WhiteWing, Wharncliff slipjoint in CPM3V

Gary W. Graley

“Imagination is more important than knowledge"
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Mar 2, 1999
Well, it's been an interesting week! I received a couple of knives and one of them was the WhiteWing Trapper model, but with a single blade, my favourite one, Wharncliff in CPM3V, flat ground and thin edged for good slicing. Handle scales are VERY narly Stag, very grippy.

Specs of this knife:
Blade length is 3" tip to bolster
Blade thickness is about 3/32"
Blade width at the widest part is 9/16"
Overall length is 6 3/4"

Slip joints, something from the past, most people I show the knife to wonder why it opens so strong, so I explain the process and why that's a good thing. This knife has a moderate spring strength but has a nice walk and talk to it.
Viewing from the inside looking for gaps, there are none, nicely fitted up!
The blade came moderately sharp, but then I normally feel that way about most knives I get and proceed to sharpen to my taste and it took a very good edge.
The handle shape, fits the hand well, when cutting a sheet of paper along the side of a ruler it is comfortable in the hand and easy to get that wharncliff point down to the task. Always test to see how well it sharpens a pencil and the edge is ground well so that it sharpens like a pro, heck if you can't sharpen a pencil with a knife without fighting it, I don't want it, and I've had a few knives that didn't past that simple but everyday task.

No blade wobble at all, as mentioned above the knife has a very good fit up on it.

One minor problem was on the narly stag, along the edge of the handle where the stag was narly the grinding left spikes that are pretty keen, I like narly stag but not to the point of having to pull the knife out of my hand, but as I said, minor point as I hand sanded down the sharp points.

This stabs into cardboard very easy and cuts through with little effort. I'm anxious to put this CPM3V blade through some tests and see how long the edge holds up. I had a very nice Ed Schott Lord Wharncliff's Mistress fixed bladed Fighter, (told you I like wharncliffs!) and passed that knife along to a fellow Formite Will York who I think liked it enough he is or has ordered another knife from Ed. I had Ed's knife for a short time and found it to be very keen edge and chopped deeply into wood extremely easy! But as I can carry a folder easier than that big rascal I let someone else enjoy it.

Below is an image that I scanned of the knife, the blade is nicely flat ground, evenly. Another minor point with this line of knives, and it is really a personal preference, the name etched on the blade, don't know how long it will be there, in the middle of the blade after many cuts it might wear off? Also the font size seems a tad too large. My preference would be for a stamp into the tang of the knife, so in years to come it can be identified easier.

Overall very pleased with the knife, even over such a short period of time.

Oh, I picked this particular knife from a fellow Formite, WhiterWinger from Hutto Texas, http://members.tripod.com/ctexknife/whitewing.htm


I'd recommend one, they normally come with two blades, but I felt that might have been too thick? The single blade works for me.


"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...

G2 LeatherWorks

[This message has been edited by Gary W. Graley (edited 06-02-2000).]
What a handsome folder! That stag really has some character. You're getting way too far ahead of us pikers with your recent acquisitions, including that incredible new Sebenza.
The 3V really is hard to beat, isn't it? Phil Wilson tells me it will retain greater toughness at the high hardness ranges than even 10V. You're right about Ed Schott's 3V blades--I like 'em. I love the big Mistress, especially in that special custom sheath you made for her. I've also picked up one of Ed's 4" camp knives, and as you know, he's finishing up a hunter for me. I also have on order an 18" blade machete from Ed in 3V which should be ready by late summer. All 3V--tougher, harder, thinner. What more can you ask of a blade steel?
Congratulations on the Whitewing. Looks like a keeper. Looking forward to seeing some more of those at the Central Texas Knife Show in Austin first weekend in August.
Have Fun--Will
Anyone interested in high performance edge geometry should check out one of Ed Schott's blades. As Will has noted, before all you need to do it cut with them once to realize that your perception of good cutting ability was a fair bit off.

...and that's from a man who knows whereof he speaks. Good evening, OB1. When do you get Ed's 3V camp knife back for further evaluation?
Gary, that is a fantastic looking knife. I talked with Bailey and Chris at the BLADE show on Friday. I was very impressed with the knives and the man.

Bailey took time and explained the patterns, knives and steel used in making this line of knives.

The problem I have now is the decision between ordering one of the stag trappers or waiting on the pearl or ivory.....

Good looking piece. I ordered one of the whitewing lockbacks and when it showed up I had a minor issue with the stag. I wrote Bailey and as it turns out his shop is about 10 minutes from my house. He let me stop by, show him what I was talking about and said that he would fix it up as I wanted (and this is for a production knife no less.) He let my son and I come around in the shop and I tell you, he is running the full meal deal in the back to do the work cutting out blades and grinding them ... Too cool. My son now is in line to get a trapper like yours. Bailey appears committed to doing a would class operation. If you think the logo is unattractive or whatever you should let him know, he was very responsive to suggestions. (The customer knows what the customer wants...) I want to try out the 3V and see what it does.

Will, I have the camp knife in hand. It is it rotation. I also have actually ordered a blade from Ed. The design is not yet fixed yet (see how easy I am to work with) but I am thinking light-medium machete class in 3V.

Congrats, that's definitely a beauty. I especially like the clean rounded look of the bolsters on the Whitewing folders. Yours is certainly no exception. Let us know how the edge holds up.

Will, I'll also be very interested to hear about your impressions of Ed's 18" 3V machete. Please keep us posted.

Semper Fi
Recently contacted Bailey on his edge geometry/Rc hardness ranges for these Whitewing folders, and I'm impressed.
Uses double cycle heat treat to arrive at 60 Rc, with blade flat ground to a thickness of only about 0.010" at the top of the edge bevel and 15 degree edge bevel angles (30 degrees included). Those are some high performance numbers for a production piece, IMO.

Will do on the Schott machete report. I also have a 15" blade machete coming from Ross Aki out of 1/8" ATS-34 stock, flat ground with distal taper, which I'll report on. Should be lightening fast. Most of Ross's stuff is out of 1/16" stock, but he does a few bigger blades this way. (Yeah, I know, ATS-34 isn't supposed to be tough, but Ross, Jerry Hossom and others seem to be making a strong case--even Cliff Stamp seems to be warming to the possibility. If I can't destroy this one, I may give Cliff a turn with it.)
By the way, saw your reply to the "Ceramic" thread on KnifeForums. Evidence is mounting that we have a genetic link. Not only do we share an obsession with exotic blade materials and extreme edge geometries-- apparently, we even have the same brothers! (RE: fracturing your ceramic kitchen knife on fish ribs)
With sympathy,

[This message has been edited by WILL YORK (edited 06-07-2000).]
Will, You've just taken me to a new level of LMAO. Little brothers sure can try your patience. I wouldn't trade mine for the world, but they can do some awful dumb things at times. I'll be sure to forward the results of the DNA tests to you.
BTW, this is the weekend the SHII variant goes up in the Sierras. Hope to have some feedback next week.

Semper Fi
Just be careful out there. One of my "little" brothers is in Pasadena, CA--not far from you, I gather. The other is in Pasadena, TX. Both have an uncanny talent for shortening the useful lifespan of their eldest brother's gear.
Kid brothers--you just can't beat 'em. I know. I've tried.
Gary, I finally got one for myself to carry and use after getting them and shipping them. I am carrying the Lightwing model with titanium handles I put it through a major test today, cutting 1 1/2 thick fibre glass pipe insulation. THIS IS TOUGH STUFF. After quite a bit of cutting the edge definately needed touching up. I use a DMT stone with a coarse and a fine side. After about 10 swipes on each side of the knife on the fine side of the stone the knife was back in good shape.

Chris http://www.members.tripod.com/ctexknife
Will, those are some high performance edge geometry specifications indeed.

[ATS-34 for hard use]

even Cliff Stamp seems to be warming to the possibility.

I wouldn't go that far, I still think it is not overly sensible. I am just open to the fact I am completely wrong so on occasion I discuss blade possibilities with makers that don't make sense to me but obviously do to them.

I was discussing an ATS-34 machete with Aki awhile back and things looked positive until he asked for come clarification on some problems I had mentioned with other blades. I gave him a few review links - discussion over.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 06-08-2000).]
I thought you'd like the Whitewing geometry--similar to the Phil Wilson utility/hunter you have tested so rigorously. I would interject that Bailey told me he is still considering whether or not to cryo treat his blades. He said his own performance testing has placed the 3V blades so high in edge holding/toughness that he's not sure the value added by a cryo treat would be worth the added cost, but says he is still compiling metallurgy data on the subject.

Thanks for clarifying your opinion of ATS-34 for heavy use. No argument. However, I've one of the Lainhart short machetes that has stood up to stalwart use on brush without damage to date, and look forward to more testing with one of Ross's blades. Some of Gaucho's testing with Jerry Hossom's blades has given me new-found hope for the steel when tempered in the 56 Rc range. Have to see for myself. I will concede that the Lainhart is thick at the bevel with a strong convex grind. On the other hand, it still bites well due to its heft. Ross's blade should fill in the blanks on what a thinner blade will stand up to.

My bottom line is that I still haven't found a really superlative machete in all respects--heft, balance, speed, length, edge holding, toughness and general durability. So, as long as someone has an idea they've tested honestly and endorse, I'll keep hacking away out there to see what they've got.

[This message has been edited by WILL YORK (edited 06-08-2000).]
Check out Whitewinger's website. He specializes in these fine folders.

Semper Fi