Pro Tips for Properly Shaping the Interface Between Flesh and Steel
When I started making knives, I got a ton of support from the community – and nobody was as surprised by this as I was. At the time I had very little metalworking experience. Although, I had built some furniture, done some carving and refinished teak on sailboats, so I had a little experience working with wood.
By 2007 I had sold my sixth knife. Actually, it was one of a batch of six knives – I sold 5 and gifted one to a soldier who was serving in Iraq. These knives were so ugly that, looking back, I am still shocked anyone wanted them – I think the handles were the selling point. Even though those early handles were ugly, I think I was onto something.
THE MAKINGS OF A GOOD HANDLE
Early on I had a few vague ideas of what would make a good handle. I have always believed that knives need feminine looking curves to be sexy. To this day I still don’t like bumpy, humpy looking shapes, with jutty, manish looking features.
I also knew that the hand likes to grip a knife handle that is fatter at the spine side and tapers toward the edge side. This gives the cross-section profile – on a good handle – a kind of egg shape. In addition to comfort, this egg shape properly indexes the handle in the hand. A user should be able to feel where the sharp parts are without having to check visually.
There's an old adage in the outdoor community which says the best survival knife will be the one we have on us. There is a lot of truth in this statement, I dare say the best knife for the majority of our cutting chores all through our lives will be the ones we have with us. Because they're the ones we've spent time becoming familiar with, and are the ones we know most intimately.Access and deployment are well rehearsed from use, so it happens intuitively and smoothly. Indexing is immediate even in pitch black darkness, and we know all their little quirks and characteristics. Thus using them effectively comes with very little thought, if any. So they're not the best ones simply because they're in our possession, which obviously will be extremely helpful in any case, more importantly they're the best ones because we've had them.
In early 1979 I was 13, and very fortunate to be given one of my most valuable life lessons by my Shop teacher Mr. Clark at North Dallas Junior High. He was explaining an important step when my pen ran out of ink, so I was hurriedly looking through my pack for another. The commotion caught his attention so he stopped his presentation to ask what I was doing. I explained that my pen had died, and I needed another because he was at an important point. He laughed and said yes it's very important, which is why I stopped to see what was going on.
Fiddleback Forge Knives are some of the most recognizable blades around. From the unique finish on the flats of the blades, to the perfect lines of the handles, to the distinctive “bullseye” lanyard hole, you can’t miss them. It makes sense those who prefer an attractive knife would like to carry it in an equally appealing sheath and since the coordination doesn’t end there, a proper lanyard is likely to thread that bullseye lanyard hole to finish off the knife. Lanyards, fobs, pull things, and dangle bobbers are sometimes more function than form when they should be the other way around. The form of your lanyard (I don’t need to call them “dangle bobbers” again do I?) should follow the function. Just like Fiddleback Forge knives that perform and look good, your lanyard doesn’t have to be just a simple knot anyone can tie. This month’s blog pays close attention to an overlooked accessory, the lanyard. Here are a few considerations for your reading pleasure.