On the 13th, I posted some pictures of an Opinel #8 which I am modifying, slightly. In that post, I mentioned that I had some Svord Mini Peasant knives
coming, which I also planned to modify. Brad contacted me, and asked where I had gotten the Svords, as he had tried to order one, and it was out of stock. (The link takes you to a review of the knife, which tells you all about the factory construction, etc.)
I told him where I got them, but I also had to spill the beans on the fact that I had ordered more than one, since I planned to modify one for him, as his birthday gift for this year. Brad's birthday is in August, so I guess this is a bit early.
On Friday, I decided to try and get a start on making the custom handle for Brad's knife. I had ordered in some of the plastic-handled versions, since I wanted to make my own wooden scales. I have one of the wooden handled models, as well, but they charge twice as much for them, and the handles need a lot of work, when they arrive.
At about 10:30, in the morning, I figured that I would get started on the handle, then go get some lunch, around noon. Of course, once I got started, I worked on through, until dinner time; seven hours, in all.
First, I traced the stock handle scales onto the wood, as a rough template to locate the screw holes. I sawed these out with my vintage Black and Decker jigsaw. I had to do three, because I split one, drilling one of the holes.
Once I had the rough blanks cut out, I got to work with the knives, files, rasps and sandpaper. Other than the jigsaw and the drill press, I used no power tools on this project. It would probably be a lot quicker, and more efficient, to use a belt sander to do a lot of the work, but I kind of like the hand sanding...
Eventually, I bolted the blade in, so that I could keep the sides symmetrical, and figure out the final shape I wanted. I wanted the tang of the blade to be flush with the back of the handle, and I also wanted to add a notch for the lanyard. Having the blade in allowed me to work the wood down to the shape of the tang, with no guesswork.
I thought that Brad might appreciate a little bit of personalization, so I added the ACW (Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen) monogram, by drilling the handle and inserting brass brazing rod to form the letters.
I also added a wood spacer at the butt end of the knife. It just gives the knife a much more solid feel, in the hand.
I finally went to "lunch" at about 5:30 and, on the way home, stopped by Ace Hardware for some supplies. Once home, I finished the wood with a Danish Oil cherry finish, and hand rubbed it. I did three coats on the outside, two on the inside.
I then did the final assembly with a different blade, which has a nicer grind and a better edge. The blade I was using in the build process got swapped into the stock wooden Svord handles. I will do some work on that blade, later, and make it a little nicer.
Here is a comparison of the stock wooden handle, and the one I made. You can't see it in the picture, but the scales of the stock handle are asymmetrical, and the finish is quite rough. Plus, I don't care much for the pointy end, and the amount of curve on the spine.
So, there it is, a "rustic", inexpensive edc
knife to go into the bike bag or pocket.
I didn't modify the blade on Brad's knife, but I will be modifying the one I put together for myself. Stay tuned.