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My First Fiddleback: One More Bushfinger Review...But There's Pictures, I Promise!

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by pveiled, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Hey all! Sorry that this review has taken me so long to write: I received my Fiddleback Forge Bushfinger on May 22nd so I’ve had the knife for just over three weeks now. Unfortunately I got laid off the same day that I received the Bushfinger so I really have not had much opportunity to put it through the paces as of yet. I’ve been waiting to post up a review, hoping that I’d get out to camp soon and be able to put this thing to work and get some nice “in use” shots for you all…but given that the job hunt is not going well I honestly don’t how long it will be before I get to spend some quality time in the woods. So rather than putting this off any further I thought I could write up a review of what I know so far and maybe come back to update this thread with some more pictures and information once I get to satisfy my curiosity regarding what this knife can really do in the woods.

    So, I realize that there have been a pretty decent number of Bushfinger reviews already and I’m sure everyone is very familiar with this knife by now. It definitely seems to be one of the more popular models that Fiddleback offers. I’m well aware that most of you are probably skimming this thread for the pictures (they’re at the bottom BTW) :p With that in mind, you may be asking “why am I going to write another Bushfinger review?” Because the knife is worth it, that’s why. I will break each part of the review down into two sections: pros and cons. In this post I will be covering the Bushfinger and the sheath that I received with it (I’m not 100% sure what this is but I think it’s a Heber sheath; hopefully someone can confirm that for me). To make it a little easier for the skimmers (I’m a ridiculously long-winded SOB and I know it) I’ll break the review down further into separate sections for the knife and the sheath. Let’s get to it!


    FIDDLEBACK FORGE BUSHFINGER – PROS

    I cannot say enough good things about the way this knife feels in my hand. I know that people gush on and on about the handles on Fiddleback knives so this is far from news for any of you…but people go on and on about it because it is true. This is my first Fiddleback knife AND my first handmade knife so I won’t lie—I don’t have a whole lot of “high quality” blades to pit this one against—but the comfort of these handles cannot really be over-emphasized. I’ve never felt anything like it on any tool I’ve ever owned or used before. It’s completely uncanny and I don’t know how Andy does it…it’s a little scary to be honest. I feel like he measured my hand while I was sleeping or something and tailor built this thing to fit ME. I’d be willing to bet that most people who have handled a Fiddleback knife feel this way. It is just so far beyond comfortable. It feels just as comfortable in every reasonable grip I can put it in and like I said it feels like it was made precisely to fit into my palm. Although I haven’t really sat down to work with this thing for any extended periods of time I can readily believe what others say when they claim there are no virtually no hotspots to be found on Fiddleback handles.

    The fit and finish are superb. Pictures really do not do it justice (especially my pictures). I have run my fingers along every edge very carefully and the only sharp one I found is right where I’d expect it to be :D The handle symmetry is perfect IMO and the whole thing just feels really, really solid and extremely well constructed. The aesthetics of this knife are top notch all around. I know this is a really subjective matter, and ALL of the knives Andy makes are really handsome IMO, but I have to mention again that pictures simply do not do this knife justice. This thing is so stylish that even my spouse, who normally couldn’t give a rats fuzzy little behind about my knives, has taken it out of the sheath a couple of times just to turn it over in her hands and look at it. Her first question to me was “does he make kitchen knives?”

    While we’re on aesthetics let me say something about the signature Fiddleback bulls eye lanyard hole. I am in the camp of people that prefer their knives without lanyard holes: I never use lanyards (even though I probably should—I spend a lot of time on the water and in marshy areas so if I ever dropped something it’d probably be gone forever) and so normally having a hole in the knife handle just feels ugly and unnecessary to me. Not this time. The lanyard hole on Fiddleback knives is built as well as the rest of the knife (regarding fit and finish) and it just looks so bloody sexy! I love that you can tell it’s a Fiddleback just by scoping out the little bulls eye poking out of the top of the sheath :cool: Andy is a smart man when it comes to branding. Very nice stuff :thumbup: Speaking of branding…I didn’t realize this at the time that I bought the knife but my Bushfinger has one of Andy’s new consolidated makers marks! I’m actually very happy about this: not because I didn’t like the way it was before—I think both styles look great—but more so because I know this won’t be my last Fiddleback and so hopefully the ones I get in the future will have the same mark :)

    Now on to the best part…the steel! It’s very hard to tell how well steel is going to hold up just by looking at it and feeling it and, as I said, I really haven’t put this thing through all of the chores I would like to have done before reviewing it. What I have done so far consists of some light carving, a little bit of kitchen work/food prep and some basic “tests” (paper cutting test, making feathersticks etc.) So with that in mind I’ll talk about the steel to the best of my abilities…but of course the true test of the blade will be time and heavy usage.

    The steel feels better than great to me. I have been inspecting the edge with a hand held microscope after every task and honestly the original edge hasn’t been compromised in the slightest. It seems like it’s going to stand up pretty well. The blade itself is nice and stout. It is a good thickness for what I intend to use it for (woodwork, skinning and butchering mostly). The finish on the steel was superb when I received it but I’ve already put a few scratches on it—that’s not surprising however since I’m not gentle with my tools and despite how sleek and stylish this one looks I won’t be treating it any differently. It really feels like it will take the abuse and just keep on going. Besides, we all know that scratches, marks and stains just add character!

    Speaking of steel, how about that 3D Spalting? This is another facet of Fiddleback knives that just doesn’t seem to translate well in pictures. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised. Not only does the spalting look really, really cool but it FEELS amazing: it is so smooth! I really think that it might serve to reduce drag in some ways, as there is much less surface area available to make contact with the cutting medium then there would be if the surface that is currently spalted were instead completely flat. Admittedly that’s an assumption but it seems rational enough to me.

    Finally there is the blade profile. The Bushfinger design is really ideal for my needs right now. I like the blade length and the blade shape is at once elegant and practical. The drop point is very mild and the whole knife has a comfortable shape to it. If you look at the blade and the handle together the whole thing forms a very gentle arc from the butt to the point…it’s very subtle but perfectly balanced IMO. The blade tapers in quite a bit for the last ¼ of its length as well, which serves to form a very nice point that will be good for piercing and light drilling/boring tasks. This shape fits my usage perfectly: this knife is going to be my camp knife, and at camp I spend most of my leisure time working wood or prepping game and then cooking it. There is a good amount of belly for doing woodwork and you can push your grip all the way up to the edge of the blade for great leverage. Furthermore I think that the gentle drop point is going to make skinning very smooth and straightforward. It feels like it shouldn’t snag at all but I have yet to test it in this capacity so this isn’t really verified. I mostly take smaller game around here (there’s Deer, Bear and Moose to be had as well but they’re not all that abundant in the exact area I'm living in so you’ve got to drive a little bit) so this blade is going to see the inside of a lot of rabbits, pheasants and grouse :D That being said I think that this would take apart large game just as proficiently and I really hope that I get the chance to test that theory sooner rather than later.

    The last point I can make here is about the weight of the knife. The weight is perfect for me. It’s right on that line where it feels nice and solid, it’s got a good heft and doesn’t feel “cheap” at all...yet it is NOT heavy. It feels great in the hand; I can easily envision myself working for long periods of time without fatigue and the weight distribution is spot on IMO.


    FIDDLEBACK FORGE BUSHFINGER – CONS

    There are really not many cons to discuss…but I’m going to list a few things here just for the sake of being thorough. However I feel I should emphasize that, given an opportunity to change something about this knife, I would opt to change nothing. The cons I will list here are nitpicky, and truthfully the worst part about this knife is that it has given me “the bug” that makes me want to buy MORE Fiddleback knives that I really can’t afford right now haha.

    The biggest con, and really it’s a non-issue, is the sharpness of the blade as I received it. Although I won’t go so far as to say it is dull it certainly does not have the sharpness that I was hoping for. I’m actually not all that surprised though since I do remember reading somewhere here on this sub-forum that Andy said that he likes his blades “toothy.” That’s really the best way to describe it: if I do a paper test this blade will only cut paper in a sawing motion. Again this is really a non-issue to me: the blade profile and the steel are awesome, the edge has handled the tasks I’ve put it to well enough and IMO you simply shouldn’t be spending this kind of money on knives unless you know how to sharpen them yourself. I will put the high polish, razor sharp edge I want on this thing soon enough but first I’m trying to decide whether I want to keep the secondary bevel or go “full convex” on this bad boy.

    There was one aesthetic issue with my knife, and again since this is a user I’m not going to whine about it. Since you will likely be able to see it in the pictures I’m going to post however I should probably at least mention it: there is what looks like a horizontal tool mark running through the spalting on one side of my blade. It is a serious non-issue and honestly you can’t really see it unless you’re inspecting the blade carefully. It will not affect the performance of the blade in any way however so, once again, I only mention this to be thorough.

    The last con I can think of is that this knife is just not a great slicer. I have put it to work in the kitchen but the blade is simply too thick. Don’t get me wrong: this will do the trick at camp and it will work admirably enough for rough chopping meat and veggies etc., just don’t expect it to give you sashimi-grade thinness. To be fair I did not expect or even really need that from this knife (I knew it was too thick to work well in the kitchen when compared to a knife that is designed for that purpose) and honestly I may even change my tune on the Bushfinger’s slicing ability once I put a razor edge on it. The only thing this means to me really is I’m going to have to buy another one of Andy’s knives in a thinner blade stock haha :rolleyes:
     
  2. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    INCLUDED SHEATH – PROS

    Well I promise I’m not going to be as long winded about the sheath, but that’s not to say that it’s not worthy of praise. The leather is great; just the right thickness and it’s in that sweet spot between being firm and being supple. It’s really just firm enough to do the job but supple enough that I’m not worried about it developing unsightly cracks. The work on the sheath is very well done, everything feels snug and secure and it holds the knife beautifully. I can flip this thing upside down and shake like crazy and it just does not let go of the knife. It is of course getting looser with usage so eventually it won’t be as snug, but right now it fits like a glove. The style is great as well: I like the simple fold over pouch style sheath and the sheath sits at a good level on my belt. The belt-loop itself and all of the stitching feels very sturdy. The burnishing on this sheath is also very uniform and nicely done.


    INCLUDED SHEATH – CONS

    Unfortunately there are also a few things that I’m not so pleased about with the sheath. Firstly there is the color, and to be fair here I am really just being picky—I’m sure many would disagree and say that they like the color. Personally, I do not like the color of the sheath as every single other piece of leather I own is dark brown, and this is what I would call a medium or light brown. Again the color obviously doesn’t affect its functionality (and no one ever told me I would get a sheath in a given color so no promises were broken and there was nothing misleading going on), but I am more than a little OCD so it bugs me a bit if I’m being honest. I’ll probably order—or try my hand at making—a different sheath in the future, if only to get one in a color to match the rest of my gear.

    Beyond me being picky about the color, there are also two slightly more substantial issues. Well one substantial issue and one more case of me being picky haha. First of all there is a large mark on the back of the sheath. It looks like a tool mark or maybe it is just something that happened in packaging or shipping or whatever. This knife was taken out of the packing box and inspected by customs (I actually got some hefty duty charges as well but I was expecting that) so it may even have happened at that time. Ultimately, however, this is also a non-issue: it’s on the back of the sheath so no one is going to see it and again this is a user so the sheath will get beat up in time anyway.

    There is one issue that does actually worry me however. The welt is already starting to pull away at the bottom of the sheath. I will take a picture of this to illustrate what I mean. The sheath overall feels very well made and very solid but I am going to have to monitor this. If the welt starts to pull away any more than it has already then it won’t be long before the sheath is pretty much unusable, IMO. Again, this may not be an issue (everything is staying in place OK so far) so I’ll just have to monitor the sheath and see how it holds up over time.


    Well…that’s it for now I guess. I’m really looking forward to putting a new edge on this thing and diving into some serious work with it. I have a few woodworking projects in mind (stuff I can do away from camp) but I REALLY hope to get down to the camp sometime this summer and at least put this thing to work on some fish if nothing else. Bear season is soonish, and Deer bow hunting season starts in a few months. If I get to make a trip this year I guarantee that the Bushfinger will be right at my side. If myself or someone I know gets a Moose license I might even put it to the ULTIMATE Maritime hunting test…but I’m thinking that might be a job better suited for a bigger blade :p

    I know this is a ridiculously long review and I REALLY appreciate those of you who have made it this far, but since I’ve monopolized so much of your time already I’m going to push it a just little bit further. There is one more thing I want to say about Fiddleback Forge and it’s not something I’ve come across a lot as I’ve been reading this sub-forum so I feel that it’s important for me to bring this up.

    As I mentioned this is my first time buying a handmade/custom knife and I spent a lot of time looking around and contacting different knife makers before deciding to snap up this Bushfinger. Truthfully the thing that finally solidified my decision is how cool and nice Andy was when I reached out to him for advice and assistance. Like I said, I contacted several different knife makers before purchasing this knife. For the most part they simply did not get back to me…and the ones who did were rude or dismissive. They really made me feel like they didn’t need or want my business. Andy was the complete opposite: friendly, inviting and helpful. Although he could have just as easily said “just check out Blade Forums, it’s all there” instead he took the time to walk me through the process a bit and start pointing me in the right directions. The very final factor that made me opt for Fiddleback Forge is that Andy Roy convinced me that he is a genuine, talented person who takes pride in his work, and that my friends is truly something worth supporting.

    BTW when taking pictures for this thread I threw my Cammenga 3H Mil-Spec compass in there for scale. It was the only thing I had on hand that I knew at least a few of you would be familiar with. Hopefully it helps. Also I apologize up front for the quality of the pictures: I borrowed my wife's fancy camera but that doesn't mean I know how to use it. I am no photographer and for whatever reason she didn't seem too keen on doing a photo shoot for my knife (I can't imagine why :rolleyes:) so you poor saps will have to put up with my crap photography skills. Sorry!


    Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first: here is a picture of the separation issue I am having with the welt on the sheath that came with my Bushfinger.

    [​IMG]


    Here is the good stuff; a whole bunch of glamour shots of the knife!

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    Finally, this one is for Andy. Check it out dude...this little Bushfinger has found its new home!

    [​IMG]


    Thanks again to Mr. Roy for an absolutely phenomenal knife, and I hope that I'll have some better "action shots" to share with you guys soon.


    Take it easy all,

    Sean
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  3. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    Sean,

    Nice knife and comprehensive review! :)

    I make sheaths for some of Andy's knives and thats one of mine. The problem with the Welt should not have happened. I'm really sorry that it happened. I just emailed you about getting you a replacement. Even if the problem doesn't go anywhere, I don't care. The problem shouldn't have happened and I want to make it right. Get me your address and I'll get you a dark brown one out ASAP!

    Color on a sheath is really personal. Some people prefer black, various shades of brown, tan, green or what ever. I buy most of my leather straight from the tannery and I order it Drum dyed from them. Looks better and saves time. Veggy Tanned Saddle Skirting is what I use because it's so strong and stiff. Saddle Skirting from Wickett & Craig who I use comes in Brown (medium), Black, Chestnut and Gold. Brown is the most popular so thats what I normally stick with and what Andy orders. When I do custom sheaths, those and other colors are available including dark brown. BTW that medium brown is one of my favorite sheath colors too.

    On the mark, if you're talking about the long dark stripe looking mark on the back, it's a Character mark. Essentially it's a Bruise in the leather. The belt loop has one also. They show up if the leather gets bumped when wet (during tanning, skinning or sheath making, shipping to). Most people don't mind them, though some do. Andy Loves character marks especially scratches and brands so when ever I have a sheath with character it goes to him unless I save it for my self. ;) Got a WWII combat knife last fall and made a custom medium brown Dangler sheath for it. The front has these cool scratches in it, looks like an Animal attacked the sheath. To each there own. If someone wants a sheath devoid of marks, I can do that, it's not a problem. :)

    Enjoy the knife and sheath And please email me so that I can get you a new Dark brown sheath with out character marks. Thanks!!
     
  4. grafton

    grafton

    439
    Aug 28, 2010
    Nice review and photos and that was a very nice offer to replace the sheath.

    You could also easily darken that sheath with a dye or even a Sno seal treatment.
     
  5. TooQuiet

    TooQuiet

    302
    May 5, 2011
    THAT'S CUSTOMER SERVICE RIGHT THERE!!

    That is also why Heber gets my business.
     
  6. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Hey wildmanh, thanks a lot for the follow up information. I want to clarify a few things for you and for others here though, because I am worried my original post might have been misleading. I was looking for "cons" for both the knife and the sheath--in reality the quality of both exceed my expectations and I am really happy with what I have.

    You couldn't be more right about the color of leather being a personal prefence, and in the end it's just that: a prefernece. Just because I don't love the color doesn't mean it doesn't work like a charm. Plus, as I mentioned, no one told me I'd get a sheath of any particular color so I was really just commenting, not trying to complain (although re-reading it now I do come off as whiny, sorry for that :eek: ).

    Secondly about the character mark: I figured this was something that happened when the sheath was wet and really it is less than important to me. It's leather and I'm going to be wearing it in the bush. We all know that means it'll have more than one "character mark" before I'm done with it haha. One of the best features of quality leather is that it just gets better with age. Again I really just brought this up in the interest of being thorough.

    Finally, regarding the seperaring welt: after posting my initial review I pulled out the flashlight and took a good look in the sheath to see if I could see what's happening. Honestly I can't quite make it out but it looks like some of the thread at the bottom of the sheath may have been cut. Now, I did recieve the sheath in this condition, so if it is cut thread then it wasn't me that did it. That being said I certainly wouldn't expect that yourself or Mr. Roy would incorrectly sheath a knive causing it to split the sheath. IF this is the case I would say it is more than likely that the damage occured when this was inspected at customs.

    I have to head out for a few hours but I will check your e-mail and get back to you asap. I just wanted to up date this thread to make sure I'm not misunderstood: I was looking for something bad to say about the sheath so I could write a cons section (and was obviously worried about the welt) but I think I should also clarify that I'm still very happy with the sheath. It's great work and I wouldn't hesitate to buy from Heber again: obviously the craftsmanship is there but you stand behind your work too and that really means something!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  7. schmittie

    schmittie Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Nice pics. Appreciate your candor too.
     
  8. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    Sean, no worries! You mentioned your personal preferences and the like so I wasn't worried. I just wanted to take the chance to talk about the behind the scenes stuff. ;) I'm glad you like the sheath.

    Andy's knives are Sharp! (at least to my standards) and that one is rather pointy. It wouldn't surprise me if customs buggered it up. That thickness of leather tends not to want to bend and holds it shape. So I can totally see it pulling apart just a bit if customs buggered things up. If you were local I could do a basic repair (re-glue, stitch and edge) in a couple hours. Honestly it takes more time for the glue and Dye that I edge it with to dry then the other stuff. If you want to fix it your self, I can walk you through it via email. Takes, good glue (Strong contact cement is best), needle, waxed (Synthetic) thread and some clamps. Through the replacement offer is always on the table.

    BTW I like and use pouch sheaths a ton but I know that if someone inserts a knife wrong and pushes to hard bad things can happen. I've seen it happen so many times on cheap and on nice production sheaths and even some customs. Thats one of the reasons why I stick with the stiff Saddle Skirting. It helps minimize the risk. I have to remind my self to be aware of how I sheath a knife, especially in a pouch sheath or one with a keeper strap that likes to get in the way. :foot:

    *For anyone that wants to change the color of their sheath; An Oil and Mineral Spirits based dye works really well and they can be picked up at most Hobby or Leather shops. I use Fiebings Pro-Oil or the standard Oil Dye when I need to color leather but there are others too. Want to do it and need help, just ask and I'll walk you through it.:)*

    The first time I looked at the review I just glanced through it to see how long it was and to check out the pictures. I noticed that it was long and well done so I figured you would have a sheath review also and jumped there. Just went back through and read more of the review. Stropping the edge will bring it to really sharp in no time at all.

    I've been eying a Bushfinger for a while now so I'm really digging your pictures. My next knife will probably be a Woodsman, or a Bushfinger and through a 3 Fingered Joe in for good measure. :D If you have more pictures of the knife and using it, I'd love to see them!!
     
  9. maw

    maw Gold Member Gold Member

    718
    Oct 15, 2000
    Sean, I remember when you got that knife. Thank you for taking the time and effort to post your write up and pictures. It was a very nice review. :)

    Heber rocks and what an outstanding offer he made you. Most of my FB knives came with a sheath made by Heber and I also have one custom sheath he made for my FB Hunter. I couldn't be more pleased. :D

    TooQuiet and schmittie...you guys are on it! I couldn't agree more. :thumbup: :) :thumbup:

    Mark
     
  10. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Hey guys, thanks a lot for the responses. Heber thank you especially for all of the interesting background information you've provided! Really, a lot of that stuff I absolutely did not know and it's always interesting for me to get "behind the scenes" a little bit. So thanks for that. I have responded to your e-mail as well :)

    grafton, TooQuiet, schmittie and maw thanks a lot for taking the time. I realize my review is about 200% longer than it needs to be so it means a lot to me that you guys stuck it out. I will DEFINITELY get back here and reward you all with some pictures of that knife getting bloody (or maybe just covered in wood shavings!) before too long. Thanks again for stopping by guys.
     
  11. Diomedes Industries

    Diomedes Industries KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 19, 2007
    WildmanH gets it.

    That was one stitch away from never happening - we have all done it - just stopped a little too short - or went a little too long. You offered a replacement immediately. That is the way it should be. Good show...

    TF
     
  12. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    That is a great review!! I love hearing that you like the knife. I like thin slicers also, but that 5/32 steel is a great steel thickness for the outdoors. Its really nice to hear your wife likes my handle. I have one of the 5" chefs knives almost done at the shop but didn't finish it in time for the show.
     
  13. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Couldn't agree with you more on this one: 5/32 is GREAT for outdoor use. I want this knife to be able to skin/butcher game and process wood: the blade profile and the steel thickness both fed in to my decision, and I really think I made the right choice. A thinner knife would work but I love the robust feeling of thicker steel in an outdoors knife. This is a great knife, great blade profile and great steel at a great thickness. Can't complain haha! Like I said, it just gives me an excuse to snag some more Fiddlebacks: now I need to get a thin slicer, a big chopper, a little carver, an EDC...you know, the list goes on :D

    Hey Andy my wife loves the handles so much that I think I'm going to have to save up and snag her one of these for Christmas. Not kidding about that either: she's only getting into Outdoor living since I'm dragging her along (my wife is a indoorsy gamer-type and awful proud of it) but I think if I got her something special like a Fiddleback she might even USE it! I don't think I'll ever get her to skin a squirrel...but she'll be making campfires before I'm in the ground! I can promise you that much at least. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for something in ivory micarta with pink liners :p
     
  14. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    So I wanted to post up a quick update for you guys. I know I really don’t need to say this too much—any of you who have owned a Fiddleback probably already feel the same—but still…I can’t help it! Guys the more I use this knife the more I just fall head over heels in love with it. It’s amazing. It is so comfortable and eminently usable: I have simply never felt so “attached” to a tool before (insert painfully obvious jokes here :rolleyes:)…and I mean that literally and figuratively. I feel like it’s molded to my grip since it’s so secure and comfortable in the hand…yet it’s so sleek and sexy that I’m probably soon going to cut myself because I have a tendency to look at the knife, and not my work, when I’m using it!

    I took my Bushfinger out to show it off to a friend the other night. This particular friend is definitely a knife guy—he owns and operates a small farm where he slaughters and butchers animals more or less daily. He also does all the maintenance work etc. on that farm and is a recreational wood-worker. So yeah…dude knows knives and tools in general. Anyway, I took the Bushfinger over and let him play with it a bit. We took apart two chickens from his henhouse and a pile of sweet, red peppers from his hot house :D I don’t think I really need to say this, but I will anyway: he was SERIOUSLY impressed. He quickly agreed that it was the most comfortable tool he has ever held and used. For reference he has much larger hands than I do, so it’s not a function of this knife just happening to be RIGHT for me: Andy really must have the magic touch!

    It is worth stating that the blade performed flawlessly; this thing has such a great blade shape. I took some pictures when we were butchering the chickens but it was in a dark barn and I was using the camera on my phone (no flash) so they really weren’t worth sharing. What I do have to share is some “after” shots. My knife is finally starting to feel like it’s really mine…it’s starting to get DIRTY! Just a little bit…but it’s still nice to see. I’m going to share some pictures because there is something kind of cool happening with the patina. Check it out:

    [​IMG]

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    I don’t know if you guys can make that out but to me, in the second picture, it looks like a cresting fin. I think my Bushfinger has a mind of its own and I think it is telling me to get my @ss out there and go fishing! Little bugger has got a point too…it is Trout season. If only there were a Fiddleback fillet knife…a man can dream!

    Finally, I wanted to say something special to all the kind folks on this sub-forum. I went out to collect some pine needles for tea tonight and the Bushfinger was right at my side, doing a great job of scaring the sheeple and cutting down sprigs of pine (not a test of it’s might I know, but hey). This is a bit of a special thing for me, as I always feel really connected to my wilderness when I drink pine tea. For me at least, it’s hard to think of something more boreal than pine tea. So…this one is for you guys. I feel blessed to have found this place and even more blessed that my first hand-made knife is a Fiddleback. I can’t imagine anything better, and although I’m already saving up for another knife…you can bet it’s going to be another Fiddleback :) Thanks to Andy for making the knives that bring us together and thanks to all the contributors for keeping the game going: this brew is for you.

    [​IMG]

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  15. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    Thanks for sharing the story and pictures with us. A special knife for your wife sounds really neat.

    Do you think that there is a chance that your friend will join us here on Bladeforums?
     
  16. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Sorry for the triple post…but this is important and separate from the other information so it really deserves its own space. Wildmanh and I are figuring out the sheath stuff via e-mail and I wanted to update you guys and let you know that he's taking really good care of me. He is a great guy and has been super easy to work with so far.

    I felt bad because there is a good chance that customs actually damaged the sheath. I doubt that Andy would let it go out the door like that unless he was SUPER busy (the damage was obvious with a quick inspection) and truthfully it absolutely would not be the first time that customs has damaged something on me. The threads where the sheath is splitting look cut to me and I knew that I didn’t do it and that Andy/Heber likely didn’t do it so really, we’re looking at third party damage IMO. So, despite the fact that Wildmanh was still willing to offer me a straight up, no questions asked replacement we have instead worked out something that feels more equitable. I’m going to send the damaged one back to him and he’s going to hook me up with a custom piece for a really sweet price. I’m very excited and I’ll be sure to update with some pictures once it’s all said and done.


    EDIT: Heber in regards to my friend joining us on Blade Forums, I don't even have to ask him to know the answer to that one: no. He doesn't own a computer or even a phone that's not securely fastened to a wall :D
     
  17. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    LOL! I got my cell phone because I couldn't have a land line in my apartment and needed a phone for work and to talk with family. Even if he can't join us online, maybe he can get a nice Fiddleback to use and enjoy.
     
  18. pveiled

    pveiled

    161
    Apr 26, 2012
    Maybe, he sure would appreciate a Fiddleback...he'd even use it and boy do these knives deserve to be used...but I don't think it will be happening any time soon. I don't want to be too frank about it but let me put it this way: if anyone ever told you that farming is an industry where you can make a lot of money and become really financially stable they were either a) uninformed or b) lying through their teeth. I think the only way he'll be getting one of these knives any time soon is if I buy it for him as a gift. You never know...that could really happen: he's a life-long friend, much more like family really, and one of the few people I know who can truly appreciate just how GREAT these blades are.
     
  19. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    I grew up on ranches and farms in small farming communities so I totally understand that.

    By the way, one more day till I head up the canyon to go camping/backpacking with my brother and his wife. My Fiddleback Carver and Machete are all ready to go. Now if I can just remember to pack the camera tomorrow before heading out. ;)
     
  20. maw

    maw Gold Member Gold Member

    718
    Oct 15, 2000
    Another excellent post pveiled! The photos are brilliant. It is pretty awesome to see a knife take on character in the form of an honestly earned patina. I whole heartedly agree with you concerning the folks on this forum. These folks are kind and helpful all the way! :)

    Mark
     

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