A knife book that was recommended to me

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Ragnar's got a copy of this one, as do a lot of other knife makers who create blades for reenactors of F&I War, Revolutionary War, Fur Trade era, et cetera. The blacksmith at the Old Spanish Quarter in Saint Augustine, a knifemaker himself, told me I was sorely lacking in my education if I didn't have a copy too, so, I placed my order for one today.

Here's what I'm talking about, it's called "The Knife in Homespun America", some of you hardcore collectors out there probably already have a copy, so your observations would be much valued. Purportedly, it shows a very good assortment of colonial era blades, including the various styles, methods of construction, scabbards, et cetera. I've seen enough knives now that were copied from examples in this book, that I'm chomping at the bit to give it a thorough examination. Here's the book;

BOOK-KHA_1.jpg


It's available from www.trackofthewolf.com for $29.95 (already checked Amazon, this is the best price/availability I could find)

Good stuff, no doubt a future project or two will be forthcoming as a result. :D

Sarge
 
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Sarge, I read this book several years ago (got it through inter-library loan from several states across), around the same time when I got Bernard Levine's famous book.

Grant's book was somewhat disappointing to me. It did not provide too much information, the illustrations are of low quality, and I remember reading in some threads on BladeForums that some of Mr. Grant's assertions or conclusions are not based on solid evidence.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117669&highlight=homespun
Primitive Knives - what's the story?

http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/filestory.htm


I hope, you will find it useful for your "homespun knife" projects though.
I am a great admirer of your work.:thumbup:
 
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Thanks for the heads up, I don't expect any one book to be "the definitive source" (sure way to be dissappointed), but I'll still no doubt glean an idea or two.;)

Enoyed reading the threads you included. I particularly agree about so called "primitive knives", too many folks get shammed by a sloppily forged blade mounted in an equally sloppy handle, thence touted as a "primitive" knife. More like piece of crap few self respecting folks would have toted. Saw an 18th century knife on display in the Castillo de San Marcos, in Saint Augustine. It was a large fighting knife, property of a Spaniard, the style would be best described as a Mediterranean dirk. Exquisite craftsmanship, beautiful fit and finish, it would not have looked too out of place at a modern knife show, other than it's obvious age and patina.

My knives, because they're homemade, are fairly simple and rustic, but by no means "primitive". Mr. Levine's article about why folks would not have used old files to make knives "back in the day" makes sense. However, in this day and age the tide has significantly turned. Bars of high carbon tool steel available as cheaply as 25 cents a pop, are what old files represent to me. I've talked to smiths who grind the teeth off before forging, and those who don't, so far haven't found a big difference, re:introducing stress risers. Apparently, the most important thing is keeping the steel at a good forging temp, as any metal that's hammered without sufficient heat will develop stress risers and subsequent cracks. Don't know for sure, still learning, but now I'm starting to ramble, and I've got a new belt knife to go put a rosewood handle on. ;)

Sarge
 
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Sarge?

I can see you being the guy in the small town, pounding out user knives to the general populace, knowing that any flaw would come back to him, and consequently making SURE that his work was the best he could produce.

Greatest utility tools by Greg Sikes, prop.


I love your work...always have, always will.



(Hey? Want some pheasant pieces for your SCA stuff? I got some tails and maybe some skins (a feral cat got into the salted skins this Winter and wrecked havoc.)
 

Howard Wallace

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Sarge,

If you haven't already seen it take a look at Firearms, Traps, & Tools of the Mountain Men by Carl P. Russell.
 

Fiddleback

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Good thread. Making two new blades Sarge. Did my first scabbard too. I'll try to find that book in the library. If its not there I'll buy it. Does anyone know of a good book on making Scabbards?
 
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