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Thread: Hunting knives and related projects

  1. #381
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    We have a great steel recycling yard here with a wide variety of steel for sale at $1 a kg with everything from light angle, round and flat bar, pipe and sheet right through to heavy industry off cuts and leftovers and it is public access to wander round to choose what we want, take it to the scales , report the weight to the office and pay for it, if we can lift it that is, otherwise they will do the shifting with their forklift and even cut to order if you dont want the whole piece that is there. They have a good store of brass, copper, and stainless steel for knifemaking accents as well so it is always on my to do list when I go into the city.

    I am really looking forward to getting the light hunter (the same as Montana's knife) and field scalpel back from my friend who is heat treating it for (they are in N690 SS which I cant HT here) me as I have the most spectacular piece of olivewood for a handle set. It is end grain so am laminating it to a thin slice of dark walnut to make sure it is protected from stress splits. I have some buffalo horn for the field scalpel but not sure what I will use for the boner and the hunter skinner that will go together to comprise my new 4 knife hunting set.
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-06-2017 at 07:54 PM.
    Von Gruff

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  2. #382
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    This will be my hunting set although I will only carry the light hunter with the hunter/skinner and the boner staying at the truck for when I carry the gutted and deheaded animal back for dressing on the hill. Not sure when I will use the field scalpel but felt it was such a neat little knife that I just had to have one. I adapted the design from the rabbit knife I made in the 70's which has turned out to be an excellent little knife. Will probably use it more at home in the fruit season for preparing the plums and pears for the preserves, jams and sauces I make from them.


    In my next order in from the US I will get a 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 18 length of this Tamboti ( Spirostachys Africana aka African Cocobolo or African Sandalwood)


    and the same size of olivewood (but long grain rather than the end grain scales I was given)


    It will probably mean I wont be able to finish the hunter skinner and the boner for another month or two as I just missed out on getting them in the package that is on its way now.

    This is the dimensions of the field scalpel and the boning knife
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-06-2017 at 07:56 PM.
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  3. #383
    Chieftain montana's Avatar
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    We have a good scrap yard here too. I found a set of forks that I put on my Bob Cat skid steer and paid scrap weight for. Lots of other goodies if one looks for them.
    Those are some beautiful pieces of wood, they will look great on any knife. If you ever get a chance to make another boner please give me a PM, I am very impressed by your light hunter and would love to have a companion boner if you get the time.

  4. #384
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Pm inbound Montana. I can profile and grind another boner to go in with this batch when they are HT if that suits.
    Von Gruff

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  5. #385
    Chieftain montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Gruff View Post
    Pm inbound Montana. I can profile and grind another boner to go in with this batch when they are HT if that suits.
    Sounds great, thank you!

  6. #386
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Things came together this morning when the regulator arrived and I could get back to the shed. It didn't take long to get things assembled and the forge fired up. I had an old pick that I will never use again so I cut one of the pick arms off so it would fit in the forge to see how long it would take to get to red heat. I turned the vodeo off just before it reached the heat as it is a bit boring but from cold it took about 7 minutes to get to heat so I plunged it into the oil quench tank to bring the oil to temp for quenching the blades I was about to heat treat.
    6 minutes of watching it heat up but for me it was interesting so this is the video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cli...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-10-2017 at 09:24 AM.
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  7. #387
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had ground another two boning knifes yesterday as I had another one to do for Montana, and thought to get one ahead for a stock blade that I would just have to put a handle on when needed.
    I was very surprised to find just how quick it was to heat treat the blades in the forge with 8 being done in about as many minutes.
    I had ground another two boning knifes yesterday as I had another order for one and thought to get one ahead for a stock blade that I would just have to put a handle on when needed.
    I was very surprised to find just how quick it was to heat treat the blades in the forge with 8 being done in about as many minutes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puwv...ature=youtu.be

    This was the blades after heat treating anf tempering

    Von Gruff

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  8. #388
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I have these knives uo to the stage where the handles are having the finish applied so today I started on the sheaths.
    I got in a new double shoulder of 3mm (1/8) cowhide so marked out the patterns with as little waste as possible.


    I had a little lefy from the previous piece so made up a couple to make sure my new patterns were fitting the knives propperly and then cut out the rest.


    With the belt loops sewn in and the welt glued in I will leave them till the adjustable U groover gets here to make the turn over of the back to the front much easier. A friend showed me his and how he runs a couple of grooves down the inside of the sheath either side of the center line and the leather folds over and lies much flatter for punching the stitch holes.



    Before I started this morning I made a third hand to make the stitching much easier and when I stitched u the couple of trial sheaths I was quite impressed with how much easier it is compared to how I had been doing it for the last near 50 years.
    Von Gruff

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  9. #389
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    So this is the knives as they stand at the moment. They still have to have the final blade finish and be sharpened.
    First are some hunter skinner and this first one with cocobolo scales I was going to keep for myself, but will probably sell it on as I have some lovely wood coming from the US, thanks again to Frank (on another forum) who has made much of this possible by sourcing and shipping various goodies for me.


    walnut and ebony


    walnut and jarah


    A wapiti hunter in walnut and hickory
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-21-2017 at 07:28 AM.
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  10. #390
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    and a few boners

    First is a special order companion knife to go with a light hunter in the same walnut and jarah shipped of to Montana a short while back



    One for myself in a specail piece of walnut cut from my late fathers yard in the early 80's


    And a plain walnut one just to start getting one or two ahead for casual sales.



    I seem to have missed getting a pic of a general hunter in walnut and jarah but it is on the bench anyway and as ready as these are.
    In this pic of them in the sheaths thata still have to be hot wax dipped there is three extra that are still to be finished. On the far left is my own personal light hunter in a fantastic piece of olivewood and buffalo horn that I will show propperly when it is finished with the top left being a new killing knife (for the sheep) with walnut and copper pins, and a little field scalpel with buffaol horn scales.
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-21-2017 at 07:28 AM.
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  11. #391
    Chieftain montana's Avatar
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    Looking great as always. Your leather work is also top notch and it always helps to find better methods to help ease and speed up production. I couldn't be happier with my light hunter and it has replaced my other knife. It holds an edge very well. I have yet to sharpen it after much use. You obviously have learned your craft very well. Looking forward to my companion boner knife, thanks again Von Gruff.

  12. #392
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I did a short video of the hot waxing of the sheaths this morning

    https://youtu.be/r2jzIUNzWV0
    Von Gruff

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  13. #393
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Three new ones for me.

    These three are quite special for me for the people they remind me of.

    The boner with 4 3/4 in 15N20 blade has scales from a walnut tree I felled on my late fathers yard in the early 80's.



    The light hunter with 3 5/8 N690 blade has buffalo horn bolsters from a friend in South Africa and end grain olivewood given to me by a retiring knifemaker friend.



    The field scalpel with 2 3/4 N690 blade has buffalo horn scales from a few horn tip given to me by a friend in the US.



    Von Gruff

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  14. #394
    Chieftain sneaky one's Avatar
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    Awesome talents. I'm glad this is going so well for you buddy, I at first thought that I helped you ruin your retirement plans for taking it easy.

    I'll contact you when things slow down a bit for the knife I envisioned for me to use and hand down to Jr.

  15. #395
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Look forward to the coaboration s1
    Von Gruff

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  16. #396
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had sent a PM (on the Aus blade forum) to the supplier of the gas equipment for my forge asking about the setting as I didn't seem to be getting the heat at the same rate or the intensity that he showed on his 'how to' video. He got back to me and asked for my ph no and he rang yesterday (from Aus) so we had a good yarn with the advice being to drill out the jet from .7mm to 1mm. Because of the slightly different gas between AU and NZ I could get the gas flow with less pressure. When I did that it was night and day different so I had a crack at forging a couple things I needed. The first thing was a slag hammer as I had been given a stick welder on permanent loan, so used part of a small jackhammer chisel, cut the top off, forged the chisel end out flatter and made a point on the other end. Some of the videos I saw had them drift a hole through the chisel and taper the handle then rivet it on the other side of the head but that was more than I decided was necessary so I simply welded the handle on. Not too shabby for a first effort I thought.


    I had a bit of trouble holding the chisel when I was hammering on it as while my extended handle pliers would open up wide enough, the handles were miles apart and not able to be held in one hand so vice grips sufficed even though I had to double handle everything to get it out of the forge and then take a grip wth the vicegrips to take it to the anvil so the next thing I really needed was a set of tongs that would hold something larger than flat stock. I had picked up some 1/2 in round rods so cut a couple of pieces and went to it. Again it was difficult to hold but eventually a rudimentary set of tongs emerged so I was reasonably happy. Will try a different tack next time as the full tong from 1/2 stock makes them quite heavy so will try to do the jaws from the full size then forge the reins down through 3/8 square to 1/4 in round at the hand grip.
    At least these will help to get the next set underway.

    Having done that I put the head of the pliers in the forge and when they got to heat I simply closed up the handles till they would hold the knife blades with a single hand grip. Really leased with them and will continue to use them for placing knives into and retrieving them from the forge.
    Von Gruff

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  17. #397
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    While I have a couple of ball peen hammers and forging work can be done with them, I see thatmost of the serious "smiths" have a special hammer that is flat on one end and radiused on the other, weighing about 2 1/2 to 3lb so I thought I had better get one as well. At the scrap yard last time I wanted a bit of round stock to make one and the guy asked if an old sledge hammer head would do as they had a few 'out the back'.
    I found one that was about 4 lb so thought that would be a good base to work from.

    I needed to shorten it a little to lighten it and after a while of cutting on one end it struck me that it would be hardened so I fired up the forge and when it had got to heat, put it in a bucket of sived ash for the night to anneal it. Made the cutting a little easier so rounded one end and radiused the edges on the other and after a bit of a clean up, put it back in the forge to heat treat, did the quench in water then tempered it in the cooling forge. Found a suitable piece of beech and knocked up a rudimentary handle and now have a hammer that weighs right and swings nicely.



    The rounded end is for moving metal and making a thinning process a little quicker then the flat end is used to planish out the dips and hollowsthat the rounded end caused.
    Von Gruff

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  18. #398
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had got a few other projects up to a stage that I could get these blades cut out of the flats stock today, so should get them all profiled tomorrow. On another forum the guys decided they should do a group buy so these will all be done together for them.
    Von Gruff

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  19. #399
    Chieftain montana's Avatar
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    Nice job with the hammer, I love how you turn common and discarded tools into specialty tools. After all these years I have never seen waxing of knife sheathes. It really makes a difference stiffening and making the leather water resistant. Thank you for the video. I'm sorry your retirement may be slipping away but I'm happy to see other people are discovering your talent. They are in for a very nice surprise.

  20. #400
    Warrior Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Retirement is just no longer HAVING to work every day. Making stuff has been a passion all my life so this playing in the shed is a pleasure and seems like a reward for the lifetime of working for a living.
    I have had my shed lighting all redone and apart from no heating is about as "play friendly" as it could be. I am going to look at one of the smaller deisel electric burners to make it a little more pleasant up there as the winter is drawing on with some heavy frosts lately which makes the uninsulated block walls and iron roof hold the cold.
    Von Gruff

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