My African Knives

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Von Gruff, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  2. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ActionBob, I see that I am not the only AH Member that suffers from "VonGruffknifeitis." As you well know there is only one cure for this affliction.
     
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  3. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I never thought I would say I was happy to see someone afflicted with a "disease" but in these case, I do indulge in the pleasure.
     
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  4. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Wow! Very very nice
     
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  5. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I had been asked a few times if I have done any knives with deer antler, and while I had done one small one, I hadnt really had much in the way of antler to work with. Last year I was given and old white (very weathered) set and a new set so thought to see how it would work with a stick tang. I gave the antler a short soak in potassium permanginate and it came up rather nice after I had sanded the tips of the ridges back a bit. Still have to do a little clean up on the brass and make a sheath but it shows potential for a good using knife.
    IMG_20191220_144248.jpg IMG_20191220_144306.jpg IMG_20191220_144314.jpg IMG_20191220_144337.jpg
     
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  6. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I've always loved Stag handled knives. Now that you've gotten your feet wet with this one, is there any hope of you making a full tang knife with it?
     
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  7. Wade J VanGinkel

    Wade J VanGinkel AH Enthusiast

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    I agree, I love all your work but 100% into full tang knives now.
     
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  8. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It is only the pith that makes the full tang knife problematic but I will do one or two over the next few weeks and see how they work.
     

  9. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sounds good to me. Which of your designs were you thinking of putting them on?
     

  10. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It wont be untill I split some antler but it will probably have to be on the smaller handles. I may even make a table/steak knife as I just did one for trial with a new design. The trouble with most steak knife designs are that they are not much good if you want to also use it for spreading a bit of butter on some bread or getting jam etc out of a jar simply because the blade shape is too narrow toward the tip so I made a compromise design that has some of the attributes of the general round nosed table knives with enough tip shape to be successfull on steak etc. I just used a bit of linen micarta with red liners for the handle for this trial knife but I have only used it for last nights meal so far and will try it for side plate duties today and see how it goes but I think it is a practical compromise design.
    [​IMG]
     

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  11. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Would the same thing be true of Red Stag antlers?
     

  12. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It is all dependent on the dia of the antler Art. The larger the dia the larger the slab is in width so the handle is flatter rather than round and when the smalle dia antlers are used the pith is generally visible. That is why much of the antler for sale for a long time had come from the larger elk/wapiti heads. When a handle is an inch and a half deep then an antler needs to be more than this dia to be able to be used sucessfully and even at that dia the antler is simply split and the resulting handle is round rather than the usual flat oval in cross section and a round handle will show the pith which is unsightly
     
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  13. Wade J VanGinkel

    Wade J VanGinkel AH Enthusiast

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    @Shootist43
    I've spoken to von gruff about the possibility of trying some irish elk.
    Not 100% sure the quality but not terribly expensive to acquire. 20191220_103406.jpg
     
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  14. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That is definately large enough to get good scales from so long as it is not age brittle. I would think it may need stabilised but I have the equipment for that process it wouldn't be a problem
     

  15. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    loving those kitchen knives @Von Gruff !

    I've been thinking about trying to make a cleaver and maybe a chef's knife lately.. but not sure Im quite up to that task just yet..

    Have you ever done anything with stabilized wood before? I built a vacuum chamber and found a decent vacuum pump to use recently.. I thought for knives that I know will get wet pretty often (like a kitchen knife that I would likely throw in the dish washer every time I used it) that stabilized wood would be a good option..

    I was actually planning on doing a first batch of stabilized wood this weekend... thought about throwing some walnut, some orange osage, and some leopard wood in the vacuum chamber with some resin and see how it works (Ive got a feeling I'll screw it up royally the first few attempts.. but it will be fun to try...)..

    I read your post above about stabilizing the stag antler.. I didnt even know that was something that could be done.. is the process the same as stabilizing wood?
     

  16. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Giday Dave and yes I know a bit about stabilising and any thing with pores can be stabilised. The first thing you should know is to make sure your wood or other material is absolutely dry before starting the process. I have a small toaster oven that allows for continuous running and put the dry wood in there at 40C/100F for about 3-4 days to make sure there is no moisture left and even suposedly dry wood needs to be done like this. The other thing to remember, is to make sure the cactus juice has plenty of depth over the wood. I use a stainless pot stand to keep all the wood under it with a weight on top. It may take 4 days for the bubbles to stop coming from some denser woods so I have two pumps and run them alternately in 12 hr shifts till the job is done.
    Remember that after you release the vacuum, the wood/materials needs to stay in the cactus juice for at least the same amount of time as it took to vacuum it so the atmospheric pressure can force the juice deep into the wood. Then you can remove them from the juice, drain them, wrap the wood in aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 2 hours. All the time it takes is one reason that stabilised material has an added cost to it.
    And dont be fooled into thinking that it is water proof and can be placed in the dishwasher as the dishwasher is THE WORST place to put any knife with epoxied and pinned handles regardless of what the handle material is made from as the epoxy will break down in the continuous heat cycles. The proper care of a knife is to wipe the blade after use and return it to its "safe place" untill needed again, whether that is in a waxed leather cover, knife block or specialised knife drawer or a knife roll.
     

  17. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    thanks for the tip! I thought introducing the resin would help protect the wood.. but wasnt thinking about how the heat would break down the epoxy over time.. definitely good information to know!
     

  18. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Two more ready for some leatherwork. The Thumbrest Skinner in 1084 with Giraffe bone and some lovely character lines.
    IMG_20191220_143927.jpg
    and another Safari knife in 1095 with curve backed buff bolsters and giraffe bone
    IMG_20191220_143850.jpg
     
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  19. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A pair of Light Hunters in 1084 with Giraffe bone
    RnJbSQ5l.jpg
    and a Buffalo Hunter on 1095 with curve backed buff horn bolsters and exhibition walnut scales.
    8pAJm43l.jpg IAINdctl.jpg
     
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  20. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I went up to the shed for 10 minutes this morning to take the buffalo skinner out of the bolster clamp and ended up getting the handle cut out, fitted to the bolster. epoxied and pined on. IMG_20200101_122952.jpg
     
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