straight forward job to do the handles for the boning knife so they are both up to the heat treat stage that will have to wait for a colder day for the fire to be lit.
 

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Von Gruff

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Even though it was way to warm for the fire I got it cranked up yesterday and gte both blades heat treated

and the scale polished off

The giraffe bone bolsters are epoxied on the hunter and the handle slabs are on the boner so when that has set up the next page can be got to.
 

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Von Gruff

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Got the handles cleaned up and a bit of tung oil on to start the sealing process, so now with the skinning knife, I have a nice new set for the next excursion. The skinning knife is starting to get a patina on the blade (from the goats) as I dont want them to have a bright finished look so over time they will darken and after a while they will look about right.
Pleased with how the giraffe bone has finished up with the streaks of apparent cracks and slight yellowing in patches but the overall effect is very pleasing to my eye.
Have them sharpened and like the feel of the edge so will be looking to test them on meat sooner rather than later.



The hunter will get a simple pouch sheath like I usually make but the skinner and the boner will not as they will have a light ply two knife block set that will be (in general) home based.
 

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Wheels

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Have really enjoyed the process of your making these Von Gruff. You are talented. I appreciate the tutorial. (y)
 

Von Gruff

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Thanks for the kind words but posting on these ones being made, as much as anything else, was to show that we dont need the fancy knifemakers gear to make a very servicable knife for any of the uses we put them to. Even an angle grinder to get the shape and a file to get the bevels will make a simple and effective knife.
 

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Thank you for sharing all this @Von Gruff. I like how the wood/bone handle sections are curved where they fit together- its a nice touch.
 

Von Gruff

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I decided that I wanted to have the patina'd look to the blade now so I gave it a bit of cold blue which made it look much better to me. As the cold blue gradually wears off the natural patina will replace it over time so it should always have "some colour" to it.


I thought I would do the skinning knife as well.


The sheath needed to be done so a piece of good leather (2.84mm thick) and drew out a pattern on a bit of card. The thing to remember is that when you do the pattern for whichever side of the body you want to carry it that you mark the pattern with what will be the seen side so that when you ut it on the leather you will probably have to tuyrn the pattern over to get the right side of the leather to show on the finished sheath.
The pouch type is the most secure way of carrying a knife and I do mine so that half the handle is inside the puch which still leaves plenty to grab to remove it without having to have those silly cord attachments that would look very grubby after using the knife on the first animal embeded with blood and hair. They serve no other purpose and would get in the road during much of the work the knife is asked to perform.



The welt needs to be cut that will protect the stiching from the blade edge.

It is glued in place with contact glue. I shorten the bottom end so that when the sheath is sewn up the welt is a 1/4 in from meeting the fold so that there is an escape hole for debris and or any water that might get in while hunting.
 

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