Author Topic: Jeff White English Trade knife  (Read 723 times)

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Offline wsdstan

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Jeff White English Trade knife
« on: January 11, 2021, 08:26:51 PM »
Going through a box of knives I had acquired a few years ago I came across a Jeff White knife.  This one is the pattern of the small English trade knife.  It is new and unused.  Made of 1095 high carbon steel hardened to Rockwell 59 (HRC 58-60).  The blade is 4" long, 1 1/8" wide, and 3/32" thick full tang knife with a convex ground blade.  It has a Robert Jones sheath.  Jeff and Robert had some kind of business relationship, did a few knife designs.  I read that Jeff has had some health issues and has stopped making knives.

Jeff Whites knives were forged and simple in design.  There were some variations in handle material although both of mine are curly maple.  They were relatively inexpensive when Jeff started out and while there are still a few on the market (both new old stock and used) prices have gone up a bit.  I think my cost on the trade knife was $40 and the sheath was $25.  These are knives designed to look like early trade knives and his designs covered the English and French styles of those.  His other knives were styled after Kephart, Nessmuk, bushcrafters, and few other designs.  I believe all of them were in 1095 high carbon steel, full tangs, and riveted handles. They are also all convex blades, at least from what I know of them. 

While his current website is inactive there are a couple of people who worked for him making similar knives.  One is on Ebay and goes by 2B.  Another can be found on Etsy if you search for Jeff White.  The fellow who made his sheaths went on to make a lot of sheaths.  His name was Robert Jones and his operation was called Hand Sewn Leather.  He went by Beowulf on Ebay.

I have one other Jeff White knife, a 3 1/2" with a wide blade and very short handle.  I use it to cut leather but not much else. I have sharpened this shorter handled knife a couple of times and it is easy to put a hair shaving edge on it.     

Here are photos of the two I have:





These are knives that would be at home at a rendezvous, deer camp, or running a trap line. 
 
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 12:48:01 PM by wsdstan »
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Offline randyt

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 08:34:19 PM »
looks like a nice handy knife..

Offline wolfy

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 09:12:37 AM »
I bought Heather one of those knives at a local rendezvous many moons ago.  She wanted something light & practical and also authentic to the period.  Food prep was her main reason for selecting one of the variants that were present on the vendor's trade blanket.  It always kind of made me nervous that she selected the one labeled.........'scalper.' :shrug:
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Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 10:18:57 AM »
She keeps you on your toes.   :P
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 10:37:49 AM »
 Jeff White knives have built a good reputation over the years,  in my opinion they were and still are some of the most under rated semi custom knives on the market today,  I've had a few of his trade knives and fund them to be great for food prep,  cleaning and skinning game, and make damned fine primitive steak knives,  I also have one of the first generation Collaborative (Jeff White/Robert Jones) Bush Craft knives which were still in keeping with Jeff's original trade knife design but with a broader blade profile, beefier scales, and full 1/8" thick 1095 stock.
 It's still one of my favorite all around camp knives,  his second generation Bush Craft knife was basically the same knife (4" blade with a 4" handle) but with an added 1/2" on either end,  the third generation design incorporated a redesigned  blade profile, all are excellent general use outdoorsman's knives.
 I got mine in trade for a H&K medium sized hawk and it came with a standard Robert Jones HD sheath to which I added a ferro rod loop and a 3/8"x 3" ferro rod that I attached a matching curly maple handle,  while I have more expensive custom bush craft knives my Jeff White knife is the one I usually carry on most of my day trips hunting and fishing, or just lounging about woods bumming. 
 Jeff's knives used to be pretty common on the used market on forums and trade blankets,  they were usually inexpensive and plentiful, now that Jeff is no longer making knives (I think he has a couple of proteges that he trained  still making them under his license) they are getting pretty scarce and commanding higher prices.   
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 12:54:10 PM »
I sure wish you could post a photo of the knife Jones and White collaborated on and especially the sheath with the ferro rod holder and curly maple handle.  You do good work and I am still using the sheath you made for the babybush blind horse knife we traded for a few years ago. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2021, 09:58:28 PM »
I sure wish you could post a photo of the knife Jones and White collaborated on and especially the sheath with the ferro rod holder and curly maple handle.  You do good work and I am still using the sheath you made for the babybush blind horse knife we traded for a few years ago.

 PM me your e-mail address,  I'll have one of the kids take a picture and send it to your e-mail. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Jeff White English Trade knife
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2021, 09:37:26 AM »
Moe had his daughter send me photos of his knife and sheath.  He makes really nice sheaths too by the way.  I have one on a Blind Horse I traded with him a few years ago.  The sheath that came with his Jeff White knife was made by Robert Jones.  Moe modified it to fit what he wanted.  I will put what he said in his words..........

"...others may be interested in modifying their sheaths in the same manner,  all I did was cut out the old stitching,  add another row of holes to beef it up,  then I added a strap that allows me to carry it vertically or on the left side horizontally,  before stitching it back together I added the ferro rod holder to the front of the sheath,  like you said it keeps the ferro rod out of the way,  I do all of my new sheaths that way.
  As for the knife itself,  it's not the prettiest one I own,  but it's the most used one I have,  I guess it's because it can take a beating and not look any worse for wear,  and the fact that it takes the sharpest edge of all my knives,  it's probably the best skinning knife I own,  I don't know what Jeff's secret forging and tempering process is,  but it definitely was a winner."





I like these mods to the sheath and moving the ferro rod to the front makes a lot of sense to me.  The ability to carry the knife horizonal is also useful at times.  I carry the Baby Bush I got from him that way and works well. 

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)