Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cutlery for the budget minded backwoodsman

Not long ago Scoutinlife posted about his idea for the perfect knife. Well here is mine. It wasn't easy to find. Took about 20 years of looking as a matter of fact. A thick, stiff 4" plain carbon steel blade in almost the shape advocated by the great outdoorsman Nessmuck. Stacked leather washer handle that fits the hand perfect. It was aquired as part of the great tool caper last summer. I almost missed it in the bottom of a box of junk. Covered in rust from the basement flood it survived. One afternoon last fall I took to cleaning it up. At the time I was skeptical. I proceeded on faith just because it felt soo good in my hand. Well the rust cleaned up leaving a brown/blue patina behind. It quickly took an edge that would shave the hair off my arm. At this point all it has dressed out is a homestead raised bunny and a steak dinner. Not a makers mark on it anywhere, however the sheath is marked "Made in England". The poor mans tomahawk is a gun show find. Having aquired my flintlock, I felt the need to have a hawk to go with it. At the same gunshow I found this carpenter's hatchet head in a box of junky knives. Priced at $3.00 I saw potential in it. A trip to work got me a handle meant for a big 24oz framing hammer for another $3.00. Less than an hour to fit them together and I had a poor mans hawk. Soon I will grind off the remains of the claws from it's backside. It's already seen plenty of use sharpening home made tomato stakes and splitting kindling. It too took a fine edge and has become a favorite. $6.00 sure beats the cost of a replica. They usually start around $25.00 for cruddy ones and go quite high in price. Lets see your favorites!

1 comment:

Chris W said...

That looks almost identical to my choices. My knife is very similar, and is a Western brand that I bought years ago as a teen when I worked at a Woolworth store. It's always held a good edge, and is the largest knife I would ever have any real use for. The thing looks like its been through a war, but hey, I've had it around 25 years. The sheath that came with it is long gone, but I made a new one for it a few months ago.

I sware that is the SAME hatchet that I keep with my knives. It was one of those "dads barn" finds that cleaned up great. It needed a new handle when I brought it home, and I chose a nice hickory one from Lehmans.

I've never had a use for any of the "survival" knives that so many people insist on having. I prefer something I am comfortable with, something I am used to, and something that is handy. Unlike the survival knives, which to me may as well be a sword hanging off my belt, lol.