Next up is a knife that I had a lot of fun making. Sometimes mistakes can lead to creativity and this knife was an example of that. The mistake, or "happy error" was made with a piece of Paduak that I had and attempted to make my first knife. Paduak (Pterocarpus soyauxii) is an exotic wood from West Africa that is a bright orange or almost crimson wood when freshly cut, but oxidizes to a darker, rich purple-brown over time. I was drilling the wood and the small drill bit broke off in the wood, leading me to have to cut a piece of wood off the top of the wood blank. After that, my only option was to make a segmented knife and voila!
The top of this knife handle is Padauk and the bottom is made of Walnut (Juglans nigra) from North America separated by two white vulcanized fiber spacers and a brown leather spacer.
The blade is a Lauri Fisherman stainless steel blade from Finland. As you will see if you get into knifemaking (or already into it), the design of the handle is in direct relation to the shape and use of the blade. When designing this handle, I took into consideration that this blade has two sides. One is a fish scaler and the other a regular blade, so the knife handle is more of a uniform shape and the top section has two finger guards formed to give more comfort and safety when using the knife. While esthetics is important, comfort and safety are as well. The blade is protected at the top by a nickel guard.
I glued the knife together with JB Weld epoxy and as this was segmented, I initially glued the piece of Padauk, along with the guard to he blade tang. After that was dry, I was able to properly measure and drill the hole in the walnut. After the walnut was drilled, I glued the spacers and the walnut to the rest of the tang and let it fully dry before sanding and shaping the handle. Below is a picture of the knife all glued up, before I began to shape the handle. Hard to imagine that this turns into a beautiful knife, but it does! I call this "Ørret", which is Norwegian for Trout.
The blade was purchased from Thompson's Scandinavian Knife Supply. There are a couple of places to get Scandinavian knifemaking supplies, but this was the first place I purchased from and I am very impressed with their inventory and service.
Most of the wood that my brother and I make is from Bell Forest Products, although, there are others as well that sell knife blanks or scales. Bells has a great inventory and information on their woods.
Check them both out!