As some of you may know, I will be going to attend the course "International Wilderness Guide" from august. the course takes 10 month and it covers all need to know about guiding clients in the forest. the study is a combination of desk study and practice in the woods and will have several 1-2 weeks trips and many small trips.
If you are interested in this IWG program, youcan check out from following links.
and some blog reading on Hiking in Finland > http://hikinginfinland.com/blog/categories/iwg/
So, basically I will be spending most of days in the forest and it includes solo ski trip in deep snow lapland. I do have most of gears I would need, but still need to add/replace some.
One of it is a knife. I do have a knife which is very useful and I really like. with it, I can confidently say that could get by most of situations. but it is a knife originally designed for wood carving tasks and for the longer trip, I would be comfortable having more powerful knife.
So, here you go. my new knife for IWG trips.
I have been developing the idea of this knife for quite some time, so it is originally not designed for IWG and even have started making it before I decide to apply for the course.
|This was the initial mock up. Full tang with Ainu-Makiri type handle.|
|The original plan mock up. Scaled up a tiny bit and changed to hidden tang.|
Sheath mock up was also made to see if Saami leuku type would work.
But as the work progresses and IWG came up on the way, I realized that if I would make it little larger than the original plan, it would make this knife suited for what I would be needing to do.
Luckily, I was little lazy when forging it and left quite a bit of material on blank. I decided not to grind it down to the original size, but keep the material as much as possible.
|Completed knife and original plan. see the size difference? the thickness was also added.|
Then change in size was not an issue of making this knife, but it came from the makers stamp. again, it did not make deep crisp marking... I was getting tired of this stamp issue, the worst part is that I can not figure out what is wrong with it. is it me hitting wrong? or the stamp?
Any how, I gave up the stamp and chiseled the mark. Not very good one but not bad ether. after all, this knife stays on my hands.
|blade set on pitch while chiseling.|
When I started to drill the tang hole on the handle, the drill all the sudden start going side. I still do not know what went wrong there, but the drill just did not want to go straight. Since the wood I used was the last one. and howthorn wood of this size is quite difficult come by, I could not risk destroying it. changed the contraction method to 2 pieces handle, I split the wood in half - carve out the tang hole - glue it back. So on this knife, the largest concern is the strength of epoxy in extreme cold weather. it will be a good test of epoxy:)
|The blade design of is inspired by Katana, mixed with leuku|
|Sheath and handle design inspired by Ainu people's Makiri Knife and Saami people's Leuku|
The spine has a up swipe and blade belly to tip has a strong curve. This gives almost 14cm of cutting edge even the blade length is 12cm. also this edge curve gives the knife ability to cut with chisel like motion. this is very handy when making feather stick because it is much easier to control the cutting angle while pushing.
|Using tip side to make feathering.|
The grind is convex from the ridge line and cross-section of blade is diamond (pentagon) shape. this profile is good for less resistance when cutting in, but I choose this because of to give more agility on blade. Since this one is ling and wide (30mm at bottom), if has flat grind, it will be quite difficult to make good saddle notch like cut.
|Try stick test. I skipped the ones I never have used or do not remember:)|
First up task is a try stick.
Tent peg and pot hook. easy ones but had first issue when making the hook... easy way to make this is to baton the X cut, then remove where not needed. As I start to baton as usual.. like tap - tap - tap... the blade blade just cut through. the wood was half dry birch. I know the power needed to do this right, but the blade was just too sharp. <- I did not know there is such thing as "Too sharp" :)
Lashing cross, V-notch and saddle notch. Lashing cross, I had easiest time making. Saddle notch was not difficult at all but I know I can do this better with other knife.
Net needle and a spoon. The net needle was fail not because of the size, but again, too sharp. The blade just goes in to wood too easy and I could not control well. The last one is a spoon. I usually end the try stick with flower like feather stick, but I know this knife can do that comfortably, so took challenge and made tea spoon. Because of the size of the blade, I need to do some uncomfortable hold, but worked well and I have managed to cut decent hollow on the spoon.
for the second part of the test is the chopping and batonning. Picked up a good size birch with knot and blanch. this one, I took video, so here you go!