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Thread: Road to knife making - The unfolding story of Merwe Knives

  1. #1156
    Sharp Shooter
    ARF Member Of The Year 2011

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    The ULU, finally...

    Life is about trying out new things, that I've learnt. I frowned upon the age old traditional Kukri design when I first saw it, I made it and I was pleasantly surprised at its virtues once I used it, I know, I could only have listened to a zillion Gurkha's..
    As for 'weirdness' in blade design I guess the ulu beats them all. Used for centuries by rural folk living in sub zero conditions to prepare their food and ensure survival where McDonalds is regarded as a name and not an eatery. To the uninformed the ulu might resemble a woodworker's tool or even something to chop garlic with but the Eskimo actually use it for skinning, food prep and every other task we would use a 'straight' knife for.
    Just to recap some research I've done on the ulu.

    I dug up the unfinished ulu project and am about to finish the ulu so I can try it as a knife and share my findings here. The blade is heat treated and tempered, about to do the makers mark etching:

    I opted for 14C28n surgical grade stainless, might as well go all the way since I have the luxury of modern steels and the ulu might just become a hard working knife. Convex chisel grind it is, easy to sharpen in the field, even if only a flat rock available. The etching done, somewhat fancier than the average working ulu but I could not resist all that blank blade space, had to fill it with some design:

    The next design challenge is to secure the handle to the rather skimpy tang in a way that it will never come loose. I don't know yet just how hard the ulu is going to work but I definitely plan on using it for more rugged tasks than chopping garlic on a cutting board. I'm looking at a 3 layer handle with the tang embedded in the middle layer with high grade epoxy and a hidden retaining pin. Will be back soon with progress, the ulu will be a working knife before Xmas , thanks for looking.
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  2. #1157
    REP: Tula!! Silencers

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    Quote Originally Posted by DvdM View Post
    The Bug Splat knife.
    The finals; epoxy cured and excess wood removed to reveal the final handle profile. Finishing now happens slowly and carefully, firstly we do not want the wood scorched and secondly we do not want to spoil a finished blade by a slip of the hand and 60grit sandpaper touching it. The handle scale edges are ground flush with the tang edges and to accomplish this the total belt grit change process is repeated, 36, 60, 80, 120, 320 and 400 grit belts, first with the large wheel then again with the small wheel to get into the finger curves. Lastly the scales are finished by hand sanding and steel wool. Now the cutting edge micro bevel is done and stropped on leather. Ready for making the sheath.

    The end result, the Bugsplat knife is on its way to Mike, ready to be won in Sunday's Bugsplat shoot at Northcliff:

    Happy shooting to those attending!

    Thanks to Derek and Mike this knife now belongs to me. My Theoben done me, Greg and Devon proud today.....
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