Von Gruff knives

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by CBH Australia, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Fanatic

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    im trying to justifying buying a Von Gruff knife. I had always considered aa custom knife for hunting and just because it’s will fit with my idea of classic traditional looking accessories with my gear.
    I’ve looked at the models. I then found the thread on the Africa Hunting EDC version with the AH logo on sheath.
    What models do people have, what drove the preference.
    I’m interested in a hunting knife with cross draw sheath. It doesn’t have to be the biggest. I would plan to use it so it won’t be exhibition grade wood. But might have a Buff bolster.
    Any thoughts or opinions?
    This website has cost me a lot of money and perhaps even more in time so another small investment might help keep our friend going while we are in a state of uncertainty.
    And maybe the AH version would be a nice reminder.
    I’ve hunted Africa (culls) maybe a custom knife is next on the list.
     
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  2. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    peter larsson has some beautiful knives on this site.
     

  3. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Fanatic

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    Yes, he has some nice stuff. Perhaps not what I was looking for. They are pretty and quite ornate. I expect they could command a premium price.
    All could be used but what I am looking for would be for use in the bush. Possibly carried regularly as I hunt pests when Im working in the bush.
    I don’t want to invest a small fortune in custom knife.
    What makes it custom is having it made for me ato my specs of handle or bolster. I know Gary (Von Gruff) grinds and tempers his own blades etc. I’ve been in touch with him but I’m now asking what models do others have and what drove that choice of design. What do they use them for and how do they find them.
    I’m not sure if Von Gruff is a surname or nickname but I’m interested in his stuff at present unless I talk my self out of spending the money.
     

  4. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Von Gruff was part of a family members name that I took as a screen name in 2006. He was Grauvolk Bruno Von Gruff and he became a very important part of our family, so when I needed a screen name it seemed right to adopt part of his name.
    It became associated with my knives very early on and with the name recognition I have continued to fly under his flag so to speak. We lost him a few years ago so his name keeps him close in our memories.
    1485018092_VonGruff.jpg.14ef2728b613f14d2a4c79819a5b2d38.jpg
     
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  5. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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    I believe Gary will make you just about any knife you could want, of course only he can answer that. I know I asked him to duplicate a famous knife "the Wohlhunter lion knife", he did a perfect job and it is being used for what it was meant to be a general purpose knife, it does a fine job of holding an edge.

    If I was to ask him to make me another knife (which I will) I believe it will be to reproduce "The Bob Loveless semi-skinner", which Bob Loveless considered one of his most beautiful designs, comparing "the soft suttle curves to those of beautiful woman". If I would have only had the $150.00 that Bobs semi-skinner cost in the 1960s. I would go with a synthetic handle with the cross draw sheath.
     

  6. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    @Tokoloshe Safaris I take it that you mean this one Lon. 604dac656d00d553904da95ef059d35d.jpg
    My Light hunter is something like that but without the finger guard, but then my handle shape does the job of hand security without the need for the guard. The lower knife with end grain olivewood over buff horn is my personal knife and what I carry on the hill. It has field dressed in excess of 50 animals but my main quarry is goat and the 3 3/4 in blade is just right for that task. Light Hunter.png
    I do not use it for skinning as one of my specific skinning models takes on those tasks.

    The 4 inch bladed Hunter Skinner is probably the better all round model for field dressing and skinning if just the one knife is carried
    Hunterskinner.png
     
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  7. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Fanatic

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    Hi Gary, your 4" Hunter Skinner blade is almost identical to the Loveless semi-skinner and is probably a better overall design. I believe Bob's semi-skinner was 3 3/4". In a 4" to 5" version, I would feel very comfortable using this knife on African Buffalo. Due to my style of skinning, with my blade being held upside down for certain "away from the hair" cuts, I would prefer a little less "birds head" at the end of the handle. This is just personal preference.
     
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  8. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    The last one pictured is a great looking knife!
     

  9. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    CBH, Von Gruff offers Micarta handled knives as well. For continued / constant use in the field they would probably suit your needs & expectations the best. I prefer his high carbon blades even though they might stain and or get a "patina." They hold their edges longer than stainless knives do. As far as which model to get, why don't you send Von Gruff a PM explaining your intended usage and expectations and let him suggest a specific design and or a couple of options. I own a number of his knives, including the AH EDC none have been a disappointment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020

  10. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    love the end grain olive handle on your personal knife @Von Gruff .. absolutely beautiful..
     
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  11. Albert GRANT

    Albert GRANT AH Fanatic

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    Agree 100% So much so, I tried to get it for the knife he is currently making me, but sadly there is no more. One of the nicest woods I have seen though!
     

  12. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    I might be able to source some for you @Von Gruff .. Im not sure how cost effective it would be to ship it to NZ though or what pricing on it here looks like vs there..

    One of the dealers I work with here in Dallas usually has a pretty good stock of olive.. I havent had a lot of success in finding really high quality pieces of olive that have nice burled or spalted patterns in it though.. but occasionally I get lucky.. I'd be happy to go look and see what he has on hand, and what price he is asking for it..

    Another resource might be @Gert Odendaal .. he sourced some absolutely beautiful olive for me last year on my last SA visit.. Im just not sure how easy it would be go get it shipped from South Africa or how affordable it would be.. (I carried mine home in my checked bags :) )..

    I've found olive to be my favorite hardwood for making knife handles.. its fairly easy to work with and is forgiving.. smells really nice when grinding it in the shop.. and if you can find a piece that is heavily burled or spalted.. it makes for a beautiful end product..
     
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  13. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Fanatic

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    We have exchanged PM. I Probably would not put Micarta on a one and only custom. Plan is to carry/use it but that may only average to once a week. It will be carried more than used but if it’s close handy it’s. Knife and will be used to cut stuff I can sharpen it
    I’m interested in what makes people choose a certain style for use s a hunter, which equates to skinning mostly.
    I do like the The clip point designs buyback it seems that drop point is practical. On his website the Buffalo skinner looks great but it’s higher price bracket and size are not what I want.
    I like the Old Western too. And that would suit the cross draw sheath in my view but it seems these traditional looking knives are not in use so much among hunters. I’m not really a meat hunter either but I will take meat occasionally.
    It seems many of you own more knives than you need they just go with our interests aNd I’m happy to see that so many people have an interest in them. I often wondered if my interest was n obsession. No it’s normal. I have skinning and butchering knives that don’t get enough use but I don’t mind cutting up a sheep when I can, I’ve taken deer for meat opportunistically and I might be eating more goat the way things re going.
     
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  14. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    mdwest/Von Gruff I still need to send Von Gruff a box full of indigenous wood, this will include olive, Rhodesian teak ( to me this is a difficult wood to work with and I use water to sand this type of wood since it tends to burn when cutting or sanding it) I recently acquired a beautiful piece of wood , this wood I estimate it`s age to be 500 years old...it is Weeping boer bean (Schotia brachypetala) wood, it is just exquisite looking wood..fortunately I have a whole tree trunk to work with...I do have access to very , very old Lead=wood as well....I know it is possible to courier wood to New Zealand as we have done this previously..I am not sure about shipping to the USA, maybe with some trophies ship/dip shipping....fortunately most USA hunters visit South Africa at least one a year for hunting and I will be able to give them wood to take back with them like Mdwest and Stoat ...if there are members who want some great looking wood for personal use and knife making I will gladly give you some pieces of wood....just let me know when you visiting SA, at this stage nothing will happen here the next two months , we are commencing a total lock -down in SA tomorrow...
     

  15. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    Albert, I do have extremely old Olive wood for you available..I recently acquired beautiful Weeping boer bean (Schotia brachypetala), it is unbelievable beautiful wood as well as Red=Bush willow ...when are you visiting or do you have someone who will travel to the USA after the next two months after we have some relief from the corona virus
     
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  16. Albert GRANT

    Albert GRANT AH Fanatic

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    We already have wood picked out for my Von Gruff knives now, but I wouldn't mind having some of it for a future knife! I do hope to be over there in April-ish, so if you wouldn't mind holding a little, that would be great! Unless of course Garry wants it and you don't have much, then of course make a deal with him
     

  17. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    Albert, there will be enough wood for you and Garry...let me know when you will be arriving or where to in SA can I send the wood for you to pick up. Keep in mind the Corona virus is just taking off in SA ...
     

  18. Albert GRANT

    Albert GRANT AH Fanatic

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    Yes I know, nothing is booked yet, that's just when I'm hoping to be there. Sounds good on the wood, I'll PM you so we can keep in contact more easily
     
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  19. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have designed the PH EDC with you in mind after a previous conversation It has a 4 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch blade with larger diameter wheel used for the birdshead to ease that potential hotspot but with the whole handle shaped with the elimination of hotspots being as important and is the shape for grip without a hard hold. The blade has enough point for getting under the skin for opening up with enough nose to facilitate that action, enough belly for skinning and enough straight blade length for long cuts (or if a bit of brush needs cut for a blind etc. I actually cut one out for you and have it ready for handle (black curve back micarta with OD canvas micarta scales at 120grit finish for grip even with wet (bloody) hands.
    This one has brass CB bolster with ebony handle
    IMG_20200119_105959.jpg
     
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  20. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thank you. That singular piece was a gift from a retiring knifemaker so was a bit special for me. It was only an 3 1/6 thick so I laminated it to a piece of 1/16 walnut to ensure it would not crack due to the short grain. It has stood up to a lot of use over the years.
     
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