Von Gruff knives

bruce moulds

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right now I am thinking about 3.75", so might have to think of something like that with the mini skinner and the light hunter.
or maybe more simple to look at just the mini skinner or skinner hunter.
bruce.
 

CBH Australia

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@bruce moulds I haven’t handled these but 3.75 seems short for a fixed blade anyway that’s why I’m seeking others opinions.
 

bruce moulds

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c b h,
I would have said the same but for 2 things.
I have found the length of puma coyote to be very user friendly.
and garry chooses to use his light hunter on the hill.
I do not even skin on the hill, preferring to do it later, even though a warm animal seems easier to skin.
the sized game I am skinning I mostly use hand, just starting it with a knife.
where I seem to blunten a knife the most is when cutting the lower joints to remove them.
sometimes I misjudge where the joint is and drag the edge over the bone.
a bit of straight edge toward the hilt is good to have for this.
if I want to take a fore quarter off a camel for meat, I need a sharp knife that will hold its edge more than a big one that won't.
in that situation there will likely be a vehicle close by giving more options.
in which case I would take backstraps as well or even in preference.
for an in the field knife, I am wondering if a sheath containing a small steel as well as the knife might be worthwhile.
whatever happens, I always carry a small pocket knife everywhere.
you might notice I still have the 4" hunter skinner on my shortlist as well, at 4".
I think we have been educated by Hollywood to think big knives are better, but I am starting to believe a good knife is better.
I note that many of garry's knives are not big, and believe that is based on his experience with meat and hide, often in the field.
(but you make me question myself!:unsure:)
sooner or later you have to pay your money, take your pick, and learn something as a consequence.:eek:
bruce.
 

CBH Australia

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Bruce, I’m sure what you are saying is correct, I guess for balance and aesthetics I did not not more handle than blade.
If I buy a custom I want it to look good to me even If it has been tried and proven design.
Garry says no one knife suits all , I agree. Garry said everyone should have at least one good knife.
I’m trying to get a happy medium on what that should be. I saw my mate skin a few goats with. Swiss Army knife. I think it was. Victorinox but he had a fair of experience even though we were younger.
Even 4” looks like short in fixed blade saying that I prefer a 5” boner over 6” and have a lamb skinner design over a skinner/Flaying knife for the bit of skinning I do.
Im not opposed to a 4” blade just not sure I want to go shorter. The Safari knife even re ground is 4,1/4” but that’s the length of that design.
If I go that way I have at least a 4” blade, custom and a versatile design.
Starting with a 3/16” blank it’s a heavier knife if you need to open can in the bush and fashion a paddle you are up shit creek without a Paddle . Now im not going to treat a knife like that but when I read the Terminal Ballistics forums a bit there was discussions around a camp utility knife that would be carried and used as a hunting knife and maybe used as a knife around camp. I think the modified Safari/Hunterskinner crossover design meets that description from what I recall.
When considering Garry’s designs and how I might use it, these few things come to mind as does the idea that while Garry has nice designs I’m buying for me and having a little input on design makes It truly customised. Partly from yours/Garry’s suggestions , considering those I like them and think it makes it versatile and unique
As far as a sharp small knife, pocket knife might do it. I own a couple if I’m stuck I could use one.
I can get a decent edge on a quality commercial knife with. Stone and steel and maintain it in normal use. If I damage an edge on a Commercial knife a Victorinox, Mundial , F.Dick or other opening cans I can resharpen , reshape, repurpose or even replace it but these are the knives carried in the car if on a “ Planned Trip”
If Garry’s knives keep an edge far longer as people are suggesting then that makes it ideal to carry on the belt when walking, hunting or just shooting pigs up the creek. A cross draw or horizontal sheath is good when working, hunting and shooting where I will be in and out of a vehicle. I like the Old Timer and can get it sharp but I’m sure it will be a softer steel.
As for field sharpening someone posted a Lansky Blade Medic, there are compact diamond steels from Schrade I think barely bigger or heavier than a pen to clean or touch up n edge.
Garry’s says it the build up on the blade that affects cutting ability firstly in use . Drag it backward Denim jeans in a pinch, make a small paddle strop an inch wide and 6” long for your backpack or look at the little square sharpeners available with a diamond cross sticks and ceramic cross sticks in the opposite side. There are many reasonably priced options on EBay. If it’s branded you might assume a reputable company would not add their logo if it’s crap. Maybe? But you are not relying on these gadgets to hone and strop it but just maintain an edge if required in the field. You only want fine diamonds or ceramic to just touch up.
I even found leather on EBay for a Paddle strop.
I’m sure Garry would offer suggestions and customer support for anyone purchasing his knives requiring advice on field maintenance down the track.
Speaking of taking the plunge I looked at some Carbon fibre stocks sometime back , quite sometime back and the advice was that they were developing an improved model and if I wait it will be the same shape with a bedding system. They have finally released it and I’m still keen but there is so much unknown with this corona stuff. I’m in a job and probably secure but I do want to make good choices as this will affect economy’s and I would like to come out the other of this with some money in my pocket so I can improve my position. Talk about timing. Or do I go the other way and say just get what I want have it now and enjoy it? A custom knife won’t break me but things add up in normal times I would find the money to treat myself to something occasionally and still stay ahead of the bills.
 

Gert Odendaal

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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.
Thank you Garry, this is about the same set up I will be using , although I use only one vacuum pump..at this stage I do not have the need to stabilise the wood I am using currently is very old and hard close grain wood that do not need stabilizing...basically all the wood I am using is solid, hardwood with close grain that does not change at all after fitment on the knife blade...(y)(y)

d939c7f0-20e7-496f-bd63-846a691c54e9.jpg
 
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Gert Odendaal

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Garry, I am trying to get a stabilising medium/product here in South Africa that will work as good as the Cactus juice is not available in SA..I send the owner of the product an email and want to order Cactus juice..unfortunately he said he does not do international orders, only local /USA..
 

Gert Odendaal

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c b h,
I would have said the same but for 2 things.
I have found the length of puma coyote to be very user friendly.
and garry chooses to use his light hunter on the hill.
I do not even skin on the hill, preferring to do it later, even though a warm animal seems easier to skin.
the sized game I am skinning I mostly use hand, just starting it with a knife.
where I seem to blunten a knife the most is when cutting the lower joints to remove them.
sometimes I misjudge where the joint is and drag the edge over the bone.
a bit of straight edge toward the hilt is good to have for this.
if I want to take a fore quarter off a camel for meat, I need a sharp knife that will hold its edge more than a big one that won't.
in that situation there will likely be a vehicle close by giving more options.
in which case I would take backstraps as well or even in preference.
for an in the field knife, I am wondering if a sheath containing a small steel as well as the knife might be worthwhile.
whatever happens, I always carry a small pocket knife everywhere.
you might notice I still have the 4" hunter skinner on my shortlist as well, at 4".
I think we have been educated by Hollywood to think big knives are better, but I am starting to believe a good knife is better.
I note that many of garry's knives are not big, and believe that is based on his experience with meat and hide, often in the field.
(but you make me question myself!:unsure:)
sooner or later you have to pay your money, take your pick, and learn something as a consequence.:eek:
bruce.[/QU
Bruce you are quite correct, it is not about the size of the knife that makes it functional and useful..if you take Harry Woluther`s knife he used to kill the lion with, it was just a normal kitchen/meat processing knife of medium size :LOL:(y) Keep in mind when you are making a large ECD knife you have to carry it all day long with you ...it can get cumbersome...medium to small sharp edge knife is the way to go..look at Garry`s designs, yo need not look further for a perfect knife design...(y)(y)(y)
 

Von Gruff

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Garry, I am trying to get a stabilising medium/product here in South Africa that will work as good as the Cactus juice is not available in SA..I send the owner of the product an email and want to order Cactus juice..unfortunately he said he does not do international orders, only local /USA..
Have sent a pm with a link Gert
 

bruce moulds

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I measured my gerber at 4.5" blade.
when using it I have often thought I would like something shorter.
the puma coyote has never done that to me.
I have a puma hunters friend I must measure which is in the middle.
that was the first knife I bought better than surplus military store cheapies.
each person will prefer a different size and shape blade, and do different tasks with it.
now lets start talking handles and balance.
my problem at the moment is I have suddenly lost more than 1/2 my work due to covid, so the best laid plans of men and mice might be reduced to paying electricity, rates, and food.
bruce.
 

PerH

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Hope you dont mind me borrowing the thread for a moment, the Bearded chef knife you make reminded me of thr cutting knife for Soba noodles the Master uses here further out.

Have good sound on when you see the episode here ,it is very silent there beside commentary.

 

Tokoloshe Safaris

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Gary made the two knives shown above one for my wife who had just received her Zimbabwe professional hunters license and one for myself. Both have been used in various skinning chores ranging from impala to buffalo. They are certainly to small for elephant, but we have other knives for elephant.

Without getting into Garys different models, I would like to say his knives are extremely well made and hold a edge better than most custom knives that I have had experience with. I believe edge holding has a lot to do with the user, some users are more skilled with a blade than others. Gary's sheaths are also attractive, practical andwell made. I do like a cross draw strap that covers both sides of the sheath so it can angle either right or left.

Price? I consider his prices more than fair. Like I wrote at the start of this thread I could have bought a new Bob Loveless skinner 50 years ago for $150.00 today I believe the same knife in as new condition would probably fetch close to $4,000.00.

My everyday knife? A Swiss Army "Hunter model", locking blade, saw, etc. of course it has a tooth pick, Gary's does not. Maybe he could incorporate one into his sheath?
 

edward

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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.
larsons knives are not that expensive,i have 4 and not one was in the 250.00 range.
 

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Just thought I would show one of his knives with first blood on an impala being prepped for bait.
When I handed it to the tracker, I told him to be careful as it was SHARP. He thought he would test it on his thumb, I jumped and said NOOOOO... then he used it. His eyes bulged out of his head as it took TWO draws to completely open the rib cage. They "borrowed" my knife the rest of the trip. We prepped five impala and a zebra and still have never touched the blade. Thanks for a great product - this is my third Von Gruff knife, the first two have new owners in Africa, this one is staying with me.
SAM_1789.JPG
 

Von Gruff

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Appreciate the kind words @K-man. It is so good to see them in the field doing what they were designed to do and bringing pleasure to those who use them.
 

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