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  2. Week 17 of the BladeForums.com Year of Giveaways is live! Enter to win a KaBar Becker BK 15 Mini Camp!

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The Kephart is here!

Discussion in 'Becker Knife & Tool' started by Ethan Becker, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Ethan Becker

    Ethan Becker Moderator Moderator

    Sep 1, 1999
    I am very proud to announce that the Horace Kephart designed BK&T/Ka-Bar Model BK62 is about to ship.

    This iconic blade was designed by America’s foremost writer and proponent of traveling and living “out.” I spent a lot of time reading a lot of books on the outdoors before finding Kephart and discovering that all those works were derivative of Kep.

    In my opinion this blade comes as close to the universal outdoor tool of any knife designed in the twentieth century. It is of deceptively simple design and shape but, once in hand it speaks with clarity and it screams utility. Kephart spent many years working this blade and the one that he used shows the telltale signs of a well used and well loved possession. he used it to filet fish, skin and dress game birds and both small and large game. He cut his onions and carrots, sliced his bread and salami with it and then buttered the bread with it. He used it to do the work required to make cranes, pot lifters, tent stakes and a myriad of other camp accessories and necessaries.

    It is a woodsman’s tool par excellence with a wonderfully flat profile that is unlikely to snag in rough going and in the area he lived, hunted, fished and rambled the going can be exceeding rough. Laurel and Rhododendron “Hell’s” will teach you a great big bunch about getting snagged enroute. He chased Bear and deer through some of the most challenging country I know.

    The design also gives a lovely orientation in the hand..You are never in doubt as to the angle of the blade vis a vis the target and the what appears to be little bumps at the blade end of the handle are incredibly ergonomic. The blade shape is kinda pre drop point and quite utilitarian. I spent some time trying to find an antecedent and the closest I came was a blade made by a very obscure German cutler in the 1800’s and it is improbable that even with Kephart‘s almost demonic scholarship that he would be aware of it.

    We tried very hard to remain as true to the original Colclesser manufactured original as possible. The handle scales are American Black Walnut and the steel in the blade is 1095CV which is not dissimilar to the carbon steel that the Colclesser Brothers used. The only cosmetic difference is in the fasteners. After using cutler’s rivets early on I refuse to subject any of my customers to them. They will almost always loosen under hard and continuous use. A very nice pouch type leather sheath rounds out what I think is a really interesting and useful blade. A friend at BladeShow said of it; “Everything you need is there and there is nothing you need that is missing”......



    On a personal note, Horace Kephart was the Director of the Merchantile Library in Saint Louis and both my Becker and Rombauer grandparents were members.Under Horace Kephart that library was a civic gem and in my youth my Mother talked of it’s wonders often. Later when I started to read Kephart I made no connection. Many decades later I found myself living a score of miles from Kep’s first camp on Hazel Creek and tramping much similar ground and I have taken much vicarious pleasure in being pretty certain that I can spot the ridge on which the bear hunt that was written about in “Our Southern Highlanders” took place from the Beckerhead Camp on my place in Monroe County, TN.

    Later when this project was in it’s early stages I had the great good luck to join Joe Flowers on a field trip to the Western North Carolina University Library to see their most wonderful collection of Kephart’s gear and writings. This was a brilliant and meticulous man with both intellect and a huge dose of practical knowledge and common sense. I felt a sense of wonder that comes upon me rarely these days. I have also had the privilege of making the acquaintance of Kep’s great grand daughter. Libby Kephart Hargrave. she is a most delightful lady.....

    The chance to both own this piece of both outing and cutlery history and the chance to do this project has been a most satisfying and wonderful experience.....E
    91bravo, viking313, buckfynn and 19 others like this.
  2. The Warrior

    The Warrior ☠ Dubzerator ☠ Moderator

    Mar 11, 2011
    Awesome Ethan, awesome. I have one preordered, and simply cannot wait to get it. It may be the last knife I'll ever need. Well, until you come out with the next one, haha.
    91bravo, Xr6x, Tanker 1/66 and 2 others like this.
  3. 1066vik

    1066vik Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    happy thanksgiving indeed!
    91bravo, Xr6x, Tanker 1/66 and 3 others like this.
  4. Aikiguy


    Aug 28, 2013
    This is so cool. I love that you have this personal/familial connection to the knifes’ history, and you were able to share it with us. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.
  5. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    THANK YOU for this Ethan ... I think it's so nice you decided to make this happen ... staying so true to the original!

    Preorded as soon as I saw they were open for a preorder and am excited to get it.
  6. tanglediver

    tanglediver Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2013
    That sounds good, it may be time to mosey on over to the gettin' place ...
    Xr6x, Tanker 1/66 and The Warrior like this.
  7. Captain Airyca

    Captain Airyca

    Jan 23, 2011
    Didn't buy a knife at Blade Show West just so I could be ready for this!! Pre-ordered mine just now, happy belated birthday to me :D. Thank you Ethan for making this happen!!!
  8. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    i ordered two from "that guy". we'll see what happens.

    looks like i should get around to updating that database. looks like a new knife in town.
    91bravo, Xr6x, Tanker 1/66 and 5 others like this.
  9. Ethan Becker

    Ethan Becker Moderator Moderator

    Sep 1, 1999
    Hey Cap....
    It was so good to see you .... Enjoy th Kep... !
  10. Tanker 1/66

    Tanker 1/66 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Thank You Ethan. The forum is like a spring beehive right now. I Love It
  11. oldmanwilly

    oldmanwilly Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Where does one go about "pre-ordering" one of these? I have been vacillating on which knife to choose for my first Becker. I think I am ready to take the plunge.
    Bladite, Xr6x and Tanker 1/66 like this.
  12. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
  13. tanglediver

    tanglediver Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2013
    Tomar's Tomorrow? :D
  14. nordicsniper

    nordicsniper Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2015
    Very happy to see someone that will be in our time’s history recreate a piece of history.
  15. Xr6x

    Xr6x Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2015
    Thanks you Ethan for making this possible for all of us to enjoy this Knife :) On Preorder! YAY :D!
    JJ_Colt45, 91bravo and Tanker 1/66 like this.
  16. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    i would also suggest y'all learn how to buy "old books" :D

    one of my greatest joys is trying to find good clean copies of original old books. internet, yo? but it goes beyond that.

    if you buy this knife, it's practically *required* you hit the Smokey Mountain Park Museum to buy an official reproduction of the Kephart book.

    though if you are cool, you find a way to buy one of the original printings from back in the day.

    if you score a first printing, we have to talk :D
    JJ_Colt45, Aikiguy and Tanker 1/66 like this.
  17. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
  18. Bill Chamberlin

    Bill Chamberlin

    Apr 2, 2018
    Is Tomars the only dealer taking preorders?
  19. Captain Airyca

    Captain Airyca

    Jan 23, 2011
    I have the reproduction on my Christmas wish list. Going to visit a quirky bookstore in town just to check and see what they got. It'd be fun to find an old one for sure.
    Tanker 1/66 likes this.
  20. Bill Chamberlin

    Bill Chamberlin

    Apr 2, 2018
    Well I just preordered one from Tomars, I sure hope theirs enough of the first run to fill all the orders.
    Anyone know about how long the wait will be?
    tanglediver likes this.

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