Knife

 

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These are the only knife pictures I have available.  I made four knives as I remember.  Two are lost and one (a very nice double-sided dagger) was stolen along with the family silver in a house robbery while I was living in Fairfax, Virginia.  I made both the knife and sheath pictured below from my own design.  I used a strip of two inch thick, Special Treatment Steel that had been burned off a plate during the fabrication of the flight deck for the Aircraft Carrier, JOHN F. KENNEDY.  This is armor-plate steel of the finest quality.

The knife blade was fabricated primarily by filing and grinding, with the tang being long enough to go the full length of the handle.  When the knife was fully shaped, it was heated white hot and quenched in a bucket of Ice water.  The backbone of the knife was then reheated until the blade area turned a straw color, and the knife was allowed to air-cool.  This, hopefully, tempered the hardness of the bulk of the knife to provide toughness but left the edge at the proper hardness for good edge retention.  That was about 25 years ago, and it must have worked reasonably well,  since the knife has seen regular use over the years.

The handle is American Holly from land I owned in Gloucester County, Virginia.  The butt and finger guard are of T-1 aluminum scrap from the jet-blast deflector fabrication for the KENNEDY.  The tang and butt are bedded in epoxy.

I made the knife as a Christmas gift for my first cousin, brother-in-law, and almost-brother, Jim McDonald.  When his son David developed an interest in hunting, hiking, and camping, Jim passed it on to him.  It has at least skinned and quartered an Oregon elk, which David took with a bow.  The photos are courtesy of David McDonald, who is pursuing life as a sculptor in Portland.

 

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