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I Forge Iron

My first knife, stock removal


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So I finally got started on my first knife doing some stock removal since I'm still working on my forge design and saving for materials. Anyways, it's a skinning knife with a gut hook that I designed after a Persian style knife. I started with a 18 in. X 1/8in. X 1 1/2 in. Flat bar of 01 steel, which I cut down to 9 in.

I guess this will be more of a work in progress thread for me, even though I wasn't too interested in making one. I've found that I have some questions that need to be answered. 

I've attached a picture of my knife so far, it's been shaped to my design and I've drawn out the edge profile on both sides of it. I also have the gut hook roughly sharpened, I need to get some finer files to make it really sharp.

My plan is to have the handle curve up the thumb rest, which will have grooves cut into it. I will also be used 2 pins and a lanyard hole.

Now for my questions. First off, that do you think about my design overall? I'm happy with it and it's comfortable in all the ways I hold a skinning knife, but always nice to get criticisms. The more important question though, I'm having trouble deciding on a handle material, so any suggestions? I have some African padauk and purple heart, but I've heard they aren't too good for handles. I'm also leaning more to a purple color, I found some nice dyed curly maple scales, but I'm worried about the effect blood might have.


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Mr. Genesaika,

Purple heart wood has a beautiful purple color when first cut.

But the wood rapidly turns to a muddy medium or dark brown.

The wood itself is not notable except for its initial fleetingly brilliant color.

In my opinion, padauk is a bust. Its initial lovely color quickly turns to 'unexciting'.

I have watched a padauk knife scale color run off when some water was accidentally splashed on it. Lovely.

If you want a long lasting blue or purple color, investigate using a suitable dye. They look great, and last.

Check out this site for a full discussion concerning wood and fading colors,


Hope that helps all the I.F.I. readers that are interested in this subject.




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The color fading is one of the big problems I've heard of with the colorful woods. I hadn't heard of the colors running on padauk, but that is definitely not something you want in a Skinner. Some other concerns I found was how porous the woods are, thus hard to keep clean.

Something I forgot to mention, this project is at a standstill for now. I've decided that I need to have a work bench to do the drilling and beveling. So I have to wait for next weekend when I can build my work bench.

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I hope that upward peak above the ricasso on the spine does not interfere with the ability of the gut hook to function. I like the look of it overall. 

Being that it will be around blood, guts, meat, and fat like Thomas mentioned, i would use either acrylic, micarta, or G-10. You can get all of these in purple, and they dont get as slippery as wood does when covered in blood, and they also wont absorb it (this can be circumvented by using stabilized wood.) Ive skinned and gutted many a creature, and ive abandoned my old wood handled knives for that task for the above reasons. 

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Thomas, yes the plan is to use it for skinning, if the deer ever start moving with this heat.

Will, I was also worried about it, but my tests on paper seemed to do good. The gut hook was able to puncture the paper and cut, read tear, the length of it. 

It seems like I might go with Corian or micarta scales. I'll just have to find a design I like.

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Kirinite is available in some very lovely combinations, but reportedly is more brittle than corian.  I would stick to the latter.  You may be able to find corian cutoffs for free from kitchen counter installers.  It gets pretty extensive use there (or maybe manufacturer's samples for a single knife or two).  Here is a link to a supplier (2 second Google search, so don't hold me to it): http://solidsurface.com/sheet-material/overstock/corian?___SID=U&gclid=Cj0KCQiArYDQBRDoARIsAMR8s_TXDMCZ6GZWAZoYlgt2NB_thludoEm65BEDom0rLzgIBO5AC-rzIusaAmTREALw_wcB

You will probably have to work the thickness using typical plastic sanding techniques (slow speed to avoid melting), but the material can be cut by anything that will also cut wood, including hand tools.

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Ah that's why I was having a hard time finding it... I was looking for knife scales instead of countertops, silly me haha. 

I've found some fantastic looking kirinite and corain. So far it looks like I'll be using the kirinite because I can't seem to find the Corian in manageable chunks, it's all around $200+. Maybe some more research while I'm not at work will be more fruitful.

Also, yes I will be using a respirator, I happen to own one for my job cutting ceramic tile.

Thomas, I plan on using epoxy to hold the handle material to the tang and have pins that will be more decorative.

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I have sheets of white 1/4" Corain. I'd be happy to send you some scales if you wouldn't mind paying for the postage.

I use a lot and it ages beautifully like Ivory except without the cracking.

If you would like some professional knife templates, I can have my wife send you some samples from her template business.

She was nice enough to give me a forging page on her website. Still uploading pictures.

I'm not sure if I can put the link here because it will also link to her business site and I don't want to get booted for spaming here! Lol..



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Stitch, thank you for the offer, but I'm not really interested in white. Just doesn't appeal to me. If I start making knives to sell then I might need some, but for now I don't need it.

I think I am going to use kirinite, either wicked purple or purple Haze, since I can't seem to find the elderberry Corian at a decent price. I will be looking to find a countertop installer to make friends with though for future projects.

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My son has Scrimshawed some of the knives I've made for him and they came out like the original Ivory ones. I wish I had that talent.

I hear ya Gene. I prefer black paper Micarta as my favorite. Although canvas and linen have a better grip especially when sand blasted.

A countertop company gave me some 2x4 sheets of the white Corian a few years ago.  I have enough left for my lifetime.

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