Author Topic: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own  (Read 9191 times)

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Half Axe

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A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« on: June 05, 2012, 06:58:59 PM »
If any of you were wondering who commissioned the last knife PW made in his shop (for awhile), it was me.



PW takes lots better pictures than I do, you can find them here, along with specifications:

http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,1568.0.html

I used an incomplete description of Kephart's knife and this photo to make a preliminary draft of the design:



I wanted a knife that was faithful to Kephart's description in his 1906 publication of The Book of Woodcraft and Camping, pages 28 and 29, but with some more modern design features.  The 1/4" wooden 'knob' as a guard, for example, could be dealt with in a better way.  PW's questions and suggestions played an important part in finalizing the design.  With his input, I ended up with exactly the knife that I wanted.  I chose a tan color for the handle scales to provide contrast to the background if I set the knife down while performing a task such as field dressing an animal.  Something that catches the eye is helpful.

PW did an excellent job of fabricating this knife.  Fit and finish are, in a word, superb!  The knife arrived hair-popping razor sharp.  I've only used the knife to whittle on a bit of pine and some cardboard, but from what I've seen so far, the HT is right on the money.  I will be making a sheath for it in the next few weeks, and then I look forward to giving it a baptism by fire and blood. 

Offline greyhound352

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 07:04:46 PM »
Great looking blade you have there.
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Half Axe

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 07:11:31 PM »
Thanks!   The thing is like a lightsaber - slices through cardboard like it's air.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 07:14:53 PM »
Glad you like it!

Making this knife has really opened my eyes. I don't think I'm going to be making as many 3/16" thick blades after making this one in 1/8". The full flat grind just felt "right". It might not be as sturdy as a 3/16" scandi, but holy cow I think it's going to cut like a straight razor. Should sharpen quickly too with the narrow secondary bevel, less material to remove to expose the new edge.

I'll be making one of these for myself when I start back up again. :)

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 07:23:42 PM »
Nice.  That knife looks like it will just get better the more you use it.   
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Offline Barbarossa Bushman

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 07:42:59 PM »
That looks like it will be a great skinner. I like those old prices!
"When times get rough and times get hard, the fat get skinny and the skinny die. Good thing you had a little fat on you when you did." An old friend

Half Axe

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 08:06:44 PM »
Glad you like it!

Making this knife has really opened my eyes. I don't think I'm going to be making as many 3/16" thick blades after making this one in 1/8". The full flat grind just felt "right". It might not be as sturdy as a 3/16" scandi, but holy cow I think it's going to cut like a straight razor. Should sharpen quickly too with the narrow secondary bevel, less material to remove to expose the new edge.

I'll be making one of these for myself when I start back up again. :)

I REALLY like this knife - a lot!  It's perfect for my needs.  Long before I heard of Kephart, 'Nessmuk' and the rest of the old guard, I had specialized my outdoor kit to include a knife for slicing tasks and a hatchet or tomahawk for chopping tasks.  I'm just not a 'baton my knife' kind of guy, and my method of field dressing deer and such does not involve cutting through bones.  All of my knives, with the exception of the ANZAs and fillet knives, have been Scandi-grind.  The ANZAs, with their hollow grind, was what made me revisit and re-think the design that Kephart came up with.  I'm glad I did - this knife became my favorite the moment I held it in my hand.  Thanks again for making it!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 08:11:37 PM by Half Axe »

Offline wolfy

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 08:22:07 PM »
Before Kephart there was the Russell Green River Dadley.  Kephart's pattern always reminds me of it and was the blank I chose long ago for my first 'put-it-together-myself' camping knife.  I still use it often.....it just seems to work well for almost everything.   It REALLY excels at getting into a peanut butter jar to make a sandwich on a canoe trip :banana:     Try THAT with a BK-2 >:D
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Offline Gurthy

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 08:37:48 PM »
That is a great take on a timeless design! Beautiful  knife there... congrats Half Axe and nice work PW!

Offline American Grouch

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 08:46:11 PM »
Well done, always loved that design. Excellently executed indeed.
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Half Axe

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 09:43:42 PM »
Before Kephart there was the Russell Green River Dadley.  Kephart's pattern always reminds me of it and was the blank I chose long ago for my first 'put-it-together-myself' camping knife.  I still use it often.....it just seems to work well for almost everything.   It REALLY excels at getting into a peanut butter jar to make a sandwich on a canoe trip :banana:     Try THAT with a BK-2 >:D

I bought one of those Russell Green River blanks about six years ago and put a handle on it for #1 son.  He's still using it - it's got a nice patina going on the blade, the sheath I made for it is a little scuffed up and still going strong, and it will take a shaving sharp edge and keep it reasonably well.  I'll have to ask him about the peanut butter jar thing - I think it is one of his favorite camp foods.  I've even seen him put peanut butter on his s'mores  :).

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 09:48:48 PM »
That's a nice looking knife. You can tell just by looking at it that it's a slicer!  It looks really well made too.  Noice! :thumbsup:
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Offline werewolf won

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 06:18:32 AM »
Very, very nice indeed! 

I'm in the same camp of not beating on a knife, and I love Kepharts and Dadely knifes.  A knife never was a pry bar, or an axe, or a drill; I?m not sure why people like to use them that way today.  The Kephart set I just had made is 1/8th full height ground too, thin razor blades.  Mine are built to skin and clean animals, birds and fish.  I split wood and bones with a hatchet and carry a folder to whittle with.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2012, 01:13:41 PM »
Good looking knife!  I have been admiring it since PW began making this one!
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Offline Red

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2012, 06:15:56 PM »
man, that is one sweet blade there!!! i told you he would take care of you :thumbsup:
"Big drama next few hours.. But whatever happens, no matter what they tell you.. Don't let 'em take them chains off me.."

Half Axe

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2012, 07:40:26 PM »
man, that is one sweet blade there!!! i told you he would take care of you :thumbsup:

You told me and you didn't lie, Red - I was well taken care of!  Best deal I've had in a long time!

It's good there are men around of your caliber.  The world is a better place for it.

Now we've got to figure out how to help PW get back to making more knives!

Offline woodsrunner

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Re: A Blade Horace Kephart Would Be Proud To Own
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2012, 06:40:24 AM »
nice work!
i like a bit of an integral gaurd myself...thanks for posting...woods 
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