bob’s Knife

An old friend of mine has become a “near vegan househusband” so I thought he could use a slicer.

Usually, when I have the blade done, I know what I want to do for the handle. This is another one of those 1095/wrought iron facing with 1095 core 3-layer blades. But I decided not to make it flashy, and left it in a state of high polish; you can still see all the crazy action in the metal, it’s just not technicolor. Eventually it will stain and age into having more depth in the look.

The bolster for the handle is ivory linen micarta – “fake ivory” – and it turned out to be great stuff to work with. It’s a bit sticky when it gets hot so it’ll gum up a belt, but other than that it’s tough and textures like the real thing.

I suspect most craftspeople have a great big closet (in my case, it’s the old milk room attached to the barn) where they stash away pieces of wood that they plan to use someday for something nice. This red oak is from a block I got at a woodcraft store’s “going out of business” sale back in 1999. Someone had reserved it to make a guitar body out of but I wound up getting it instead. Taking that over to the table-saw and turning it into blocks was a bit saddening, but that’s the only way I can get it into people’s hands.

The handle grind is one I’ve been doing a lot lately; it happened sort of by accident on one of my early experiments, then I decided I liked it. The top has two 45-degree facets and then the bottom is rounded. It just finds its way right into your hand. But in this case I deliberately chose that grind because I knew the grain would really pop out on the bottom.

When I table-saw wood stock for handle blanks, I usually tape a quarter to the corner of one side of the block, so it offsets the grain slightly against the rip-guide. It means I waste a bit of wood but the grain tends to look more interesting. Yes, I know what real “quarter sawn” wood looks like; this is just me being silly. But how does it look?

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Looks like I am on the hook for some cat, dog, and kid scrapers. It’s going to take me a while to get around to them because I’ve got a pretty hefty work-queue right now, but you will get your scraper if you asked for one.


  1. says

    Faceted handle allows for good grip and edge allignment, it is very good handle design.

    Will Stelter has used the fake ivory recently for an excellent-looking chef’s knife. It looks like an interesting material.

    When possbile, I try to allign the outer side of the handle so that it is cut perpenidicular to the growth ring (a.k.a. the proper quartercut :-)). That makes the lignin filling the cracks in the heartwood really pop out, just like on the bottom of this knife, but on the sides.

  2. says

    @Charly – the fake ivory smells bad when you grind it and comes with a cancer warning, so in that sense they have really replicated it well. It appears to be highly compressed fiber and resin. I like it for the bolster because it’s very rugged.

  3. kestrel says

    Beautiful knife. I like the handle, the wood grain is really pretty and the color contrast between the oak and the micarta is great. It looks like a highly efficient chopper and should slice well through many a carrot.

  4. voyager says

    Very nice – it looks like an efficient blade with a lovely, long, gentle rocking curve. The handle is beautiful and it looks well-balanced and made to sit well in the hand. The contrast with the micarta is very pretty. The wood might have made a nice guitar, but it will make beautiful music in the kitchen.

    Jack and I are happy knowing that so many people will be getting the Marcus Magic Flying Fur Device. It’s a good thing.

  5. Jazzlet says

    It’s lovely, the grain of the oak, the contrast between the oak and the micarta, the curve of the blade, the whole put together.

  6. dangerousbeans says

    That’s an interesting handle shape, i might try it on something. Most of mine are D’s or octagons.
    Nice knife all around

  7. says

    Give that shape a try. I really love it. And it looks snappy.

    Japanese cooking knives sometimes have a ridge on the “hand” side, and this looks like that, but it’s not.

  8. rq says

    My goodness, I could use a kid scraper, too! Especially in summer and after football practice.


  9. dakotagreasemonkey says

    The gentle handle/center of blade uplift is just beautiful. Enough to keep fingers just barely above the cutting surface when fully dropped at the end of a cut, yet precise at the start of a cut during tip placement.
    Overall, one of my favorite blade shapes, well done!
    Oak is one of my favorite woods, and this handle has shown the beauty of that wood.
    The double 45 degree handle top does make a lot of sense, as usually I grip a knife on the inside bend of a finger for control, base of thumb for power, both 90 degree clamping forces,
    Well done, beautiful blade!

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