Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

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Mirimaran
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Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Mirimaran » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:20 pm

Hi all,

I was perusing my Smokey Mountain Knife Works Christmas catalog and my eye stopped on a bushcraft knife that retailed for about 10 dollars, so I thought to pick it up. What struck me the most was it has a vague similarity, to me, to Strider's by-knife that you see housed in his scabbard in the movies. I got it today and so far I am very happy with it. It is from Old Forge, which is out of China, has a semi-sharp blackened carbon blade, the knife measures out at about 8-7/8 inches and has brass rivets and a hardwood handle. It comes with a nylon sheath and a sharpening stone. I plan on making a new sheath for it, not fond of nylon sheaths in general and they are just not Ranger-y. I feel that the knife would be easily customized to the owner, and if you are looking to replicate that sword scabbard carry, I think this would be an inexpensive addition. Some pics:

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Now this is new to me, it is a half tang, I suppose, and I can imagine it is about as thick as the blade, I hope it is sturdy, never seen one so exposed before. I would still use it for most small camp tasks.

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And the catalog url to order:

https://www.smkw.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Of005

As always, questions and comments are welcome! Happy Rangering!

Ken
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Greg » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:01 am

For the money, that really can't be beat. The popular cold steel seax conversion project that was all-the-rage a few years back on this forum could be applied to that and make a very nice looking, functional knife for our purposes. Cool find, Ken; thanks for sharing!
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Mirimaran » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:51 am

Thanks Greg! :)

Ken
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Elleth » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:28 pm

Interesting - I can't wait to see what you do with it. Will you be polishing off the blackening/modern numbers or leaving it be?

edit - that half-tang style was very common in 18th-19th c. knives, although the wide rivets are a late 19th-early 20th c. innovation IIRC.
No technical reason they couldn't have been made earlier I think: it just wasn't done historically.

Ken Hamilton still puts out some amazing 18th c. replicas, though they're understandably not cheap.
The details are different - but in broad form they're very similar to what you have there! :)
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Kortoso » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:39 pm

For comparison purposes, here's the "by knife" on Strider's sword:
Image
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Elleth » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:30 pm

Here's a bit more from the colonial space, for those with an interest: the standard "kitcheny" kind of knife that found its way into a lot of frontier belts both native and European over a couple hundred years. The names changed, but the basic idea was pretty constant - mid-length, not terribly heavy blade, riveted handle. English ones had a hexagonal handle which was quite comfortable but still gives you a good idea where the edge is:

merf-reenactor-budget-trade-knife-comparison.jpg
merf-reenactor-budget-trade-knife-comparison.jpg (252.76 KiB) Viewed 6422 times


Left to right:

A: A modern (ish) Old Hickory "slicer" knife, from my parent's kitchen c. 1980. This may have been a "Sting" or "Legolas' long knife" at some point, but don't tell Mom if it was. :)
Still available mostly unchanged for under $12 delivered at:
https://www.amazon.com/Ontario-Knives-7 ... 000HJ7958/

B: A kitchen knife copied from an English sample and sold from Avalon Forge: they come pretty nasty looking with IIRC a painted handle and shiny stainless-looking blade, but they wear in alright. The pins are I think aluminum or something instead of the historically correct iron, but I've never bothered replacing them.
Available $12+ shipping at:
http://www.avalonforge.com/MainCookEat.htm

C. Ken Hamilton made English trade knife with period trade marks c. 1770. I assume he's still making them: I purchased this right before leaving 18th c. stuff, so it's not had much use at all. It was around $100-ish with sheath if I recall correctly.


And the tangs - note how the historical ones have a half-tang (iron not being cheap as dirt in the colonial era I assume). Note the period-correct knife has a tang that's NOT the full width of the handle, but rather has a gap on the belly that's filled in with pitch:

merf-reenactor-budget-trade-knife-comparison-tang.jpg
merf-reenactor-budget-trade-knife-comparison-tang.jpg (100.12 KiB) Viewed 6422 times
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Mirimaran » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:41 pm

Elleth wrote:Interesting - I can't wait to see what you do with it. Will you be polishing off the blackening/modern numbers or leaving it be?

edit - that half-tang style was very common in 18th-19th c. knives, although the wide rivets are a late 19th-early 20th c. innovation IIRC.
No technical reason they couldn't have been made earlier I think: it just wasn't done historically.

Ken Hamilton still puts out some amazing 18th c. replicas, though they're understandably not cheap.
The details are different - but in broad form they're very similar to what you have there! :)



This is what I love about the forum, you learn something every day :) Elleth, I love blackened blades, but yes do want to get rid of the logos, I will have to see what I can do. I am glad it fits somewhat into our M-E timeline, perhaps from Bree?

Ken
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Elleth » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:09 pm

It's *possible* rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover will take off the markings without damaging the blackening, but I'd not count on it.

I think if I were in your shoes I'd be tempted to either cover or replace the wide rivets, but you certainly don't have to.

The half-tang knives like mine above were I think a relatively down-market pre-industrial / early industrial era factory model by and large, but that's not my expertise.
Ken Hamilton - and I bet our own Le-Loup - would know more there.
edit - I see Le-Loup does indeed have quite a bit on it!
https://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/ ... nives.html


Early medieval knives tended to not have visible scales at all - just a single tang through the handle like a file or sword:
tods-stuff-early-medieval-knives.jpg
tods-stuff-early-medieval-knives.jpg (88.97 KiB) Viewed 6399 times

http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/theenglishcu ... nife-1.htm
(this is kind of how I picture Breelander belt knives)

Later medieval ones had the full tang / sandwiched scales we're accustomed to in modern kitchen knives, but often with quite skinny handles:
tods-stuff-late-medieval-knives.jpg
tods-stuff-late-medieval-knives.jpg (93.71 KiB) Viewed 6399 times

http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/theenglishcu ... nife-2.htm
Pins were used both for structural reasons (not having nice modern expoxies) - and decoration. There's some extant knives with fairly elaborate designs set in with pins.
(The fancy ones are a bit more Westeros than even Gondor to my mind, but I could see it being made to work)


So far as makers,
Tod's Stuff does some quite nice bespoke work - I've never seen them in real life, but he seems quite highly thought of.

For those with a more modest budget, Marshal Historical has some decent-enough looking pieces - I purchased a few for kitchen demos ages ago.
They're decent enough for a faire demo or SCA feast, but you get what you pay for. They're plainly stamped out of sheet steel - and who knows what steel at that.
While I'm sure lots of people through history have done quite well with much worse, I'd not suggest them as rugged outdoorsy tools.

http://www.thetimeseller.com
http://www.thetimeseller.com/list/223/4 ... -tools.htm




Can you tell I've sewn a lot of sheaths for people over the years? :)
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Elleth
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Elleth » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:57 am

One more thing - here's the Marshal Historical knives: probably 14th-15th c. designs, more or less.
The sheaths come as raw undecorated tooling leather: it's up to you to scratch in any designs and dye/wax/oil/whatever you want to do.
Lots of medieval sheaths were pretty crudely decorated, presumably I think by their end users.

Again, these aren't great - but they're decent enough for little they're asking (20 Euros each).

merf-marshal-historical-knives-01.jpg
merf-marshal-historical-knives-01.jpg (137.14 KiB) Viewed 6313 times

merf-marshal-historical-knives-02.jpg
merf-marshal-historical-knives-02.jpg (146.64 KiB) Viewed 6313 times
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Mirimaran » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:38 am

Ah, I always love knife and sheath pics, so many ideas! Thanks Elleth!

Ken
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Re: Bushcraft knife akin to Strider's by-knife

Postby Kortoso » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:57 pm

On the subject of riveted full-tang knives, of the sort which one might use in the wild woods, there are a few Northern European seaxes that have such a construction.
http://www.hurstwic.org/history/article ... ng_sax.htm
Image
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