It’s the Bulge

Several people have emailed me pointing me to different places where I’m told I can buy the style of striking knife I just finished making.  To all of those people, I offer my sincere thanks. But the fact is that none of the commercially available knives are quite right. They all lack “the bulge”.

It’s not really evident in the knife I just made, because I simply got tired of filing metal away.  So the bulge on my knife is not very pronounced.  But it’s there, albeit not as deep or as shapely as I would like it to be. For reference again, here is the Smith’s Key knife.

strikingknife01

Note how behind the knife blade, the shaft tapers in, then bulges out, then tapers down to the awl point.  Here’s a photo of Christopher Schwarz’s antique version.  Note the same bulge.

SchwarzStriking2

This bulge lifts the awl end off the bench, making the knife easier to pick up, and it makes it settle into the hand much nicer than a straight taper.  All of the other knives that I’ve found available commercially that are a similar style do not have the bulge.  They have a straight taper from the knife to the awl.

Here’s one I bought from the smiths at Williamsburg next to the one I just made. The Williamsburg knife has no bulge. In this overhead shot of my new one, you can see the slight bulge a little better.  It’s more noticable in the hand than it is by eye. Like I said, I would like it more pronounced (and I may someday grind it down some more), but I can feel the difference.

IMG_1534

And the standard knives currently sold by John at Black Bear Forge. Again, straight taper (though I’m sure John can forge in a bulge, his standard knives just don’t have one).

BBFknife

And finally one from Woodcraft. Sorry, but this one is just plain ugly, and that knurling looks down right uncomfortable for long sessions marking out lots of joinery.

woodcraftknife

So thanks again for all the suggestions, but I’m still looking for a good commercially made example like the one in Smith’s Key with a nice round handle with “the bulge”. Though now that I’ve made one, I guess I can stop looking.

Advertisements

Smith’s Key Striking Knife

So I just finished a new striking knife based upon the one pictured in Smith’s Key.  I’ve made a lot of striking knives in the past, and used a bunch of different commercially available models as well. However, none have felt as nice to me in use as this one. Maybe it’s just because this one has been more work to make than any other knife I’ve ever made or used. But I don’t think so. Something about that swell just behind the tapered blade that just makes it fit the hand so well.

This is probably an easy tool for a blacksmith to forge, but for someone working from 1/4″ thick O1 stock and using nothing more than a hacksaw and file (and maybe a little help from a belt sander and grinder), it’s just plain tedious work.  Not the kind I enjoy either. But it was worth it. I love the look and feel of this knife. However, I won’t be making any more.

Someone out there needs to start making these again, though. Please!

strikingknife01

strikingknife02