Author Topic: Colclesser Project WIP  (Read 23201 times)

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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #150 on: March 15, 2018, 02:16:22 PM »
Sarge those are great. Love that last one in figured walnut.
I'm in for one as well, just let me know. I may just pick one up in person while I'm up visiting the family.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #151 on: March 15, 2018, 06:39:56 PM »
Thanks, Spyder. That sounds good and I?ll keep you posted.

Pick up / delivery would be cool! Hope to meet you one of these days.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #152 on: March 15, 2018, 06:54:51 PM »
Thanks guys! I?m trying to make something Horace would give a thumbs up. Haha!

Moe, let me see how long it takes me to get the next 2 or 3 finished then I?ll have a better idea how long it will take to complete the knives I have promised.

Thanks again!

  Thanks for the reply,  when you get to be my age,  one thing you aren't is in a hurry,  be looking forward it. 
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #153 on: June 06, 2018, 09:44:48 AM »
I haven?t been onboard here much lately. I?ll check in and read a little but haven?t posted much. Been busy with life the last month or two - I turned 50, my older daughter graduated high school, I went to Washington D.C. with about 1,000 5th graders, 20th Wedding Anniversary....got family vacation in a couple weeks. I know everyone is busy and I?m certainly not whining. It?s been great! In the middle of all that, I moved everything out of my basement/shop to paint walls and the floor. I hauled off several truckloads of clutter and put 18 feet of shelving x 6 feet tall on one wall, ordered 12 more feet for another wall. I have way more storage space and plan to add more workbench space. I?m back up and running and worked some yesterday.


Blanks are heat treated by Paul Bos. First 3 are convexed at at the target weight of 5.5 oz. before I taper the tangs. I?ve gone through a ton of walnut to look for the best scales. So far I have a decent assortment of straight grain and varying degrees of figure. I also sent some to be stabilized; hope to get it back soon.

I hope to have way more regular updates on this progect.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #154 on: June 06, 2018, 11:40:52 AM »
Looks awfully good Sarge!  Glad some time has freed up a little to start back at it. 
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #155 on: June 06, 2018, 02:50:30 PM »
Looking good buddy.
I need to do what you've done to my shop. haul a bunch of stuff off, clean out and make more work area.
But I really need to go fishing :drool:
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #156 on: June 06, 2018, 04:22:42 PM »
Oh, MAN! :doh:    My salivaries are workin' overtime now! :drool:   ANY of that figured walnut would tickle me plumb to death! :banana:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #157 on: June 06, 2018, 07:03:03 PM »
Sarge I think Horace would want one of these too.  You got it dialed in I think.
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #158 on: June 06, 2018, 08:38:13 PM »
I know it was only a paragraph; said like that sounds like you've been gone for a year at least. Well done
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Offline lgm

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #159 on: June 06, 2018, 08:59:09 PM »
Thanks for the update,  glad you are back at it.
Knives are looking good.
What a great day to be outside.

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #160 on: June 13, 2018, 08:36:44 PM »
Thanks, as always, guys. I appreciate the feedback. I worked some today and have a couple blades close to ready for scales.


From flat ground blank received back from heat treat on left, to convexed bevels in center, to the convexed blade with tapered tang on the right.


Blade with tapered tang and hollow ground tang to achieved desired weight.

Hand sanded this blade to 400 grit, then used a Scotchbrite belt for a satin finish.

Probably won't get much else done before vacation but I'll post some more pics when I get back.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 12:48:44 PM by Sarge »
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #161 on: June 13, 2018, 09:37:35 PM »
 :thumbsup:
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #162 on: June 13, 2018, 10:36:11 PM »
Oh yeah, baby! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #163 on: June 30, 2018, 10:43:53 AM »
A little knife time today after a long week at work and vacation the week prior. Shaping some walnut scales.


I bevel the front edge of most scales at 45 degrees but give these a steeper angle to match the original. Angle guide on the disc sander works well.


Hand sand to soften the hard angles.


These 3 sets are about ready for mounting.

Not Kephart-related and not very bushy .... but I've got a few other blades on the bench.


6, 7, & 8 1/2 inch blades, hidden tang, bolsters....geez
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #164 on: June 30, 2018, 05:51:28 PM »
I like those blades in the last photo (but not as much as the Kephart).  The smallest one on the right looks like it would be a good skinner/camp kitchen knife.   
   
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #165 on: July 01, 2018, 05:45:07 PM »
Thank you, sir. That smallest one is sorta stabby but should be practical enough for a multi-purpose knife.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wolfy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #166 on: July 01, 2018, 08:06:31 PM »
I can't even remember the last knife fight I was involved in. :duel:    I know I'll be much happier with my nice new Kephart.  I can think of LOTS of situations where one of those would come in handy! ;D
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #167 on: July 03, 2018, 04:22:03 PM »
Dropped by for a quick forum scan... 6,7, 8.1/2...  :P yes those are nice especially the finished one (nice proportions on the various elements) for a second though I thought the counting out of Keps  had begun...
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #168 on: July 03, 2018, 07:55:34 PM »
I wish I had 6, 7, 8 Kephart done. Haha

I got a set of scales on one blade tonight. I?m trying West Systems G-flex epoxy for the first time.

I?ve got two other blades about ready for scales. Not much progress lately but I?m starting to inch along.

I?m pretty happy so far with that big Bowie...going for an old Sheffield look. I feel like I got pretty close on the proportions. Still gotta make and fit some sort of pommel.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #169 on: July 03, 2018, 09:17:42 PM »
A pommel? That surprises me. Primarily because when I tap on the pic to enlarge it; I don't see any tang exposed out the end. But then, ah ha- the hilt is not yet fixed?

It is good looking imho
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #170 on: July 03, 2018, 10:40:39 PM »
The Sheffield Bowies were arguably the best-looking and most well-proportioned of all the Bowies.....foreign and domestic.  Many of the southern Bowies were cranked out by various country blacksmiths for protection during the Civil War and were not very nicely finished or balanced.  The Bowie that was carried by riverboat gamblers & travelers along the Natchez Trace tended to be a little nicely made, but almost ALL of the Sheffield products were very nicely made and many were produced as cased 'presentation-type' knives with engraved handle escutcheons showing the names of the presenter and the honoree to whom it was given. 

At one time I had a chance to buy a Rudy Ruana-made 'Mexican' Bowie in a gift shop in Choteau, Montana for a mere $300.....but being a nearly penniless farm kid & college student at the time, I felt I had to pass.  I've kicked myself ever since! :-\
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #171 on: July 04, 2018, 10:21:46 AM »
Man, that Ruana would have been a steal but I understand.

I've been looking at Bowies a lot lately, English and 'Merican. This book started it all...  :coffee:

http://www.knifeworld.com/asuredefense.html :drool:

And here's a video preview

https://youtu.be/luSrUDap8eM :popcorn:
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wolfy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #172 on: July 04, 2018, 02:58:23 PM »
I'm afraid I'll soon be letting go of 70 frogskins for another book! :doh: :coffee:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #173 on: July 04, 2018, 03:38:34 PM »
Well, I was afraid I?d cost you $70 bucks, Wolfy. Sorry about that. Haha

I have really enjoyed it. Both the writing and photography are outstanding!
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #174 on: July 04, 2018, 04:37:54 PM »
Looks like a book to have Sarge.  Thanks for posting that link.
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #175 on: July 30, 2018, 07:27:33 PM »


Just some Kepharts in various states of readiness....
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #176 on: July 30, 2018, 08:10:14 PM »
 :hail:  That middle one looks absolutely terrific Mike.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #177 on: July 30, 2018, 08:13:53 PM »
Recently found this in a book, Blade's Guide to Knives and Their Values (2010):

"Colclesser Bros.
In 1926, William Monypeny Newsom wrote at length
about bowie and hunting knives in his book, The Whitetail
Deer. Newsom lamented the closing of the butcher knife
manufacturer that had made his favorite outdoor knives,
Colclesser Bros. Cutlery Co. of Eldorado, Blair County,
Pennsylvania. Colclesser also had made small doublebitted
camp-axe heads designed by ?Nessmuk??a.k.a.
writer George Washington Sears. Nessmuk?s original axe
had been custom made to his design in the 1860s by a
surgical instrument maker named Bushnell in Rochester,
New York.
In the 1890s, another noted sporting writer, Horace
Kephart, sent a sketch (see accompanying line drawing,
courtesy Willis Hobart) of his 5-inch-bladed, dream hunting
knife to Colclesser Bros., and Colclesser obliged by
making up a prototype. Kephart?s sketch was reproduced
in Hunting & Fishing magazine, July 22, 1897. Colclesser
responded to the publicity with a campaign of small ads
in the magazine, such as the following:
HUNTER?S AXES. - ?Nessmuk? and others, weight 8 to 20
ozs.; the Kephart knife; knives made to order, hand made,
excellently tempered; belts, sheaths, etc., furnished.
To this day, we have never seen a Colclesser-marked
knife or axe."

"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #178 on: July 30, 2018, 08:15:38 PM »
:hail:  That middle one looks absolutely terrific Mike.
Thank you, sir.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #179 on: July 30, 2018, 08:18:17 PM »
Oh that is really interesting.  Perhaps the sale of these Colclesser knives never got going for some reason.  A few perhaps.  What is there?  Two that are known, the one you saw and the one some museum has that was Kephart's personal knife.
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #180 on: July 30, 2018, 09:47:24 PM »
I was talking with a guy a couple days ago. One of his pontifications was that History never changed. Of course I explained to him how it does change. Thanks for quoting that for us Sarge.

I have a question- HK says something like: I have just such a knife here before me... his description follows that the blade and hilt are 4.5 inches long. The famous advertisement lists 4 inch and 5 inch blades. Is the museum blade 4, 4.1/4 or 4.1/2 inch long? The handle on that knife looks like it has been refurbished a few times. To clean it up I imagine. Looks like some of his blade was honed away too, but length lost as well?. I have the impression the blade in the museum was listed as 4.1/4 long- maybe wrong.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 09:57:59 PM by Unknown »
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #181 on: July 31, 2018, 07:14:17 AM »
 :thumbsup: :drool:    WOW!    Don't even know what else to say...

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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #182 on: July 31, 2018, 07:52:38 AM »
Gorgeous knives Mike, great job.

Offline lgm

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #183 on: July 31, 2018, 11:25:55 AM »
The photos look great, however I don't think they do justice to the design & craftsmanship. I am going to have to inspect & trial one someday.
What a great day to be outside.

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #184 on: July 31, 2018, 11:45:00 AM »
Thanks, guys!

Unknown,
Your question about Kephart's passage in his book, I have seen debated on other forums, blogs, etc. and I don't have the answers either. He clearly wrote the knife before him had a 4 1/2" blade and handle. He also stated it was made by a country blacksmith. I have a reprint of the 1910 edition of Camping and Woodcraft. My book does not have an illustration of the knife. By the 1910 edition, Kephart recommends the Marble Expert Knife. Some say at the urging of his publisher due to Marble's advertising dollars. Makes sense to me but I don't know...

Here are some side x side pics of the knife Ethan Becker owns and the knife in the Kephart museum.
https://bladeforums.com/threads/kephart-original-and-ethan-joe-visit.1563847/ (Mods, please delete this link if not allowed.)

These are the only two pieces know to exists ... I'm still hoping to find one at a yard sale one of these days.

Looks like the museum knife is the 4" version but I couldn't find anything detailing its specs. I'm not sure we know how close to the original dimensions the museum knife is now. The handle contours are obviously different. Maybe the museum knife was contoured differently because it was smaller or maybe hard use eroded the wooden handle. For me, some of these mysteries add to the appeal of the knives. 


 
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #185 on: July 31, 2018, 04:54:59 PM »
Blade forums won't let you look at large versions of the photo unless you are logged in.  Might have to join up.

I saved the photos to my photo viewer.  Neat stuff, thanks

I was already on that forum but have not been there for years.  I completely forgot it.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:50:21 PM by wsdstan »
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #186 on: July 31, 2018, 05:37:50 PM »
Thanks Sarge. I sorta recall the museum listing some dimensions, or maybe some was allowed to measure it and wrote about it.

Haven't re found any of that
 tbh didn't search that much either

Your product looks terrific
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Offline duxdawg

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #187 on: August 02, 2018, 12:03:11 PM »
Amazing thread!
Really enjoying it.

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #188 on: August 27, 2018, 02:01:43 PM »


Just a half dozen or so in progress....
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #189 on: August 27, 2018, 04:08:59 PM »
I have a feeling we'll be seeing a couple of more of these around these parts...

Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #190 on: August 27, 2018, 06:11:11 PM »
Sarge, do you wonder, as I, how much the stabilized walnut might impact the target weight? It is hard to guess a % change in weight between stabilized vs natural wood+finish coat.  :shrug: I haven't used it.

Which also makes one consider, we cannot measure the % change in weight from one Colclesser and another.

I do applaud your strict use of the example you have. Which is why the question came to mind. There is just the one example, and if they were hand ground as we believe, then there must be some difference in finished weight, even in some cases due to the density of the scales.

All that to say: woohoo.  :banana:
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Offline NoseWarmer

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #191 on: August 27, 2018, 06:28:08 PM »


Just a half dozen or so in progress....

DAMN, you're and busy man!


I really like the real pointy ones up top :)
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated...

Offline imnukensc

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #192 on: August 27, 2018, 06:35:56 PM »
You really do some nice grinding, Sarge!
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #193 on: August 27, 2018, 06:39:22 PM »
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #194 on: August 27, 2018, 06:41:28 PM »
My reaction?  Just WOW!  Those are terrific.
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #195 on: August 27, 2018, 06:47:27 PM »


Just a half dozen or so in progress....

DAMN, you're and busy man!


I really like the real pointy ones up top :)

It looks like that. Perspective; I think they are all about the same.
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #196 on: August 27, 2018, 07:59:30 PM »
Thanks, guys. Yep, perspective makes the upper blades look pointier; they are all the same...or as close to the same as I can make them.

You raise some good points, unknown. I weigh the blanks at several stages during the process - after the convexing, after tapering the tang, etc. They are handmade so there are some variances. The biggest variable, though, is the wood. Of course the stabilized blocks and scales are noticeably heavier but there are also slighter differences in the natural pieces, especially from different sources. The original is 5.5 oz. I've only hit that target a couple times, several knives have been about 5.75 oz. If I can get the finished knife under 6 oz. and it has a good balance, I'm satisfied. Unless the user was holding the original in one hand and a new in the other, It would be difficult tell a difference. You're right, we don't know the weight tolerances between the production Colclessers. The one on which I've based my knives could be average weight, or lighter or heavier. A little mystery makes it all the more interesting.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline Sarge

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Re: Colclesser Project WIP
« Reply #197 on: September 01, 2018, 09:44:10 PM »
Gotta have scales for all those blades...


This is black walnut I cut into blocks myself. I selected the best blocks (12 out of 65 or 70 pieces) and sent them to be dried, stabilized, and cured.

oh and sheaths, too...

"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)