Von Gruff knives

Wade J VanGinkel

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I have one of Gary's knives so far and love it.
I would only say since you're planning just one custom is to go ahead and upgrade to exhibition grade wood. It's not that much more and really sets it apart as the custom it is.
Mine has swamp kuari handles. And will get used when the seasons get here again.
 

CBH Australia

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I have one of Gary's knives so far and love it.
I would only say since you're planning just one custom is to go ahead and upgrade to exhibition grade wood. It's not that much more and really sets it apart as the custom it is.
Mine has swamp kuari handles. And will get used when the seasons get here again.
Wade, others, are you able to post a pic? Model? What is swamp Kauri? Mmm maybe I agree on the idea of exhibition grade, I would want to use it. It would be nice to have “A custom” and cheaper than a custom rifle.
I have some ideas from Garry in a PM, yes better wood is a small step up but it all adds up. I want something I would use , I would like something that is beautiful but to what end maybe then it is a collectible. Some buy the Damascus because they are beautiful and collectible.
It’s more got to be practical and usable and if it’s my custom it’s one of a kind so becomes something I commissioned. I could get a decent production model sheathed hunting knife at maybe $100 upwards. It would be nice but I’m trying to find a happy medium.
What Von Gruff models do people like best?
 

Wade J VanGinkel

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Wade, others, are you able to post a pic? Model? What is swamp Kauri? Mmm maybe I agree on the idea of exhibition grade, I would want to use it. It would be nice to have “A custom” and cheaper than a custom rifle.
I have some ideas from Garry in a PM, yes better wood is a small step up but it all adds up. I want something I would use , I would like something that is beautiful but to what end maybe then it is a collectible. Some buy the Damascus because they are beautiful and collectible.
It’s more got to be practical and usable and if it’s my custom it’s one of a kind so becomes something I commissioned. I could get a decent production model sheathed hunting knife at maybe $100 upwards. It would be nice but I’m trying to find a happy medium.
What Von Gruff models do people like best?
The swamp kauri is estimated to be thousands of years old I believe, buried all that time and unearthed. I went with the blade I have to fit the piece he had available.
In the custom knife world his are a bargain.
 
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Tra3

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I am eagerly awaiting 3 Von Gruff knives made as gifts for three young boys in my hunting party. I will post a photo when they arrive. Each sheath has the boy’s initials.

I suspect the boys’ dads will experience envy.

And there is a good chance that this hunting season I will merely provide instruction during the gutting/skinning/processing...
 

Gert Odendaal

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Another wood specie Garry will use in the future will be a great favorite among South Africans who work and process wood...members who are interested in learning more about the South African Indigenous woods can use this info to do so...
This is a Combrethum specie :
Combretum imberbe (leadwood, Afrikaans: hardekool, Sotho: mohwelere-tšhipi, Tsonga: motswiri/mondzo, Zulu: impondondlovu) is a characteristic and often impressive bushwillow species of the southern Afrotropics. The medium to large tree[1] has a sparse, semi-deciduous canopy of grey-green leaves. The twigs and leaves are hairless as the name imberbe suggests. Its heartwood is dark brown, close-grained, and very hard and heavy, as suggested by its vernacular name.[2] The durable heartwood is much sought after in the woodcarving industry. The Hereros and Ovambos of Namibia attach special cultural and religious significance to the tree,[2] as to them it is the great ancestor of all animals and people, which must be passed with respectRange

It is native to the mesic savannas of Africa south of the equator, from KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, in the south to Tanzania in the north. It is a native tree in South Africa, eSwatini, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Zambia and Tanzania. It is a protected tree in South Africa.


The distinctively coarse, granulated bark

The largest bushwillow species of southern Africa[2] has a distinct habit and features. It has a spreading, rather sparse, roundish to slightly umbrella-shaped crown. The smallish, grey-green leaves and small, yellowish-green samaras are carried on spiny, attenuate branchlets.[4]


It typically grows 7 metres (23 ft) to 15 metres (49 ft) tall,[2] but may reach 20 metres (66 ft). In maturity the single, solid bole may be up 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in diameter. The distinctive bark is pale to dark grey in colour, deeply fissured lengthwise.[1] Irregular horizontal cracks infuse the bark a fairly regular, coarse-grained appearance.

Uses
The wood is dense and very hard, difficult to plane, but drills, sands and turns well. It is termite resistant. It was once used for railway sleepers and is now prized as wood for ornamental work and furniture.

It burns very slowly with intense heat, and is often used for a fire which is intended to burn all night in order to keep wild animals at bay. It is sometimes used in a barbecue to provide a hot, long-lasting flame.

The ashes are used as whitewash for painting walls of kraal huts.

The ashes can also be used as toothpaste when mixed into a paste with water.

Radiocarbon dating, done in South Africa, has established that a leadwood tree can live up to 1070 ± 40 years [5] and subsequently remain standing for years after the tree has died.
 

ve7poi

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ve7poi

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Eminent is like the top pictures absolutely love it fits my hand perfectly even though I’m missing tips off all 4 fingers
 

wesheltonj

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I have found that I can justify any purchase. Now, unfortuntefy justify a purchase to my wife is another story. I look forward to seeing what you bought.
 

Gert Odendaal

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I have found that I can justify any purchase. Now, unfortuntefy justify a purchase to my wife is another story. I look forward to seeing what you bought.
Most of us have the same problem as you have indicated, although all the rifles and items I bought I explain to my wife at what bargain price I bought it for and I really , really needed it, my real problem is going to surface when I depart to the "Great hunting grounds " and my wife try to sell all my stuff and found out what I really paid for it...she surely will dig me up and hang me high ..:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

Gert Odendaal

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Garry, some interesting info in regards to a unique type of wood that I will get hod of in the near future...a friend on another forum in Scotland got hold of a drowned swamp of Oak wood aged 7500 old,,,he is sending me a few pieces to see if I can forge a knife for him with these old pieces as handles ...I really am looking forward to use wood aged 7500 years...(y)(y)(y)(y)
 

Albert GRANT

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Garry, some interesting info in regards to a unique type of wood that I will get hod of in the near future...a friend on another forum in Scotland got hold of a drowned swamp of Oak wood aged 7500 old,,,he is sending me a few pieces to see if I can forge a knife for him with these old pieces as handles ...I really am looking forward to use wood aged 7500 years...(y)(y)(y)(y)
It is called bog oak and morta wood. Extremely dark usually, almost black although it has some variations. It works well for knives, pens and other projects. In fact my first custom knife was supposed to be made with a handle of Scottish bog oak, since I am of Scottish decent and I felt it would be special, however the maker had issues and I never got the knife. You should have no trouble with it and it will make an interesting piece
 

Gert Odendaal

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Albert, I think the first step being to stabilise the wood in my vacuum tank, bake it for a few minutes to cure it , then commence cutting it into knife handle scales ...the advantage of our own indigenous hardwoods are that they seldom required any stabilization of any kind..the reason I will stabilise Olive wood is to keep the wood surface from turning darker when using the knife frequently...
 

CBH Australia

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Gert, Can you describe the vacuum tank stabilising.
 

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I have two of his knifes, and they are just a joy to use. I would say get the exhibition grade wood (So you don't look back in 10 years with a I wish I had " and use it for everything as they make sand paper and new finish should it require a touch up. But then again I am a guy that would chop wood with a gold plated axe. I use things for what there are designed to do, but enjoy using beautiful products.
 

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Gert, Can you describe the vacuum tank stabilising.
Chris I stabilise many of my woods and it is simply a manner of making sure the wood is dry first so I have a small oven that I can run at 50*c for about 4 day continuous and then the blocks go into my 3 gallon ss pot with weight over them to stop any floating and the stabilising resin (cactus juice) is poured in so that it covers the top of the wood by at least an inch. The top of the pot has an flexible silicon edge seal so the lid and in my case it is 3/8 alloy with a 6 inch windew cut into it and 1/2 inch armour glass silicon sealed to the allow. There is a vacuum guage threaded through the lid and connected to a vacuum pump. The vacuum pump lowers the pressure in the pot so that the air in the wood is sucked out and evacuated through the pump. I have two pumps and run them alternately for 12 hrs each as it can 4 days or more to get all the air from some woods. My pot is 8 iches in dia so I can stack quite a few blocks in there. When there are no bubbles coming from the wood it means there is no more air in them the vacuum pump is turned off and the standard air pressure forces the cactus juice into the wood. taken from the resin the blocks are wrapped in aluminium foil and baked in the oven at 95*c for 2 hours to cure. As the air space is what allows for moisture takeup and with the resin being in there and baked hard there is now a stable product that retains the beauty of the wood but is not effected by atmospheric changes and I can feel confident that there will be almost zero dimensional changes whether the knife is going to Florida, Alaska Africa, England or any of the other countries and regions my knives have ended up either as their home or by hunters visiting. I have been stabilising where needed for about a year so my early knives were not done. Just another one of the things we learn and have been able to add to my standards to make sure I offer the best product I can.
 

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Received my new JT Ranger and Light Hunter the other day. Both are beautiful and functional knives. Looking forward to carrying all of Garry's knives. My PH EDC is posted earlier in this thread. I see at least two more of Garry's knives in my future. Thank you again Garry!
IMG_20200328_111257.jpeg
IMG_20200328_111343.jpeg
 

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Thanks Garry, I had heard something about using Cactus juice but did not know how it works. It’s good to know you do this too.
It’s interesting how people work these these thing out or even think of it first up.
I know a young bloke who has been teaching himself about knifemaking and blacksmithing from the Internet. I don’t see him much but I helped him make a railway line anvil as he doesn’t have much or much to work with but he is doing it for himself and I admire that.
 

Von Gruff

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This is my set-up. My pot can take about 16 blocks (5 x 1 5/8 x 1 1/4)
IMG_20200329_095440.jpg


With weights on to keep them down.
IMG_20200329_095504.jpg


The lid I made to replace the issued one that became opaque from the cactus juice
IMG_20200329_095531.jpg


The two pumps
IMG_20200329_095650.jpg


And a couple of gallons of cactus juice. One is what has been through the pot and will go back in for the next batch being topped up from the unused container. The colour of the used juice does not transfer to the next batch of blocks
IMG_20200329_095730.jpg
 

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