Von Gruff knives

Von Gruff

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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..
Gert had sent me some long grain Olive a while back along with some other African woods so I know how nice it can be.
I have an agent in the US and @Stoat Tony Byrd ( Laser Engraving. byrdlaserengraving.com, 309-261-1421 ) in Illinois has been enormously helpfull in sourcing materials and on shipping supplies that I get sent to his place.
 

Gert Odendaal

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Yes, Garry, I should have send you more wood a while ago, will use this lock down time to get the wood make up in a parcel to send out to you..I will include the weeping boer-bean, to me it is the most spectacular hard wood I have used up to date ...the Olive still is in a class of it`s own ....the challenge being cutting the wood into 2" inch x 2" x 12" inch slabs..it will make for less wood sending to you...than cutting them in halve inch x 2" inch thin slabs..
 

Von Gruff

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Yes, Garry, I should have send you more wood a while ago, will use this lock down time to get the wood make up in a parcel to send out to you..I will include the weeping boer-bean, to me it is the most spectacular hard wood I have used up to date ...the Olive still is in a class of it`s own ....the challenge being cutting the wood into 2" inch x 2" x 12" inch slabs..it will make for less wood sending to you...than cutting them in halve inch x 2" inch thin slabs..
Always enjoy the lovely wood you send Gert and the experience of seeing the beauty come through on the finished knife.
 

Gert Odendaal

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Always enjoy the lovely wood you send Gert and the experience of seeing the beauty come through on the finished knife.
My apologies Garry, I should have send you another batch earlier, but will get to it in the lock down time...please send me your address again via email..
 

Von Gruff

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My apologies Garry, I should have send you another batch earlier, but will get to it in the lock down time...please send me your address again via email..
Have done Gert.
 

Gert Odendaal

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Here is some info about the Weeping Boer Bean tree/wood I mentioned in this thread...

Schotia brachypetala Sond.
Family: Fabaceae

Common names: weeping boer-bean, tree fuchsia, African walnut (Eng.); huilboerboon (Afr.); umfofofo, umgxam, ishimnumyane (Xhosa), ihluze, umgxamu, uvovovo (Zulu), molope (Northern Sotho), mulibi, mununzwa, mununzwu, mutanswa (Venda), nwavilombe (Tsonga); umutwa (Tswana), uvovovo (Swati)

SA Tree No: 202
A handsome tree with a wide-spreading, rounded crown, and bright red, nectar-filled flowers in spring and early summer that attract many birds and insects; it is easy to grow and makes a good shade tree or specimen tree.
Description
Schotia brachypetala is a handsome, medium to large tree with a wide-spreading, densely branched, rounded crown. It has a single trunk that sometimes branches low down. The flowers are rich deep red, and are produced in masses, in dense branched heads on the old wood during spring (Aug.-Nov.). The flowering time is somewhat irregular in that a tree in bloom may be a few metres away from one that has no sign of flowers. This irregularity is of value to the nectar feeding birds, and ensures a longer feeding season
Distribution and habitat
Schotia brachypetala occurs in warm dry areas in bushveld, deciduous woodland and scrub forest most often on the banks of rivers and streams or on old termite mounds at lower altitudes from around Umtata in the Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Northern Province and into Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Uses
Not only is Schotia brachypetala an exceptional ornamental tree, it also has a number of other uses: A decoction of the bark is taken to treat heartburn and hangovers. Bark and root mixtures are used to strengthen the body and purify the blood, to treat nervous heart conditions and diarrhoea, as well as for facial saunas. The seeds are edible after roasting, and although low in fat and protein they have a high carbohydrate content. Both the Bantu-speaking people and the early European settlers and farmers are said to have roasted the mature pods and eaten the seeds, a practice which they learned from the Khoikhoi. The bark can be used for dyeing, giving a red-brownor red colour. The timber is of good quality, suitable for furniture making. The sapwood is pinkish-grey and not durable unless treated.The heartwood is a dark walnut, almost black, hard, fairly heavy and termite resistant with a dense fine texture and has been much used for furniture and flooring blocks. It is also said to be excellent for all kinds of wagon wood and was chiefly in demand for wagon beam
 

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One of the most beautiful one I have worked with :
Desert Iron Wood from .... Arizona
20200325_184413.jpg
 

Gert Odendaal

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Another South African indigenous wood, and a great favorite by wood/tree lovers like me is the venerable Tambotie tree...
Some info for members who loves great looking wood:
THE TAMBOTI TREE
The Tamboti tree, Spirostachysafricana, is a medium sized deciduous tree which grows in the warm regions of Southern Africa (excluding Lesotho). The name loosely translates as “spirally arranged African tree”, referring to the spiral manner in which the flowers grow. In South Africa the Tamboti is a protected species due to the unsustainable overuse of its wood.
Although Tamboti trees will grow in most soil types, they flourish along rivers, streams and drainage lines with brackish clay soils. They tend to grow in single species thickets which can be clearly seen at Sabi Sabi where there are small Tamboti “forests” with a mix of juvenile, sub-adult and mature Tamboti trees. In these copses the differences between the various aged trees is easy to compare. Young Tamboti trees have grey branches, while the older trees have a dark grey to almost black bark with a distinctive rectangular pattern. The rounded canopy atop a straight, bare trunk has deep to light green leaves that turn bright red before they drop in winter.

The trees are monoecious, meaning male and female flowers grow separately on the same tree. In this species there are large quantities of golden pollen covered male florets all situated in the top of the tree and a smaller quantity of red female florets growing lower down. The flowers, which are borne on drooping, catkin like spikes 15 – 30 cm long, appear in spring before the leaves.

The fruit of the Tamboti looks like a three lobed capsule. In the summer months when they ripen, these capsules burst open with an audible sharp clapping sound before dropping from the tree, heralding a great feast for francolins and guinea fowl. Some of the seeds can be seen “jumping” around on the ground – hence the nick-name “Jumping Bean Tree”. This jumping movement is caused by the larva of a small grey moth from the Pyralidae family, which contorts inside the seed making it move around.

The Tamboti has a host of practical and medicinal uses. Tamboti sap is used by indigenous healers for the relief of toothache. The extremely hard and beautiful wood is highly sought after in the manufacture of furniture. Cutting the wood needs to be done with great care, as the tree sap and sawdust can cause eye and skin irritation. Smoke from burning the wood is also very poisonous and can cause severe stomach upsets. However, this highly scented wood is highly effective in keeping away insects. Tamboti clothes hangers keep fish moths away – even a small piece of wood placed between clothes will be effective. The Herero tribe in Namibia make sweet smelling beaded necklaces from the wood. It is said that if you scrape a one hundred year old piece of Tamboti wood it will still give off its strong sandalwood-like scent. The milky latex which oozes from the tree has been used for centuries by the local tribes for poisoning fish to make for an easier catch, and for applying to the tips of spears when hunting
7XTyh6s.jpg


The Tamboti is well known for the milky latex it secretes which is poisonous to humans, but not to animals. It is a very popular food source for many species of antelope, for elephants and monkeys; black rhino are particularly partial to the Tamboti and porcupines enjoy the bark to such a degree that they sometimes ring bark the trees causing them to die.
 

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Red Leg

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I'll simply provide a testimonial that Gary builds a beautifully balanced, totally useful knife. Garish, even beautiful things occupy tables at every gun show in this country (or did until a few weeks ago :(). But finding a knife with the perfect "feel" (and I have no idea how to describe that) is far more difficult. I had a fairly special set of criteria that I wanted in a blade, and Gary created perfection. It has never left my side outside of this country. I should add, it has traveled in checked baggage all over Europe and South America as well as Africa. It is not a hunting blade particularly, but it is perfection for its intended purpose. Couldn't resist another from pictures Gary posted the other day. I will be my travel to civilized climes companion.
 

ve7poi

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Go for it I got one and it’s my go to hunting knife now nothing but good things to say about it
Very happy with it.
Now looking at getting a couple foe gifts in future
 

CBH Australia

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@ve7poi what model fo you have. What do you usevit as. Just skinning or does it have other purpose? Partly trying to get an idea of what people like about them or particular styles.
Partly for conversation and help settle my decision.
 

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I have the PH EDC and love it! I have two different knives on their way to the states right now, a JT Ranger and a Light Hunter. Plus I'm thinking two more might be in order.
 

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@huntermn15 nice knife I like the Buff and darker timbers
 

Dr Ray

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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.

The Vin Gruff knives are excellent!
I bought 5.
All mine have spalted eucalyptus wood in the handles.
 

Gert Odendaal

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I'll simply provide a testimonial that Gary builds a beautifully balanced, totally useful knife. Garish, even beautiful things occupy tables at every gun show in this country (or did until a few weeks ago :(). But finding a knife with the perfect "feel" (and I have no idea how to describe that) is far more difficult. I had a fairly special set of criteria that I wanted in a blade, and Gary created perfection. It has never left my side outside of this country. I should add, it has traveled in checked baggage all over Europe and South America as well as Africa. It is not a hunting blade particularly, but it is perfection for its intended purpose. Couldn't resist another from pictures Gary posted the other day. I will be my travel to civilized climes companion.

I totally agree, I met Garry years ago on a forum, he build his own 404 Jeffery, made gas checks and did load development for his 404 Jeffery , he has been my mentor ever since, Garry is an incredible talented craftsman , I am still learning from him today, if I am not sure about a design, procedure to build something my first email will be send to Garry in New Zealand..I always hoped I could arrange a buffalo hunt for Garry with his 404 Jeffery here in South Africa..buffalo cows are quite cheap to hunt here in SA...Garry send me numerous items to assist my ever growing products I did ...I even received a great , beautiful skinning knife from Garry ...it is a great present from the man himself...I am extremely fortunate to know Garry and will always be thankful to
 

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