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Hemp Wrapped Fiddlebacks - Rusticwrap Review & Photos

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by FeralGentleman, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman RansomWildernessCo Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 13, 2013
    Just came in today. I'm digging it... those that got 'em, let's see 'em

    Nessmuk, 1/8" A2

    [​IMG]

    A quick and dirty review of the new Fiddleback Forge Rusticwraps. The TL:DR version….get you one.

    Our first sightings of the hemp wrapped knives among the Fiddleback Forge family of knife makers came from Allen Surls of W.A. Surls Knives. On March 30, 2016 Allen introduced the rusticwrap on a pair of puukkos. The knives were an existing profile that he wanted to give a more rustic appeal after learning handle wrapping techniques from fellow artisan Rick Marchand. Since those first pair of rusticwrap knives sold, Allen has had repeated hemp wrapped offerings on his weekly Wednesday sales thread in his Bladeforums subforum. Each knife is attentively wrapped around a leather backing then soaked in epoxy before a light finish sanding. Allen describes it as giving the blade a “useful, light, “grippy” feel.”

    On November 17th fellow Fiddleback sharks discovered during the Friday sales thread preview chumming that several of the popular Fiddleback profiles were also hemp wrapped and ready for the feeding frenzy. A Nessmuk, Handyman, Hiking Buddy and Runt were served up to the hungry fishies. I was fortunate enough to claim the Nessmuk from that batch. The following are a handful of photos and some initial thoughts on the rusticwrap Nessmuk #1

    2016 0415 24 – Nessmuk w/ hemp wrap over leather liners, no pinstripes, SFT Convex on spalted ⅛” A2

    On the cutting mat (0.5” grid) paired with a 5/32” O1 tapered tang Nessmuk sporting Ruby burlap over black/white

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    The rear ends

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    Along the spines

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    From the front

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    Balance points

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    Muk sandwich

    [​IMG]

    Just an aside on the Ruby Muk: I never got around to posting a review so I'll share this here. I don't know how much of a rarity this one is, but do check out that squared spine. This Nessmuk is part of a matching Ruby burlap Muk set. The others all have chamfered spines; however this Nessmuk slipped through somehow. It throws excellent sparks on a metal match.

    [​IMG]

    In hand. For reference my hand measures spread pinky to thumb 9.75“ and tip of middle finger to first wrist crease 7.50“ - or a large glove

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Skeeter picked a good spot to fill up

    [​IMG]

    Lanyard hole

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    Whoops, just a tad off... it is a rustic

    [​IMG]

    Looks to be some type of scribe line that wanted to be a PITA

    [​IMG]

    Look at that grippy texture.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cavity in the lanyard hole area runs a bit deep. This may create a possible weak area on the hemp wrapping that covers a section of the hole cutout. It also forms a good pocket to fill up with dirt and other gunk.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I find the hemp wrap to be very visually appealing and holding its own against some of my favorite handle material, burlap micarta. The rustic look is fitting for this style knife and gives it a lot of character.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Things that I like about the new rustic wraps. Aside from looking awesome, they are very economical when compared to a standard custom Fiddleback knife. The rusticwrapped Nessmuk in this review was purchased for $175. Compared to a custom Nessmuk that ranges in price from $300-400 depending on options, the rusticwrap Fiddlebacks are an exceptional value. I happen to like the tool steels and this is a good way to buy your preferred Fiddleback profiles at around production knife prices. Plus they retain that amazing spalted steel that you will not get on the production Fiddleback models.

    The handles themselves have a lot of grippy texture, and the soaking in epoxy should make for a durable handle. Despite the lack of contouring many have come to value on custom Fiddleback knives, I find the flat wrapping to be comfortable (think flat micarta slabs on many production fixed blades). Some may find less appeal in the more aggressive texturing of the wrapped handles, but I think it will serve one of its purposes of a more secure purchase on the knife handle.

    As with most Fiddleback knives I have handled, the balance of the knife always feels good in hand. Additionally, the wrapped handle noticeably reduces the weight giving way to a more nimble tool. I did not have access to a digital scale for this, but a spring loaded scale showed this rusticwrap ⅛” Nessmuk at a hair over 5 ounces while the 5/32” ruby Nessmuk a hair under 7 ounces. A ⅛” Nessmuk was reported weighing 6.1 ounces in the following thread: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1170507

    My only concern would potentially be with the wrapping across the drilled hole for the lanyard tube. I do not know if there is another way to wrap this so that this possible weak point is removed and also eliminating the “pocket” formed. The handle itself will not have the same perceived quality as the customs knives if you tap on them, the rusticwraps resonates a sound quality to that of plastic. Although this should not be too surprising since it is after all epoxy soak fiber over leather. Individuals with exceptionally large hands might find more comfort in the more filling handles of the custom Fiddlebacks. Other than that this is a solid offering from the Forge and something new to add to the collections if the hemp wrapped styles of knives are of interest to you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  2. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    much better than my sale thread pic!

    i dont have a Fiddleback yet but here is mine from Allen
    [​IMG]

    edit

    hope you don't mind it's not a Fiddleback but we have only shipped 4 so far.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  3. Tekton

    Tekton

    Mar 8, 2015
    Question, I like the way the hemp wrap looks and think it would be very grippy, but I can't tell are the handles contoured at all?
     
  4. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    the smaller knives like these only have a leather liner wrapped

    its more of a flat wrap. its not as hand filling as the shaped handles we are accustomed to.....but its very nice in the hand
     
  5. Tekton

    Tekton

    Mar 8, 2015
    Thanks Phillip.
     
  6. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    sure
    FWIW

    its worth looking into for a super light option. and they look awesome
     
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    :thumbup: Snagged this Epic Mad Max Arapaima, and this sweet little Stingray super slicer from Allen. Sorry don't have any of my own pics yet, and they probably wouldn't look as good as these anyway. :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  8. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    In Gus's case that would be considered a larger knife and the handle has some contour to it
     
  9. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman RansomWildernessCo Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 13, 2013
    That Arapaima is so cool. I think the rustic wraps look real good on patterns like that big chopper, the muk patterns, and the little puukko knives. Even that 3 finger joe on Friday would be the great little utility blade.



    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
  10. FeralGentleman

    FeralGentleman RansomWildernessCo Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 13, 2013
    Added some more info and photos to the initial post for anyone interested.
     
  11. Tekton

    Tekton

    Mar 8, 2015
    Thanks for the review and all the additional pictures. I'm definitely going to look into getting one of these. They look great!

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
     
  12. gusbuster

    gusbuster Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2011
    :thumbup: Good review Danny! I snagged this Minimuk last Friday.:)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Guhul

    Guhul

    653
    Oct 30, 2015
    Great review! Thanks. I am waiting for this guy to arrive next week...

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Zardo

    Zardo Gold Member Gold Member

    464
    May 31, 2015
    This one is heading my way this week! Can't wait to see how it feels in the hand....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Archaeo72

    Archaeo72

    59
    Aug 31, 2014
    I missed that minimuk twice... but the 3 Finger Joe is heading my way so it's all good. I was surprised that it was the last one to go.
     
  16. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    me too
    in my mind its the second best pattern to get the wrap behind the Nessmuk,,,the blade shape and style fit it perfectly
     
  17. dogbone11

    dogbone11 Gold Member Gold Member

    425
    Dec 10, 2015
    I've got this WAS version muk on the way also...
    [​IMG]
     
  18. fogdart

    fogdart Gold Member Gold Member

    771
    Jan 7, 2015
    A Rustic Handiman (1/8") from the Forge and Hemp Puukko (3/32") from Allen... Liking these so far. Most noticeable to me... very light! They feel good in the hand.

    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki
    [​IMG]Hosted on Fotki
     
  19. Archaeo72

    Archaeo72

    59
    Aug 31, 2014
    I'll admit I was a little disappointed when it appeared again, but in the end I think the 3FJ is a better fit for me. Needless to say I'm excited and can't wait to put it to use!
     
  20. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    I'm glad y'all are liking these. I'm happy we're doing them. We learned the technique from Rick Marchand. He has been using it for years, so it is a prooven technique. They are a lot lighter, and a cheaper way to own handmade Fiddlebacks. With this economy the way it is (#*%^B$(#^%) I thought a lower price point handmade was called for.
     

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