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The Knife that Horace Kephart created......

Discussion in 'Becker Knife & Tool' started by Ethan Becker, May 29, 2017.

  1. Ethan Becker

    Ethan Becker Moderator Moderator

    Sep 1, 1999
    Some months ago my friend Mark Zalesky of KNIFE Magazine was kind enough to show me a rare(one of two known) Kephart Sheath Knife made by th Colclesser Brothers in El Dorado Pennsylvania ..... It is complete with a factory sheath in damn good condition....... Last week Mark brought down a couple of 19th century trade knives, a Shively Bowie and the Kephart...... we took them out to my forested ridge side and did a wee bit of Tulip Poplar deconstructing........ The trade knives were classic thin buffalo skinners and performed as the brand spanking new ones of 1095 do.....They and the Shively were a bit dull and sharpening these old guys is a no-no in the collecting world of antique blades..... I did murder a mosquito wth the Shively with the flat of the blade (I know I should have stabbed the wee critter but, it was perforating my arm) but it was too dull to cut well and hacking with a Shively just ain't happening at my place.......

    The Kephart felt marvelous in the hand and is, I think, going to live up to it's hype...... it is a thin blade, light and balanced, convexed to past the mid point and and relieved at the top to facilitate an exit from flesh..... there are no nasty sharp edges in the handle area, the shaping of said handle are an excercise in crafty subtleties....The edge was what, mabe sixty, seventy years old?.... It WANTED to cut.........I will learn much from this blade.....Mister Kephart knew what he was about when he designed this one....

    I will have this historic blade with me at Blade and if you speak kindly and reverently to me and you have fresh, unsullied, dry surgical gloves with you well, we can talk....

    Ethan

    P.s. I got a kick out of using this blade within sight of where the bear hunt took place....

    Bladite will be posting the first of many pix shortly.....
     
  2. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    pix!

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    That's all for now folks...

    and now more

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  3. Tanker 1/66

    Tanker 1/66 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Thank you Mr E for sharing your experience. I cannot wait to see pictures of the fine blades that you described.
     
  4. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    This is immeasurably cool. What an awesome experience. Yet another reason that I am bummed that Blade is so far away, not in the cards at this time to make the travel...

    Perhaps next time....
     
  5. Tanker 1/66

    Tanker 1/66 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    Wow!!! It is just wonderfully simple in design. I like it alot. Thanks Bladite for sharing.
     
  6. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    surgical gloves are not very expensive by the box ;)
     
    19-3ben likes this.
  7. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Wow, what a piece of knife history! I've always loved the Kephart shaped blades.
     
    MarriedTheMedic likes this.
  8. B.Mauser

    B.Mauser KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 22, 2011
    That is so cool. Thanks for sharing this with us Ethan. Neat timing for me because I am currently reading Horace Kephart's book.
     
  9. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    So I guess the real question is.... Might we ever see a tweener Kephart?

    I know I wouldn't be able to resist.
     
  10. Ethan Becker

    Ethan Becker Moderator Moderator

    Sep 1, 1999
    Hey Mauser..... he is awesome in all respects.....I keep a copy of his work close at hand during daily meditation time....... His first camp was less than twenty miles from the house and the flora and fauna are very similar..... some of my neighbors had ancestors I am quite certain knew him..... Read OUR SOUTHERN HIGHLANDERS when you get a chance...... A great read about my neighborhood about a century ago...

    E
     
    B.Mauser likes this.
  11. Ethan Becker

    Ethan Becker Moderator Moderator

    Sep 1, 1999
    Hey 3ben....

    If you get a chance to compare the Sweet Sixteen to the Kephart you will find them quite similar in the hand....... it is so close that talking the powers that be into a Becker styled Kephart ain't bloody likely....... To do it justice would require a ton of hand work..... Maybe a very limited edition down the pike..... Very, super, very unlikely...... I repeat....UNLIKELY...... Fun to think about tho....

    E
     
  12. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    Fair enough. Thanks for getting back to me. I do love my BK16. It was my first Becker knife, and I was so impressed that it started this disease. It's now 3yrs later, and it's still the knife that sees the most use in the woods.
     
  13. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    And yes. A Beckhart is fun to think about.
     
    B.Mauser likes this.
  14. The Warrior

    The Warrior Insane Viking Moderator

    Mar 11, 2011
    Awesome. Always admired that design.
     
  15. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    there will be many attempts at copies...

    but unless they were made with a real Kephart in hand, they aren't even copies...

    late night thoughts :D
     
  16. Aikiguy

    Aikiguy

    Aug 28, 2013
    Having read his book, but only seen illustrations of his knife, it is very cool to see pictures of the actual blade itself. A very interesting piece of history you were able to handle. A big thanks to Ethan (and even Bladite for posting the pics) for sharing your thoughts on the design.

    Now to lose myself in the interwebs searching info about a Shively Bowie…
     
  17. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    a modern reprint of the book by University of TN Press (Jim Casada forward), ISBN 10: 0-87049-556-9 or ISBN: 978-0-87049-556-4 or amazing river code: 0870495569 ; be warned, modern paper, thick.

    if you can score a 1916-1921 copy of 2 in 1, do it :D

    i'll bring mine to Blade. Bible like paper. thin. amazing treasure at nearly 100 years old.
     
    B.Mauser likes this.
  18. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    What an amazing experience. I can't decide if I'm jealous or if I'd he too intimidated to handle any of the blades in question with anything but the softest of kid gloves. Thank you very much for sharing it with us.
     
  19. TwinStick

    TwinStick

    Jan 21, 2011
    Thanks for sharing that Uncle E. My evening thoughts are: Isn't it funny how simple, functional, useful tools never go out of style, no matter how old & how many times they are copied or modified, the original still works fine & gets the job
    done ?
     
  20. DavidCAndersen

    DavidCAndersen

    758
    Nov 11, 2013
    Simply incredible. My jealousy can not be measured right now.
     

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