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Bushcrafting with the Bushcrafters.

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by LostViking, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    Ever since I was a kid I played with my toys. I always took care of my stuff, but things never sat around, they got used.

    Early on, I built a model of a B-17. It was meant to sit there and be admired in a static display. I was not impressed. Everything I built after that was more user friendly.

    Compared to many here, my Fiddleback Collection is tiny. Consisting of a Leuku, Woodsman, Pro Kephart, Bushcrafter, Terasaur, and Hunter on its way home. I think that's it.

    The Pro Kephart is really cool. But the surprise stand out for me has been the Bushcrafter. I am really liking this knife.

    It is thin and slicey. I guess slicey isn't a word. My spell check is having a meltdown. But it is.
    The handle is great, the balance is great too. Just a nice unassuming package of knife goodness.

    I am noticing more Bushcrafters lately. Probably because I'm focused on them. And bang, all of a sudden, I see there are Bushcraft Jr.s and Bushcraft Sr.s, who knew??

    Using my keen sense of deductive reasoning. I hypothesized that the Bushcraft Junior is smaller than the original. And the Senior is larger. Extensive research has proven this to be an accurate guess.

    Then, like magic. This uber cool Bushcraft Senior appears out of nowhere on the Fiddleback Friday for sale thread. It truly was a thing of beauty.

    Sadly, I left it languishing there like a lonely puppy at the pound. Because I scooped up the Oatmeal/Natural Hunter. Adding to my small but well coordinated collection with matching handles.

    I have had some spare time to ponder life and other things lately. That has been both a blessing and a curse. But that is for another thread.

    This free time has also allowed me to research, review, read, and generally over think everything. Like why does Colt's Foot have spurs and Dandelions are smooth? You know, life's most important questions.

    I got to thinking about Andy's Knife names too. It must be almost a full time job coming up with these. Karda, Bow Leeged Joe, Ladyfinger, Duke and so on.

    I know names need to be catchy. They need to grab the potential buyers attention. And more importantly their imagination. You want the name of a knife to transport the buyer in his mind's eye, to where he or she will use the knife.

    Bushcrafter, seems simple enough. I'll use this knife for Bushcrafting. I Bushcraft. I have since I was four. Back then we called it spending time in the woods.

    Today's world over thinks, and over labels everything. I saw an ad the other day for Tactical Socks. Tactiacal Socks? Really?

    One of the things I have always admired about Andy's knife naming strategy. Is that he never really tries to capitalize on the normal hot buttons. Fear, Defense, War or Survival. His names are more down to earth and less Hollywood hype.

    Here is what he says about his Bushcrafter on the website.

    "The Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter's design is intended as a non threatening Boy-Scout-friendly kind of drop point fixed blade knife. It has a stout point for drilling, good size to baton wood, and is a great knife for just about any outdoor task you throw at it. If you are looking for the best knife for bushcrafting and utility, this model may be for you. Well-rounded would be the way to describe this great design."

    I mean seriously, in today's world. Who markets a knife like this? Where's the danger? Where is the fear? Where is the catch phrase, if you don't buy this knife now. You'll probably die in the woods later today?

    Non threatening? Boy Scout Friendly? I can't take this thing to the Mall. Come On!
    Don't the Seals use it? What about Force Recon? GSG-9 maybe?

    Fortunately for me. I don't live near a Mall. I live near the woods. Actually in the woods. So this knife was a no brainer for me. And I am loving it. Every inch of its non threatening, Boy Scout friendly goodness.

    Where am I going with all this?

    I would love to see this thread develop into us playing with our Bushrafter Knives. The original, Jr. or Sr. all of them. I would prefer not to see static displays. That's what B-17 models are for.

    I want to see dirt, wood, food, fire, rope, critters, anything. As long as it's action. We need to take this unasuming, non-threatening, Boy-Scout-Friendly blade and give it the respect it deserves.

    If at all possible. I'd like to limit it to Bushcrafters. Any of them. Other knives are welcome, as long as they are accompanied by a Bushcrafter.

    Action, we want action, dirt, rust, patina. Signs of use. Fun being had, things being done.

    I have located a Tier One Team of Operators that may be willing to sign off on and adopt this knife if we can prove its worth to them.

    They are an extremely well trained group of Webelos that has gone Rogue. Currently deployed and living on the edge. They are know as WebGru. They need this knife!

    I'll kick it off,

    An upside down fire on top of vertical rounds. It burned all night.

    This is what I had left in the morning. Lots of heat and coals in the middle,

    Some quick coaxing and it was rocking again,

    After a while, I placed two logs flat for skillet support and dragged some coals between them. Breakfast, on the way.

    Even WebGru has to eat!

    Bring it folks!
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    Choppaman, David L, NoFair and 12 others like this.
  2. Oyster

    Oyster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Don’t own a Bushcrafter - yet...

    :thumbsup::thumbsup: on this post!!
    varga49 and LostViking like this.
  3. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    We'll get ya there!
    Oyster likes this.
  4. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    I gotta agree with you on the Bushcrafter. The design isn't as flashy as some, so I think it gets overlooked a bit. Great thread idea.
    Bmurray, LostViking and Oyster like this.
  5. varga49

    varga49 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 1, 2016
    I traded my only BC for a KE Bushie. Even though I really liked my BC, the guardless KE Bushie feels like an upgrade! But I’d definitely own another BC . Nice thread
    LostViking, Bmurray and Oyster like this.
  6. Wurrwulf

    Wurrwulf Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    I briefly owned a Jr, and it had the most comfortable handle I've ever felt, apart from my OK/T Warthog. I got the knife in a trade/sale, and I didn't care for the 5/32" steel thickness. I'd love to own another one in a thinner steel someday. I still think about how comfortable that damn knife was. I know these aren't action shots, but people never complain about more pictures, right?


  7. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    This doesn't have to be overly complicated. Skinning Crocodiles is fine. But it just has to have some kind of action/movement/doing something.

    While I was composing the first post this loaf of bread was baking.

    I brought it outside. And put my knife by it. Stuff like this counts. Outside and doing something.

    This brings up a great point. The "Bushcrafter" as it's called, does an excellent job in the kitchen too. It slices and butters bread very well,

    It can be about anything, as long as the Bushcrafter is the "Bread & Butter" of the post.

    For the record. Fresh Bread Rocks!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  8. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    Mine is 3/32" that could be why I like it so much!
  9. solid4ever

    solid4ever Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    Man I miss my bushcrafter
    LostViking and jaz322 like this.
  10. Comprehensivist

    Comprehensivist Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Thanks for starting this thread @LostViking . You got a very handsome example there with the bolstered burlap. 3/32” A2 is the ideal choice for this model in my opinion. The Forge doesn’t make many of those for some reason.

    The Bushcrafter has been the centerpiece of my Fiddleback user group since I got my first one at the beginning of 2014. I have owned a number of them since then.

    Finding a model with a handle profile that is comfortable in your hand is very important. Profile is only half the equation though. The Bushcrafter is the model that taught me the importance of finding the right handle thickness, in addition to profile, to get the best fit for my hand size.

    Here are a couple of old photos to illustrate the point. Going from left to right the handles range from; extra thick, thick, standard, and thin.



    The one that remains from that group is my first one. It is the Emerald burlap knife in 1/8" SFT O1 that Andy described as “thick in the grip” in the Fiddleback Friday ad. No other Fiddleback before or since feels more perfect in my hand than this one.

    Aside from only the Gaucho I use regularly in the kitchen, the Bushcrafter and “Sneaky Puukko” (i.e. the nickname for my modified Sneaky Pete) are my two most used Fiddlebacks.


    I am not afraid to personalize my knives within reason to better suit my needs. I removed the little guard on my Bushcrafter a while back to make it easier to use and sharpen the back end of the blade.


    I use this knife for a wide range of tasks. Yesterday it was gathering some purple flowers from the garden for my mother-in-law. Cutting stalks of Lily of the Nile and Society Garlic blooms don’t present any challenge for a blade like this. Even so, just using a knife I love for any reason gives me a sense of joy. Truth be told, the majority of my knife related uses are more mundane “urbancrafter” than heavy-duty bushcrafter applications. Such is the reality of living in a Southern California suburb.


    Another thing that makes this knife special to me is that my good friend @M4Super90 custom made a very nice sheath for it as a gift to me.



    After five years of trying and cycling through 125 or so Fiddlebacks and sampling many others, I have pared my collection down to six knives plus a 12” machete. Please don’t read that as an indictment of Fiddleback knives in general at all. On the contrary, it is a statement of the highest regard I hold for the remaining knives. About two years ago, I accepted the fact that I always reached for the same half dozen favorite users to the exclusion of the others. That got me started on the slow downsizing process that got me where I am today.

    After years of trial and error and comparison, I am very happy the smaller group of user knives that remain. If I decide to shrink my collection any further, I can assure you that the Bushcrafter will not be one that ever goes away.

    It ain’t exactly pretty by fancy burl wood standards, but I love this knife nonetheless! :)


  11. hasco

    hasco Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    A few pics of the bushcrafter I once owned before it went to the grand collector of bushcrafters.

    Making a bow for my son.


    Cutting the notch for a big bow drill set.


    Bmurray, a2vg1095, Lady1911 and 7 others like this.
  12. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009

    Urban Crafter or Bush Crafter, it matters not. YouR knife shows signs of both use and love. I like the reduced guard modification. It makes sense and it looks good.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  13. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009

    This is great stuff.

    I don't know what I like more. Your so e with the Trad Bow complete with color coordinated Tip fletching and socks.

    Or the three many Bow Drill exercise. Very cool!
    hasco likes this.
  14. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    Phil & Hasco

    Thank you so much!

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. So much coolness in both of your posts. Drilled down to it's simplest componenets, it's Folks outdoors having fun with their Bushcrafters. Which is 100% what I was after.

    Too cool!
    hasco likes this.
  15. Fiddleback Outpost

    Fiddleback Outpost Fiddleback Forge Knives & Fiddleback Outpost Gear

    Apr 29, 2016
    Keeping them coming...I'm taking notes on how to redo all the descriptions!

    Our past attempts to use humor aimed at the expense of the testosterone filled crowd didn't go over so well with a few here on the forum...and was misunderstood. Oh well.

    But maybe, just maybe we can spin the fear-mongering and Navy Seals into something that will play well? Or maybe it's good enough to repeatedly reference back to being ready for when "it" happens?

    No? Maybe we can throw in some "how to fight a bear attack" images in with the knives?

    Until I get that figured out, I'll just have to keep coming back and reading this fantastic thread. It's great! I love the follow-up posts in the thread too. Quality stuff until I came along and hacked it up. ;)
    LostViking, Bmurray and Nbrackett like this.
  16. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    Out playing with my Bushcrafter

    Fire prep and parts of a Tri-Stick,

    An experimental, "Turtle Shell Fire"

    Improperly seasoned Cherry bark is amazingly fire resistant.

    It worked, but not without some screwing. Wood wasn't dry. Still had plenty of heat in the morning. This was shortly before bedtime. It turned into a great fire once it caught.

    More on Monday. Headed out for a quick trip to meet some happy campers tomorrow!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  17. LostViking


    Jan 1, 2009
    Too Funny!!

    Testosterone and a sense of humor can at times, be mutually exclusive.
    No worries though, there are talkers and doers. In my experience, the doers care little about terminology. They just need things to work.
    Cohutta and VANCE like this.
  18. prom52

    prom52 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    The fruits of my labor this morning while trimming a palm tree in the back yard:


    Props going out to my good friend @Comprehensivist for snagging this beauty for me at Blade Show a few years ago :thumbsup:

  19. RobbieB

    RobbieB Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2017
    I really like the Bushcrafter and have ever since I first saw it. So, I've been itching to play along with @LostViking's game here. I've been really busy lately but carved out a little time to take this Bushcrafter out today.

    I needed to process some firewood. It's been so wet here since early Spring really, I had to have lots of small kindling from the drier interior of a log. So, I started batoning.

    After the first few passes...

    And here's what I ended up with.
    hasco, Bmurray, LostViking and 6 others like this.
  20. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    To me the Bushcrafter has the most comfortable handle of all the FF models.
    blue333 likes this.

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