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I Forge Iron

Pecan-handled pair


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This is a pair of knives with some interesting history. They were commissioned by an old friend of mine from public school. One is for himself and the other for his father-in-law. He wanted one to be a bit longer and one to be forge finished and the other satin finished. The steel is leaf spring from his first pickup, and the wood for the handles is pecan because his father-in-law has worked in the pecan business for years.


He changed his mind about which should have what finish after I had already forged them, so I had to leave a few spots of forge texture or grind too much steel away on the shorter one. I also re-forged the long one to get the blade down thinner, where I typically have it for a forge finished blade. This altered the shape a bit, but I liked it and went with it. I haven't done too many trailing tip knives, but think I may do some more now.

I had never used pecan wood as a handle material before and was surprised at how much figure the wood had. It was bit light, but darkened up when I oiled the handles. I like it!





Something I read years ago: "Real Texans know that it's pronounced puh-KAHN. A PEE-can is something that goes under the bed and empties out the winder."

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I do declare, if it ain't Foul Weather Fowl from keenjunk. Those are nice. Pecan is closely related to walnut, and can be hard to tell apart if stained dark.

Here in the carolinas, we have deer stands waaay up in pine trees. We bring a pee-can up with us. Saves climbing up and down.

If you can see the tree from the stoop on your singlewide, and it is next to the gravel drive and the dog lot, "That thar is a peek'n."

If you can sit on your house's porch and see it next to the detached garage and paved drive, "It is a pecan."

If you can see it from the veranda of the mansion, and it is between the carriage path and the servants quarters, "Why gracious me, it is a pah-kawn."

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Thanks, guys!

John - Yep, it's me. Chose "Stormcrow" as a fairly generic, disposable pseudonym, and here, almost a decade and a half later, I'm still using it. Like most things in my life, that arrangement that was intended to be temporary has become permanent. :)

Ironsmith - They are nice and comfortable. The forge finished knife has a bit bigger handle and fits me better, while the other ne is a bit smaller and was more comfortable in the hands of a friend (not the one these were made for) with smaller hands. I used a new trick I figured out to shape them. I epoxied the handles onto the tangs as a block, no shaping done. After letting them sit clamped overnight, I used my angle grinder with an aggressive stiff sandpaper disk to rough out the handle shape and take most of the excess wood off. Then I finished up with my belt grinder and smoothing by hand. Those disks are a lot faster and a heck of a lot cheaper than grinding belts.

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Let me start by saying i love these knives. Very straightforward and elegant design. I plan on using pecan often as a handle material for several reasons. 1. Cost, there are tons of pecan trees in Texas, and most people put fallen limbs out for trash after a storm. 2. Pecan is very durable, it is a member of the hickory family, but is a little more brittle, but for knife handles that should not be much of an issue, maybe if you just used slabs and pins. and 3. any shavings of scraps from shaping go into the BBQ pit, I LOVE a Brisket slowly smoked with Pecan.

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