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What do you think?

Jun 17, 2001
After about a week on this fighter I'm not sure if this balled S guard belongs on this knife. I'd like to hear what you think. At this time the nut is all that is holding it together so its no big deal to change it. Its got a 9 3/4" 1084 blade. The guard is 1018 and the balls are wrought iron. The rest of the fittings are wrought iron with a sambar stag handle. Its 15" overall. The 1084 is from the new batch of steel that Aldo Bruno had made.

If you are questioning yourself, it no doubt does not belong on the knife.

I am speaking from personall experience here, If I am asking myself this same question on any part of a knife I am working on, I invariable will not be satisfied when the knife is completed.

You have such a good eye for line and finish if you have doubts in this instance, take another look. It's your opinion that counts. You are putting your name on the piece.

I hope this came across as intended. Fred

As to my opinion, I think the guard has too much of it above the spine.
The bottom of the guard seems to be too close
to the handle.Maybe they should not be symetrical.
Very nice blade design and stag....with a nice harmon.
I've got another fighter about the same size as this one thats up next. It will also get an S guard. The blade is alittle thinner than this one and I'm thinking I can maybe swap guards. Thanks for the input!
Nice knife Ray, good flow. I think it needs a little more guard on the bottom, longer and away from the handle a bit.
Love the design and like the look, The only thing that can see I would change would be maybe take a little bit of the curve out of the S other than that I would not change anything.
I agree completely with what Fred said above. If you're questioning it now, you'll continue to question it after it leaves the shop.

From here on out is my opinions. They don't mean much, but since you asked . :)

My personal opinion is that the guard looks a little asymmetrical. I'm not certain if it's due to the drop in the stag that makes it look that way when it isn't, or if it's actually a little off. Also, to my eye, the ball on the top of the guard seems to unbalance the whole piece a bit. I think it may be the line of the guard thinning before the ball-end that just doesn't follow the line of the blade as well as some of the other pieces I've seen from your bench.

Either way, I hope to be able to make something half as nice some day. The fact that you're getting to pick this nit on one of your pieces is a testament to the overall quality of your work.

Just my $.02.


Edited to add: I think I see something else...Look at the line of the bottom of the ricasso/choil in comparison to the line of the bends in the guard. the guard has much more sharp bends while the line of the choil is a lot more relaxed.
Hello Ray:

The balls set the knife off. Maybe on the next one shortened the guard a little so the balls our not extended out so far. But I would leave this just like it is. Outstanding Job. And the blade is out of this world, and there is no words for me to say. And I like the stag handles. Great tamper Line just great work all around. Top of the line here.

My opinion only-I dont think the guard goes with the rest of the knife. There is no question that the fit and finnish are excellent but to me, that guard looks out of place an that knife.
i think you need more space between the bottom curve to the handle. looks like there might be a tight sqeeze or interfer with hand movement. an easy fix would be to narrow the angle. you have almost 90 degree angle on the guard. drop the angle to 50 (or what looks pleasing). you will still be able to keep the balls and symetry. just my thoughts.

oh... by the way...SWEET!!!
i think you should send it to me so you dont have to worry about it....... great lookin knife man
Nice job Ray. I was wondering though, if you're not satisfied with the guard, and you think it needs to be changed that doesn't necessarily mean that the balls are the issue. I personally love the balls on the guard.

However, what if you were to texture the metal surface of the guard leading up the balls to imitate the texture of the handle? This might allow the guard to flow into the handle better.
Cool balls Ray, as for the guard placement, if the knuckles come in contact with it at all I would drop it down. I think it looks great.