• A New Photo Gallery Has Been Added!!! Please share pictures of your finished projects in the New Photo Gallery for everyone to enjoy browsing. This section is for FINISHED PROJECTS ONLY!! All others will be deleted. This section was created to give people a place to view photos without having to read through all the threads. Enjoy everyone and please contribute!

A gifted knife

Nubsnstubs

Where is it???
Full Member
Messages
2,105
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Tucson, Arizona
First name
Jerry
Up front, I do not make knives, but do recieve one every now and then. About 15-18 years ago, I met this Flintknapper online who just happened to live in Tucson. We set up a meet date, and when I got there, I of course had a lot of rock to give him as Tucson is pretty rock poor. He in turn gave me this knife pictured below.

He also did blacksmithing, so he made the knife from a file. It came with a scabbard made of Rawhide and a little bit of normal everyday leather. What surprised me though, was the use of Cedar inside the scabbard to support the knife, plus he said it prohibits rust. I've never done anything to the knife other than show folks who come by and then it goes back into the scabbard. It looks today just like it did when he gave it to me, so I suppose the wood works.
Flintknappers or rendezvouser's do not try to make their pieces look like works of art, but rather they try to replicate what was made for the time periods they are representing.

So, here is the knife made using an old file, deer antler, brass or copper?, steel for the rivet, and rawhide and tanned leather for the scabbard and a cedar socket for the blade. What I find unusual is JB, the maker, used a modern key ring for the attach point for the belt loop. He also used super glue in the crack on the right side of the handle.
DF9A0EE1-0EE9-4AE4-B457-C3A86BF194AD_1_201_a.jpeg
I don't know what caused the leather to stain like it shows here because when he gave it to me, I didn't notice it. I hung the knife with my powder horns and flintlock. It's been exposed to the elements in the house from the time I got. Never has it been outside nor used. You can still see the file stitches near the handle. The rawhide is pretty darned hard.
AE0DFC4B-139C-4CC2-91C2-B7D3F86C959A_1_201_a.jpeg 562430B5-6D97-466F-9686-69A918FE6D4D_1_201_a.jpeg

When the knife is inserted into this scabbard, it has a lock type of feel. It also takes a little effort to pull it out when I do take it out. It would never get lost without losing the scabbard also.
4510306A-A569-4E4B-B097-0F81940C17ED_1_201_a.jpeg

Here is the cedar socket. It goes the whole length of the blade. You can see there isn't any kind of rust on the blade at all. We do get a few days at 70% humidity here in the summer which should cause rust.
D48504CD-6673-4F55-A09D-A46FFACDAB30_1_201_a.jpeg

So, have any of you knife makers heard of using cedar in scabbards??? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)
 

Foot Patrol

ABS Apprentice BladeSmith
Full Member
Messages
1,354
Reaction score
1,038
Location
Houston, Tx
First name
Scott
So, have any of you knife makers heard of using cedar in scabbards??? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)
Jerry I love the knife and your history of it. When I sell a knife I have made, I let the buyer know that they should not store the knife in the sheath. I also provide the buyer with a cloth soft case to store the knife when not in use and worn on your belt. As you know carbon knives and files will rust if not cared for.

The leather in a sheath can rust a knife in 2 ways; from the chemicals used in the tanning process and the leather will act as a sponge and absorb moisture from the air. In dry climate this is less of an issue but on the Gulf Coast the humidity can be near 100% all summer. Your knife maker came up with an interesting solution by using cedar inside the sheath preventing the knife from rusting. The cedar he used was most likely very dry when the sheath was made. I would expect that as long as the knife was dry when inserted, the moisture in the cedar would remain pretty low.

I use a small amount of raw hide in my sheaths; in the stitching where you insert the knife and the bottom end of the sheath. We learned through trial and error that these 2 areas have the greatest chance of failing due to the user cutting the stitches or by pushing the tip of the knife through the sheath. When you use raw hide, it is nearly impossible to cut after it has been wet and then dried. Since we use this method, we have only had one sheath returned due to user cutting the sheath when removing it from the sheath and cutting the stitching.

BTW I love how he did the Copper Bolster. Simple design. On the butt cap, can you see how he fixed it the antler? Would like to see a picture of that area.
 

Nubsnstubs

Where is it???
Full Member
Messages
2,105
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Tucson, Arizona
First name
Jerry
I love it. It looks like a mountain man used it for 20 years.
That's exactly what the Mountain Men re-enactors? today strive for when duplicating this stuff. They are all old men, making like they are Mountain Men with their flint locks, powder horns, buckskins and the knives. It all has to look old to fit the narrative.

I only have a problem when someone asks how to make the Flint or stone tools look old. There is no need to make your stone tools look old because the way they wear there is always new clean sharp edges. I can only think some unscrupulous skulduggery is going where this person is going to tell a prospective buyer that the piece could be over 3-5 thousand years old if he can make it look old.

The majority of the older Flintknappers all know about a gifted flintknapper that was so good he sold 10 Clovis points to a collector for over 10 grand. The collectors authenticator was out of the country so the buyer bought without him. When he came back to the US, he looked at the points 3-4 times before he certified they were all recently made. The knapper was threatened with calling in the law, return the money and forfeit the points and no charges would be filed. His name was also circulated throughout the flintknapping and collector community to keep an eye on this guy. He is still the best knapper out there, but has decided to stay straight............. Jerry (in Tucson)
 

Nubsnstubs

Where is it???
Full Member
Messages
2,105
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Tucson, Arizona
First name
Jerry
Here they are, Scott. I had to look up bolster to see what it was. I had an idea, but I never used the term before. To me it looks like he made it by usin the antler shape. he probably the drew out each end, then possibly braised a bezel on each piece using a brass rod. Copper maybe, but I don't know if they make copper braising rod. The bolster bezel would probably have had the tangs welded onto it.
The butt cap was done exactly like the bolster. He then did what I call a half dovetail on each end of the antler to match the depth of the bezel. After it was filed or ground, he then inserted the bolster and beat the crap out of it until is was on solid. I don't see where the tangs are embedded, but could be. Probably drilled a hole through the tang, antler and file handle and through the other side. The butt end cap was done the same way without any drilling.

It's like doing jewelry setting stones. You lay out your cabochon, cut your bezel material, join the ends, and then lay it onto the backing. When all soldered and shaped to match the bezel, you set the stone into the backing you just made, then burnish the bezel to hold the stone. In this case, he had to beat the crap out of the bezel to set it.

I'll be going through Houston sometime near the end of April, maybe after the first week of May. If you want to meet up, let me know. I'm going to stop in and see @Wildthings, and then on to Santonio to see the short guy and others. Hopefully Wendell will be there, or I'm gonna hafta go to his place if he'll want to see me again. . ............ Jerry (in Tucson)



1631FBF5-E184-44BE-A213-8354E16EE235_1_201_a.jpeg






4FC3126D-53D4-4C97-B57E-DF145A42698D_1_201_a.jpeg 0123746E-F07E-4240-9B31-E14265633C78_1_201_a.jpeg 86FB8294-E70C-4626-A660-F06468C3FF9E_1_201_a.jpeg
 
Top